Best Recording of Traffic: Low Spark

I have just about worn out my copy of this great LP (Polygram's 1990 release of the original 1971 recording). I can't seem to find an "audiophile" pressing, and only a very limited supply of the Polygram release.

Is their a better pressing of this album? For God's sake, i hope i don't have to go to digital. The intro of the percusion at the beginning of Low Spark of High Heeled Boys has to be one of the greatest moments in recorded music!
that web site 'better records' is of the opinion that the original island pressing is better than the mo-fi. I have both and can see his point; the mo-fi has less 'edge'. if I were you I'd just go to a used record store and find a good clean copy - they're easy to find and cheap.
I have one for sale here. It is the MFSL pressing and it is marvelous!

I'm not sure about the best pressing, but I can tell you this: I own both an original 1971 LP and the Smiling Phases compilation on CD, and there's no comparison on my system - the LP wins hands down. When they shake the "tree" in the intro about 15 seconds before the vocals start, the LP gives me goosebumps; the CD sounds like they hit it against the wall.

On a side note, in the mid-90s I got to see Steve Winwood and Reebop Kwaku Baah touring as Traffic in Salem, OR. They played Glad, Freedom Rider and Low Spark back to back to back, and I'd have paid the entire ticket price just for those 20 minutes.

"Better Records" According to who? I have bought records from this seller. I kindly asked him to stop sending emails. Way overpriced. The MFSL copy of Low Spark is killer!
Well I own both and have never done business with Barlow or Better Records.

The original Island recording, SW9306, is better than the MO-FI version. The MFSL is a little quieter but the Island has better dynamics.

The MFSL is very good but not "killer".

Crime of the Century is killer.
johnjbarlow: thanks for advice. i will be in touch.

armstrod: that's the moment (shaking the "tree") that i am talking about. that is my favorite moment of recorded music -- and i have only listened to it on vinyl. when i get new/upgraded equipment, that's the first thing i play to test the difference. you are lucky indeed to have seen that performed live.
I would do a favorite searches for this on Ebay and just wait. I'm sure an original import will turn up sealed in a few months and then bid. It probably will go for about the same price of a sealed MFSL copy. Be patient,this album sold millions,theres one out there.
Anybody understand the meaning of the title track? I've burned many a brain cell trying.
Anybody understand the meaning of the title track? I've burned many a brain cell trying.

Check out this link.
From songfacts website

Jim Capaldi started writing this in Morocco, where he was getting ready for a movie with actor Michael J. Pollard that never got made. Said Capaldi: "Pollard and I would sit around writing lyrics all day, talking about Bob Dylan and the Band, thinking up ridiculous plots for the movie. Before I left Morocco, Pollard wrote in my book 'The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys.' For me, it summed him up. He had this tremendous rebel attitude. He walked around in his cowboy boots, his leather jacket. At the time he was a heavy little dude. It seemed to sum up all the people of that generation who were just rebels. The 'Low Spark,' for me, was the spirit, high-spirited. You know, standing on a street corner. The low rider. The 'Low Spark' meaning that strong undercurrent at the street level."
jeff_jones: the meaning of "Low Spark of High Heeled Boys"
I've owned the Island pink rimmed U.S. pressing: "o.k."
I've owned a japanese pressing from late 70's: "better"
I have the mofi pressing: BEST!
What IS IT with all this MOFI BASHING? These are darned good records with very good detail, sense of space, lack of distortion, and dead quiet vinyl.
Having said that, I have original "pink-eye" Island U.K. pressings of some titles (John Barleycorn, Tull's Stand Up, Tull's Benefit, and U.K. pink-rim of Jade Warrior titles, King Crimson titles) and can see the point of the immediacy and presence or fowardness of these 1st pressings. I have been trying for some time to obtain the 1st Traffic album on an original U.K. pink pressing but darn! those auctions run up into the hundreds$$$!
Great thread! Entrope & the rest. Thanks for the insight on "The Low Spark..." Way cool.
the mo fi cd and lp are great, as is the japanese mini lp cd.
FYI Audiofeil. I am not in the the record business, and I don't compete with Better Records. I am selling extra copies to my Agon friends. I prefer the Agon buyer to the eBay buyer. IMHO the MFSL verion is killer sounding. I am not comparing it to the original. There are collectors that like MFSL records. I have a few for sale. End of story