Fly Like an Eagle (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Fly Like an Eagle"
Single by Steve Miller Band
from the album Fly Like an Eagle
B-side "Lovin' Cup"
Released December 1976
Recorded 1976
  • 3:00 (single version)
  • 4:42 (album version)
Label Capitol
Writer(s) Steve Miller
Producer(s) Steve Miller
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Steve Miller Band singles chronology
"Rock'n Me"
"Fly Like an Eagle"
"Jet Airliner"

"Fly Like an Eagle" is a song written by Steve Miller for the album of the same name.[1] The song went to number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart during the week of March 12, 1977, kept from the top spot by "Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born)" by Barbra Streisand. 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".


An earlier 1973 version of the song features a more bluesy and less funk-inspired rhythm, and guitar taking the synthesizer parts (albeit with similar delay effects).[2] The lyrics are slightly different, indicating that the place the eagle wants to fly away from is a Native American reservation.

The main guitar hook in the song was first used in a slightly different form on Miller's 1969 track "My Dark Hour" (which featured Paul McCartney).

Seal version[edit]

"Fly Like an Eagle"
Single by Seal
from the album Space Jam soundtrack
B-side "Instrumental"
Released November 21, 1996
Recorded September 1996
Length 4:14
Writer(s) Steve Miller
Producer(s) Rashad "Ringo" Smith
Seal singles chronology
"Don't Cry" / "Prayer for the Dying"
"Fly Like an Eagle"
"Human Beings"

British artist Seal covered "Fly Like an Eagle" for the Space Jam soundtrack, even sampling Miller's original "Space Intro" parts in the song's chorus. This version peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 13 on the UK Singles Chart and number two on the Canadian RPM 100 Chart. The single was his first top ten since 1995's "Kiss from a Rose".


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 has 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."[3]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1997) Position
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[4] 2
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[5] 13
US Billboard Hot 100[6] 10

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1997) Position
US Billboard Hot 100[7] 79

Other cover versions[edit]

The song was sampled by Vanilla Ice for his single "Rollin' in My 5.0". Ice has performed "Fly Like an Eagle" as a guest performer during Steve Miller Band shows.

The Neville Brothers covered this song on their album Family Groove in 1992. Steve Miller played some guitar parts on this version.

Religious gospel singer Yolanda Adams covered the song and did the medley from More Than a Melody recorded in 1995.

Polvo covered the song live, introducing it with 'This is a song about blatant localism'.

In 1998, guitarist Ed Hamilton covered the song from his album Groovology.[8][9]

American nu metal band Limp Bizkit reference the song's hook on their song "Crushed", which featured on the soundtrack of the film End of Days.

City High sampled the song in their unreleased remix of the City High Anthem in 2002.

Phish covered the song at its New Year's Eve show in the early minutes of January 1, 2013.

Lord Finesse sampled this track.

A part of the vocals was sampled by Nate Dogg in Xzibit's song "Been a Long Time".

Biz Markie samples the song in his 1986 song, "Nobody Beats the Biz".

Portugal. The Man covered the song for the French radio station Mouv'.

Additional information[edit]

The song has also been used in advertisements by the United States Postal Service from 1998 to 2002, using the "Eagle" logo.[citation needed]

The song is featured as a playable song in Rock Band 3.[10]

In 2012, "Fly Like an Eagle" was chosen as "the best-ever song about birds" by Birds & Blooms magazine. "We’re not at all surprised by the popularity of Steve Miller's Fly Like An Eagle with our readers," said Birds & Blooms' editor Stacy Tornio in a press release. "It’s an iconic song for the iconic American bird." Other notable songs on the Birds & Blooms list were Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird" and the Beatles' "Blackbird".[11] Osbourn High School (Manassas, Virginia) has used this song for their warning bell.

The synthesizer ending and subsequent faint beeping (at the song's closing) were both used in severe weather warnings by WFLD, a television station in Chicago. [12]

The name of the Futurama episode "Time Keeps On Slippin'" comes from a line in the song.


  1. ^ Steve Miller, Fast Focus interview:
  2. ^ Steve Miller Band - Fly Like An Eagle, live 1973 -
  3. ^ "Seal – Fly Like an Eagle Lyrics". Genius. 18 November 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  4. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 64, No. 22, January 27 1997" [1] (Retrieved July 28, 2015)
  5. ^ "Seal: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company.
  6. ^ "Seal – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Seal.
  7. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1997". Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  8. ^ "Groovology overview". 
  9. ^ "Groovology Ed Hamilton". 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Steve Miller’s ‘Fly Like an Eagle’ Voted Best Song By Bird Lovers
  12. ^ WFLD Channel 32 - Weather Alert (1978?)