Paper Sun

Album: Mr. Fantasy (1967)
Charted: 5 94
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi wrote this song in March 1967 when Winwood was in the Spencer Davis Group and Capaldi was a member of Deep Feeling. The bands were on tour together, and after a show in Newcastle, the two convened in a hotel room and put the song together.

    "I got the title from a newspaper in a boarding house in Newcastle," Capaldi explained. "I was half-asleep, lying there writing this lyric in my head at about 3:30 in the morning. I woke up Steve with this idea and then we went into the living room where there was a little upright piano and finished the song."

    When Winwood and Capaldi formed Traffic a short time later with Dave Mason and Chris Wood, they recorded "Paper Sun" and released it as their first single.
  • Released in May 1967, this trippy track was a good fit for the Summer of Love. Featuring Dave Mason's sitar, Chris Wood's flute and a rather inscrutable lyric, it became a psychedelia classic.
  • Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" was released shortly before "Paper Sun" was issued as Traffic's first single. The Procol song stole much of Traffic's thunder, as the bombastic track proved to be a musical Godzilla, and one with a similar sounding vocalist, no less (Gary Brooker).
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