Steve Miller Band
Live! Breaking Ground August 3, 1977
A genuine find from the archives this brand new authorised release is audio (and there’s a video streaming on Amazon too) of the Steve Miller Band in their prime. In fact this is the band as big as it would be – late 70s, all the hits lined up and ready to smash out and still creating new works.
I’ve always heard Steve Miller Band as the American version of ELO, a hit machine built from the leftover parts of what came before them. A living tribute to the sound of the artist’s formative youth. I’ve also always heard Steve Miller Band as both an infectious pop-song masterclass and a kick-ass live band. There’s ample proof of that right here – from some blues (Come On In My Kitchen) through their own stadium air-guitar blues-rock version of scene-setter Living In The U.S.A to the almost ahead-of-the-time and nearly new-wave Serenade.
Those hits come – and when they do they remain utterly undeniable: Take The Money and Run, The Joker, Fly Like An Eagle. Some of the best tunes of the 70s. But there’s an awful lot of musicianship happening in this gig too, from Miller’s guitar lines and solos to his own blues harmonica to open the show, mellifluous piano that builds the struts of many of the songs and the insatiable groove that drives those big, big radio singles.
And the big hits had plenty of back-up with things like Wild Mountain Honey and Jet Airliner.
There was a time when a Steve Miller Band compilation album was like a joint for my car’s stereo. And I arrived at all of this a quarter century after he was lighting up stages and having hit after hit after hit. It’s nice to hear him and his tremendous band in their heyday right here.