Monday Morning Music: Steve Miller Band, “Fly Like an Eagle”

Steve Miller has a lot of memorable and memorably flawed songs. The Joker invented the word “pompatus,” which remains undefined. Take the Money And Run rhymes “Texas” and “facts is.” Abracadabra rhymes “abracadabra” and “grab ya.” Jet Airliner has a non sequitur synthesizer intro that segues into an unadorned run through the rhythm track, as if trying to teach teen guitarists the chords before launching into the song itself.

But before we sum up Miller’s career as a classic party-rock guy (nothing wrong with that), we have one song that that stands out as a true work of art:

Musically, it’s an impressive fusion of blues guitar licks, a shuffle beat and synthesizers. The synths are necessary, not obtrusive, transforming the song into a dreamscape. It’s a fantasy, or perhaps a blues prayer.

And that’s the perfect setting for the lyrics, basically summing up Miller’s wishes to meet children’s needs and house the homeless.

It’s a beautiful song. And timeless. It’s as relevant today as it ever was.

The video is fairly typical 1970s stuff, filmed before people really explored what they could do with video. It has a couple of psychedelic effects and Miller laboring with a double-neck guitar for some reason. Feel free to shut your eyes.

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