Sad to report that this specific recording (he's done other live ones) makes his band sound like a competent Steve Miller tribute band. Miller comes over a bit flash, a bit smug. Yup, he certainly can play the Les Paul, but despite an outstanding hi-resolution recording, loads of audience noise and so on, there is not much involvement. Not much verve. Odd really. He can and did much better than this. Not worth buying new. Cheap used CDs abound. Hmm.
King Biscuit Flower Hour was a syndicated radio show that captured bands in the '70s and '80s in concert and then packaged the concert for syndication as a one-hour radio show. It was essential listening for music lovers back in the day. Sadly, King Biscuit's CD releases have been inconsistent. Some have been great (Greg Lake, Kingfish, Humble Pie), while others did not capture the artist at a peak period. This 2-CD package consists of one CD taken from a 1973 show and another CD from 1976. It's a strange combination, but it works. Miller was really building up steam in '73 and he hit his peak with Fly Like and Eagle in the mid '70s, so the '76 concert is the more powerful of the two. Miller left Dallas to attend college in the upper midwest, where he met Boz Scaggs. They ended up in San Francisco during the heyday of Haight-Ashbury and had a powerful band, The Steve Miller Blues Band. Despite personnel changes and Scagg's eventual departure, the key to Steve Miller is the word that was dropped from his band's name: "blues." The Steve Miller Band may be shorter and easier, but they NEVER dropped the blues influence on their music, and that comes shining through on both of these CDs. If you like Steve Miller, you will love these two CDs! They rock and rock and dig into the blues, and we listeners are graced with the pleasure of hearing Miller at the peak of his power as a musician. He's still no slouch, mind you, but in the '70s he was sizzlin' and this two-CD set captures him in two years -- and though separated by three years, the performances are both exceptional. This is the stuff that made '70s rock so great! King Biscuit Flower Hour hit the jackpot with this release.
I expect Steve Miller is known to many of his fans in the UK because of The Joker, Abracadabra and some of his more commercial late 70's and 80's material. No bad thing (although it did all become a bit bland and lightweight) but he was making great music in the late 60's and early 70's. This release sort of hints at the transition and captures the essence of early SMB before the inevitable effects of mass appeal and corporate soft rock took hold. The first CD in this set, taken from a live 1973 gig in Washington, showcases what a great singer, guitar player and songwriter he was before mass appeal was achieved. Less AOR/radio friendly than you might expect, the set is rock and blues par excellance. It's a reminder that SM is not a Californian but a Texan and it shows to great effect on the set. The band is bright, tight and funky and Miller's voice and range is a real standout (He also sounds like he's having a great time, joking and playing the showman between songs). Recorded for the radio show KBFH, the quality is excellent with all the raw energy and pace you want from a live set. CD 2 is from a 1976 New York gig and is slightly more restrained and slower - different band, less bluesy material but some gems (an early Fly Like An Eagle is a standout). Still great quality but lacking some of the excitement of the first set. Whilst he or his record company seem content to simply repackage Greatest Hits these days, this is a fantastic, vibrant release which I strongly recommend. If you haven't discovered the Children of the Future or Number 5 era Steve Miller Band, this will be a real treat. Definately worth the purchase.
Two Cds of concert material from 1973 and 1976 showcasing Steve Miller at his best. The first CD showcases the Joker CD, while disc two covers the Fly like an Eagle Period. Any fan of Miller will tell you that this was a period of Miller at his best, both in songwriting and muscianship. King Biscuit does a great job remastering these shows as they sound excellent. Heavy blues influences and sounds abound while playing some of Millers best tunes. Lately, Steve Miller has seemed bored on stage while going through the motions, that is not the case here. There is genuine passion coming through the shows. This is a worthy addition to anyones CD collection to show off a tight band with great songs to play. This is timeless and excellent, raw and vintage Steve Miller in his prime. I got bored listening to the same old radio played "hits" and truly forgot what a great musician/guitarist this guy is. That is, until I picked up this release. I recommend this if you are into live classic rock.
This is a cracking live double set. Two concerts from the 70's before SMB went a bit commercial and synthetic. The first shows the real bluesy roots. Great singing, fluid guitar and a real pace that makes the songs jump. The second gig showcases some of the more experimental work as "Fly Like An Eagle" started to take shape. Perhaps the recording quality isn't what it would be these days but don't let that put you off. This is a great purchase and if you like your Steve Miller raw and real, without the pop leanings of the late 70's/80's then this is for you.