Traffic: When the Eagle Flies

Traffic Nov 1, 1973 UK: ISLAND ILPS 9273 and US: Asylum 7E-1020
# Title Duration
1 Play Something New (Winwood, Capaldi)
You said you couldn't leave me after all that we'd been through
I believed you when you said we should both try something new
I was drowning inside here with a love that was so true
But you laughed right in my face and there was nothing I could do
Once I took a walk across the hill to see what I could see
I saw a light falling from the sky and land beneath a tree
The light it gave was oh, so bright that it took away my care
I ran back to the house to tell you but you were not there

When you've loved someone dearly it's so hard not to regret
Memories that have faded, suddenly you can't forget
I know I was not dreaming when you walked right out the door
Just a feeling that told me my love was gone for evermore
When you think you've found the key, the door just slips away
And so you walk the floor all night until the break of day
Somewhere in your mind you know that things will be alright
Because everything in life is equal just like the day and night
You said you couldn't leave me after all that we'd been through
I believed you when you said that we should both try something new
Something new
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Published by 1974 F.S. Music Ltd. (PRS) &
Freedom Songs Ltd. (PRS)
All rights on behalf of F.S. Music Ltd. admin. by
Warner Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI)
03:15
2 Play Dream Gerrard (Winwood, Vivian Stanshall)
And it's a fact, you are cold, they react, dream Gerrard
Hippos don't wear hats, lobsters shriek if provoked
On long blue ribbons
That he may see while he sleeps
Monsieur Old Neddy, he wears spectacles in bed
That he may see dreams more clearly
The night, it will be black, and white raven croaking
I am thirsty, die, they won't let it be
They think it should be done with reality
I scream from a skull. Fritz, bring your wigwam
They won't let it be
They think it should be done with reality, with reality
They won't let it be
They think it should be done with reality, with reality
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Published by 1974 F.S. Music Ltd. (PRS) &
Warner/Chappell Music Ltd. (PRS)
All rights on behalf of F.S. Music Ltd. admin.
by Warner Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI)
11:03
3 Play Graveyard People (Winwood, Capaldi)
Graveyard people with graveyard minds
Peeking out through half-drawn blinds
Desperate people with desperate minds
Only live amongst straight lines
Scorning the gypsies camped out in the fields
What do they know of the warrior's shield?

Go-slow workers with Union minds
Striking out for better times
Sunshine people with sunshine minds
Living in these troubled times
Follow shop stewards like so many sheep
Sowing the seed that our children will reap

Go-slow workers with Union minds
Striking out for better times
Sunshine people with sunshine minds
Living in these troubled times
Get it together, no one knows how we feel
Sowing the seed that our children will reap
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Published by 1974 F.S. Music Ltd. (PRS) &
Freedom Songs Ltd. (PRS)
All rights on behalf of F.S. Music Ltd. admin. by
Warner Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI)
06:05
4 Play Walking in the Wind (Winwood, Capaldi)
You walk and talk and move around in circles
Your friends telling you you are doing fine
You can't see that snowball as it hurtles
Through the shattered membranes of your mind
If I could talk to you for just one minute
Then you would know what it is I am getting at
But there again your head's got nothing in it
By the way you left without your hat

I'm walking in the wind looking at the sky
Hanging on a breeze and wondering why, why
Your old man's headed for the final pay-off
The joker that you got is fading too
And all the sharks that come around for the rip-off
Are gonna tear the flesh right off you
The plastic princess hangs her head in wonder at the silver glittered boys
Trying, trying to compete
And all at once the room begins to thunder
And all that's left is the stain on the sheet

The prostitute is standing on the corner
Suffering so much pain to stay alive
She's so real, that life itself bows down before her
She couldn't make that nine to five
While the president is crying, crying in the White House
The prime minister's really got the blues
All the heads of state are busy playing cat & mouse
'Cause you can see none of them have ever paid their dues
God knows why, why, why
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Published by 1974 F.S. Music Ltd. (PRS) &
Freedom Songs Ltd. (PRS)
All rights on behalf of F.S. Music Ltd. admin. by
Warner Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI)
06:48
5 Play Memories of a Rock N' Rolla (Winwood, Capaldi)
When I was a young boy I lived for rock 'n' roll
We spent our time playing gigs and traveling on the road
And we didn't have much money and the gigs were sometimes rough
But playing music for the people seemed to be enough
And the music is so sweet that it makes me tap my feet
And my mind is very high, I can almost touch the sky

Now I am a young man dressed in sparkling coloured clothes
A country house and sixty acres are a heavy load
We still have no money but we have some nice things
Possession is, possessions are the trait that money brings
And the snowflakes are so sweet as they fall around our feet
And my mind is very high, I can almost feel the sky

