Sailor: “Traffic Jam” (1974)

A tuneful lament for bygone days before the world went car crazy.

Kronomyth 1.1: Limousine, hot rod, Beetle and the van.

A Melody Maker ad touted Sailor as a “new group that points the way for tomorrows music.” If men in sailor suits playing nickelodeons pushed together was our future, the Eloi and the Morlocks couldn’t come soon enough for me. (Come to think of it, Eloi and the Morlocks would be a swell name for a band.) As I’ve mentioned before, Sailor was a clever pop band, they just had one too many gimmicks going on. And they were living in the past, not the future. Traffic Jam, a very clever idea, laments the modernization brought by the automobile at a time when other rock bands were writing songs about fast cars and loose women. OK, so maybe they were from the future after all.

The B side is a nonalbum instrumental, Harbour, that sounds even more old-timey than “Traffic Jam.” I’m guessing this music played out better in Europe, where the classic and contemporary worlds coexist. The U.S. has very little history of its own, as we tend to tear down the old in favor of the new, so nostalgia is lost on us.

Original 7-inch single version

A1. Traffic Jam (Georg Kajanus) (3:24)
B1. Harbour (Georg Kajanus) (3:02)

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single in September 1974 in the UK (Epic, S EPC 2562) and the Netherlands (Epic, EPC 2562) with regional picture sleeve. Also released as promotional 7-inch single in 1974 in the US (Epic, 8-50094) feat. A stereo and mono versions.

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