Traffic was a rock band from Birmingham, England, formed in the late 1960s and led by Steve Winwood with Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood and Dave Mason, after Winwood had left the Spencer Davis Group. Winwood became friends with his future bandmates in the latter days of the Davis group (which also hailed from Birmingham) and Capaldi, Wood and Mason are reputed to have performed (uncredited) on at least two Spencer Davis Group singles, "I'm A Man" and Gimme Some Lovin'.
The four musicians often jammed together at a club called The Elbow Room in Aston, Birmingham. With Mason and Capaldi eager to form a new group, Winwood agreed to join the partnership along with Chris Wood and so the four members retreated to a secluded cottage in Aston Tirrold, Berkshire to rehearse.
Traffic's debut single was 1967's "Paper Sun", a UK hit. "Hole in My Shoe", the second single, was an even bigger hit, and set the stage for a rivalry between Winwood and Mason, the group's principal songwriters. Their debut album was Mr. Fantasy which, like the singles, was a hit in the UK but not in the U.S. or elsewhere.