Steve Miller Band is an American rock band formed in 1967 in San Francisco, California. The band is managed by Steve Miller on guitar and lead vocals.
In 1965, Miller moved to San Francisco where the psychedelic scene was flourishing. He then formed the Steve Miller Blues Band which, when they contracted with Capitol Records in 1967, shortened their name to the Steve Miller Band.
Billed as The Miller Band, they backed Chuck Berry on his “Live at Fillmore Auditorium” album released that year. In 1968, they released an album, “Children of the Future,” the first in a series of discs rooted solidly in the psychedelic blues style that then dominated the San Francisco scene. Boz Scaggs rejoined Miller for this album and the next one, before starting his own solo career.
The group followed with the release of their second album, 1968’s “Sailor,” with the albums “Brave New World” and “Your Saving Grace“ in 1969 and “Number 5” in 1970. These first five albums performed respectably on the U.S. Billboard 200 Albums chart but failed to yield a major hit single, with the highest charted single being “Livin' in the USA” from “Sailor.” Songs from this period are also featured in a portion of the double album compilation “Anthology,” which included a guest appearance on bass guitar, drums and backing vocals by Paul McCartney on the songs “Celebration” and “My Dark Hour.”
In 1973, “The Joker” marked the start of the second phase of Miller and his band’s career as this work was less hard-rock oriented and simpler in composition. The album received significant radio airplay, which helped the title track reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. The single also hit #1 on the U.K. Singles chart in September 1990 after it was used for a television commercial.
The band followed up with “Fly Like an Eagle” in 1976, and “Book of Dreams” in 1977. This pair of albums represented the peak of the group’s commercial career, both reaching the top echelons of the album charts and spawning a lengthy series of hit singles, including “Fly Like An Eagle,” “Rock'n Me,” “Take the Money and Run,” “Jet Airliner” (written by Paul Pena), “Swingtown” and “Jungle Love.”
On the heels of this massive success, Miller and the band took a long hiatus from recording and touring, emerging in 1981 with “Circle of Love.” Sales were disappointing, however, and in 1982 he returned to the pop formula with another hit album, “Abracadabra.“ This was their last great commercial success. A series of collections, live albums and attempts to find a new style appeared in 1984 with “Italian X-Rays,” in 1986 with “Living in the 20th Century and in 1988 with “Born 2B Blue” but after 1993's effort, “Wide River,” Miller gave up recording records altogether for some considerable time.
Although the Steve Miller Band had limited peak commercial success, their ongoing popularity has been notable. In 1978, “Greatest Hits 1974-1978” was released. The album contained all the big hits from their two most popular albums, “Fly Like an Eagle” and “Book of Dreams,” plus the title track from “The Joker,” which were recorded during the same recording sessions in 1976 and subsequently released one year apart.
They released “Bingo!” in 2010. The album of blues covers was their first in 17 years. In 2011 the Steve Miller Band released the album, “Let Your Hair Down” which, like "Bingo!" was released on Miller’s Space Cowboy Records in partnership with Roadrunner/Loud & Proud Records. For the 2010-2011 school year, Miller was an Artist in Residence at the USC Thornton School of Music, where he taught students in the Popular Music and Music Industry programs.