The Steve Miller Band: “My Dark Hour” (1969)

The song that teaches us, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade with Paul McCartney.

Kronomyth 3.1: Ram on, give your art to somebody.

This song served as a kind of test flight for the guitar riff to “Fly Like an Eagle.” It’s otherwise famous for the guest appearance of Paul Ramon, a.k.a. Paul McCartney, who plays bass, guitar, drums and adds backing vocals to the track. (McCartney would use the pseudonymous sobriquet as the title of his second album, Ram.) My Dark Hour is one of the most memorable moments from Steve Miller Band’s third album, Brave New World. There’s a certain raw energy to it that reminds me of McCartney’s more rockin’ bits from his early albums (e.g., “Momma Miss America.”)

For the B side, Capitol chose a pair of tracks from his second album: Song for Our Ancestors (which appears in a slightly edited form) or, for the French single, Dear Mary. The former is an instrumental song that perfectly set the stage for Sailor but doesn’t make a perfect complement to “My Dark Hour,” while the latter extends the Macca vibe with what sounds like Miller’s interpretation of “For No One.”

Original 7-inch single version

A1. My Dark Hour (Steve Miller) (3:06)
B1. Song for Our Ancestors (Steve Miller) (5:00)

Original 7-inch single version (France)
A1. My Dark Hour (Steve Miller) (3:09)
B1. Dear Mary (Steve Miller) (3:35)

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single in July 1969 in the UK (Capitol, CL-15604), France (Capitol, 2C 006-10.348 M) and Germany (Capitol, 1C006-90283) with regional picture sleeve. Also released as promotional 7-inch single in 1969 in the US (Capitol, P-2520).

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