Let Your Hair Down Special Edition, Extra tracks, Import
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Special digipak edition features four bonus tracks. 2011 album from the Rock veteran. Let Your Hair Down, according to plan, follows the #1 Blues album, Bingo, as the second new Steve Miller Band album of the 21st century. He not only saved the bluesiest, rockingest, most guitar-playing-est tracks for the second serving, but he spent the additional year between releases tweaking, polishing and obsessively applying finishing touches that make Let Your Hair Down an even more fully realized record than its acclaimed, successful predecessor. Miller sorted through some astronomical number of Rhythm & Blues and Blues recordings from his CD library seeking material for the auspicious Skywalker Ranch sessions. With classic rock engineer Andy Johns (Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones) at the console, Miller and his band, longtime musical collaborators road-tested over literally thousands of concerts, blasted through nearly three dozen tracks.
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This is a blues cover album, and a fine and fun recording. Steve's 1986 album "Living In The 20th Century" was a blues cover half-album (on side 2 only - mostly Jimmy Reed tunes), and then he did the brilliant "Born 2 B Blue" in 1988, which was mostly pop standards, R&B, and jazz.
"Let Your Hair Down" is a fine all-blues-and-R&B effort, but be aware that a large portion of the album has lead vocals by Sonny Charles (of Sonny Charles and the Checkmates Ltd fame), and if you heard those tunes on the radio, you wouldn't have a clue that it was the Steve Miller Band. Steve's entire career has been made by hits and album cuts with his trademark vocals, including most of the early classics such as Living In The USA, Going To Mexico, Space Cowboy, My Dark Hour, Quicksilver Girl, and The Joker. And everything he's recorded from 1976 onward has had his vocals, so when you buy a Steve Miller Band album, that's what you expect to hear.
Of the 10 tracks on the regular edition of this album, 6 have Steve Miller lead vocals, 3 have Sonny Charles lead vocals, and 1 is split between Steve and Sonny.
Of the 4 bonus tracks on the special edition, 3 feature Sonny Charles (only 1 with Steve on vocals!).
In the liner notes, Steve speaks lovingly of fellow Texan and blues giant Charles Brown and his Driftin Blues,
the final cut of the special edition bonus tracks, and then he doesn't even sing on it - it's really a disappointment. So if you're going for the Special Edition, you'll get 1 additional track that sounds like a Steve Miller tune. (Of 14 total tracks on the special edition you get 7 tracks that feature lead vocals by Steve Miller, and 1 on which he sings a duet)
That's my complaint, but this is still an enjoyable romp of an album, and I recommend it to all Steve Miller fans.
Put the 7 1/2 Steve vocals here together with the 6 Steve vocals on "Bingo", and you've got a killer blues album by Steve Miller and his band. Yes, Steve is a guitar player, and on a little of his very early work he had other band members sing, but that was the exception, and not what his longtime fans expect to hear on record or in concert. If Steve wants to back-up Sonny Charles, that's fine, but don't release them as Steve Miller songs. This definitely should have been credited to "The Steve Miller Band featuring Sonny Charles". Buy it anyway.
classic), I prefer to hear Steve (or at least Boz Scaggs) on his cds.
With the many songs to choose from why does Steve pick some of these tired old warhorses? It's time to put "I Got Love If You Want It", "Just A Little Bit", "Can't Be Satisfied" and especially
"Sweet Home Chicago" in a time lock vault and set it for, let's say, 2050. "Pretty Thing" is a
great choice, and while I prefer Rusty Zinn's version, Steve does a very credible job with it.
"No More Doggin'" is another cd highlight, along with "Love The Life I Live". I was disappointed that "Driftin' & Driftin" was the only slow blues included. Steve plays blues like he's on his way to a fire. "The Walk" is a good example of that, it could be retitled "The Trot". Slow 'em down, Steve, we ain't going anywhere. Your fans are sticking with you.
On the whole, this an okay disc but I'll take some cuts from "Bingo", mix them with some of the better ones from "Let Your Hair Down" and have a righteous Steve Miller rocking blues cover cd.
I don't think this is as strong as last year's Bingo! but it's still a great album.
If you're a real Steve Miller Band fan, I bet you'll like it.
Dunno why the mp3 version lacks the bonus tracks. They aren't outtakes or alternate versions, they are 4 different songs and all of them quite good.