Steve Miller is one of those guys who has been around forever, but has a large volume of work unnoticed. He gained general notice with "the Joker", really hit the big time with Fly Like an Eagle and the followup Book of Dreams, but he'd been in the trenches for about ten year prior to those albums in the late Seventies. This collection takes all of his pre-"Joker" albums and distills things down into 16 very good tracks. The music ranges from country to blues (the original name of the group with the Steve Miller Blues Band) to straight ahead rock, although nothing too heavy. Guest artists on the compilation include Paul McCartney (recorded when he was still with the Beatles) Boz Scaggs (childhood friend of Miller's) and most of the players that would form the backbone of the popular years' group (Lonnie Turner, James Curly Cook, Nicky Hopkins). Now back into obscurity (with the exception of the spare US Postal Service advert,) Miller's career is the typical bell curve -- but don't overlook the good stuff that preceded the popular stuff -- and this is the best way to hear it.