"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."
This is the album that proved to be Joe Walsh's commercial breakthrough, largely on the strength of two rock classics, one of the most beloved rock songs of the 1970s, "Rocky Mountain Way" and "Meadows".
Though the album's front cover credits only Walsh, Joe shares the vocals and songwriting with the three members of his band, Barnstorm: drummer/multi-instrumentalist Joe Vitale, bassist Kenny Passarelli, and keyboardist Rocke Grace. This isn't your typical 70's classic rock album with bass, drums, guitar and vocals - it is a masterful score covering so many moods from the dark "Wolf" to the bouncy "Happy Ways" to the breezy "Days Gone By".
Walsh's, "Rocky Mountain Way" vocal is way back in the mix, like he's already up where the air is rare. But his guitars are the real stars: the husky main riff, his powerful slide runs and that voice-box effect in the solo thar would later be used by Peter Frampton on his blockbuster, "Frampton Comes Alive".
The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get is essential for Joe Walsh fans, a superb album by anyone's standards. This album belongs in the Art Rock category - Walsh is the king of the tasty fill. He's a favorite of guitar heroes like Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Pete Townshend who once said, "I don't want to sound ridiculous, but Walsh is one of the guys I go nuts-rapturous about".