The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get

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The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get
Joe Walsh - The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get.jpg
Studio album by Joe Walsh
Released 18 June 1973 (1973-06-18) (U.S.)
September 1973 (1973-09) (U.K.)[1]
Recorded During late 1972 (1972) – Early 1973 (1973)
Length 35:44
Label ABC-Dunhill (U.S. and U.K.)
Probe Records (Germany)
Joe Walsh chronology
The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get
So What
(1974)So What1974

The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get is the second studio album by the American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joe Walsh. The album was released in 1973, on the label ABC-Dunhill in the United States, and United Kingdom, and it was also released on Probe Records in Germany. It proved to be his commercial breakthrough, largely on the strength of the Top 40 hit single, "Rocky Mountain Way", which helped propel the album into the Top 10.

On this album, Walsh shares the vocals and songwriting with the other three members of Barnstorm, drummer/multi-instrumentalist Joe Vitale, bassist Kenny Passarelli, and new member, keyboardist Rocke Grace. As a result, a variety of styles are explored on this album. There are elements of blues, jazz, folk, pop, and even Caribbean music.

The title is a play on words "The higher you get the better you play!"[citation needed] After the success of this album, Barnstorm disbanded, and Walsh continued making albums as a solo artist.

Cover artwork[edit]

The cover art for the album features a British Sopwith Snipe fighter with French colours, that appears to be flying upside down (sky blue is at the bottom; brown ground is at the top).

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars [2]

Writing retrospectively for AllMusic, critic Ben Davies wrote of the album "Walsh's ability to swing wildly from one end of the rock scale to the other is unparalleled and makes for an album to suit many tastes... [it] features some of the most remembered Joe Walsh tracks, but it's not just these that make the album a success. Each of the nine tracks is a song to be proud of. This is a superb album by anyone's standards."[2]

2009 reissue[edit]

In 2009, Audio Fidelity reissued a limited & numbered remastered CD on 24-karat gold.

2011 reissue[edit]

On December 29, 2011, the original mix of the album was reissued in Japan in a miniature replica of the original album artwork. The album was remastered using Direct Stream Digital (DSD) to transfer the digital files. The release was a limited edition in the SHM-CD format. The reissue included a picture of the original vinyl label.[3]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Joe Walsh, except where noted.

1."Rocky Mountain Way"Joe Walsh, Joe Vitale, Kenny Passarelli, Rocke Grace5:15
2."Book Ends"Vitale2:45
3."Wolf" 3:09
4."Midnight Moodies"Grace3:39
5."Happy Ways"Passarelli, Bernard Zoloth2:40
6."Meadows" 4:36
7."Dreams" 5:50
8."Days Gone By"Vitale5:54
9."Day Dream (Prayer)" 1:56
Total length:35:44

Different versions of the album have various spellings for two of the tracks. "(Day Dream) Prayer" is spelled "Daydream (Prayer)" on the CD versions, and "Book Ends" is spelled as "Bookends" on some other releases.

Quadraphonic release[edit]

This LP had a stereo release as well as a quadraphonic release. The quadraphonic sound information on the quad LP is matrix encoded using the QS matrix system, and can be extracted by any receiver with a built in QS decoder. It was also released as a discrete 4 channel 8 track tape.


Session musicians
Album Artwork


AlbumBillboard (United States)

Year Chart Position
1973 Pop Albums 6

Singles – Billboard (United States)

Year Single Chart Position
1973 "Rocky Mountain Way" Pop Singles 23
1974 "Meadows" Pop Singles 89


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Martin C. Strong, The Great Rock Discography, Random House, Inc., New York NY, 1998, p. 900
  2. ^ a b Davies, Ben. "The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved July 9, 2011. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 6, 2013. Retrieved August 27, 2009. 
  5. ^

External links[edit]