Born 2B Blue

Steve Miller

Capitol, 1988

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Born 2B Blue was a unique stop for Steve Miller in that it remains the only album attributed just to him alone and not to the Steve Miller Band.  Did this fact make a difference? The answer to that question may not be answerable, but it was nevertheless one of the weaker efforts of his career. It may have been a solo album, but Miller brought in some familiar faces as supporting musicians, including bassist Billy Peterson, keyboardist Ben Sidran, saxophonist Bob Malach, keyboardist Ricky Peterson, and drummer Gordy Knutson.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Miller had produced some of the finest psychedelic rock and pop/rock albums of his era, selling tens of millions of copies along the way. Born 2B Blue was neither; it crossed over into the easy listening/jazz medium with some homogenized pop thrown in for good measure.

The choice of songs was far removed from what one would expect from Miller and while the results were varied, none came close to equaling his best work. He did seem to have had a vision when choosing the material as the songs sort of fit together. Unfortunately, they did not fit him very well.

The best of the lot is a subtle interpretation of the Billie Holiday blues standard, “God Bless The Child” and a jazz laden vocal on “Willow Weep For Me.” He also provides an acceptable vocal of Ray Charles’ “Mary Ann” and Lee Dorsey’s “Ya Ya,” but neither have the energy and passion of the originals.

On the other hand, his covers of “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” “Born To Be Blue,” and “When Sunny Gets Blue” are at best bland and at worst find an artist just going through the motions.

In the final analysis, there is a sameness to the music and when this unites with the overly mellow nature of the album, you have one of the more forgettable albums of Miller’s career.  Miller has a huge fan base and no doubt there are some fans who appreciate this album, but it is only for the hardcore Miller aficionado.

Rating: D

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