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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Compilation of classic early Miller
While best known for his big hit singles 'The Joker' and 'Abracadabra' and therefore often dismissed as a typical West-Coast middle-of-the-road act akin to the Eagles this fabulous compilation goes a long way to redress the balance by showcasing the fantastic and influential music Stevie 'Guitar' Miller made during his earlier less-chart friendly days. There is a lot of...
Published on 23 Oct 2007 by 9ftneil

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The best of before he got good
I've always liked Steve Miller's mid-70's output and thought I should investigate his early years. After all, most artists seem to put out their best work in their early years. However, this album is a very coherent explanation for why the band only became so successful after the release of the Joker - put simply, the stuff from before then is not very good. This...
Published 12 months ago by Paul Stupple


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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Compilation of classic early Miller, 23 Oct 2007
By 
9ftneil "9ftneil" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Best Of 1968-1973 (Audio CD)
While best known for his big hit singles 'The Joker' and 'Abracadabra' and therefore often dismissed as a typical West-Coast middle-of-the-road act akin to the Eagles this fabulous compilation goes a long way to redress the balance by showcasing the fantastic and influential music Stevie 'Guitar' Miller made during his earlier less-chart friendly days. There is a lot of varied and wonderful music on display here that I'm sure will astound casual fans by it's inventiveness and passion. This compilation encompasses Miller's first five years during which time he released a staggering eight albums that saw his star rise from the ashes of the late 60's hippy era of playing Frisco's Fillmore to the international success of 'The Joker' - although inexplicably there are no tracks from his seminal debut 'Children of The Future' nor any from the wonderful 'Rock Love' or less impressive 'Recall The Beginning...', although the last two have still yet to be released on CD. So while being a fantastic overview of Miller's early work it's by no means comprehensive and the lack of songs like 'Junior Saw It Happen' and Boz Scaggs' 'Baby's Calling Me Home' from 'Children of the Future' or indeed 'Baby's House', 'Feel So Glad' from 'Your Saving Grace', or 'Celebration Song' from 'Brave New World' and 'I Love You' from 'Number 5' (both originally included on the old vinyl '68-'73 release) are somewhat serious omissions that diehard fans will question.

However, what is on offer here is still an exceptional and eclectic mix from the 'big hit' opener and stonehead classic 'The Joker' to the hard funk rock of 'Shu Ba Da Du Ma Ma Ma', the driving riffs and harmonica of 'Living in The USA', the bluesy swagger of 'Going To Mexico', the folky 'Going To The Country', the spacey soundscapes of 'Song for Our Ancestors', the psyched out jams of 'Jackson-Kent Blues', the gentle and moving balladry of the acoustic 'Seasons' to the pounding trippy rock of 'Space Cowboy' and 'My Dark Hour' and the stripped down live solo acoustic blues of 'Come On In My Kitchen' and 'Evil' - all played with real emotion and featuring best of all Steve Miller's liquid and melodic guitar soloing that is a masterclass in phrasing, economy and pace and always serves the song perfectly. There's no flabby excess or endless fret-overkill with Stevie's guitaring just dazzling virtuosity and genuine feeling - few musicians are able to express pure joy, sadness, anger, and love like Stevie. Although Miller fronted this was no solo outing as the Band was genuinely that, a strong band that actively wrote the songs, despite line-ups evolving, and featured such luminaries as Boz Scaggs, Lonnie Turner, Ben Sidran and Tim Davis and occasional guests like pianist Nicky Hopkins and Paul MacCartney - Macca plays bass on 'My Dark Hour' under the alias Paul Ramon.

Bridging the gap from the late '60s psych/blues explosion through the folk acoustic revival and space rock of the early '70s the Steve Miller Band produced some of the best music of the era and while the more chart friendly and far less interesting mega success of 'Fly Like an Eagle' and 'Abracadabra' was to still to come don't discount Miller's early days because this is where the real heart and soul of an American legend truly lies and this compilation is absolutely essential!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The best of before he got good, 21 Jun 2013
By 
Paul Stupple - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Best Of 1968-1973 (Audio CD)
I've always liked Steve Miller's mid-70's output and thought I should investigate his early years. After all, most artists seem to put out their best work in their early years. However, this album is a very coherent explanation for why the band only became so successful after the release of the Joker - put simply, the stuff from before then is not very good. This compilation ignores chronology to put The Joker (released 1973) as track 1 and it is a great way to start an album. Then we go back to songs from '68-70. None of the tracks is dreadful; some is good and there are flashes of originality (and some terrific guitar playing) but the vital ingredient that lifts the albums Fly Like an Eagle and Book of Dreams is conspicuous by its absence. So, if you've got all the post-73 albums you've got the best already. It might be worth buying this album to get a taste of the pre-commercial-success years, but I suspect you won't play it nearly as much as the later work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Gift, 1 Jan 2014
By 
Mr. P. Matthews "the woodgnome" (Bradford, West Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Best Of Steve Miller Band 1968-1973 (MP3 Download)
As this was a gift I can't really give an opinion on this specific album, but the person I bought it for liked it.
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10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT PLEASURE FROM BEGGINING TO END, 12 Mar 2000
This review is from: The Best Of 1968-1973 (Audio CD)
This is a great compilation to introduce anyone to this great band. The songs just come thick and fast, the style is moderns and it does not sound nearly 30 years old.
Go on enjoy some great music.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steve still sounds like a teenager, 13 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Best Of 1968-1973 (Audio CD)
Saw Stevie G Miller live at the roundhouse and had to repurchase material for the car CD player. Good material on record but absolutely brilliant live!
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3 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not the best, 23 Feb 2011
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Mr. George E. Hardaker (Liverpool UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Best Of 1968-1973 (Audio CD)
early Steve Miller, if you want the best CD the later one is the best 74/78, this is only good if you really want the poorly mixed and dated music, cover looks good though.
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