Barry Black - drums; Bob Marshall - bass,; John Miles - guitar, piano, keyboards, vocals; Gary Moberley - keyboards
Although he never saw the success in the U.S. that he had in the mid-1970s in the U.K., singer/songwriter/guitarist John Miles had a pretty good run stateside around the time this show was recorded at the Bottom Line in New York in the spring of 1977. Miles was returning to the U.S. for this tour after releasing his second solo disc, Stranger In The City. Recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour (he had appeared the year prior while promoting 1976's Rebel LP), Miles gives a high-energy performance, accented by the exceptional musicianship of his band.
Musically, he falls somewhere between the symphonic rock of Electric Light Orchestra, the Moody Blues, or Tumbleweed Connection-era Elton John, with the syncopated rhythms and guitar riffs of the Peter Green-period Fleetwood Mac (circa, "Oh Well Pt.1"). This is apparent on songs like "Music," which was a Top 5 hit in the U.K., and received considerable FM airplay in States.
Complicated songs such as "Pull The Damn Thing Down," which features different moods, textures, meters, and chord progressions, fits comfortably against simple pop fare such as "High Fly," his follow-up single to "Music." In all, it is a well-paced show that positions Miles as an extremely radio-friendly artist. Miles encores with his own version of "Roll Over Beethoven" (which borrows heavily from the ELO version), and the title track of the new album, Stranger In The City, which is unfortunately incomplete.
Miles continued as a solo artist through most of the '80s and also appeared as a guest on albums by Jimmy Page, Joe Cocker, and several others. In 1987, he was hired as musical director for Tina Turner, where he remained until she stopped touring at the turn of the millennium. Although he kept a relatively low profile as a solo artist during this decade, he did resume his role with Turner when the sultry singer returned to the stage in 2008.