‘Frankie Miller’s Double Take’: A New Look At An Icon

August 2, 2016

Frankie Miller is one of those undiscovered gems: an artist who many won’t know by name, though they will know his music when they hear it. Having been covered by everyone from Rod Stewart to Ray Charles, The Traveling Wilburys to Etta James, Johnny Cash to Roy Orbison, his songs have become part of the musical landscape, even as most listeners would struggle to name the talent behind them.

When Miller suffered a brain haemorrhage, in 1994, it seemed that he was forever doomed to remain in the shadows: an unsung hero beloved by other musicians, though hardly the household name he deserved to be. Yet, in his 28-year career, Miller impressed many of the biggest names in music – after all, the Glasgow-born songwriter boasted a versatile talent; he was as comfortable singing lead vocals for Procol Harum as he was duetting with rock icon Phil Lynott on Thin Lizzy’s ‘Still In Love With You’, or working in New Orleans with soul legend Allen Toussaint.

Fittingly, many of his peers have gathered together to record Frankie Miller’s Double Take, a 19-track album largely composed of duets with the man, and which is due for release on 30 September.

Frankie Miller Rainbow Theatre - London © Carlo Chinca - 530

These songs might never have seen the light of day had Rod Stewart not asked producer David Mackay if he knew of any unreleased Miller gems. After contacting Frankie’s partner, Annette Miller, Mackay received two garbage sacks full of demos. “The tracks were simple,” he says of the recordings, “but the vocals were stunning.” Mackay promptly set about “creating proper backing tracks with top musicians from around the world”.

With input from artists as varied as Elton John, Willie Nelson, rock icons Joe Walsh and Kid Rock, and Southern soul guitarist Steve Cropper, the demos have been worked up into finished songs that retain the integrity of Miller’s original recordings. “The response was overwhelming,” Mackay says, noting that “Elton John thought ‘Where Do The Guilty Go’ was a classic”. Fittingly, the collection is rounded off by ‘I Do’, a solo Miller track.

Available on both CD and 2LP, a CD+DVD edition also includes the documentary Frankie Miller: Sending Me Angels. Tracing Miller’s remarkable career, from Glasgow-born vocalist to adored talent respected by music icons the world over, it gives his biggest, most famous fans the chance to explain why Miller remains so important to them.

Frankie Miller’s Double Take is due for release on 30 September. Scroll down to read the full tracklisting, and pre-order the album here:

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‘Blackmail’ (with Joe Walsh)
‘Where Do The Guilty Go’ (with Elton John and Steve Cropper)
‘Way Past Midnight’ (with Huey Lewis)
‘True Love’ (with Bonnie Tyler)
‘Kiss Her For Me’ (with Rod Stewart and Joe Walsh)
‘Gold Shoes’ (with Francis Rossi)
‘Sending Me Angels’ (with Kiki Dee and Jose Antonio Rodriguez)
‘Jezebel Jones’ (with Kid Rock and Full House)
‘When It’s Rockin’’ (with Steve Dickinson and Full House)
‘Beginner At The Blues’ (with Delbert McClinton and Full House)
‘To Be With You Again’ (with Kim Carnes)
‘I Want To Spend My Life With You’ (with Willie Nelson)
‘The Ghost’ (with Tomoyasu Hotei)
‘It Gets Me Blue’ (with Paul Carrack)
‘Out On The Water’ (with Stuart Emerson)
‘It’s A Long Way Home’ (with Brian Cadd)
‘I’m Missing You’ (with John Parr)
‘I Never Want To Lose You’ (with Lenny Zakatek)
‘I Do’ (Frankie Miller solo)

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14 comments

    1. bob mitchell

      A good friend of mine toured with Frankie. Played percussion (Malcom Mortimer ) he has nothing but praise as I do for that soulful voice and cadence that Frankie has so. Good, brings back memories. Haven’t got the album yet. In Canada but buying it soon

  1. Michael McLaughlin

    Frankie Miller gives you a bit of vocsl honesty and true feeling on the lyric. Hail Hail our Bhoy Frankie Miller YNWA (celtic supporters say ‘ you’ll never walk alone’ Frankie. GOD bless you.

    1. Colin Fenning

      Yeah, It’s pretty damn good!
      It is amazing that these songs of Frankie’s have been brought to life in such a magnificent collection of collaborations with such a diverse array of vocals and styles but importantly all penned by the magnificently talented Mr Frankie Miller.
      I’m sure that out of those black bags full of Demo’s there MUST be a few more albums worth of songs that David MacKay can bring to life?
      I look forward to another project being launched.

  2. Joe Dearie

    What a great soulful album. There are a lot of great singers on this album but one voice stands out a mile, that of Mr. Miller, Thanks to all who contributed. Anyone used to reality show singers should listen to this guy and hear what it’s really about…and he writes his own songs!

  3. Peter Bailey

    Just bought this today & have not stopped playing it, this is phenomenal, what a talent, i knew one or two tracks of his but had no idea of the sheer depth of his work, this collaboration is just awesome, not many peoplehave a voice like that to go with a songwriting talent thats that big…simply fabulous!

  4. Al Graham

    Without question, the greatest Rock/Blues/Soul singer the Uk (probably the world) has ever produced. A tragic story that this incredible talent can no longer record. I play his music almost daily and introduce his work to anyone who will listen. Well done to Rod Stewart and Dave Mackay for taking the time and trouble to organise the new album.

  5. Mike Couzens

    I bought cd & dvd,can’t recommend it enough,we may have waited years for this but he’ll was it worth the wait.if you could only take one cd on a desert island you wouldn’t get bored with it.well done to everyone who performed on it.and a massive thank you to frankie for these hidden gems and all he recorded in the past.
    I am a big free fan,,paul Rodgers May be my favourite vocalist but frankie is a very close second,his cover of lennons jealouse guy is the best cover of another classic song.

  6. john palmer

    Chris, I have all the Wilbury’s stuff; Volume 1 & 3 + Complte Collection, but according to the notes, all songs were written by The Wilburys. Frankie did write a song for Roy Orbison but I have yet to find out which one. 80’s, I think.,

  7. john palmer

    Got it! It had to be!! Roy Orbison’s Frankie Miller cover was a posthumous release.. “Heartbreak Radio”. Co-written by Frankie with Troy Seals. Orbison’s version created from demo recordings by the Studio Genie, Jeff Lynn, at the request of Roy’s widow, Barbara..So there is a double Wilbury connection there!

  8. Bob Huff

    I’ve known and worked with David Mackay for 45 years and when hearing of this project and Frankie’s story I asked if there was anything I could do to help out. I was thrilled to contribute some guitar work on two of the songs. When the project was completed and I heard the final mix I was absolutely knocked out. This is a world class album in every way. The songs and performances are amazing. Thank you David for allowing me to be a part of a record that I will never forget. I just wish more people could be exposed to Frankie’s awesome talent. If you are even considering buying this record, do it. You will own a treasure and will not be disappointed.

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