Steve Miller Band - Biography

Steve Miller BandSteve Miller (born October 5, 1943) is a blues and rock and roll guitarist and performer. He was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison during the 1960s. He formed a new band called The Ardells. Miller taught Boz Scaggs some chords, and Scaggs joined the Ardells the next year. The next school year Ben Sidran was added to the Ardells as a keyboardist.

In 1968, Miller formed the Steve Miller Band, with Scaggs handling vocals, and released an album, Children of the Future, the first in a series of discs rooted solidly in the psychedelic blues style that dominated the San Francisco music scene at the time. Scaggs would leave the band after a couple of albums with vocal chores taken over by drummer Tim Davis; Miller himself would begin singing occasional lead on 1969's Brave New World. These albums performed respectably on the album charts but failed to yield a hit.

1973's The Joker marked the start of the second phase of Miller's career: more pop-oriented and simplistic, the album featured a number one hit in the title track as well as several other popular tunes. Miller was now handling all lead vocals; his limited vocal range actually made the songs more radio-friendly and accessible.

Miller followed up The Joker with Fly Like an Eagle in 1976 and Book of Dreams in 1977. This pair of albums represented the peak of Miller's commercial career, both reaching the top echelons of the album charts and spawning a seemingly-endless series of hit singles, including "Rock 'N' Me", "Take the Money and Run", "Jet Airliner", and "Jungle Love". While critics lambasted Miller for abandoning his more ambitious approach and socially-aware lyrics in favor of simple pop-rock and derivative blues tunes, fans gravitated towards the catchy, melodic songs in great numbers, and the Steve Miller Band co-headlined a major stadium tour with The Eagles in 1977.

On the heels of this massive success, Miller took a long hiatus from recording and touring, emerging in 1981 with Circle of Love, an ambitous album possibly intended to appease critics of his new style. Sales were disappointing, however, and in 1982 he returned to the pop formula with another hit album, Abracadabra. This would be Miller's last great commercial success; a series of collections, live albums and attempts to find a new style would appear sporadically, but by the early 1990s Miller had given up on producing records altogether.

Steve Miller Band's Official Website

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