Mr. Fantasy is the debut album by English rock band Traffic. It was released in 1967. For the recording, group members included Jim Capaldi, Steve Winwood, Chris Wood, and Dave Mason, however Mason left the band before the album was released. The album reached the number 16 position in the UK albums chart, and number 88 in the American Billboard chart.
This album features even more horns and flutes, and less rock-style instruments than most of Traffic's future releases. The sitar was used much more in this album than any later Traffic albums.
The first US version of the album on United Artists Records was titled Heaven Is In Your Mind and had a cover that featured all members of the group except Dave Mason. The title was quickly changed back to Mr. Fantasy but the new cover remained until Island Records re-issued the UK version in the late 1970s. Both the US and UK editions were released in substantially different stereo and mono mixes.
For the original US edition, a short looping snippet of the group's single "Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush" was added between most of the songs. The LP also added three songs from the group's UK singles("Paper Sun", "Hole In My Shoe", and "Smiling Phases") while deleting two Dave Mason songs "Hope I Never Find Me There" and "Utterly Simple." The final track on the US album "We're A Fade, You Missed This" is actually the ending of the full length version of "Paper Sun." For most of the songs there are significant differences between the stereo and mono mixes. One song in particular, "Giving to You", was released in 3 different versions, including similar mono and stereo versions from the U.K. album, plus a very different mono U.K. b-side mix, which also was later included on the U.S. mono LP. The special U.K. b-side mix includes lyrics sung by Winwood during the introduction which are not heard on any other version. The soundtrack album for Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush also contains a recording of "Utterly Simple" which is a different take than the one used on this album.
The album was engineered by Phil Brown who, when asked what was his favourite memory of engineering, responded: "Recording Dear Mr Fantasy, one o'clock in the morning, November 1967."
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