Top Artists – Steve Miller

Steve Miller Band – Born 2 B Blue – Our Shootout Winner from 2011

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame

Steve Miller’s foray into Smooth Jazz Pop got him nowhere in the marketplace, but did result in my becoming a fan back in the late ’80s. Let’s be clear — this is not a record for everyone. If you don’t like at least some Smooth Jazz, you probably won’t like this album. It’s Steve Miller crossing over into that territory, and doing it better than anyone else I know (although that’s not saying much. I’m no expert by any stretch and don’t claim to be.) 

What it is is Steve Miller doing a batch of cool, classic songs in a hip, fun way. AMG has it right, “…his taste in material is quite nice…”

This is certainly nothing like Fly Like An Eagle. He already made that record; we don’t need him to make it again. (He actually made it twice as Book of Dreams is from the same sessions!) (more…)

Steve Miller Band – Abracadabra – Our Shootout Winner from 2014

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame

A tough record to find good sound for! The ’80s have not been so good for us audiophiles. This copy with a Super Hot side two is doing a helluva lot better than most of what we played. Quiet vinyl too. (more…)

Steve Miller Band – The Joker – Our Shootout Winner from 2012

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame

It took two separate pressings — on two different Capitol labels no less — to bring you White Hot Stamper sound from first note to last on this, Steve Miller’s breakthrough album. The Joker may have topped the charts in January of 1974, but the average pressing has that song sounding worse than it does on the radio! Most copies of this record just plain suck (to use the vernacular appropriate to the band). Dry, thin, flat, opaque, smeary, small, midrangy — we’ve all heard ’70s Capitol pressings with this sound, and most copies of this album have some, even most, of these shortcomings.

Which is why it takes two different records from two different eras in order to get you good sound for both sides. (more…)

Letter of the Week – Life is too short to listen to “acceptable” vinyl.

Brave New World

One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:

Hey Tom,   

As you know, I only play vinyl on my system and have purchased hundreds of hot stampers over the years. I was going though my non-hot stamper part of my collection and listened for about three days exclusively to non-hot stampers. I was pleasantly surprised by some and was saying to myself that’s not too bad or that’s okay.

Then, Steve Miller – Brave New World (2.5/3) arrived. As it played, I was stuck by the difference between what I was “accepting” in my non hot stampers and the sonics of a great hot stamper. I went back to my non hot stampers and ejected 40 albums which are back to cd’s in my car. My non-hot stampers are now less than 10% of the collection.

Life is too short to listen to “acceptable” vinyl. Hot stampers especially WHS or good vinyl is why we have spent a lifetime pursuing great audio systems; to sit in our listening rooms and be transported by the emotion of the music.

Thank You
Mike

 

The Steve Miller Band – Brave New World

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  • An insanely good sounding with both sides earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades or very close to them – this is the best copy to hit the site in years!
  • Engineered by the one and only Glyn Johns – until we heard this specific pressing we had no idea the album could sound as good as this one does
  • Exceptionally quiet vinyl throughout, Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus – I defy anyone to find an early Capitol pressing that plays as quietly as this one does!
  • “Brave New World was more fully realized, and rocked harder, than the Steve Miller Band’s first two albums.” 

(more…)

Steve Miller Band – Book of Dreams – Our Shootout Winner from 2013

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame

This White Hot pressing of Book Of Dreams — the first to ever hit the site — earned A+++ grades on both sides, giving you dramatically better sound than you might expect for this album. This is a ROUGH recording. We’ve played scores of copies over the years and most of them have been just plain awful. I’m pleased to report that this A+++ copy will bring this music to life in your listening room in a way that would never be possible with the average pressing.

This is the first ever White Hot Stamper copy of Book of Dreams to make it to our site. How could that be? It took us until fairly recently to find out that there were pressings out there that rose above the terrible sound of the typical pressing. Steve Miller Band recordings are pretty rough, I’m afraid. Put Steve Miller right up there with Bruce Springsteen as classic artists whose records almost never sound good. Great on the radio, sure, but unspectacular on a serious audiophile system. (more…)

Steve Miller Band – Fly Like An Eagle – Our Shootout Winner from 2013

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame. 

The hottest copy — by far — of Fly Like An Eagle to ever hit the site! We’ve been collecting these for years in hope of finding a knockout pressing, but shootout after shootout stalled. They pressed tons of copies of this album and most of them sound terrible — grainy, dry and flat. We went into this shootout without high expectations this week, but we were BLOWN AWAY by the sound of the best copies. And here’s one that just couldn’t be beat, earning A+++ grades on BOTH SIDES. (more…)

Steve Miller Band – Fly Like An Eagle – Capitol Debunked

More Steve Miller

More Fly Like An Eagle

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Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame and another Heavy Vinyl LP debunked.

This Capitol Records Limited Edition 180 gram LP from the series that Robert Ludwig mastered is the worst sounding version of the album I have ever heard, bar none. It was cut with the azimuth off, which makes all the high frequency transients sound smeared. How anybody could put up with that crappy sounding LP is beyond me, but I have never heard a single person complain about the bad sound.

The MoFi has a bit more going on up top but the blurry bass and compressed lifeless sound fail to bring the music to life the way a Hot Stamper does.