The Joker

The Joker

by Steve Miller Band
5.0 2


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The Joker

The Joker is, without question, the turning point in Steve Miller's career, the album where he infused his blues with a big, bright dose of pop and got exactly what he deserved: Top Ten hits and stardom. He also lost a lot of fans, the ones who dug his winding improvs, because those spacy jams were driven by chops and revealed new worlds. The Joker isn't mind-expanding, it's party music, filled with good vibes, never laying a heavy trip, always keeping things light, relaxed and easygoing. Sometimes, the vibes are interrupted, but not in a harsh way -- the second side slows a bit, largely due to the sludgy "Come in My Kitchen" and "Evil," the two songs that were recorded live but lacking any kinetic energy -- but for the most part, this is all bright and fun, occasionally truly silly, as on "Shu Ba Da Du Ma Ma Ma Ma." This silliness, of course, alienated old fans all the more, but that sense of fun is both the most appealing thing about The Joker and it set a touchstone for the rest of his career. Here, it's best heard on the terrific opener "Sugar Babe" and, of course, the timeless title track, which is sunny and ridiculous in equal measure. If nothing else is quite up to that standard in terms of songs -- certainly, it's not as jammed-pack as its successor, Fly Like an Eagle -- The Joker nevertheless maintains its good-time vibe so well that it's hard not to smile along...provided you're on the same wavelength as Miller, of course.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/09/1991
Label: Capitol
UPC: 0077779444526
catalogNumber: 94445
Rank: 3594

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Steve Miller Band   Primary Artist,Track Performer
Sneaky Pete Kleinow   Pedal Steel Guitar
Gerald Johnson   Bass
Steve Miller   Guitar,Harmonica,Vocals
Dicky Thompson   Organ,Keyboards,Clavinet
Lonnie Turner   Bass,Guitar
Jack King   Drums
Dickie Thompson   Organ,Clavinet
John King   Drums

Technical Credits

Steve Miller   Producer,Contributor,Audio Production
Jay Ranellucci   Engineer
Jesse Stone   Composer
John Hoernle   Art Direction
Greg MacCarthy   Engineer

Customer Reviews

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The Joker 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
jamesconnor More than 1 year ago
Had never really listen to Steve Miller Band music until now. I brought the album because I saw the editor review. The CD production is XRCD. Record company will only re-master the album to XRCD format only if there is a genuine demand by Steve Miller Band's fan for superior audiophile quality sound of the JOKER album. Base on these 2 facts I brought the JOKER. I am please that I was not disappointed, in fact I am glad. The music sound great, I had been playing it for a few days now, and I enjoying it tremendously. It is a great album.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago