English rock band whose members came from the West Midlands. The group formed in April 1967 by Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood (2) and Dave Mason. They began as a psychedelic rock group whose early singles were influenced by The Beatles and diversified their sound through the use of instruments such as keyboards like the Mellotron, reed instruments, and by incorporating jazz and improvisational techniques in their music. After disbanding in 1969, during which time Winwood joined Blind Faith (2), Traffic reunited in 1970 to release the album John Barleycorn Must Die. The band's line-up varied from this point until they disbanded again in 1975, although a partial reunion, with Winwood and Capaldi, took place in 1994. In 2004, Traffic was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Traffic were an English rock band formed in Birmingham in April 1967 by Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood and Dave Mason. They began as a psychedelic rock group and diversified their sound through the use of instruments such as keyboards (such as the Mellotron and harpsichord), sitar, and various reed instruments, and by incorporating jazz and improvisational techniques in their music.The band had early success in the UK with their debut album Mr. Fantasy and non-album singles "Paper Sun", "Hole in My Shoe", and "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush.” Their follow-up self-titled 1968 album was their most successful in Britain and featured one of their most popular songs, the widely covered "Feelin' Alright?" Dave Mason left the band shortly after the album's release, as did Steve Winwood the following year when he joined the supergroup Blind Faith, and Traffic effectively disbanded. An album compiled from studio and live recordings, Last Exit, was released in 1969. By 1970, Blind Faith had also broken up and Winwood reunited with Chris Wood and Jim Capaldi in the process of recording a solo album, which led to Traffic reforming and the resulting album, John Barleycorn Must Die, serving as the band's comeback record. It became the band's biggest success in the United States to that point, reaching number 5. Their next LP, The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys (1971), went platinum in the US and became popular on FM radio, establishing Traffic as a leading progressive rock band. 1973's Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory and 1974's When the Eagle Flies were further top 10 successes for the band in the US, and were both certified gold, though neither sold well in the UK. In 1974, the band broke up again. A partial reunion, with Winwood and Capaldi alongside several new musicians, took place in 1994. In the intervening years Steve Winwood had a successful solo career, with several hit singles and albums during the 1980s. Dave Mason had his own solo career that produced a few minor hit songs in the 1970s, played as a session musician with a number of bands, and was briefly a member of Fleetwood Mac in 1995 and Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band in 1997. Jim Capaldi also had some minor solo hits in the 1970s in his native UK but was less successful abroad. During the 1990s, Capaldi primarily worked as a songwriter, working with Santana and The Eagles. Chris Wood did sporadic session work after the breakup of Traffic in 1974, and died in 1983. Traffic were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.