The band shares never-before Mickey & Syliva hit “Love Is Strange”
Steve Miller has released a new song from his rarities box set, Welcome To The Vault, out October 11th via Sailor/Capitol/UMe. The song, “Love is Strange,” recorded by Miller in 1974, is one of several never-released-before songs from Welcome To The Vault. Written by Bo Diddley under his then-wife’s name, the hit song was made hugely popular in 1956 by Mickey & Sylvia.
Welcome To The Vault shows Miller opening up his voluminous archive of recordings for the first time ever. The milestone 3 CD/DVD box set covers his genre-blurring six-decade career over 52 audio tracks, pairing a number of greatest hits and certifiable rock ‘n roll classics with 38 previously unreleased recordings that span demos, rehearsals, outtakes, vintage concert performances and 5 newly uncovered original Steve Miller Band songs recorded in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The accompanying DVD collects 21 live performances, among them legendary rare TV appearances and concert videos.
Welcome To The Vault is accompanied by a 100-page hardbound book of photos, memorabilia and artifacts from Miller’s personal collection, as well as an exclusive 9,000-word essay by renowned rock journalist David Fricke. Steve Miller Band’s Welcome To The Vault, also available as a 52-track digital collection, arrives Friday, October 11th via Sailor/Capitol/UMe.
Welcome To The Vault was announced in June and was heralded by the premiere of “Rock’n Me” (Alternate Version 1), a different take of the classic #1 hit from 1976. Earlier this month, Billboard, premiered an alternative version of Miller’s huge hit “Swingtown.” With today’s release, four songs are available now as instant downloads with all pre-orders. The songs are also available on all DSPs now.
Welcome To The Vault opens in 1969 with the Steve Miller Band covering Little Walter’s “Blues With a Feeling” at the Fillmore West in San Francisco, a previously unreleased 10-minute blowout unlike anything else in Miller’s official studio or live catalog. Faithful to the form yet undeniably visionary, the track instantly sets the pace for what is to come. A turbulent “Super Shuffle” recorded live at Steve Miller Band’s breakthrough appearance at 1967’s Monterey Pop Festival, is fast followed by such previously unreleased revelations as an early version of “Going to Mexico” (originally found on 1970’s NUMBER 5) as well as solo acoustic takes on Brave New World‘s “Kow Kow Calculator” and “Seasons,” recorded on the road in 1973.
The evolutionary sessions for 1976’s Fly Like An Eagle and 1977’s Book Of Dreams – Steve Miller Band’s “multi-platinum fusions of crisp funk and blues undercurrents, progressive-rock electronics and hit-single pith,” according to Fricke – are captured via alternate takes including a striking view of “Fly Like an Eagle” as a 12-minute work-in-progress suite. Welcome To The Vault further includes a number of alternate version of iconic Steve Miller Band tracks mostly recorded prior to their commercial releases, and a recent big band reinterpretation of “Take the Money and Run” featuring fellow Texas guitar hero Jimmie Vaughan recorded live at New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center, where Miller is involved as a performer, educator and curator focusing on blues music.
Indeed, the blues in all its forms can be heard throughout Welcome To The Vault, in versions of songs of Willie Dixon, Robert Johnson and Otis Rush, as well as country and R&B variations like Roy Acuff’s “Freight Train Blues” and Mickey and Sylvia’s classic “Love Is Strange.” Miller’s own personal links to the lineage and history of guitar music are also prominently featured, including a 1990 version of Jimmy Reed’s “I Wanna Be Loved,” recorded with his close musical friend and godfather, Les Paul, during the electric guitar pioneer’s famed Monday night residency at New York City’s Fat Tuesday’s.
Welcome To The Vault closes with a pair of landmark tracks also released here for the first time that include Texas blues guitar legend T-Bone Walker performing his 1952 hit, “Lollie Lou,” on a tape made the year before in the Miller Family living room by Steve’s father George, a passionate jazz and blues fan and home recording enthusiast. The collection finishes more than 60 years later with Miller himself performing “Lollie Lou” at “T-Bone Walker: A Bridge from Blues to Jazz,” the December 2016 tribute concert curated by Miller at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
As if all that weren’t enough, the Welcome To The Vault DVD features 21 incredible live performances, including rare footage from 1967’s Monterey Pop Festival, a Dutch TV filmed performance of the Fillmore West from 1970, a 43-minute September 1973 concert at New York’s Palace Theater broadcast on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert (unseen since the ’70s), an ABC In Concert performance with James Cotton (1974), a performance of “Abracadabra” from Michigan’s Pine Knob from that album tour in 1982, and selections from Austin City Limits (2011), as well as Miller’s intimate 1990 performance with Les Paul at New York City’s Fat Tuesday’s.
Long regarded as one of rock’s most dynamic and creative live acts, the Steve Miller Band is touring all summer with Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives for a 36-city U.S. tour. Miller calls it “An Amazing Evening of Original American Music – Classic Rock Meets Classic Country.” The trek got underway June 13th at Des Moines, Iowa’s Wells Fargo Arena and then travels through a two-night finale at Woodinville, WA’s Chateau Ste. Michelle on August 30th and 31st. Miller has now announced new fall tour dates including a three-night stand at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas.
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.