35 members have been in Steve’s band!
Steve went to Chicago in the ’60s to play the Blues. The band he formed, the Goldberg-Miller Blues Band, was named after himself and keyboard player Barry Goldberg.
This lineup actually got signed and recorded a single but Steve soon had enough and left for San Fransico to form a band in solely his own name.
This lineup’s first success came as the backing band for Chuck Berry with whom they actually recorded a live album (Live at Fillmore Auditorium).
This was followed by festival appearances and a trip to England to record their debut album with Glyn Johns (famous for recording Led Zeppelin and inventing a four-microphone technique to record drums).
The debut, named Children of the Future got off to a rocky start as they got stuck in customs for bringing a gun and drugs. Glyn Johns actually had to bail them out and promise to keep an eye on the band during their stay.
No tunes on the debut had any success, and neither did their next two albums, although Sailor (1968) had a tune called Gangster of Love, and Brave New World (1969) had one called Space Cowboy which must have stuck as these two titles are in the opening verse of Steve’s signature song.
Speaking of referencing old tunes, his 1972 release, Recall the Beginning… A Journey from Eden has a tune called Enter Maurice!
These three references must have been enough for Steve to finally release The Joker in 1973, his 8th studio album. This was also the album where Steve abandoned his raw blues approach for a more smooth blues rock sound.
The Joker went to #1 in several countries and sold 5 million copies in the U.S.
Difficult to believe perhaps but his next release, Fly Like an Eagle was actually even more successful than The Joker with three hit singles in the title track, Take the Money and Run, as well as Rock’n Me.
On this album, we also got a cover of Sam Cooke‘s You Send Me.
Since its release, Fly Like an Eagle has been voted into several best album-ever lists, and all singles are still played on the radio.
Steve’s next release came in 1977 with Book of Dreams. It sold well but no big tunes were featured.
After a greatest hits release and another album, we got Abracadabra in 1982. The title track became another big hit for the band.
Steve and his band have since Abracadabra released many more studio and live albums, they’ve also had plenty of members come and go, in fact, 35 members have passed through the doors.
In total, the Steve Miller Band has released 18 studio albums between 1968-2011. They were inducted into the Rocka and Roll Hall Of Fame in 2016.
Steve Miller Band tunes | Related pages
You can learn how to play The Joker by Steve Miller Band using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, TAB, and the original recording.
| F Bb | C Bb |
Some people call me the space cowboy, yeah…