808s / The World's Greatest Hits

The World’s Greatest Hits: Greatest Hits 1974-1978 – Steve Miller Band

Greatest HIts 1974-1978  – Steve Miller Band – 1978

Claimed Sales: 13m

First listen?: Yes

Format Listened?: Apple Music

It’s very rare to find a hugely popular Greatest Hits collection, one that ended up becoming a band’s biggest selling album and brought their music to a whole new set of fans where I genuinely found it hard to recognise pretty much every single one of the songs. Obviously, the fact that Greatest Hits 1974-1978 was only ever released in the US, with none of Steve Miller Band’s albums even reaching the top 10 until 4 years after this compilation was released will do a good job explaining why these songs aren’t radio staples here in the UK. Funnily enough, there’s a familiarity on the likes of Rock’n Me that could literally be any soft rock band of the 70s, indistinctive vocalist and predictable but mildly catchy guitar riffs in tow. That first thing is probably the biggest issue I had listening to this album, Steve Miller is just a totally uninspiring front-man, both vocally and in his performance, it’s like he can hardly be bothered on the grind of tracks like The Stake or even punchy opener Swingtown which would otherwise be one of the album’s highlights. Even on the biggest hit The Joker which does some mildly interesting things with its chorus musically and lyrically, the performance is so deadpan that even this comes across totally uninspiring. The biggest comparison you could draw is to a band like Eagles, but they didn’t have just one interesting lead vocalist, they had 4 of them. Fly Like An Eagle manages to at least focus on the music itself with its trippy bluesy style and comes out the other end much better than just about anything else here. As a Greatest Hits collection, it would be hard to convince me that most of these songs had been ‘hits’ given how forgettable just about everything here is. There’s very little on Greatest Hits 1974-1978 that makes me want to come back for another listen.

Rating: 5/10

Will I listen again?: Definitely not.

Best Track: Fly Like An Eagle at least captures something a bit more interesting than the by the numbers soft rock (that’s not even done that well) that makes up the rest of the album.

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