Throwback Thursday – Early Edition – Joe Walsh’s The Smoker You Drink The Player You Get

(Note: because I will be out of town for the next couple of days I’m posting this one a day early – Enjoy!)


The year was 1973. As I was ‘m finishing up my junior year of high school and deciding which college to attend former James Gang lead guitarist and singer, Joe Walsh released a second album with his group Barnstorm which proved to be the band’s last combined effort. Though Walsh would continue to release other solo material and join the Eagles for the album 1976’s Hotel California, it was The Smoker You Drink The Player You Get was propelled into the Billboard hot 100’s top ten albums on the strength of commercial airplay for the single Rocky Mountain Way. The album also included Meadows, which was a minor hit that failed to break into the Top 40.

The album is memorable for me as it was the first that I played upon setting up my stereo system in my dorm room at Purdue University. I used it to test the speaker placement of my quadrophonic system. Released by ABC Dunhill Records the album was available in both Stereo and QS Quadrophonic. My receiver has a built in SQ/QS decoder for multiple channel playback. It was one of a half dozen albums I owned that was Quad compatible but always one of my favorites.

Within music circles Walsh was respected as a multi-instrumentalist. As a singer, songwriter and guitarists for the James Gang he had commercial success with several hits like Funk 49, Walk Away and Midnight Man but it wasn’t until he departed the group that he gained full recognition of his talents, reaching super star status.


On his 1978 album, But Seriously Folks, Walsh reflects on the craziest aspects of fame with the satirical lyrics of his hit single Life’s Been Good, a crowd favorite he performed live with the Eagles, four of whom appeared on the album. In the song he pokes fun at the Rock’n’Roll lifestyle, talking about tearing up hotel rooms and having accountants pay the bills, staying out late partying to the point of not being able to find the door, owning a Maserati that does 185 but losing his license and owning a really nice mansion that he’s never seen.

#JoeWalsh #Eagles #Barnstorm #JamesGang #RockyMountainWay #LifesBeenGood #70sMusic

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