The Steve Miller Band were one of those groups who were played a lot in the background of my teenage years. There was no need for me to own any of his records because the songs that mattered were played so regularly on radio, it was almost impossible to forget them.
However, while all the hits are here, the surprises on this collection are those tracks I'm less familiar with, like the very Chicago-blues of Livin' In The USA, his extensive use of electronica effects, the Lady Madonna-inspired Space Cowboy and tracks like My Dark Hour, which features Paul McCartney on bass.
I was surprised to learn Miller's family history that includes close friendships with both Les Paul (who encouraged a very young Miller to play) and T-Bone Burnett. It was also interesting to read that Miller was good friends with Boz Scaggs, who found his feet in Miller's first band before striking out on a solo career of his own.
While Miller and co don't do anything even slightly dangerous (in fact, there is something positively clean cut about them), listening to tracks like Jet Airliner, Take The Money And Run and, of course, The Joker, take me way back to a time when life seemed so much more innocent. While I don't lament my current state, not in the slightest, it is nice to be reminded occasionally of those days long ago.
VERDICT: TURN IT UP
Like YourZ, I've never had the need to own any of the Steve Miller Band's albums - largely because they were and still are so radio-friendly. Listening to at least the first half of this CD encouraged me to wind the window down and cruise, while singing along to the hits that are seemingly imbedded in my psyche. Abracadabra, Take the Money and Run and Rock'n'Me have that cruisy, easy, West Coast sound much beloved of Classic Hits and Easy Listening stations to this day.
But although the songs are great, I'm a little puzzled as to how this CD ended up in our collection. Must have been one of those buy 5 CDs for 10 dollars each deals. No harm done, but no real excitement for me.
VERDICT: TURN IT DOWN
For more information: http://www.stevemillerband.com/