Before the "Gangster of Love" led his own band, Steve Miller made his rounds throughout the Chicago club scene, playing the blues. Beginning his four-decade career as a guitarist for the Goldberg-Miller Blues Band along with co-founder and keyboardist, Chris Yoder, bassist Roy Ruby, rhythm guitarist Craymore Stevens, and drummer Lance Haas, Steve Miller released one 45 rpm single with Epic Records before moving to San Francisco and starting what would be known as the Steve Miller Band.
Formed in San Francisco in 1967, bassist Lonnie Turner, drummer Tim Davis, and guitarists Steve Miller, Boz Scaggs, and James Cook signed with Capitol Records before releasing their debut album, Children of the Future (1968) to relatively little commercial success. Gaining recognition and expanding their audience with the release of each album, the Steve Miller Band would continue to craft five more albums before scoring a number one hit with The Joker in 1973.
Becoming a #1 scoring single album, The Joker displayed an evolution in sound for the Steve Miller Band. While the Steve Miller Band's first eight albums—Children of the Future (1968), Sailor (1968), Brave New World(1969), Your Saving Grace (1969), Number 5 (1970), Rock Love (1971), Recall the Beginning…A Journey from Eden (1972), Anthology (1972), and Living in the U.S.A. (1973)—explored psychedelic rock and British blues revival through guitar riffs and jam-style tracks, The Joker abandoned their acidic sound for a subdued rock and blues vibe. With embellished hooks and a sense of humor, The Joker revived the Steve Miller Band after a series of sloppy and unfocused attempts. Certified platinum for over one million sales, such notable tracks on The Joker include the title track, "Your Cash Ain't Nothin' But Trash," "Shu Ba Da Du Ma Ma Ma," and "Evil." Ever a prolific band, the Steve Miller band also released Living in the U.S.A. only a few months before The Joker, but after a commercial flop, they finally perfected their sound the second time around.
After a three-year hiatus, Steve Miller catalyzed his momentous following with Fly Like An Eagle in 1976. Exceeding 4x platinum as their best selling album, Fly Like An Eagle place the Steve Miller Band back on music industry's radar with such notable tracks as the title track, "Take the Money and Run," "Wild Mountain Honey," "Mercury Blues," and "Rock 'n Me." With cavernous echoes and exhaling keyboard notes, Fly Like An Eagle is still a focal rock album of its time. Ranked #450 on the Rolling Stone list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time," Fly Like An Eagle was re-released in 2006 to commemorate its 30th anniversary with three bonus tracks and a DVD of the Steve Miller Band's epic two-hour performance at northern California's Shoreline Amphitheatre.
The Steve Miller Band continued to record and release hit albums following Fly Like an Eagle and spanning over Book of Dreams (1977) (which some have called Fly Like An Eagle's twin as they were recorded nearly simultaneously during Miller's three-year hiatus), Abracadabra (1982), and Wide River (1993), which is still his most recent release. Today Steve Miller is putting the finishing touches on his upcoming album, one that he recorded in March 2008 with Led Zeppelin engineer, Andy Johns. While the Steve Miller Band may still be on hiatus, their music continues to be a staple of classic rock radio stations nationwide and Steve Miller will forever retain the title of "Gangster of Love."