Traffic: The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
Rickie Lee Jones: The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
EMF: The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
At almost twelve minutes long, Traffic's 1971 laid-back jazz jam anthem is heavy with solos from the various bandmembers, and a tight funk/rock chorus which plays on their supergroup sound -- fitting for a song which supposedly emerged from a brainstorm session about rock stardom.
The lyrics, written by songwriters Winwood and Capaldi, offer a bitter, cynical take on the industry's tendency to profit off the backs of artists everywhere, but the Miles Davis-inspired slowjazz setting, the length of the piece, and the band's tendency to perform the song as an even longer space-jam in concert, are anathema to traditional A&R radioplay; as such, the piece seems to offer ample evidence for salvation for the artist's dream, as if suggesting that, through attention to dreams and the music itself, rather than focusing on the trappings of stardom, cool will win out in the end. Appropriately, of course, FM DJs were happy to play this subversive track despite its length and diversity; it remains a late-night staple of classic rock stations.
Another doubly-covered set, this one vastly divergent: the slow, dreamy jazz-piano-and-organ take from Rickie Lee Jones is almost as recognizable as the original, while UK indie dance/electro-alternative band EMF weighs in with a typically nineties techno-rock rarity that falls somewhere between the original and the stuttered yet contagiously danceable synths of their greatest hit Unbelievable.