WHO IS HE? Some people call him the space cowboy. Yeah. Some call him the gangster of love. Some people call him Maurice. He’s also a joker, a smoker and a midnight toker. But you can just call him Steve Miller, the beloved American singer-guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer who’s responsible for far more radio hits than I care to list here.
WHAT IS THIS? The 75-year-old superstar’s latest anthology Welcome to the Vault, which compiles more than 70 live performances and studio cuts (the majority of which are previously unreleased) on three CDs and one DVD.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? A continuation of his 1994 Steve Miller Band box and his 2017 Ultimate Hits Deluxe Edition anthology. Like those sets, The Vault takes a similar deep dive into Miller’s back catalogue and archives, drawing from some of the same sources to showcase his evolution from rough ’n’ tumble journeyman bluesman and hippie-dippie psychedelic rocker to the ’70s and ’80s hit machine behind The Joker, Abracadabra, Take the Money and Run and Jet Airliner, among others.
WHAT SHOULD IT BE TITLED? Miller Time.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? With an endless amount of patience and love for the Steve — it’s gonna take you three and a half hours to get through the audio tracks alone.
WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Nostalgic, extensive, interesting, crowdpleasing, rollicking, celebratory, soulful, scrappy, grounded, laid-back.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? Unburied treasures like the long-haired blues of Say Wow!, the ad-libbed shenanigans of the soulful That’s the Way It’s Got to Be, the drastically different working versions of Rock’n Me and Fly Like an Eagle, the jazzy torch-song version of Take the Money and Run and even a vintage T-Bone Walker jam reportedly captured in little Stevie’s living room in the early ’50s.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS SAY? ‘How many multi-disc Steve Miller anthologies does one person really need to own?’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? If you don’t own either of the compilations mentioned above, this has enough goodies to last you for quite a while.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE A MOVIE, WHAT MOVIE WOULD IT BE? The latest naggingly similar but undeniably entertaining version of A Star Is Born.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? Everybody should own at least one good Miller compilation. And this one is as good as any.