Expecting To Fly

Album: Buffalo Springfield Again (1967)
Charted: 98
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • By the time Buffalo Springfield came to record their second album, Buffalo Springfield Again, they were less a group than a collection of individuals. Neil Young wrote and recorded this song using outside musicians rather than any other Springfield members. It was for all intents and purposes his first solo work.
  • The song is about the end of a longtime relationship. Young conveys his heartbreak at seeing his lover flying the coop and his struggles to move on. He sings of it taking until the following summer for his heartache to start healing.
  • Session arranger Jack Nitzsche provided the orchestral arrangement featuring a string section. Nitzsche would continue to work with Young on several of his solo projects, including Harvest.
  • Engineer Bruce Botnick recalled to Uncut magazine in 2021: "We recorded 'Expecting To Fly' at Sunset Sound. It was basically Neil and the Wrecking Crew. I think we had Carol Kaye on bass, Russ Tillman on rhythm, Hal Blaine on drums and Don Randi on piano. I was doing some work with Jack Nitzsche and he got me in. Jack came in with a full-blown track. I think Neil overdubbed the guitar because that was emotionally such a feel thing."
  • Cover versions include:

    Thirteen Senses as the B-side to their 2005 UK top 50 single "The Salt Wound Routine."

    Metric in 2011 for their iTunes Session EP.

    Of Montreal as a single in 2011.
  • The song plays on the soundtrack of several movies. They include:

    1978 Coming Home during a love scene between Jon Voight's disabled Vietnam vet and Jane Fonda.

    1998 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

    2015 Joy

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Eagles Lyrics Quiz

Eagles Lyrics QuizMusic Quiz

Lots of life lessons in these Eagles lyrics - can you match them to the correct song?

The Untold Story Of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine

The Untold Story Of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary MachineSong Writing

Fiona's highly-anticipated third album almost didn't make it. Here's how it finally came together after two years and a leak.

Grateful Dead Characters

Grateful Dead CharactersMusic Quiz

Many unusual folks appear in Grateful Dead songs. Can you identify them?

The Punk Photography of Chris Stein

The Punk Photography of Chris SteinSong Writing

Chris Stein of Blondie shares photos and stories from his book about the New York City punk scene.

Meshell Ndegeocello

Meshell NdegeocelloSongwriter Interviews

Meshell Ndegeocello talks about recording "Wild Night" with John Mellencamp, and explains why she shied away from the spotlight.

Lori McKenna

Lori McKennaSongwriter Interviews

Lori's songs have been recorded by Faith Hill and Sara Evans. She's performed on the CMAs and on Oprah. She also has five kids.