Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush ** (11/29/67) #8 UK
No Face, No Name, No Number (3/6/68) #40 UK
Dear Mr. Fantasy --
* Only on Heaven Is in Your Mind.
** on Heaven Is in Your Mind reissue
In the U.S., Mr. Fantasy was released in January 1968 as Heaven in Your Mind. The singles “Paper Sun” and “Hole in My Shoe,” as well as “Smiling Phases” were added to the original U.K. release while “Utterly Simple” and “Hope I Never Find Me There” were bumped. A 2000 reissue added the latter two, as well as “We’re a Fade, You Missed This,” “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush,” and “Am I What I Was or Am I What I Am” as bonus tracks.
Meanwhile, the 2000 reissue of Mr. Fantasy added “Paper Sun,” “Hole in My Shoe,” “Smiling Phases,” “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush,” and an alternate version of “Giving to You.”
Mr. Fantasy/ Heaven Is in Your Mind
“Dave Mason-era Traffic was nothing if not eclectic.” MM “Steve Winwood’s primary instrument was organ, though he also played guitar; Chris Wood was a reed player, spending most of his time on flute; Mason played guitar, but he was also known to pick up the sitar, among other instruments. As such a mixture suggests, the band’s musical approach was eclectic.” MF
“On Mr. Fantasy, they mix and match the art-prog of Caravan and the goofy psychedelia” MM “and dance hall styles” MF of Sgt. Pepper’s “with the mellow groove of Procol Harum, the jazz-blues fusion of Graham Bond with the blues-rock of Cream.” MM Add in Indian music, “a taste for the comic” MF and “Stevie Winwood’s riveting vocals” MM and you have “a rather druggy record…in fact, decades later, it’s still possible to get a decent contact high off of it.” MM
“From the stuttering, lyrically ponderous Heaven Is in Your Mind to the awe-inspiring psychedelic soul of Dear Mr. Fantasy, this is Traffic’s most reverb-saturated and elliptical release.” MM
“A sheen of silliness covers at least a third of the album; faux-frumpy songs like House for Everyone and Berkshire Poppies are not-very-witty vaudeville spoofs that are sung in stuffy British accents.” MM
The “blues-rock jamming” MF songs “have proven the most distinctive and long-lasting, but Mason’s more pop-oriented contributions remain winning, as do more light-hearted efforts.” MF
“In January 1968, United Artists Records released a reconfigured American version of Traffic’s debut album Mr. Fantasy under the new title Heaven Is in Your Mind, but after the first pressing reverted to calling it Mr. Fantasy.” HM The differences were due to the fact that, at the time, “the British record industry considered albums and singles separate entities; thus, Mr. Fantasy did not contain the group’s three previous Top Ten U.K. hits. Just as the album was being released in the U.K., Traffic split from Dave Mason. The album was changed drastically for U.S. release, both because American custom was that singles ought to appear on albums, and because the group sought to diminish Mason’s presence.” MF
“The changes actually improved the record by adding strong singles. But just as important as the substitutions was the sequencing, which banished the British-flavored novelty songs to the middle of Side Two; ‘Dear Mr. Fantasy,’ which would turn out to be the best-remembered song on the album, was moved to a climactic position as the penultimate cut on Side Two.” HM
“The result de-emphasized Traffic’s pop-psychedelic style (a hangover from the influence of Sgt. Pepper) and promoted its abilities as a jamming blues-rock outfit, talents that were abetted by Jimmy Miller’s production and that helped launch them as an album act in the U.S.” HM