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.