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Live! Breaking Ground
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Live! Breaking Ground

Documenting the exciting period when the Steve Miller Band ascended to playing arenas, and professionally recorded in Landover, MD, “Live! Breaking Ground: August 3, 1977” captures a 17-song concert staged in support of the blockbuster albums “Fly Like an Eagle” and “Book of Dreams.”

A Journeyman Owns His Moment

  • Steve Miller ascends from blues clubs to the top of the charts in the mid-’70s

  • The musicians who have played with Miller could form a supergroup (or two)

  • “Greatest Hits 1974-78” is in good company with other mega-selling collections

In this Collection

Story

Popping the Lid Open on Arena Rock

In the summer of 1977, Steve Miller was riding the crest of his fame. His just-issued album, “Book of Dreams,” was well on its way to becoming the third biggest-selling album of the year, driven by a trio of Top 10 hits, culminating with “Jet Airliner.” By any measure, he was a mainstream pop star ready to own the moment. 

Story

Steve Miller’s Long Journey to the Top

As the disco era was taking off and punk was bubbling up from the underground, Steve Miller was in his mid-30s, a time when many rock guitarists from the ‘60s were struggling to stay relevant. Yet instead of fading away, Miller enjoyed his greatest success with back-to-back albums, “Fly Like an Eagle” (1976) and “Book of Dreams” (1977), that sold more than 7 million copies combined. In 1978, his “Greatest Hits 1974-78,” with 13 of its 14 tracks drawn from those two albums, went on to sell a whopping 14 million copies. 

Timeline

Six Degrees of Separation

The Steve Miller Band (SMB) has acted as a magnet for first-rate talent for more than five decades. While the namesake vocalist-guitarist has remained the focal point, many of his collaborators claim impressive resumes of their own. Here are 11 musicians — members and guests alike — whose histories seem to establish six degrees of separation with the broader music community.

Film

Exclusive Interview with Steve Miller

“Live! Breaking Ground” is more than a great ’77 show. In a revealing interview, Steve Miller discusses the era leading up to and surrounding the concert, and how the commercially successful run impacted him for the remainder of his career.

Playlist

'Breaking Ground': The Setlist

At the 1977 concert documented on “Live! Breaking Ground,” Steve Miller took the stage as a hit machine who also had a deep catalog of songs from which to draw, stretching back a decade. Here’s a look at his career-spanning set on Aug. 3, 1977, in Landover, Md.

Timeline

Playing the Hits

The cover of the Steve Miller Band’s “Greatest Hits 1974-78” — an illustration of a horse with a fiery mane and sparkling eye against a cool-blue backdrop — is burned in the minds of generations whose familiarity with the group’s music came by way of the album. Though featuring songs from just three of the band’s 11 records released at the time, the 14-times-platinum set represents the artist about as well as any studio LP. Here are 10 other mega-selling greatest-hits collections that performed similar roles and made lasting connections.

Other Collections

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