This year alone, I’ve bought two new versions of Traffic’s “John Barleycorn” album!
LP JOHN BARLEYCORN MUST DIE ISLAND UK ILPS 9116 LP
1970 6 TRKS UK original issue, gatefold cover
LP JOHN BARLEYCORN MUST DIE POLYDOR CAN 2334 013 LP
1970 6 TRKS cover variant, different typeface, paper
LP JOHN BARLEYCORN MUST DIE U.A. US UAS 5504 LP
1970 6 TRKS US original issue, which came with a “Traffic” sticker on the cover
CDx2 JOHN BARLEYCORN MUST DIE (Deluxe edition) ISLAND UK 533241-1 CDx2
2011 16 TRKS (10 x bonus tracks) (’70 original issue)
CD JOHN BARLEYCORN MUST DIE (Kami) UNIVERSAL JPN UICY-9273 CD
1970 11 TRKS (’03 issue) kami sleeve (4 x bonus tracks) based upon the UK ’01 re-master
SA JOHN BARLEYCORN MUST DIE (SHM-SA-CD Kami) NH UNIVERSAL JPN
UIGY 9049 SA
1970 6 TRKS (’10 issue) SA-CD non-hybrid, no bonus tracks here
LP JOHN BARLEYCORN MUST DIE re-issue ISLAND UK ILPS 9116 LP
1970 6 TRKS UK EMI re-issue, single sleeve
7″ EMPTY PAGES / STRANGER TO HIMSELF U.A. US UA 50692 7″
1970 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo
Oddly, I first owned this album as an 8-track tape! Long gone, unfortunately. I don’t remember ever having a factory-made cassette of it…got my first Island UK LP of it about ’73 or ’74 – it always had a nicer cover printing job than the US issue – imagine my surprise at finding a Canadian version with a cover variant! Further variant? When Island UK re-issued the LP, the cover was no longer a fold out.
The Japanese paper sleeve CD has some fairly interesting bonus tracks, too!
This year I’ve bought both a Deluxe Edition and a Japanese non-hybrid single layer SA-CD of “John Barleycorn”, with really excellent sound.
The Deluxe Edition has come to my collection most recently; only some of the bonus tracks from the Japanese edition made it to the Deluxe Edition, so I guess I’ll have to keep my paper sleeve CD edition (yes, it’s different than the SA-CD version).
Most exciting about the Deluxe Edition: they give you an entire unreleased live album – the rumored “Traffic Live – November 1970” album – not to be confused with “Welcome To The Canteen” – a completely different record!
And I do not know why, but the British never did a single from “John Barleycorn”, but we Americans did: “Empty Pages” b/w “Stranger To Himself” – I certainly never heard that on the AM radio at the time!
So, thanks to Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood! Great album, boys!