Traffic: Steve Winwood (vocals, guitar, piano, harpsichord, organ, bass, percussion); Dave Mason (vocals, guitar, sitar, tamboura, shakkai, Mellotron, bass); Chris Wood (vocals, flute, saxophone, organ); Jim Capaldi (vocals, drums, percussion).
Reissue producer: Bill Levenson.
Recorded at Olympic Sound Studios, London, England between April and November 1967.
Originally released on Island (9061).
Personnel: Steve Winwood (vocals, guitar, piano, harpsichord, organ, bass guitar, percussion); Chris Wood (vocals, flute, saxophone, organ, percussion); Jim Capaldi (vocals, drums, percussion).
Recording information: Olympic Studios, London, England (04/1967-11/1967).
Photographers: Michael Putland; Mike Sida.
Arranger: Steve Winwood.
Rehearsed and written at a cottage in the Berkshire countryside, Traffic's debut was former child prodigy Steve Winwood's first foray into headier territory after a stint playing R&B-fueled rock & roll with the Spencer Davis Group. Rounded out by drummer Jim Capaldi and multi-instrumentalists Chris Wood and Dave Mason, Traffic's 1967 debut MR. FANTASY was originally released in the U.S. under the title HEAVEN IS IN YOUR MIND. This reissue contains the album as it appeared in the U.S. plus several bonus tracks.
The record includes experimentation with vaudeville-inspired numbers ("Berkshire Poppies"), flamenco-flavored fantasy ("Dealer") and sitar-drenched meditations ("Utterly Simple"). Winwood's inspired organ playing and soulful singing pokes out on cuts like "Coloured Rain." In keeping with the band's unorthodox approach to composition and arrangement, "Giving To You" offers a funky groove sandwiched between tidbits of an overheard conversation about the relative merits of jazz.