Whenever someone releases the "ultimate" edition of anything, whether its an album or a book or a movie, you have a lot of pressure to make this the best collection anyone has ever had. So when Universal Music announced the new "Ultimate Hits" release from the Steve Miller Band I was apprehensive at first. The Steve Miller Band was a music staple on AM and FM radio throughout the seventies and their "Greatest Hits 1974-78" album is one of the best selling albums of all time. So how do you improve on that?
This new "Ultimate Hits" will be released in a number of different formats, including multiple CD and vinyl editions. The single CD release mirrors the 2LP edition and both contain 22 songs, including Les Paul talking to a five-year old Steve Miller on becoming a big star. This release also includes all of the Steve Miller Band's classic hits like "The Joker," "Take The Money And Run" and "Abracadabra." Three previously unreleased tracks round out the single CD release as current live versions of Steve Miller Band classics "Living In The USA" and "Space Cowboy" are proof at how timeless their music is. The treasure on this release is the previously unreleased song "Seasons," which is a heartfelt acoustic piece that showcases Steve Miller's softer side.
There is also a deluxe edition which fills up 2CDs or a 4LP vinyl set. This includes 40 songs that dig deeper into the Steve Miller Band catalog with songs like "My Dark Hour," "Journey From Eden" and "Heart Like A Wheel." The beginning of the deluxe edition is great with Steve Miller describing his early days in concert before performing a solo acoustic version of "Gangster Of Love." Not only does it included the unreleased song "Seasons," but it has a second previously unreleased track titled "Baby's Callin' Me Home," which carries a jazzy blues vibe and a third one, which is a studio recording of Wilson Pickett's "Midnight Hour." Another hidden gem on this deluxe edition is the demo of "Take The Money And Run." The only complaint I have on this "Ultimate Hits" release is that the string of hits ends in 1987 and does not include any songs from his last three studio albums.
The Steve Miller Band "Ultimate Hits" is definitely a great addition to anyone's musical library and should re-introduce their brand of blues/rock music to a whole new generation. The Steve Miller Band have about half-a-dozen live shows remaining on their calendar for this year. Please visit stevemillerband.com for more information on the Steve Miller Band's new release "Ultimate Hits."