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Rock - Paru le 1 janvier 1978 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

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Rock - Paru le 1 janvier 1973 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

The Joker is, without question, the turning point in Steve Miller's career, the album where he infused his blues with a big, bright dose of pop and got exactly what he deserved: Top Ten hits and stardom. He also lost a lot of fans, the ones who dug his winding improvs, because those spacy jams were driven by chops and revealed new worlds. The Joker isn't mind-expanding, it's party music, filled with good vibes, never laying a heavy trip, always keeping things light, relaxed and easygoing. Sometimes, the vibes are interrupted, but not in a harsh way -- the second side slows a bit, largely due to the sludgy "Come in My Kitchen" and "Evil," the two songs that were recorded live but lacking any kinetic energy -- but for the most part, this is all bright and fun, occasionally truly silly, as on "Shu Ba Da Du Ma Ma Ma Ma." This silliness, of course, alienated old fans all the more, but that sense of fun is both the most appealing thing about The Joker and it set a touchstone for the rest of his career. Here, it's best heard on the terrific opener "Sugar Babe" and, of course, the timeless title track, which is sunny and ridiculous in equal measure. If nothing else is quite up to that standard in terms of songs -- certainly, it's not as jammed-pack as its successor, Fly Like an Eagle -- The Joker nevertheless maintains its good-time vibe so well that it's hard not to smile along...provided you're on the same wavelength as Miller, of course. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Paru le 1 mai 1976 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

Après trois ans de silence discographique, essentiellement dû à l’énorme succès de The Joker (l’album et le single), Steve Miller a accumulé de quoi remplir un double. Mais pour ce neuvième album, alors que son band fêtait ses 10 ans, sa maison de disques ne voulait prendre aucun risque, doutant même que ce musicien puisse rééditer l’exploit du précédent. Plus d’une fois, Miller se plaindra de ne pas avoir toujours été traité avec tous les égards malgré un potentiel qu’il avait plus d’une fois démontré. La seconde partie des séances de Fly Like an Eagle sortira donc l’année d’après sur Book of Dreams. Le musicien a entre-temps goûté à une douce revanche avec une performance encore plus remarquable, les ventes de ce solide album ayant dépassé les 4 millions d’exemplaires, soit quatre fois le score de The Joker.À l’évidence, Miller a perfectionné une recette qui correspond à son époque, avec notamment l’essor des radios FM friandes de productions à la fois dynamiques et subtilement arrangées. En apparence, Miller donnait l’impression de ne rien avoir inventé, recyclant ici l’intro de All Right Now de Free (Rock’n Me), ce qu’il reconnaîtra volontiers, ou s’inspirant là, sans l’avouer cette fois, du Sweet Home Alabama de Lynyrd Skynyrd (Take the Money and Run), ou reprenant avec humour et décontraction, à la limite de la parodie, You Send Me de Sam Cooke ou le standard Mercury Blues (connu sous le titre Mercury Boogie) du K.C. Douglas Trio… Mais à l’image de son doigté subtil et raffiné à la guitare, il était l’un des pionniers du son californien qui arrivait à concilier pop, rock, blues, jazz, country ou folk dans des formats à même de toucher le public le plus large. Certes, on trouve ici encore quelques influences des Byrds ou des Beach Boys, mais, en ce milieu des années 70, Miller n’avait rien à envier aux Doobie Brothers, Little Feat ou même Eagles et Fleetwood Mac… Côté production et brio instrumental, il était même proche de l’excellence d’un Steely Dan. Passé les trois gros tubes qui n’ont rien perdu de leur efficacité (Fly Like an Eagle, Rock’n Me et Take the Money and Run), l’album se laisse encore écouter aujourd’hui comme une nouveauté, Steve Miller semblant dominer tous les sujets à travers des compositions aussi variées qu’intemporelles. © Jean-Pierre Sabouret/Qobuz
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Rock - Paru le 1 mai 1977 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

It is here, on this 1977 blockbuster, that Steve Miller shored up his "Space Cowboy" moniker and cosmic persona: from the winged horse on the album cover to a judicious smattering of synthesizers in the music, Book of Dreams bridged the gap between blues-rock and the indulgences of prog rock. Things do go awry when Renaissance Faire whimsy takes over clunkers like "Wish Upon a Star" and "Babes in the Wood," but luckily the balance of the record offers a satisfying blend of meaty blues and country riffs and tasteful atmospherics. The well-known suspects include "Swingtown," "Winter Time," and "Threshold," with relatively straightforward rock & boogie highlights coming by way of "True Fine Love," "Jet Airliner," and "Jungle Love." The non-hit cuts, "Sacrifice" and "My Own Space," do stand up to these FM favorites but fall short of making the album something the casual fan should consider with Miller's Greatest Hits 1974-1978 in hand (that collection includes seven tracks off of Book of Dreams, plus all the hits from The Joker and Fly Like an Eagle). Still, this is a highlight of the '70s classic rock era and one of Miller's finest releases. © Stephen Cook /TiVo
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Rock - Paru le 1 janvier 1970 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

