Tuesday, 22 February 2011

“Book Of Dreams” by THE STEVE MILLER BAND. A Review Of His 1977 LP - Now Reissued & Remastered Onto A 2011 Edsel Records CD.

This review is part of my Series "SOUNDS GOOD: Exceptional CD Remasters 1970s Rock And Pop" Download Book available to buy on Amazon to either your PC or Mac (it will download the Kindle software to read the book for free to your toolbar). Click on the link below to go my Author's Page for this and other related publications:


"…It’s Here That I Want To Stay…"

UK released February 2011 - Edsel EDSS 1051 (Barcode 740155105136) is a straightforward mid-price CD reissue of Steve Miller’s 10th studio album – the brilliant "Book Of Dreams" - and the big old Jet Airliner breaks down as follows (38:05 minutes):

1. Threshold
2. Jet Airliner
3. Winter Time
4. Swingtown
5. True Fine Love
6. Wish Upon A Star
7. Jungle Love [Side 2]
8. Electro Lux Imbroglio
9. Sacrifice
10. The Stake
11. My Own Space
12. Babes In The Wood
Tracks 1 to 12 are the LP "Book Of Dreams" released May 1977 in the USA on Capitol Records SO-11630 and in the UK on Mercury 9286 453 (it peaked at number 2 on the US charts and at number 12 in the UK). Six of the album's 12 tracks were issued across three 7" singles in both the USA and the UK – this CD will allow you to sequence them all as follows:

1. "Jet Airliner" b/w "Babes In The Wood"
April 1977 USA 7" on Capitol 4424 – April 1977 UK 7" on Mercury 6078 811

2. "Jungle Love" b/w "Wish Upon A Star"
August 1977 USA 7" on Capitol 4466 - September 1977 UK 7" on Mercury 6078 812

3. "Swingtown" b/w "Winter Time"
November 1977 USA 7" on Capitol 4496 - January 1978 UK 7" on Mercury 6078 813

This new EDSEL reissue comes in a very fetching 3-way foldout card digipak featuring expanded artwork on both the front and rear – all of it in the same colour scheme as the original vinyl album. Inside the tri-gatefold - each member of the band is pictured and named for the first time - and there’s a new 16-page booklet with comprehensive liner notes by JOEL SELVIN of the San Francisco Chronicle. Even the CD bears the now famous flying-horse logo that’s become synonymous with the band (aping the labels of the original American album). There’s several snaps of rare foreign picture sleeves for the 3 singles, photos of the group and Steve in the studio and playing live, the Capitol Picture Disc of the entire album is pictured and Lyrics are provided for the first time too. The packaging is very tasty indeed. But the real fireworks lie in the sound…

I’ve had the 1998 Eagle reissue for years just to have the album on CD – but this new 2011 sonic upgrade is truly superlative. Remastered by BARRY GRINT at Alchemy in London, the sound quality is massively improved on every track – and not just trebled up to the nines for effect. This is not a 'loud' CD for 'loudness' sake – it has power and muscle and great 'presence'. 

Right from the synth intro on the instrumental opener “Threshold” through to the guitar and bass of "Jet Airliner" (a cover of a Paul Pena song – lyrics above) – the remaster is light, clear and wonderfully produced. There isn’t hiss nor is there a feeling of over-compression – the instruments have air around them and sound 'live'. But Track 3 – the swirling and lovely "Winter Time" really ups the game – you can suddenly hear Norton Buffalo’s harmonica playing more clearly and Lonnie Turner’s bass – so sweet. "Swingtown" slides into existence with that fantastically tight drumming and when the guitar chords finally kick in – it’s fabulous.  The whistling synth intro of "Jungle Love" almost blows your out your speaker cones (but in a good way) while the acoustic guitar harmonics of "Sacrifice" give way to a great Les Dudek electric guitar solo complimented by Byron Allred’s slinky keyboard touches swirling all around the entire song. The synchronized-guitars of "The Stake" are just huge now – irresistibly great rock written by band guitarist David Denny - while the 3rd instrumental and album finisher "Babes In The Wood" is a lovely and understated way to finish the record.

So there you have it – a great Seventies Radio-friendly Rock album given a properly cool makeover, good packaging, top sound and sporting a pittance of a price tag. Tremendous stuff…

The 2011 and 2012 STEVE MILLER BAND 'Special Edition' 
CD Reissue Series from Edsel Records of the UK are:

1. Children Of The Future (April 1968) - released 17 September 2012 on Edsel EDSA 5003 - Barcode 0740155500337
2. Sailor (October 1968) – released 17 September 2012 on Edsel EDSA 5004 - Barcode 740155500733
3. Brave New World (June 1969) - released 17 September 2012 on Edsel EDSA 5005 - Barcode 740155500535
4. Your Saving Grace (November 1969) - released 17 September 2012 on Edsel EDSA 5006 - Barcode 740155500634
5. Number 5 (July 1970) – released 17 September 2012 on Edsel EDSA 5007 – Barcode 740155500733
6. Fly Like An Eagle (July 1976) – released 11 October 2010 on Edsel EDSX 3010 (with Bonus DVD) – Barcode 740155301033 – see REVIEW
7. Book Of Dreams (May 1977) - released 7 February 2011 on Edsel EDSS 1051 – Barcode 740155105136 – see REVIEW
8. Circle Of Love (October 1981) – released 7 February 2011 on Edsel EDSS 1052 – Barcode 740155105235
9. Abracadabra (June 1982) - released 7 March 2011 on Edsel EDSS 1053 – Barcode 740155105334
10. The Steve Miller Band Live! (April 1983) - released 4 April 2011 on Edsel EDSS 1056 – Barcode 740155105631
11. Italian X-Rays (November 1984) - released 7 March 2011 on Edsel EDSS 1054 – Barcode 740155105433
12. Wide River (July 1993) - released 7 March 2011 on Edsel EDSS 1055 – Barcode 740155105532

PPS: Could someone please get to Remastering long-standing holes in the Steve Miller back catalogue - October 1971's "Rock Love", March 1972's "Recall The Beginning...A Journey From Eden" and especially October 1973's "The Joker" – that way fans and the curious would have access to a 'near' complete run in decent Audio...

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

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