Steve Miller recently shared “Mama Church (A Cappella),” one of eight previously unreleased songs featured on J50: The Evolution of The Joker, a new box set honoring The Joker‘s 50th anniversary while chronicling the artistic journey that led to its creation.
“Mama Church (A Cappella)” was recorded on a 4-track in a hotel room on April 21, 1972.
J50: The Evolution of The Joker arrives via Sailor/Capitol/UMe on 2xCD, 3xLP + 7″, as well as digital download and all DSPs and streaming services on Friday. The vinyl version includes a limited-edition lithograph and an exclusive reproduction of a vintage The Joker iron-on. Pre-orders are available now.
Curated by Miller himself, J50 dives deep into the creative process of writing and assembling The Joker and amplifies its enduring magic by chronologically placing the original album tracks alongside 27 previously unreleased recordings from Miller’s personal archive, including songwriting tapes made by Miller on his TEAC 4-track in hotel rooms on the road and at live performances, plus studio outtakes and rehearsals.
The box set also includes six audio commentary tracks from Miller and exclusive liner notes from both Miller and legendary journalist Anthony DeCurtis. An official J50: The Evolution of The Joker trailer is streaming now at YouTube.
Originally released in October 1973, The Joker quickly became a hit in the United States and in the rest of the world later.
“The most important rule that every kid out there who wants to make a record should remember is: When you go into the studio, be ready to do the whole performance the first time you do it, because that’s going to be the best time you do it,” Miller says. “The whole thing is to capture the first performance. That’s a lot of what The Joker’s about. It was all first takes, and first takes are always better than perfect takes.”
(Photo: Sailor / Capitol / UMe)
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