Steve Miller Band: Fly Like an Eagle

MAY 1976 (36 YEARS AGO)
Steve Miller Band: Fly Like an Eagle is released.
# Allmusic 4.5/5 stars
# Rolling Stone (see original review below)
Fly Like an Eagle is the ninth studio album by the Steve Miller Band. The album was released in May 1976 by Capitol Records in North America and Mercury Records in Europe. In 2003, the album was ranked number 450 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. On an updated list in 2012, the magazine listed the album at number 445.
In 2006 the album was re-released to celebrate its 30th Anniversary. The CD is digitally remastered and includes three bonus tracks and a bonus DVD features a concert performance at Mountain View, California’s Shoreline Amphitheater in 2005 with over two hours of music in 5.1 Surround Sound. Guest musicians include George Thorogood and Joe Satriani. The DVD also features a lengthy interview with Steve Miller, archive footage, never-before-seen photographs, and early demo recordings.
Fly Like An Eagle may be the most complete and effective musical statement Steve Miller has ever made. Always enigmatic, always eclectic, Miller’s albums have usually been ill-fitting jigsaw puzzles, but in this latest album he puts all of his cards on the table, face up. The result is a full house of rock & roll.
As usual, Miller taps various genres such as the blues and straightforward rock, and, as usual, he’s lyrically preoccupied with mental and physical space. He pieces it all together with surprising simplicity.
A measure of how skillfully the songs have been constructed and arranged is the absence of any riff-based guitar solos. The approach here is raw, with rhythm guitar, bass and drums so completely to the point that a hot, flashy solo would seem gratuitous. In this context, the diversity of an album which contains the jaunty, pop-styled “Take the Money and Run,” the three-chord bliss of “Rock’n’Me” and the two riveting blues numbers, “Mercury Blues” and Sweet Maree” (the latter neatly enhanced by James Cotton’s harmonica) is that much more impressive.
There are echoes from a past in “Serenade,” a long, hypnotic track propelled by Gary Mallaber’s tense, smart drumming, “Wild Mountain Honey,” with its swirling electric sitar strains, and the dreamlike “The Window.” I’ve never doubted that Steve Miller could do anything he wanted musically. On Fly Like An Eagle, he does more than I could ever hope to ask for.
~ Billy Altman (July 15, 1976)
Side one
“Space Intro” (Steve Miller) – 1:15
“Fly Like an Eagle” (Miller) – 4:42
“Wild Mountain Honey” (Steve McCarty) – 4:51
“Serenade” (Miller, Chris McCarty) – 3:13
“Dance, Dance, Dance” (Miller, J. Cooper, Brenda Cooper) – 2:18
“Mercury Blues” (K. C. Douglas) – 3:30
Side two
“Take the Money and Run” (Miller) – 2:50
“Rock’n Me” (Miller) – 3:05
“You Send Me” (Sam Cooke) * – 2:42
“Blue Odyssey” (Miller) – 1:00
“Sweet Maree” (Miller) – 4:16
“The Window” (Miller, Jason Cooper) – 4:19


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