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Fly Like An Eagle

by

Steve Miller Band



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

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." (thanks, Brad Wind - Miami, FL)
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, 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.
Steve Miller Band
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Comments (32):

On March 6th 1977, "Fly Like An Eagle" by the Steve Miller Band peaked at #2 (for 2 weeks) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it had entered the chart on December 12th, 1976 at position #73 and spent 20 weeks on the Top 100 (and for 6 of those 20 weeks it was on the Top 10)...
It also reached #2 on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart...
The two weeks it was at #2 on the Top 100; the #1 record for both those weeks was "Love Theme from 'A Star Is Born'" by Barbra Streisand...
Was track two of side one on the band's ninth studio album, 'Fly Like an Eagle', and the album peaked at #3 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart...
Two other tracks from the album also made the Top 100; "Take the Money and Run" (#11) and "Rock'n Me" (#1 for 1 week)...
Mr. Miller celebrated his 70th birthday five months ago on October 5th (2013).
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
Stevie gives us his brilliant solution to end poverty (although there are none): "the revolution". What revolution? The one in the Bible, kids. The world dictator who will arrive with answers to all the world's economic problems......socialism on a global scale......despite the fact that socialism goes against the laws of economics (perhaps after enough societies collapse, you libtards will learn, but I doubt it). Stevie, Stevie, Stevie.....I hope Satan (a musician himself) is rewarding you for being such a good little spokesman.
- Brian, Denver, CO
its totally,completely,for sure, right on, about drugs man..
- douglas , nowra, Australia
I don't think the song is about drugs at all though it is trippy sounding. I think joe is right on about that. Steve's a good guy and he was doing versions of this song way back in 1970 when i first saw him in phoenix. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Steve did acid back then but I can't think of one other song he did about drugs except for space cowboy maybe (that's debatable too) - it just wasn't his style . Steve's did do many songs about social injustice and this is just one more of them . Boz Skaggs was in his early bands and I don't remember him doing any drug songs either. I was a huge fan of his before he got famous because of this song and was glad to see him finally get some recognition after making 7 albums beforehand. Now I'm not gonna sit here and tell you i never did drugs myself but I think ppl who think this is a drug song probably did a few too many drugs themselves maybe and it's wishful thinking on their part. When I did acid back then I sure wasn't thinking about shoeing the children who don't have enough to eat - it was more like wow why is my 2nd toe longer than my big toe kinda stuff. A lot of people read way to much into songs and folks Paul McCartney's not dead either. Anyway regardless what it's about it's always fun to debate it.
- Art, mpls, MN
I think some of you are in denial assuming people might insult you or the song. This song clearly relates to drug use. Particularly drugs that make you hallucinate. Theres nothing wrong with accepting this fact. This was what was going on in the late 60s and early 70s. How is it that we all accept the fact that Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds is a euphemism for LSD but deny Fly Like an Eagle not being about the same thing? The psychedlic sound effects pretty much gives it away. And do we really want to fly like an eagle and let our spirits carry us? Thats how you feel on acid let me tell ya. Been there done that. Its doesnt take away the fact that its a great song because he is saying that he he just wants to get away from it all but at the same time help the less fortunate. Remember this song came out a few months after the Vietnam War ended but millions of Americans were distraught for the fact we never wanted this war and that close to a million lives were lost. That meant many many families broken, homeless, hungry, it was a really bad time. Steve Miller is a genius for this song and weather or not he himself takes acid, i dont care. He thought about the people who felt this way. Mainly the hippies. Good Job Steve!
- sam crespo, nyc, NY
"Threshold" is the instrumental introduction to "Jet Airliner" (basically the first verse without the vocals). It's fun to sing along to, if you know the words to the first verse. It's on a different album than "Space Intro/Fly Like an Eagle."
- Larry, Wayne, PA
An easy song to get lost in. Fact is the whole album is/was a tremendous work of art
- Billy, West Unity, OH
this song is awsome..come on everyone knows it is just flat out great. who agrees?
- William, Pheonix, AZ
This song isn't about doing drugs or tripping out. Its about helping people and reaching higher heights by feeling good about benefiting others. You have to be more open minded about things, not everything is about drugs.
- Christian, Charlotte, NC
I also like the space intro.They also used Seal's Fly Like an Eagle for Space Jam with Michael Jordan.
- Jennifer Harris, Grand Blanc, MI
I like both Steve Miller band and Seal's,but I like Seal's better.
- Jennifer Harris, Grand Blanc, MI
Steve Miller had been rockin hard since the sixties. He was now realizing that the important things of life are not just that you are rich and famous. It's is not about the getting, but what is to be done with it!
- ptheoc, Tulsa, OK
is this song about drugs ???????????? maybe , just maybe its a song about , soaring to new heights , reaching new endeavours , striving to be the best you can ...... just maybe
- pete, nowra, Australia
Gees! Some of you people gotta get off that druggie mind-set where you would find criptic references to drugs in church hymns!
- BobPape, Austin, TX
This song is definatly about being high
- Evan, Boston, MA
just to clear things up, space intro and threshold, are two totally different things.
- Hannah, Modesto, CA
Actually, I think that the "space intro" is called "Threshold"
- Tom, East Lyme, CT
I think this song is both about drugs and about revolution/reform. Time keeps on slippin' seems like an acid trip. But Fly on through the revolution, and the talk of feeding babies and houseing people on the street is saying theres a better way to do things than the current political system.
- Nate, PW
The song has nothing to do with drugs and the synthesizer was a cheap little toy. You can check my interviews with Steve on several OFF The RECORD programs. He learned his first guitar chords from Les Paul and learned his songwriting and performance crafts from the greatest bluesmen of the 50s & 60s.
- Joe, Los Angeles, CA
I think it's about the hippie lifestyle (a combination of what you guys are saying). Many Steve Miller songs were about hippies. This is a great song, Steve Millers best. Love the intro w/ synth.
- Johnny, Los Angeles, CA
You don't have to be on drugs, just kinda relaxed, almost asleep to feel the effects of this song. It almost feels like you're flying through space.
- Patrick, Tallapoosa, GA
Still waiting for the corroborative source of proof that this song is about anything except the unfulfilled needs of society...feeding hungry babies, housing homeless people, get shoes for barefoot children.
- Leah, Brooklyn, NY
For your information the song IS about drugs. Before you go saying it isn't do some research.
- Alex, Watertucky, MI
The synth in this song sounds like something out of Super Mario.
- Alex, Fort Mill, SC
I'm sure this song is about drugs. Tobacco, aspirin,
Coors....you name it.
- rob, vancouver, Canada
Yeah, it's a spirit song, I never took LSD, but I'm pretty sure your spirit doesn't carry you
- John, Boston, MA
I've always thought this song was about the eradication of poverty, and how we should act today to "feed the babies," etc. instead of wait for some later date, because we've allowed so much time to pass already without solving the problem.
- Sam, Champaign, IL
God! Some people think that every song has to be about drugs! This one definitely isn't! It's more of a spritual song to me.
- Stefanie magura, Rock Hill, SC
Do you people see a drug reference in every song????
Slippin'into the future is just a poetic descrition of what time does. Come off it, please.
- Martijn, Helmond, Netherlands
this song is about an acid trip. the line "time keeps on slippin..." describes the effects on lsd during its later stages.
- zain, richmond, Canada
the neville brothers have an excellent version of this song
- jordan, springfeild, AR
One of the most spaced out synth's were used in this song.
- Jason, monterrey, Mexico
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