|Italian X Rays|
|Produced by Steve Miller, Byron Allred, Kenny Lee Lewis, Gary Mallaber|
|Released on November 1984|
|US CHART POSITION #106|
|Find it at GEMM|
[high resolution photo]
T he shrouded, synthesizer-heavy sound of Abracadabra none too magically reappeared on Italian X-Rays. At this juncture, you could argue that Steve Miller Band had lived beyond their utility. Miller’s muse is a simple one, best served by a catchy guitar riff and his folksy/mystical voice. Italian X Rays is determined to complicate things with instrumental interludes and then-clever studio effects (“Italian X Rays,” “Bongo Bongo”). Today, it hasn’t aged much better than the contemporary work of J. Geils Band and ELO. Byron Allred, playing Richard Tandy to Miller’s Jeff Lynne, finds his voice on the lovely “Daybreak” (which should have been expanded into a song) but otherwise provides crusty instrumentals around the meat of the matter. In the middle you’ll find Miller torn between his laidback persona and a desire to turn his modest melodies into quirky, hyperactive creations. Sometimes, as on the title track, the effect is no less interesting than “Abracadabra.” Other times (“Bongo Bongo,” “Shangri-La”), confusion results, as you wonder whether Miller overestimated or underestimated the material. When he keeps things basic (“One In A Million,” “Who Do You Love”), Miller can still be mildly charming. What’s missing most of the time is the music’s soul; “Out of the Night” is nothing but a tired exercise, “The Hollywood Dream” no better. In fact, the track on here with the most energy is “Golden Opportunity,” the one song on Italian X Rays not credited to Steve Miller. Maybe Miller was tired of making music; this album certainly sounds like it. If Abracadabra impressed you, Italian X Rays might likewise do the trick. However, it’s one of their least popular records for a reason, little more than a footnote in a storied career.
|SJ-12339 back cover||SJ-12339 lyric sleeve|
BYRON ALLRED -- keyboards
KENNY LEE LEWIS -- bass & guitars
GARY MALLABER -- drums & percussion
STEVE MILLER -- vocals, guitars & keyboards
David Cole -- engineer
Tommy Steele -- design
Tim Clark -- art
Nels Israelson -- photo
return to STEVE MILLER BAND discography
|REGION||RELEASE DATE||LABEL||MEDIA||ID NUMBER||FEATURES|
|US||November 1984||Capitol||LP||SJ-12339||lyric sleeve|
|UK/AUS'L||November 1984||Mercury||LP/CD||822 823|
|UK||May 2, 2005||Eagle||CD||EAMCD 045||digital remaster|
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