Steve Miller has personally curated this career spanning Ultimate Hits collection. Released on standard and deluxe CD editions and there's also a 180g vinyl editions due at the end of October.
The compilation opens with a 5 year old Steve getting praise and encouragement from his Godfather, Les Paul who finishes saying "Steve, you're really gonna go places." It's a sure sign of the greatness to come from the young Steve Miller. A spoken live section follows with Miller fondly telling the crowd how he formed his first band in 1956 at the age of 12 with Boz Skaggs and Baron Cass and subsequently juggled gigs with school. These endearing entries on the album give us a sense as to the personal nature of the songs that Miller has chosen.
Naturally there's a heavy focus of songs from the 70s and all the hits are there Abracadabra, Jungle Love, Fly Like an Eagle and of course The Joker, but a Don't Cha Know from 2010's Bingo does make an appearance. There's also a never before released recording of Living In The USA and Space Cowboy and one from the archives, a solo version of Seasons - also previously unreleased. Disc 2 contains more rarities and demos like Take The Money and Run and an energetic version of In The Midnight Hour.
Millar's pedigree certainly shines through on this set. Taken under the wing of his Godfather and tutored by T Bone Walker, Miller's style naturally alternates between the styles he was brought up with. Of course tucked away in the country, jazz and blues is plenty of funk, patriotism, sass, bad behaviour, romance, self referential songs and scatt singing.
Miller's reputation as a musician who is adept at combining sophisticated musical elements with pop, chart topping melodies shines through on the compilation an there are plenty of hidden gems like Kow Kow Calculator, Journey To Eden, Italian X Rays to name a few.
The Ultimate Hits collection is a solid introduction to Miller's music and a worthy catalogue of a seasoned musician who was destined to go places.
Groupie Rating 4/5