Steve Miller, one of the world’s most commercially successful and acclaimed artist/bands in the history of popular music, brings his treasure trove to Capitol Records with the contents of his private vault. Miller recently opened his entire vault/warehouse allowing Capitol/UMe to access music, footage, photos, memorabilia, artwork, handwritten notes, journals, and more to include in his upcoming releases. Miller brings his entire catalogue of recorded music to the label where he originally began his recording career in 1967 including his 18 studio albums, boxed sets, live recordings and numerous compilation albums including the mega-selling 17x platinum Steve Miller Greatest Hits, unreleased recordings and long-form audiovisual projects. UMe will release his catalog projects, while new material will be released through Capitol Records. Miller is in the process of directing the concept and curation for his Steve Miller Band catalog releases. The first Steve Miller project will be announced soon.
Running through Miller’s distinctive catalog is a combination of virtuosity and song craft. His parents were jazz aficionados – not to mention close friends of Les Paul and Mary Ford – so, as a budding guitarist, Miller absorbed valuable lessons from that musical tradition. When the family moved to Texas, Miller deepened his education in the blues, eventually moving to Chicago, where he played with Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Guy and Paul Butterfield.
Steve Miller was a mainstay of the San Francisco music scene that upended American culture in the late ’60s. The Steve Miller Band released two LPs on Capitol Records in 1968: Children of the Future, and Sailor which included “Living in the U.S.A.,” which became a staple on the new rock radio format. Next came, Brave New World, the band’s third album and included the hit “Space Cowboy,” and “My Dark Hour,” which Miller recorded in London with fellow label-mate, Paul McCartney, who is credited as Paul Ramon. He later repurposed that song’s catchy guitar riff for the title track to “Fly Like an Eagle.”
After the band’s next few albums, Your Saving Grace (1969), Rock Love (1971), Recall The Beginning (1972), Number 5 (1970), Miller made some changes to the band, went to Los Angeles and produced his own record in 19 days. That album was The Joker. The title track became a Number One worldwide smash hit. Miller had crafted a brand of pure pop that was polished, exciting and irresistible that dominated radio in a way that few artists have ever managed. His next two albums, Fly Like an Eagle (1976) and Book of Dreams (1977), both went multi-platinum, and the hits they generated are among the most recognizable songs in pop music history. Hit followed hit in what seemed like an endless flow: “Take The Money and Run,” “Rock’n Me,” “Fly Like an Eagle,” “Jet Airliner” and “Jungle Love,” and “Swingtown” to name a few. In 1978, Capitol released Greatest Hits 1974–78, which has sold more than 17 million copies worldwide. Miller’s had a worldwide hit with “Abracadabra,” the title track of his 1982 album and in 1986, a #1 Billboard’s Rock Album Tracks with “I Want To Make the World Turn Around.” To this day, his songs are instantly recognizable when they come on the radio their hooks are the very definition of indelible.
In recent years, Miller has immersed himself in the blues once again. And, as always, whether he was riding the top of the charts or exploring the blue highways of American music, he is playing and singing with conviction and precision, passion and eloquence. At this stage of his life, in 2017, Miller feels more fulfilled than ever. He recently moved to New York, where he is on the Board of Jazz at Lincoln Center and on the Board for the Metropolitan Museum’s Musical Instruments collection. And, of course, he continues to record and is currently on tour.
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.