"Fly Like an Eagle"
Fly Like an Eagle by Steve Miller US vinyl A-side.png
One of A-side labels of US vinyl single
Single by Steve Miller Band
from the album Fly Like an Eagle
B-side"Lovin' Cup"
ReleasedAugust 13, 1976 (1976-08-13)[1]
Recorded1976
Length
  • 4:42 (album version)
  • 5:57 (album version with "Space Intro")
  • 3:00 (single version)
LabelCapitol
Songwriter(s)Steve Miller
Producer(s)Steve Miller
Steve Miller Band singles chronology
"Rock'n Me"
(1976)
"Fly Like an Eagle"
(1976)
"Jet Airliner"
(1977)
Music video
Space Intro/Fly Like an Eagle on YouTube

"Fly Like an Eagle" is a song written by Steve Miller for the album of the same name.[2] The song was released in the United Kingdom in August 1976 and in the United States in December 1976.[1] It went to number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart during the week of March 12, 1977. The single edit can be found on Greatest Hits (1974–1978). The song has an unusually mellow and "dreamy" feel. It is usually played in tandem with "Space Intro", but the song also segues into "Wild Mountain Honey".

History

The band first performed the song in 1973[3] while performing at New York City's Felt Forum on a bill with The Marshall Tucker Band, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells.[4]

An earlier 1973 version features a more bluesy and less funk-inspired rhythm, with the guitar taking the synthesizer parts (albeit with similar delay effects).[5] The lyrics are slightly different, indicating that the place the eagle wants to fly away from is a Native American reservation. The final, funk-inspired album version pays homage to "Slippin' into Darkness" by War (1971).

It was re-recorded for the eponymous album released in 1976.[3]

The intro riff was first used in a slightly different form on Miller's 1969 track "My Dark Hour" (which featured Paul McCartney).

Reception

The original Steve Miller Band version sold over one million copies.[6] The Seal version had sold over 300,000 units as of April 5, 1997.[7]

Billboard described the Steve Miller Band version as "uncharacteristically thoughtful, but rivetingly attention grabbing."[8] Cash Box said that the single edit "preserves the high points of the original while cutting the time just about in half."[9]

Personnel

Chart performance

Seal version

"Fly Like an Eagle"
Seal Fly Like an Eagle.jpg
Single by Seal
from the album Space Jam: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture
ReleasedDecember 6, 1996 (1996-12-06)[16]
Length4:14
Label
Songwriter(s)Steve Miller
Producer(s)Seal
Seal singles chronology
"Don't Cry" / "Prayer for the Dying"
(1995)
"Fly Like an Eagle"
(1996)
"Human Beings"
(1998)
Space Jam singles chronology
"Space Jam"
(1996)
"Fly Like an Eagle"
(1996)
"Hit 'Em High (The Monstars' Anthem)"
(1997)
Music video
Fly Like an Eagle on YouTube

Twenty years after Miller's original version, English singer Seal covered "Fly Like an Eagle" for the soundtrack to the 1996 film Space Jam, sampling Miller's original "Space Intro" parts in the song's chorus. This version peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 (Seal's final Hot 100 top 10 to date), number 13 on the UK Singles Chart, and number two on the Canadian RPM 100 chart.

According to Seal, the executive producer of the Space Jam soundtrack, Dominique Trenier, asked him to record it. D'Angelo, who was managed by Trenier, played keyboards on the song. Seal said that Steve Miller approved of the cover version and at one point called him "thanking me and saying that was the best cover of the song that he had heard."[17]

Critical reception

Matt Diehl from Entertainment Weekly gave the song an B, writing, "Aside from some funky scatting and a dash of hip-hop rhythm, the soul slickster doesn't add much to Steve Miller's '70s classic-rock classic. Seal does get points for good taste in cover material, though: The song's ethereal synthesizer squiggles, wah-wah guitars, and soaring chorus sound great in the '90s. The latest fast break on the charts from the Space Jam soundtrack, it's perfect music for Michael Jordan to slam to."[18]

Charts

Other cover versions

Additional information

References

  1. ^ a b c "Steve Miller Band – Fly Like an Eagle" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  2. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Archived from the original on February 12, 2012. Retrieved October 11, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Chicken Soup for the Soul: Piano Songbook. Hal Leonard. April 2010. ISBN 9781458483874. Retrieved November 22, 2016 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Sutherland, Sam (December 8, 1973). "Talent in Action: Steve Miller Band, Marshall Tucker Band, Buddy Guy & Junior Wells (Felt Forum, New York)". Billboard. pp. 18, 62. Retrieved November 22, 2016 – via Google Books. Page 18.
  5. ^ "Steve Miller Band - Fly Like An Eagle (live 1973 - with Greek subtitles)". YouTube. Retrieved October 11, 2016.
  6. ^ Leszczak, Bob (2014). Who Did It First? Great Rock and Roll Cover Songs and Their Original Artists. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 61. ISBN 9781442233225. Retrieved November 22, 2016 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ Sandiford-Waller, Theda (April 5, 1997). "Hot 100 Singles Spotlight". Billboard. p. 89. Retrieved November 22, 2016 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ "Top Single Picks" (PDF). Billboard. December 11, 1976. p. 60. Retrieved July 13, 2020.
  9. ^ "CashBox Singles Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. December 11, 1976. p. 17. Retrieved December 11, 2021.
  10. ^ [Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-2002]
  11. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 165.
  12. ^ "Top 100 1977-03-05". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
  13. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. July 17, 2013. Retrieved October 11, 2016.
  14. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1977/Top 100 Songs of 1977". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved October 11, 2016.
  15. ^ "Top 100 Year End Charts: 1977". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved July 16, 2015.
  16. ^ "Seal - Fly Like an Eagle".
  17. ^ "Seal – Fly Like an Eagle Lyrics". Genius. November 18, 2015. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
  18. ^ Diehl, Matt (October 1, 1997). "This Week: Music". Entertainment Weekly. Issue 361.
  19. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  20. ^ "Seal – Fly Like an Eagle" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  21. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9792." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  22. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 9788." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  23. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 14, no. 15. April 12, 1997. p. 13. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  24. ^ "Seal – Fly Like an Eagle" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  25. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (9.1. '97 – 15.1. '97)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). January 10, 1997. p. 16. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  26. ^ "Seal – Fly Like an Eagle". Top 40 Singles.
  27. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  28. ^ "Seal – Fly Like an Eagle". Swiss Singles Chart.
  29. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  30. ^ "Official Dance Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  31. ^ "Seal Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  32. ^ "Seal Chart History (Adult Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  33. ^ "Seal Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  34. ^ "Seal Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  35. ^ "Seal Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  36. ^ "Seal Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  37. ^ "Seal Chart History (Rhythmic)". Billboard. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  38. ^ "RPM '97 Year End Top 100 Hit Tracks". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  39. ^ "RPM '97 Year End Top 100 Adult Contemporary Tracks". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
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  43. ^ Reilly, Jim (August 20, 2010). "Rock Band 3 Set List Revealed - IGN". Ps3.ign.com. Retrieved October 11, 2016.
  44. ^ "Steve Miller's 'Fly Like an Eagle' Voted Best Song By Bird Lovers". Ultimateclassicrock.com. July 4, 2012. Retrieved October 11, 2016.