The Real-Story Of Traffic Band, The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee

In 1967, Steve Winwood, Chris Wood, Dave Mason, and Jim Capaldi established Traffic. They initially embraced psychedelic rock and combined jazz elements with their sound to produce a unique sound. Their early success came with the debut album entitled ‘Mr. Fantasy.’ The record became number 16 on the UK Albums Chart and found a place on the Billboard 200.

Even if they achieved notable success, following the release of this album, Dave Mason parted ways with the band. Traffic continued their music career with the remaining members and released the self-titled album in 1969. This record is the most successful work of the group in Britain. While the band was climbing the ladder of success, Steve Winwood also left Traffic. This departure brought the band’s ending, and Traffic disbanded in 1969. Still, they had more to offer in the following years.

What Happened After The First Disbandment Of Traffic?

The remaining members of the Traffic began a new project with Wynder K. Frog. Although they played in a few shows and recorded some BBC sessions, they did not release any new album and broke up. In 1970, Winwood focused on his solo career after his band Blind Faith split in the previous year. He started to work with Wood and Capaldi for the album entitled ‘John Barleycorn Must Die,’ which eventually would become Traffic’s fourth studio album.

Traffic expanded its line-up in the ’70s, and Ric Grech joined the band as the bassist. After Capaldi left the band because he lost his infant son, Jim Gordon and Rebop Kwaku Baah became group members in 1971. Following the success of the live album named ‘Welcome to The Canteen’ in the United States, ‘The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys’ became a top ten album in the US. However, Traffic faced another disbandment because of the members’ personal problems.

On one side, Grech and Gordon were fired because their excessive drug use affected the band; on the other side, Winwood struggled with peritonitis. Although they continued to create several successful works, the personal problems of band members’ escalated over time. Especially after Winwood left the group due to health problems, the remaining members did not want to continue without him, and Traffic parted ways in the mid-70s.

Traffic Members Tried Their Chances One Last Time

While Steve Winwood continued his solo career, Kwaku Baah and Chris Wood passed away in 1983. Over a decade later, all still living members held a one-off tour on the recommendation of a fan. In the same year, Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi released the Traffic’s eighth and final album, entitled ‘Far from Home’ without involving other band members. The album became the most commercially successful one after ‘John Barleycorn Must Die’ in their home country.

Traffic was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2004, including the four original members. Winwood and Capaldi performed in the induction. The band had plans to go on with new Traffic projects; however, they could not achieve their goals after Capaldi’s passing in 2005. Traffic introduced its name to the whole world as a British band with its unique style. Despite the separation and line-up changes, the band’s several works found themselves in high places in various countries’ charts. The group also became a significant representative of the British music world.