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
Released18 June 1973 (1973-06-18) (U.S.)
September 1973 (1973-09) (U.K.)[1]
RecordedDuring late 1972 (1972) – Early 1973 (1973)
LabelABC-Dunhill (U.S. and U.K.)
Probe Records (Germany)
Joe Walsh chronology
The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get
So What

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]

Release history[edit]

In addition to the usual 2 channel stereo version this album was also released in a 4 channel quadraphonic edition on LP and 8 track tape. The quadraphonic LP is encoded using the QS Regular Matrix system.

Audio Fidelity reissued a limited 24-karat gold edition CD in 2009. This was followed in 2011 by a reissue in a Japan with a miniature replica of the original sleeve in the SHM-CD format.[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.


  • Joe Walsh – lead and backing vocals, guitars, keyboards, synthesizer
  • Kenny Passarelli – bass guitar, guitar, backing vocals, Lead Vocals (5)
  • Joe Vitale – drums, percussion, piano, keyboards, flute, backing vocals, Lead Vocals (2 and 8)
  • Rocke Grace – keyboards, backing vocals
Session musicians
  • Bill Szymczyk – engineering, Mixing
  • Mike Stone – engineering
  • Ronnie Alpert – engineering
  • Al Blazek – engineering
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.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^

External links[edit]