The Joker – Steve Miller Band | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1); 1974

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Although Steve Miller was one of rockdom’s least known stars in 1974, he had already amassed a formidable resume. In his teens he had played in a Texas R&B band that featured Boz Scaggs. The two continued their all-out musical assault at the University of Wisconsin, then temporarily parted ways. Miller teamed up with Barry Goldberg before starting his own band in San Francisco, where he was once again joined by Scaggs. After a couple of LPs, Boz went solo while Steve soldiered on with his Steve Miller Band. Five respectably-selling albums and no hit singles later, Steve sat down to consciously create a Top 40 slice of vinyl. The result he called The Joker. Steve was still unconvinced about The Joker‘s chances, however, the record company gang put their money on it, so that was that. The Joker not only laughed all the way to #1, it boosted the accompanying album to #2, handily besting Steve’s previous high-water LP chart mark of #22.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Steve Miller

Lyrics Written by:

  • Eddie Curtis
  • Ahmet Ertegun
  • Steve Miller