“Fly Like An Eagle” is an album released in 1976 by the Steve Miller Band. This was Miller’s ninth studio release and definitely his most famous. From soothing soul music to upbeat bluegrass, this album is very catchy and easy to listen to. This album ranked as high as number three on the charts, the highest ever for Miller, and helped start the most successful part of Steve Miller’s career.
The Steve Miller Band is a rock band that formed in 1966 in San Fransisco, California. Steve Miller is the lead guitarist and vocalist and has had many people come and go in the band. Bassist Lonnie Turner and drummer Gary Mallaber were a part of the band during the release of the album “Fly Like An Eagle.”
Around the time of the albums release, inflation was still a big problem in the United States and in other parts of the world. Jimmy Carter was elected president on this year over incumbent Gerald Ford which became known as one of the biggest upsets in the history of presidential elections in the United States. NASA released the Enterprise, the first ever space shuttle, to perform test flights. Another major event was the founding of Apple by Steve Jobs. Without the founding of Apple, the would of technology would be completely different today.
The album begins with an intro called “Space Intro.” There really is not much to say about it other than it’s roughly a minute of Miller playing the keyboard. The intro provides the listener with a form of anticipation as the notes keep getting higher and higher as it goes on. The first song of the album the title track. The title track is the song that shares its name with the album. So in this case, the title track is “Fly Like An Eagle.” This is a very slow that will put you in a relaxing mood. Miller echoes his voice throughout the songs creating a hook which helped make the song more catchy. This song eventually went on to be one of Millers most famous hits. “Wild Mountain Honey” is very similar to “Fly Like An Eagle” with its slow and soothing tune that Miller presents at the start of the album.
The light beating of the drums really stand out in this song which makes it sound like a song you would hear while relaxing on vacation. ‘Serenande” is a totally different song that the previous song. It is very upbeat and venturesome which makes this song a transition tune in the album. “Dance Dance Dance” is in a different category than the previous songs as it provides a bluegrass twist consisting of a lot of banjo. The lyrics of the song is also what you would look for in a typical bluegrass song. Hearing this song after the first four songs can be a little surprising because the lyrics and instruments make it seem like a completely different genre. “Mercury Blues” appears next in the album.
However, Miller is covering this song as it was originally produced by K. C. Douglas and Robert Geddins in 1948. It was a really popular song to cover at this time as Alan Jackson released his version of this song in 1992. Miller’s version is a lot more funky and upbeat than the original. This song fits well in the album as it provides a blues and R&B twist. “Take The Money And Run” was one of the more successful songs of the album. The bold guitar and drumming really provides a catchy and lively beat. “Rock’n Me” was another very successful song. The way Miller strums the guitar short and quick during the verses really stands out and is simple. Both the verses and the chorus are very catchy which helped this song gain popularity.
“You Send Me” helps bring the album back to where it started with its slow and relaxing tune. This song is another cover and was originally written by Sam Cooke. However, Millers version of the song turned out to be very unpopular. It is safe to say that Cooke sang this song a lot better than Miller. Cooke’s voice was a lot more catchy and Miller’s style doesn’t seem to fit in well with that particular song. “Sweet Marie” is not much like the other songs on this album. It has a funky harmonica and the guitar is very basic with only a few chords.
There isn’t much of a hook found anywhere in the song as it can sound pretty scattered leaving the listener with no idea of where to song is heading. It definitely wasn’t one of the more popular songs on this album. The final song of the album “The Widow” is another slow and soulful song. However, one may say it is a good representation of all of the types of songs in the album put into one song. Overall, it is a good song and is a great choice to put this at the end of the album.
Overall, I think the album is very nice and well rounded. Several of the songs in this album really helped with the success of the band. This is a great album to listen to, especially if your cruising down a road or to just spending time with friends in a relaxing environment. The most impressive feature in the album is Millers guitar playing. It really stands out over the other instruments and will keep impressing you throughout the songs.
The biggest thing I would change is having the songs last longer. Most of the songs are really short and it seems like it’s just getting started but it is actually almost over. I also believe some of the less popular songs can begin to become boring to the average listener but the bigger hits can make up for that issue. It is very rare for every song on an album to become a big hit. After thoroughly reviewing the album, I would definitely recommend this album and listen to it again.