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Rock - Paru le 16 juin 1969 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

Blasting out of stereo speakers in the summer of 1969, Brave New World was more fully realized, and rocked harder, than the Steve Miller Band's first two albums. From the opening storm of the uplifting title track to the final scorcher, "My Dark Hour," featuring Paul McCartney (credited as "Paul Ramon"), this recording was the strongest project before Miller's Fly Like an Eagle days. "Celebration Song" has a sliding bassline, while "LT's Midnight Dream" features Miller's slide guitar. "Can't You Hear Your Daddy's Heartbeat" sounds like it was lifted right off of Jimi Hendrix's Are You Experienced, and "Got Love 'Cause You Need It" also has a Hendrix-ian feel. "Kow Kow" is a wonderfully oblique song featuring Nicky Hopkins' distinctive piano style. Hopkins' piano coda on that song alone is worth the price of this album. "Space Cowboy," one of several songs co-written with Ben Sidran, defined one of Miller's many personas. "Seasons," another Sidran collaboration, is a beautifully atmospheric, slow-tempo piece. Steve Miller's guitar playing is the star of this album, blazing across the whole affair more prominently than on any other release in his lengthy career; many of the songs have a power trio feel. In addition to the fine guitar work, Miller's vocals are stronger here, and during this era in general, than they would be in his hitmaking days in the mid-'70s, when he was much more laid-back and overdubbed. Ever the borrower, adapter, and integrator, Steve Miller shapes the blues, psychedelia, sound effects, sweet multi-tracked vocal harmonies, and guitar-driven hard rock into one cohesive musical statement with this release. © Jim Newsom /TiVo
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Rock - Paru le 1 janvier 1972 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

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Rock - Paru le 1 janvier 1971 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

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Rock - Paru le 1 octobre 1968 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

Deuxième album du Steve Miller Band, Sailor fait figure de charnière centrale dans la discogrphie de la première période du groupe.Parti de Chicago sous l'appelation Goldberg-Miller Blues Band en 1965 (avec l'organiste Barry Goldberg) et arrivé en 1967 à San Francisco en tant que Steve Miller Band en pleine explosion du psychédélisme, le groupe du guitariste et chanteur Steve Miller s'est trouvé au bon moment et au bon endroit pour faire évoluer son blues traditionnel en blues rock dynamité par la révolution musicale en cours.Paru en 1968, l'album Sailor rend parfaitement compte de ce changement, entre jams blues rock bon enfant (« Living in the USA », « Gangster of Love »), ballades acoustiques atmosphériques (« Quicksilver Girl ») et explorations psychédéliques (« Song for Our Ancestors », « Dear Mary ») proches du modèle anglais déposé par le premier Pink Floyd, The Moody Blues et The Beatles de Sgt. Pepper's. Autrement dit, Sailor est un excellent condensé de blues et de rock psychédélique qui n'a pas trop ou bien vieilli. © ©Copyright Music Story Loïc Picaud 2016
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Rock - Paru le 1 janvier 1984 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

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Rock - Paru le 1 mai 1968 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

A psychedelic blues rock-out, 1968's Children of the Future marked Steve Miller's earliest attempt at the ascent that brought him supersonic superstardom. Recorded at Olympic Studios in London with storied producer Glyn Johns at the helm, the set played out as pure West Coast rock inflected with decade-of-love psychedelia but intriguingly cloaked in the misty pathos of the U.K. blues ethic. Though bandmate Boz Scaggs contributed a few songs, the bulk of the material was written by Miller while working as a janitor at a music studio in Texas earlier in the year. The best of his efforts resonate in a side one free-for-all that launches with the keys and swirls of the title track and segues smoothly through "Pushed Me Through It" and "In My First Mind," bound for the epic, hazy, lazy, organ-inflected "The Beauty of Time Is That It's Snowing," which ebbs and flows in ways that are continually surprising. The second half of the LP is cast in a different light -- a clutch of songs that groove together but don't have the same sleepy flow. Though it has since attained classic status -- Miller himself was still performing it eight years later -- Scaggs' "Baby's Callin' Me Home" is a sparse, lightly instrumentalized piece of good old '60s San Francisco pop. His "Steppin' Stone," on the other hand, is a raucous, heavy-handed blues freakout with a low-riding bass and guitar breaks that angle out in all directions. And whether the title capitalized at all on the Monkees' similarly titled song, released a year earlier, is anybody's guess. Children of the Future was a brilliant debut. And while it is certainly a product of its era, it's still a vibrant reminder of just how the blues co-opted the mainstream to magnificent success. © Amy Hanson /TiVo