Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Steve Miller Band previews The Joker 50th anniversary box set

Steve Miller is sharing a series of recordings as a preview to the September 15 release of a new 50th anniversary box set revealing the development of his classic 1973 album “The Joker.”

Originally released worldwide in October 1973, “The Joker” quickly became a hit in the United States, crossing over from FM underground radio to the AM pop radio of the day. Shortly thereafter, the song went to number 1, first in the States and followed by the rest of the world.

Curate by Miller himself, “J50: The Evolution of The Joker” chronologically places the original album tracks alongside 27 previously unreleased recordings from the rocker’s personal archive - including songwriting tapes made by Miller on his TEAC 4-track in hotel rooms on the road and at live performances, plus studio outtakes and rehearsals - as well as six audio commentary tracks from Miller and exclusive liner notes from both Miller and journalist Anthony DeCurtis.

In July 1973, the band hit Capitol Record's Studio B in Los Angeles and quickly got to work, recording, mixing, and mastering the album in just 17 days with Miller producing.

"The most important rule that every kid out there who wants to make a record should remember is: When you go into the studio, be ready to do the whole performance the first time you do it, because that's going to be the best time you do it," says Miller. "The whole thing is to capture the first performance. That's a lot of what The Joker's about. It was all first takes, and first takes are always better than perfect takes"

Among the previews of the 2023 reissue is "The Joker Suite," an extended piece showcasing the musical path to the album's 5x Platinum-certified (in the US alone), worldwide No. 1 hit title track, "The Joker," with the previously unreleased "Lidi" and "Travelin'."

Also featured is "Sugar Babe Suite," a collection of three tracks spotlighting the creation of the fan-favorite opening song on the album. "Sugar Babe Suite" features a 4-track early version of the song from 1972 along with a live version from 1973, and the album version, is but one of the album's many highlights.

Miller is also sharing "Mama Church (A Cappella)," one of eight previously unreleased songs featured on the collection; it was recorded on a 4-track in a hotel room on April 21, 1972.

Check out the "J50" package here.

See also:

Steve Miller Band stream 1977 performance of The Joker
Steve Miller Band share 1977 performance of 1973 classic from The Joker
Steve Miller Band preview archival 1977 live package
Steve Miller Band announces North American tour
Search The Steve Miller Band at hennemusic