STEVE MILLER BAND RE-ISSUES & EUROPEAN TOUR
Edsel Records have reissued the first five albums by the Steve Miller Band, originally released on Capitol/EMI between 1968 and 1970, and now issued in special Digipak editions. The albums released on October 8th include Children of the Future (1968), Sailor (1968), Brave New World (1969), Your Saving Grace (1969) and Number 5 (1970). The CD booklets included in the digipak editions feature original artwork, song lyrics, exclusive liner notes written by the San Francisco Chronicle's Joel Selvin based on new 2012 interviews with Miller, plus rare photos from his personal archive. All five digitally re-mastered CDs are housed in six panel digipaks.
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Steve Miller received his first exposure to music from his mother, Bertha, whom he described as a remarkable non-professional jazz-influenced singer, and his physician father, George, known as "Sonny" who, in addition to his profession as a pathologist, was a jazz enthusiast and accomplished amateur recording engineer. Moreover, guitar virtuoso Les Paul and his musical partner Mary Ford were regular visitors at the Miller house and Dr. and Mrs. Miller were best man and maid of honor at their December 1949 wedding. Les Paul heard Steve, who was about five, on a wire recording made by Dr. Miller, as the youngster was banging away on a guitar given to him by his uncle. Les Paul encouraged the little musician to continue with his interest in the guitar...and "perhaps he will be something one day".
In 1967, he formed the Steve Miller Band (originally called The Steve Miller Blues Band) and backed Chuck Berry on his Live at Fillmore Auditorium album released that year. In 1968, they released Children of the Future the first in a series of discs rooted solidly in the psychedelic blues style that then dominated the San Francisco scene. The group followed the release of their second album, Sailor, with the albums Brave New World, Your Saving Grace and Number 5. These first five albums performed respectably on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart but failed to yield a major hit single; the highest charted single being "Livin' in the USA" from Sailor. Songs from this period are also featured in a portion of the double album compilation Anthology, which includes a guest appearance on bass guitar, drums and backing vocals by Paul McCartney on the songs "Celebration" and "My Dark Hour."
In this first period Miller established his personae of the "Gangster of Love" (from Sailor) and the "Space Cowboy" (from Brave New World), which were reused in later works. In 1972, Miller recorded the album Recall the Beginning...A Journey from Eden, in which a third persona, "Maurice," was introduced in the tune "Enter Maurice." In 1973, The Joker marked the start of the second phase of Miller's career: this work was less hard-rock oriented and simpler in composition. The album received significant radio airplay, which helped the title track reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The single also hit No 1 on the UK Singles Chart in September 1990 after it was used for a television commercial. Miller followed up with Fly Like an Eagle in 1976, and Book of Dreams in 1977. This pair of albums represented the peak of Miller's commercial career, both reaching the top echelons of the album charts and spawning a lengthy series of hit singles, including "Fly Like An Eagle", "Rock'n Me", "Take the Money and Run", "Jet Airliner" and "Jungle Love". The Steve Miller Band co-headlined a major stadium tour with The Eagles in 1978.
In 1978, Greatest Hits 1974-1978 was released. The album contained all the big hits from Miller's two most popular albums, Fly Like an Eagle and Book of Dreams (plus the title track from The Joker), which were recorded during the same recording sessions in 1976 and subsequently released one year apart. This popularity also fueled successful concert tours throughout the 1980s and 1990s, often with large numbers of younger people being present at the concerts, many of whom were fans of the big hits and inevitably purchased the greatest hits album. Miller would often headline shows with other classic rock acts, and played a variety of his music, including a selection of his blues work dating from the late 1960s.
On hearing the news of the death of Les Paul in 2009, Miller responded "I cannot believe he is gone, I will miss him very much, my prayers go out to him." Miller released Bingo! in June, 2010, his first in seventeen years, and quickly followed it with Let Your Hair Down ten months later in April 2011. Following acclaimed UK performances including the Royal Albert Hall in 2010, Miller returns to Europe in October 2012, including a concert at The Roundhouseon October 20th, Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall on October 21st and eight more gigs around Europe.