So much better than the British issue
Marcus Aurelius | PA USA | 03/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This remastered issue of Traffic's first American lp with the necessary material from other issues of the period is the one to have: great sound, great sequencing, and material that still sounds fresh after a long, long time. I wish that Traffic had been able to surpass their first two lp's. They didn't, but at least we have this wonderful record."
Groundbreaking, even by today's standard
murph | texas | 04/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After being the teenaged frontman for the R&B-based Spencer Davis Group, Steve Winwood launced his eclectic follow-up, Traffic, with this auspicious debut -- originally titled Dear Mr. Fantasy in UK. To hear the opening, sitar-laden "Paper Sun" when your ears were expecting "Gimme Some Lovin', Phase 2" was a jarring revelation at the time -- and still is.
With a couple of so-so exceptions, Traffic's catalog is consistently high-quality and underrated, even with all the accolades and popularity the group enjoyed. But Heaven Is In Your Mind is still the best -- even better than their self-titled second album, John Barleycorn Must Die, or Low Spark Of High-Heeled Boys.
Dave Mason came and left before the release of the album (then rejoined for the second LP and left again), but the trio of Winwood, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood were the true nucleus. Contrary to some revisionists' perspective, they were not the fathers of progressive rock or anything other subgenre; this is way too wide-ranging and far-reaching to pigeonhole. There's psychedelica, folk, R&B, jazz, and what would later be dubbed "world music," way ahead of its time.
Although he's invariably thought of as a singer and keyboard player, Winwood is also a killer guitarist and handles most the lead work here. There are several classics, but the obvious highpoint is "Dear Mr. Fantasy" -- the song that stole the show when Winwood played Clapton's Crossroads Festival in Chicago in '07.
I can't recommend this enough."