Blues-rock guitar titan Steve Miller has unveiled another track from his forthcoming rarities box set Welcome To The Vault. With the full collection due on 11 October on Sailor/Capitol/UMe, he has shared his previously unreleased version, recorded in 1974, of the Mickey & Sylvia hit from 1956, ‘Love Is Strange.’
The song, an R&B No. 1 and pop No. 11 for the original duo, was co-written by Bo Diddley under his then-wife’s name, Ethel Smith. Miller’s version is one of several never-released tracks on Welcome To The Vault, which as previously reported is a 3CD + DVD box set covering his entire, genre-straddling career of six decades.
Of the 52 tracks on the upcoming retrospective, 38 are newly available, in a collection that includes demos, rehearsals, outtakes and concert performances. The accompanying DVD includes 21 live performances, and the set is accompanied by a 100-page hardback book of photographs, memorabilia and artefacts from Miller’s private collection. Rock journalist David Fricke contributes a 9,000-word essay.
The first upfront release from Welcome To The Vault was the ‘Alternate Version 1’ of the Steve Miller Band’s 1976 US No. 1 ‘Rock’n Me.’ Also available are a take on Howlin’ Wolf’s 1964 blues staple ‘Killin’ Floor’ and an alternative version, premiered by Billboard earlier this month, of another major hit in the Steve Miller Band canon, ‘Swingtown.’
Billboard described the new version of ‘Swingtown’ as being “vastly different” from the version on 1977’s Book of Dreams, starting “with a ringing, psychedelic intro before going into a gentle chug that takes the track into its familiar melody.”All four songs are available as instant downloads with pre-orders of the box set, and via all digital service providers now.
The Steve Miller Band are on tour all summer with Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, concluding over two nights at Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville, WA on 30 and 31 August.
Welcome To The Vault is released on 11 October. Pre-order it here.
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