Traffic – Feelin’ Alright?

This song was written by guitarist Dave Mason and it was on their self-titled second album released in 1968. It was released as a single but barely hit the charts, peaking at #123 on the Billboard 100. It did peak at #51 in the UK. The album peaked at #9 in the Billboard Album Charts and #15 in Canada.

It was released the following year by Joe Cocker and it took off. I do like that version but I’ve been in a Traffic mood so this feels good now…it’s a little more sparse and not as loud as Cocker’s version…but that’s not always a bad thing. I like the saxophone in this version and the groove that the band had.

Mason wrote this song while visiting the Greek island of Hydra. He had left the band before the first album was released. He met the band again in New York as they were starting this album. They all agreed to record together and he contributed this song and “You Can All Join In,” as well as “Vagabond Virgin,” which he wrote with the band’s drummer Jim Capaldi.

The original name of the song was “Not Feelin’ Too Good Myself,” which is accurate in terms of the song’s meaning. It has more of a melancholy feeling to this song. Cocker took the question mark off of the song and jacked it up to a more positive-feeling song. Sometimes this version is the perfect one to listen to.

Cocker’s version peaked at #69 in the Billboard 100 and #49 in Canada…personally I thought it did better than that.

This song has been covered over 45 different times. Some of the artists are Grand Funk Railroad, Three Dog Night, Lou Rawls, the 5th Dimension, Rare Earth, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Paul Weller, the Jackson 5, Maceo Parker, and Isaac Hayes.

Dave Mason: “It’s just a song about a girl. It’s just another relationship gone bad.”

Here is the Joe Cocker Version

Feelin’ Alright

Seems I’ve got to have a change of scene
Cause every night I have the strangest dreams
Imprisoned by the way it could have been
Left here on my own or so it seems
I’ve got to leave before I start to scream
But someone’s locked the door and took the key.

You feelin’ alright?
I’m not feelin’ too good myself
Well, you feelin’ alright?
I’m not feelin’ too good myself.

Well, say, you took me for one big ride
And even now I sit and wonder why
That when I think of you I start to cry
I just can’t waste my time, I must keep dry
Gotta stop believin’ in all you lies
Cause there’s to much to do before I die.

You feelin’ alright?
I’m not feelin’ too good myself
Well, you feelin’ alright?
I’m not feelin’ too good myself.

Don’t get too lost in all I say
Though at the time I really felt that way
But that was then, now it’s today;
I can’t get off so I’m here to stay
Till someone comes along and takes my place
With a different name and, yes a different face.

You feelin’ alright?
I’m not feelin’ too good myself
Well, you feelin’ alright?
I’m not feelin’ too good myself.

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

45 thoughts on “Traffic – Feelin’ Alright?”

  1. I loved Traffic, with the two-headed monster of Mason and Winwood. I definitely prefer their version to Cocker’s. I see that Mason’s solo album “Alone Together” is available on Etsy for $88 (in the marbled vinyl edition). I bought it used (the only way you knew for sure that you were getting the marbleized version) in 1971. That may be the one thing of value I can leave to my children ;).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I do love Traffic. I’ve been quite surprised by this post…many people like this version. It hits the spot and the song makes more sense here to me…and I’m not knocking Cockers.
      Good buy! Great thing to have. I’m going out vinyl hunting soon.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah Max, he’s another one of those under the radar guys. Caught on a bit after Traffic. His version of ‘All Along the Watchtower’ is killer. The guy can play. He was on Hendrix’s version. I think a few of the Traffic guys were in on the ‘Ladyland’ thing. I hung with all the Traffic members when they went separate ways. Lots of great music to ne had.
        As usual our paths intersect on some great music.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. He is good…he doesn’t get his due at all. Winwood is who people think of when they think of Traffic.
        He still has his chops also.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I only knew Cocker’s rendition, which I’ve always loved. That said, after only listening to it once, I also really like Traffic’s original. I could definitely see it become my favorite. I dig how laid back it is. And, yes, that saxophone part is nice – great choice!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I totally agree with that. That is why I included it. I just read a book about a lady that Leon wrote two songs about. She was in the studio when Joe recorded She Came In Through The Bathroom Window…she had some hash in her purse and Joe became a friend for life lol.

        Liked by 1 person

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