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Album: Fly Like An EagleReleased: 1976Charted:
The Steve Miller Band is often considered a jam band, and Miller gives this song as an example why. In a 2008 interview to promote his Live In Chicago
DVD, he said: "'Fly Like An Eagle' is always about 12 minutes long (in concert). We have always built our recordings so they have room for spontaneity. My Jazz and Blues influence is what started us as a Jam Band originally. 'Fly Like An Eagle' was developed over a period of time as a jam. To me it's much more interesting to see a musician be spontaneous than it is to see someone perform perfectly something they do note for note the same way every night."
The song begins with a 1:14 instrumental section called "Space Intro" on the original 1976 album, which made the whole piece two separate tracks. On some Greatest Hits releases, it shows up as one song. Some radio stations play both "Space Intro" and "Fly Like An Eagle" as one song. (thanks, Jim - Oxnard, CA)
The guitar work was cloned from earlier Steve Miller song, "My Dark Hour."
The synthesizer used for "Space Intro" was purchased by Miller at a local music store, reported to be "The trashiest synthesizer in the store", and costing only $190. (thanks, Justen - San Jose, CA)
Seal covered this song, incorporating a bit of his hit "Crazy
" in the lyrics. His version was used in the 1996 movie Space Jam
, starring Michael Jordan. Seal's cover reached #13 in the UK and #10 in the US.
The US Postal Service used this in some of their commercials. Their logo is an eagle.
Miller wrote and recorded most of his albums Fly Like An Eagle and Book of Dreams (1977) in the same sessions from 1975-1976. After taking a year off, he got together with his drummer Gary Malliber and bass player Lonnie Turner, and they worked up about 25 songs in less than two weeks. Over the next 18 months, Miller worked on them at his home studio, doing vocals and arrangements. Both albums were ready in 1976, but Book of Dreams was held back a year.