Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Steve Miller Band - 1967 Children Of The Future - 1968 Sailor (Great us psychedelic rock - wave)



A psychedelic blues rock-out, 1968's Children of the Future marked Steve Miller's earliest attempt at the ascent that brought him supersonic superstardom. Recorded at Olympic Studios in London with storied producer Glyn Johns at the helm, the set played out as pure West Coast rock inflected with decade-of-love psychedelia but intriguingly cloaked in the misty pathos of the U.K. blues ethic. Though bandmate Boz Scaggs contributed a few songs, the bulk of the material was written by Miller while working as a janitor at a music studio in Texas earlier in the year. The best of his efforts resonate in a side one free-for-all that launches with the keys and swirls of the title track and segues smoothly through "Pushed Me Through It" and "In My First Mind," bound for the epic, hazy, lazy, organ-inflected "The Beauty of Time Is That It's Snowing," which ebbs and flows in ways that are continually surprising. The second half of the LP is cast in a different light -- a clutch of songs that groove together but don't have the same sleepy flow. Though it has since attained classic status -- Miller himself was still performing it eight years later -- Scaggs' "Baby's Callin' Me Home" is a sparse, lightly instrumentalized piece of good old '60s San Francisco pop. His "Steppin' Stone," on the other hand, is a raucous, heavy-handed blues freakout with a low-riding bass and guitar breaks that angle out in all directions. And whether the title capitalized at all on the Monkees' similarly titled song, released a year earlier, is anybody's guess. Children of the Future was a brilliant debut. And while it is certainly a product of its era, it's still a vibrant reminder of just how the blues co-opted the mainstream to magnificent success.(By Amy Hanson)

Tracklist

01 Children of the Future – 2:59
02 Pushed Me to It" – 0:38
03 You've Got the Power" – 0:53
04 In My First Mind" (Miller, Jim Peterman) – 7:35
05 The Beauty of Time Is That It's Snowing (Psychedelic B.B.)" – 5:17
06 Baby's Callin' Me Home" (Boz Scaggs) – 3:24
07 Steppin' Stone" (Scaggs) – 3:02
08 Roll with It" – 2:29
09 Junior Saw It Happen" (Jim Pulte) – 2:29
10 Fanny Mae" (Buster Brown) – 3:11
11 Key to the Highway" (Big Bill Broonzy, Charlie Segar) – 6:18

Credits

Steve Miller – vocals, guitar, harmonica
Boz Scaggs – guitar, backing vocals; lead vocals on "Baby's Calling Me Home" & "Steppin' Stone"
Lonnie Turner – bass guitar, backing vocals
Jim Peterman – mellotron on side one, Hammond organ on side two, backing vocals
Tim Davis – drums, backing vocals, lead vocals on "Junior Saw It Happen" & "Fannie Mae"



Tracklist
01 Song for Our Ancestors (Steve Miller) – 5:57
02 Dear Mary (Miller) – 3:35
03 My Friend (Tim Davis, Boz Scaggs) – 3:30
04 Living in the U.S.A. (Miller) – 4:03
05 Quicksilver Girl (Miller) – 2:40
06 Lucky Man (Jim Peterman) – 3:08
07 Gangster of Love (Johnny "Guitar" Watson) – 1:24
08 You're So Fine (Jimmy Reed) – 2:51
09 Overdrive (Scaggs) – 3:54
10 Dime-a-Dance Romance (Scaggs) – 3:26

Credits
Steve Miller – guitar, harmonica, lead vocals
Boz Scaggs – guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals on "Overdrive" & "Dime-A-Dance Romance"
Lonnie Turner – bass guitar, backing vocals
Jim Peterman – keyboards, background vocals, lead vocals on "Lucky Man"
Tim Davis – drums, backing vocals, lead vocals on "My Friend"

Sailor, Miller's second album in 1968, bends from his trippy first album "Children of the Future." Still with the same band, his focus seems to be more on the 3 1/2 minute song as opposed to the suites he composed before. What he did retain was his love of sound effects to create a musical landscape. This album puts you somewhere, down by some bay on a gray, overcast morning. Seagulls, boats and foghorns open up the album with the track "Song for our Ancestors." An interesting journey with tremolo guitars and pulsating Hammond B-3 organ. "Quicksilver Girl" and "Dear Mary" are his most psychadelic on the album, giving way to the undeniable heaviness of tracks like "Livin in the USA" and "You're so Fine" "Livin in the USA" was the track that, many years ago, kicked the door open for me with the music of the SMB. I was so jacked up with the organ "cha-chucks" that accompany Miller's harmonica. Jim Peterman's B-3 playing has so much much thickness to it, it just rockets the song along. Scaggs and Miller also turn in great rhythm playing on this and every tune on the album. This album is trippy, yet greasy in a great way. Great late night party music. Yahoo!

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