Fly Like An Eagle

Steve Miller Band

Capitol Records, 1976

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


1976 was a make-or-break year for Steve Miller. His last album, The Joker, had been released three years before, and he was finally making a return to the public eye after a health-related layoff. But with his return, many questions remained: Would Miller still have the magic that he produced with The Joker? Would Miller still be relevant to a changing music scene? Would people still remember Miller - or care about him?

The answers flooded in like the radio-friendly hits Miller created for the next few years. Fly Like An Eagle proved that Miller was still a viable and relevant musical force, and the Steve Miller Band returned to all their glory. No less than three hit singles came from this album, while other tracks were pulled for the eventual "greatest hits" package.

All of this said, I'm about to try and crack the silver lining of this cloud: While this album is quite good, it is not a perfect album, and is a bit of a letdown following my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 The Joker. (Hold off on your flame mails until you finish reading the review; if you still don't agree after that, then let's talk.)

For starters, there is no denying that some of the songs on Fly Like An Eagle are classics, and deserve to be revered in that fashion. Cuts like "Take The Money And Run," "Rock'n Me" and the title track all have not lost an ounce of their magic over the past two decades - even if "Fly Like An Eagle" is a little too trippy at times. (Obviously, it wasn't too bad for the U.S. Postal Service, who have made the song their new advertising jingle.)

Ironically, the best song on Fly Like An Eagle is one that, to the best of my knowledge, never made it to the singles bins. "Serenade" is a rocker that is a killer; with its infectious rhythms and guitar lines, as well as Miller's smooth-as-whiskey vocal delivery, this is a "coulda-shoulda-woulda" song, and one that is due for an unearthing by some classic rock station soon.

"Serenade," "Dance, Dance, Dance" and "Wild Mountain Honey" are all songs that eventually made it onto the Greatest Hits 1974-1978 collection, and each track is well worth the distinction. "Dance, Dance, Dance" is guaranteed to throw a curve ball at some listeners due to its country-fried flavor, but is a decent enough track that should get your foot tapping.

A good portion of the remainder of Fly Like An Eagle, unfortunately, is filler - though it's listenable filler, not like some of the effluvia groups stuff albums with. "You Send Me" would have been a more convincing cover had Miller not done a voice-over of pillow-talk, trying to coo his inamorata into a moment of abandon. (Maybe I'm just pissed that it never worked for me.) "Mercury Blues" is one track that I frankly cannot get into, and is the weakest link on this album's chain. "The Window" is a decent instrumental, while "Blue Odyssey"and "Sweet Marie" are passable, at best.

Fly Like An Eagle is still an album that is well worth your time to check out, but if you're looking for something that transcends the "best-of" collections, this one might not be worth your time. If, however, you want to go past what you hear on the radio and hear the artist, scars and all, then definitely add this one to your shopping cart.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Capitol Records, and is used for informational purposes only.