I can't believe that this Steve Miller Band album/CD is out
Rykre | Carson City, Nevada | 05/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've had this CD for for nearly 20 years now. I've only learned just recently that it has been remotely unavailable on CD for many, many, years now. I never gave it a thought. I decided to casually look into this because at least two of my friends have showed more-than-candid interest in holding and praising this one Steve Miller Band CD that I have on my CD shelf with my other Steve Miller Band CD's.
My personal interest in this album from Steve Miller is because it was originally released when I was stationed at Hickam AFB Hawaii. Sure, I heard "Heart Like a Wheel" on the radio, and I thought that it was great to hear some fresh new Steve Miller Band music after "Fly Like an Eagle" and "Book of Dreams", which only began to depress me because those two albums reminded me of being home in Detroit. (I'm so glad that I left that miserable city). Hawaii was a nice change and any new music that didn't remind me of Detroit was a welcomed treat to my new life.
For as short as this album is, it's the "lack of alot" or the "short but sweet" contents of this album that makes it such a wonderful package of new music as Steve Miller Band enters the 1980's. Each of the 5 tracks will capture your interest right away because there are only 5 tracks. All of which differ from one another. You have the hit "Heart Like a Wheel" with some rockabilly bluesy guitar work. The title track is a suave sexy date song to share with your favorite girl. "Macho City" is like a blues political rap song which is mostly instrumental after about the first four minutes. I think Steve just wanted to see if he could stretch the instrumentation of this track just to complete the second album side. But that's fine, it's very listenable and relaxing. In fact, he could have even stretched it out longer and I would have still enjoyed it.
But there is one track on this album takes me back to Hawaii even today as I listen to it. There was this gorgeous black stripper dancer at the "Club Rose" on Piikoi Street in Waikiki, Hawaii. Two songs that she did a sexy strip and dance to was "Maneater" by Hall and Oates, and Steve Miller's "Baby Wanna Dance" from this album. Because "Baby Wanna Dance" was not a hit record, it really stands out in my memory of that beautiful black girl on the stage back then.
Some people aren't too fond of this album, but those who like it at all, do absolutely love it. And I am one. To be honest, although "Abracadabra" (his next album that was released while I was still in Hawaii) as an album didn't impress me at all. So I have my three favorite Steve Miller Band CD's, plus one that I made of my own favorite greatest hits on CDR, and the current Live DVD of the Steve Miller Band in Chicago, so, I've got all the Steve Miller Band that I need.
I notice that many people are trying to sell their copy of this CD at a high priced "rare, out of print CD" price. Unless you know this album song for song, the high price that you may have to pay may only be worth it if you've got cherishable memories of it as I do.
I got to spend two years in Hawaii, I've got sunburned and drunk on the beach, and I've got laid often while this album was playing on my turntable in my dorm room. Simply put: I love this album. It has imposed a positive impact on my new way of life after I left Detroit.
So, what does this album mean to you?
Steve Miller's Circle
Andre S. Grindle | Brewer Maine | 12/13/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Five years after Steve Miller dropped his last album Book of Dreams he realesed this album. Obviously realizing that he could not simply proceed to make music in his previous formula he decided to update his basic style by degrees to see what he could do with it. So it's definately transitional material here but even so his basic concept of deceptively simple bluesy rock n roll with pop and funk is still intact. "Heart Like A Wheel"...well with it's rather retro 50's flavor doesn't sound like something from it's era but it sure isn't bad for a rock n roll song. Luckily for Miller he doesn't get too formulaic with that sound here. "Get On Home" brings in the new wave flavor that would find itself blossom into full flower on the next album Abracadabra. As a matter of fact in many ways overall this album doesn't sound all that different from that except there is a more experimental tact and there's a strong mix of old and new styles to be found here. On "Baby Wanna Dance" Miller throws down a funk oriented blues-rock number that does a great job of staying on the one for the two minutes the song gets to cook. The title tune is the slowest of the numbers here and gives Miller a chance to stretch out his guitar playing. Of course the major highlite of the album is "Macho City". A 16 minute tune that took up all of the second side of this album in it's original release the song takes a journey from Miller's emmediate musical past into what he'd been doing in the future. The tune starts out as this funky rock tune with this topical extesential rap and then goes into several long instrumental jazzy guitar solos with a lot of great reverb effects.A strong level of musicality is present and,even if Miller had been accused by another musician of note as being a "non playing musician" early in...if that having been the case he'd more then done his homework by this point. This is probably one of Steve Miller's most ignored albums and that doesn't appear to show any signs of changing as it's gone out of print on CD at least twice. At the same time it represents not only the kind of music Steve Miller was making in the past but where he was planning on taking it as well."
The first Steve Miller album of the 1980s is also one of his
Terrence J. Reardon | Lake Worth (a west Palm Beach suburb), FL | 09/16/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Steve Miller Band released its eleventh studio album Circle of Love in October of 1981 in time for that year's Christmas sale.
By 1981, Steve Miller had not released an album of all new material since 1977's Book of Dreams followed by a Greatest Hits 1974-78 the following year. For 1979 and 1980, Steve laid low on his farm in the Washington countryside after the whirlwind of album/tour from 1975-78. Then in 1981, Steve (as always on guitars and vocals and producing) once again recruited drummer Gary Mallaber (his drummer since Fly Like an Eagle), keyboard player Byron Allred (keyboard player since the Fly Like an Eagle tour) and returning bass player Gerald Johnson (who last played on Steve's The Joker album) to record his first album of the 1980s. When it emerged at the end of 1981, would people like it or run for cover. I fall into the former whilst many did the latter. The album only had 5 songs (most of the songs written by Steve himself) and was just over 33 minutes long.
We kick the first half of the album off with "Heart Like a Wheel" which was the first single from the album and saw Steve Miller once again back in the Top 30 of the Billboard Hot 100. There was a video for this track which was an MTV staple. Next is "Get On Home" which was a New Wave sounding remake of an old tune called "Cindy". Next is a short, funky tune called "Baby Wanna Dance With Me" which was a Ramones-esque two minutes. We then end the first side with with the epic title track which is a 6 and a half minute minute acoustic ballad which turns into a stretch spotlight for Steve's various guitar styles (his superb slide, acoustic and regular lead playing are here) and has arguably Steve Miller's best guitar work ever.
Side Two of the album contained only just one song which was the 16 plus minute epic "Macho City" (an epic detested by Steve Miller fans and critics alike, some of those "fans" are poseurs in my view and are not progressive rock fans). I love this epic which is outstanding. This proved that the 10 minute song was not dead (as Rush proved earlier that year with "The Camera Eye" on their Moving Pictures album) and is a journey into funk, R&B, rock, jam music and electronic music (years before electronic music would be in favor, Steve was a trail blazer). The lyrics did have political overtones which I guess why it was attacked (a condensed single of the track, just the first third of the piece, eliminating the superb instrumental outro jam, went nowhere on the charts) but the song is more relevant in 2010 than it was in 1981.
Circle of Love was Steve Miller's first studio album to miss the US Top 20 in quite some time as it stalled at #26 on the Billboard chart in 1981 and only went Gold. A shame as everyone wanted either a Fly Like an Eagle II or Book of Dreams II. It was re-released on CD in the US briefly by Capitol/EMI but the label discontinued it as it was not a consistent seller. Sales aside, this is a great Steve Miller album and I can play for pleasure.