The Joker is the eighth studio album by Steve Miller Band. The album was recorded at Capitol Studios and released Capitol Records in October 1973. The album marked a period of significant change for the group as the band abandoned their psychedelic-oriented music for a more melodic, smooth rock/blues sound. Perhaps not coincidentally, it was also their first solid commercial success due to the strong radio-play of the title track. The title track took 19 days to record. The album reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and has been certified Platinum in the United States. It reached No. 1 on the Cash Box Albums Charts on January 8, 1974.
The artwork of the album is also considered amongst the greatest; for example Rolling Stone would later rank it as one of the "Top 100 Album Covers Of All Time".
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic rated The Joker three out of five stars, calling it "all bright and fun, occasionally truly silly". He also stated that it "isn't mind-expanding", but concluded by saying that it "nevertheless maintains its good-time vibe so well that it's hard not to smile along...provided you're on the same wavelength as Miller, of course."