3/6/14

The Greatest "Greatest Hits": Steve Miller Band's GREATEST HITS 1974-1978 [1978]


Longtime Hideaway devotees surely remember HERC's An Album A Day run of posts back in April 2013 - it is the single highest viewed feature series to ever appear here on The Hideaway, rivaled only by the Radio Daze and the ongoing Friday Hideaway Film Fest. While preparing another run of An Album A Day posts, HERC decided to give the many Best Ofs and Greatest Hits albums their own venue: The Greatest "Greatest Hits".  Welcome in to the first installment of the series.
Despite only covering a three album and five year span, The Steve Miller Band's Greatest Hits 1974-1978 is an essential for any classic rock fan or aficionado of Seventies Top 40 radio. The three albums are The Joker (#2 1973, Platinum), Fly Like An Eagle (#3 1976, 4xPlatinum) and Book Of Dreams (#2 1977, 3xPlatinum) which makes Greatest Hits a convenient purchase for casual and hardcore fans alike.  
The sole contribution from The Joker is the single edit of the title track which hit #1 on the first Hot 100 chart of 1974. 
Six songs migrated over from Fly Like An Eagle including the single edit of the titular track, a #2 song early in 1977. The other five tracks are: "Rock N'Me" (#1 1976), "Take The Money And Run" (#11 1976), "Serenade", "Dance, Dance, Dance" and "Wild Mountain Honey".
The remaining seven songs on Greatest Hits are all ripped from the pages of Book Of Dreams which is made up of songs initially written and recorded during the sessions for Fly Like An Eagle. "Jet Airliner" (#8 1977) was the first single released from Book followed by "Jungle Love" (#23 1977) and "Swingtown" (#17 1977). Although listed and tracked as a separate song, "Threshold" serves as the instrumental introduction to "Jet Airliner". (A similar track, "Space Intro" that serves the same purpose for "Fly Like An Eagle", is curiously left off Greatest Hits.) "True Fine Love", "The Stake" and "Winter Time" round out the album.
HERC SR. deserves full credit for bringing this album into young HERC's life. By the time it was released in November 1978, HERC had managed to buy three 45s from Steve Miller and his Band: "Rock N' Me", "Jet Airliner" and "Swingtown". All of these songs are indelibly etched in HERC's musical DNA and as he types this while listening to the album, daughter Dev is singing along to nearly every track.  Three generations, baby.
Currently, Greatest Hits is tied for #37 among the all-time best selling albums here in the States with a ceritifed thirteen million copies sold, more than all of his other albums combined.  (Also more than any Beatles album.)  Instead on resting on his laurels and accolades, Miller went on to score a few more hits including HERC faves "Abracadabra" (#1 1982) and "I Want To Make The World Turn Around" (#1 Rock, #97 Pop 1986) before releasing Young Hearts: The Complete Greatest Hits in 2003 which covered the first twenty-five years of his career beginning in 1968.

1 comment:

  1. Herc, indeed that this was required listening. I got this on CD within my first year of owning a CD player in 1991.

    ReplyDelete