Steve Miller Band – Ultimate Hits


Remastered return of the Space Cowboy

Released on 15 September 2017 by Universal and reviewed by Gary ‘Gangster Of Love’ Cordwell

When your Godfather pretty much invented the solid body electric guitar it’s fairly safe to say you’ve got a bit to live up to. Case in point being Steve Miller, whose Ultimate Hits, erm…hits the shelves ahead of a planned reissue campaign of all his albums. Indeed, Millers musical education began with the aforementioned Les Paul and was continued by blues legend T-Bone Walker. No pressure there then Steve!

And so we move from a recorded snippet of conversation between Les Paul and a 5 year old Miller onto the music, and what an intriguing journey it is. And a long journey. The 2 disc deluxe edition weighs in at a hefty 40 tracks including 8 previously unreleased studio, live and demo songs, all compiled and curated my Mr. Miller himself.

We get the full musical story. From psychedelic bluesman into one of the founding fathers of American soft rock. He was perfect for the genre, he wasn’t an iconoclast or in any way dangerous, he relied too much upon the musical blueprints of others for that. He had that slightly bland, inoffensive, plastic persona that was kind of interchangeable with other AOR faces – Seeger, Frampton et al. Don’t believe me? Do you know what Miller looks like? Me either.

But that’s not to say he wasn’t good. Far from it. He channelled classic rock and roll while paying lip service to the hippies and ‘heads’ (he was, after all, a midnight toker). He was the Space Cowboy long before Jamiroquai half-inched the moniker. His bluesy, countrified psychedelia-lite was perfect for the 70’s airwaves and his hits still regularly grace the Radio 2 playlists (Ken Bruce loves a bit of ‘Rock ‘n Me). His deft but unshowy guitar adding the icing to the AOR cake.

He was also (as befits the godson of Les Paul -the originator of multitrack recording) an extremely canny producer, as adept with a recording studio as he is a guitar, which is one of the reasons he has endured. His sound and productions moved with the times. Keyboards, synths and drum machines began creeping subtly but effectively into the mix so that, come the 80’s, he was still churning out hits such as ‘Abracadabra’.

So, for a Steve Miller anthology, this is pretty much all you need. Impeccably produced, classily remastered and damn good fun. Hopefully the forthcoming production line of reissues will maintain this standard. Keep on picking, grinning, loving and sinning you old joker.


  1. Steve Miller at age 5 talking to his Godfather Les Paul
  2. Gangster Of Love (Live)
  3. The Joker
  4. Baby’s Callin’ Me Home (Previously Unreleased)
  5. My Dark Hour
  6. Little Girl
  7. Living In The USA (Live – Previously Unreleased)
  8. Space Cowboy (Live – Previously Unreleased)
  9. Seasons (Previously Unreleased)
  10. Journey From Eden
  11. Shu Ba Da Du Ma Ma Ma Ma
  12. Going To Mexico
  13. Kow Kow Calculator (Live – Previously Unreleased)
  14. Come On In My Kitchen (Live)
  15. Sugar Babe (Live)
  16. The Lovin’ Cup (Live)
  17. Dance, Dance, Dance
  18. Take The Money And Run
  19. Rock ‘n Me
  20. Space Intro
  21. Fly Like An Eagle


  1. Wild Mountain Honey
  2. The Window
  3. Take The Money And Run (Demo) (Previously Unreleased)
  4. In The Midnight Hour (Previously Unreleased)
  5. Jungle Love
  6. Threshold
  7. Jet Airliner
  8. The Stake
  9. Swingtown
  10. Serenade From The Stars
  11. True Fine Love
  12. Heart Like A Wheel
  13. Abracadabra
  14. I Want To Make The World Turn Around
  15. Italian X Rays
  16. Don’t Cha Know
  17. Cry Cry Cry
  18. Stranger Blues
  19. Behind The Barn