The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys was the al­bum and the song, and it’s a song that’ll nev­er die. It was record­ed by Traf­fic, writ­ten by Win­wood/Ca­paldi, and last time I checked, Win­wood still goes out on the road and plays it for peo­ple. Play it for your­self, but sit back and lis­ten care­ful­ly, there’s a lot hap­pen­ing.

The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys

OK, John Bar­l­ey­corn may be more co­her­en­t, but Low Spark is the Traf­fic al­bum (and the song) for me. The melody is mem­o­rable, the singing is strong, and the pi­ano foun­da­tion is dreamy, but for me it’s the sax line from Chris Wood that brings it home.

Wood is an­oth­er chap­ter in the sad old rock-n-roll drink/­drugs/death sto­ry, but he left some fine mu­sic be­hind. I have an ob­scure 2008 al­bum called Vul­can; then there was a lat­er, ap­par­ent­ly dis­tinc­t, com­pi­la­tion called Moon Child Vul­can.

Any­how: If you see some­thing that looks like a star / And it's shoot­ing up out of the ground / And your head is spin­ning from a loud guitar…

This is part of the Song of the Day se­ries (back­ground).

Links · Spo­ti­fy playlist. This tune on Ama­zon, iTunes (al­bum on­ly), Spo­ti­fy. This live video from 1972 is a lit­tle un­for­tu­nate in that the au­dio mix los­es the per­cus­sion en­tire­ly (and is that Lar­ry Wall on drum­s?) but it does high­light a big Chris Woods solo. There’s lots more video, most­ly from one of Winwood’s oth­er tour­ing band­s, each of which has a sax play­er, and they all sound like they lis­tened to Chris a whole lot.



Contributions

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From: Bob DuCharme (Mar 01 2018, at 10:48)

A few years ago I printed out the one page shown at https://www.musicnotes.com/sheetmusic/mtd.asp?ppn=MN0070945 and left it on our piano at home just so that I can sit down and play that classic bass-chord thing pretty much like the record whenever I want. Definitely fun.

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From: StanD. (Mar 01 2018, at 11:10)

Good pick! The dissonant chord that Winwood blasts out on the organ for the last 20 seconds of that song is one of my favorite Musical Things.

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From: Jhon Hall (Mar 02 2018, at 12:25)

I assume that the chord at the end is the sound of the dead drug dealer slumped onto his steering wheel's horn

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