Joe Walsh - The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get

Joe Walsh - The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get

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Studio album by Joe Walsh
Released 18 June 1973 (U.S.)
September 1973 (U.K.)
Recorded During late 1972 – Early 1973
  • Rock
  • hard rock
  • blues rock
Length 35:44
Label ABC-Dunhill (U.S. and U.K.)
Probe Records (G.E. only)
  • Joe Walsh
  • Bill Szymczyk
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 Passerelli, and the 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.

After the success of this album, Barnstorm disbanded, and Walsh continued making albums as a solo artist.


Cover Artwork

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

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars

Writing 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."

Track listing

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

No. Title Length  
1. "Rocky Mountain Way" (Joe Walsh, Joe Vitale, Kenny Passarelli, Rocke Grace) 5:15
2. "Book Ends" (Vitale) 2:45
3. "Wolf"   3:09
4. "Midnight Moodies" (Grace) 3:39
5. "Happy Ways" (Passarelli, Bernard Zoloth) 2:40
6. "Meadows"   4:36
7. "Dreams"   5:50
8. "Days Gone By" (Vitale) 5:54
9. "Day Dream (Prayer)"   1:56
Total length:


Quadraphonic release

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.


  • Joe Walsh – Lead vocals, lead guitars, synthesizer, bass guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Kenny Passarelli – Bass guitar, guitar, backing vocals
  • Joe Vitale – Drums, percussion, piano, keyboards, electric piano, flute, backing vocals
  • Rocke Grace – Keyboards, backing vocals
Session musicians
  • Joe Lala – Percussion
  • Venetta Fields – Backing vocals
  • Clyde King – Backing vocals
  • Joe Walsh – Record producer
  • Bill Szymczyk – Record producer
  • Bill Szymczyk – Engineering, Mixing
  • Mike "Clay" Stone – Engineering
  • Ronnie Alpert – Engineering
  • Al Blazek – Engineering
Album Artwork
  • Jimmy Wachtel – Album design
  • Bob Jenkins – Photography


Album – Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1973 Pop Albums 6

Singles – Billboard (North America)

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


  • UK-Silver
  • US-Gold


Joe Walsh - The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get

UK ABC ABCL 5033 stereo (1973)

Album produced by Joe Walsh and Bill Szymczyk.

The vinyl record attains a strong excellent grading.

Audio quality is very clear and strong throughout.

Both record centre labels are clean and unmarked.

The albums hinged cover is in excellent condition, displaying only minimal signs of wear.

The album cover has a strong hinge and undamaged spine.

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