Now I am an old man, I know exactly what to do
Never ask a question or ever give an answer to you
And when you pass me by and you drop a penny in my hat
Don't feel sorry on my account 'cause life can be like that
And the music is so sweet that it makes me tap my feet
And my mind is very high, I can almost feel the sky
And the river rolls along like a never ever ending song
And the river rolls along like a never ever ending song
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Published by 1974 F.S. Music Ltd. (PRS) &
Freedom Songs Ltd. (PRS)
All rights on behalf of F.S. Music Ltd. admin. by
Warner Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI)
04:50
6 Play Love (Winwood, Capaldi)
If you see me, don't pass me by
I need somebody or else I'm gonna die
Oh, love, if you need me, just call and I'll be there
There is no sorrow that both of us can't share
That both of us can't share
Love, don't you despair ...
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Published by 1974 F.S. Music Ltd. (PRS) &
Freedom Songs Ltd. (PRS)
All rights on behalf of F.S. Music Ltd. admin. by
Warner Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI)
03:20
7 Play When the Eagle Flies (Winwood, Capaldi)
When the eagle flies you'd better watch your eyes
He's gonna sweep everything in his path
And when the heavens cry it's gonna drown the sky
And you'll get caught in the aftermath
When the mountains move it's no good trying
To prove that you've been doing everything you can
And don't you start to cry when you're about to die
You gotta stand up and take it like a man
Because you've been taking instead of giving
And all the while you've been living lies
Economics, all your atomics
Ain't gonna save you from that bird in the sky
And when the good times roll wrapped up in your mink coat
You will be stepping from your Cadillac
You will be stepping from your Cadillac
And in a micro flash you're gonna feel the lash
Of big eagle's wing across your back
And when the seas subside you'll see him glide right out of view
In clouds of snow the rains will come
And wash away the scum so that all the little flowers can grow
There'll be no more taking, only giving
And the sun pouring down
No economics and no atomics
Just the spread of Mother Nature's gown
Do you hear me, Mother Nature? ...
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Published by 1974 F.S. Music Ltd. (PRS) &
Freedom Songs Ltd. (PRS)
All rights on behalf of F.S. Music Ltd. admin. by
Warner Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI)
04:24

 

NOTES:

 

Recorded on 8-track 1 inch Tape at Steve’s home

Liner Notes By Bill DeYoung:

 

Released in the fall of 1974, When the Eagle Flies was Traffic’s swan song. Since the band’s humble beginnings, Steve Winwood had taken Traffic’s music through a half-dozen radical permutations, leading with evolutionary zeal to the spacey and wide-open frontiers of The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys and Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory. By ‘73’s On The Road, Traffic had become a seven-member band, ministering R&B, jazz and rock ‘n’ roll to sold-out audiences around the world.

For When the Eagle Flies, the key word was simplification.

Winwood agreed with Rolling Stone’s suggestion that the album was something of a return to Traffic’s roots. “But we’re not trying to become a parody of ourselves,” he insisted in a 1974 profile of the band. “We’re trying to realize how we do things best. Things are a bit more flexible now, obviously…the music has evolved, not digressed.”

            For Winwood, flexibility meant saying goodbye to Muscle Shoals players Roger Hawkins, David Hood, and Barry Beckett – and longtime percussionist Reebop Kwaku Baah.

            Winwood, Jim Capaldi, and Chris Wood recruited Jamaican-born bassist Rosko Gee, who’d played in the British reggae band Gonzales, and holed up at Winwood’s country estate. Most of When the Eagle Flies was cut on an eight-track machine at the Traffic director’s studio, Netherturkdonic. Several of the basic tracks were recorded live in the U.K., on a short tour that preceded the studio sessions. These were then overdubbed at Netherturkdonic.

            As always, the bulk of the material was written by Winwood (music) and Capaldi (lyrics). The exception was the playful “Dream Gerrard,” with music by Winwood and words by former Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band frontman Vivian Stanshall, on whose recent solo album Winwood had guest-appeared. (Stanshall would co-write several songs with Winwood, including “Arc of a Diver,” the title track to Winwood’s breakthrough solo set in 1981.)

            “Dream Gerrard,” a mini-suite layered with soulful Winwood vocals, a catchy, syncopated riff from Wood’s saxophone and a synthesized string section, is the album’s most ambitious number. On the evocative “Graveyard People” Winwood handles both electric piano and synthesizer. The master musician also plays acoustic piano, mellotron, organ, and all the guitars on the album.

            Capaldi is heard on percussion, and in the drummer’s chair for the first time since John Barleycorn Must Die. Gee lays down a popping funk riff for “Walking in the Wind,” with tasty sax riffs from Wood and one of Winwood’s magnificent solos on the Hammond organ.

            The simple “Memories of a Rock ‘N Rolla” finds Winwood musing on his own transition from young, green musician (“playing music for the people seemed to be enough”) to rock star (“Dressed in sparkling colored clothes”). Wood takes the solos on his flute for the hypnotic “Love,” recorded live on the road.

            The closer, “When the Eagle Flies,” is a soulful, piano-based piece about the perils of ecological imbalance. “Do you hear me, Mother Nature?” Winwood cries as the album fades.

            When the Eagle Flies was the most organic Traffic album of the 1970s. “Our attitude has changed back to the way it was when we were making the first two Trafic albums,” enthused Wood to Rolling Stone. “We, or at least I, haven’t really been satisfied with any since then, except perhaps John Barleycorn. There’s more of a personal expression in When the Eagle Flies that represents a progression.”

            In the end, they were well aware of “what they did best.” When the Eagle Flies stands as testament to the relentlessly creative art that Winwood, Capaldi, and Wood made together. It’s a fitting finale to a brilliant journey. – Bill DeYoung

 

SINGLES:

 

"Walking in the Wind" released as UK single, 10/74