Fly Like an Eagle (song)

"Fly Like an Eagle" is a song written by Steve Miller for the album of the same name.[2] It 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".

"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"
Released13 August 1976[1]
  • 3:00 (single version)
  • 4:42 (album version)
Songwriter(s)Steve Miller
Producer(s)Steve Miller
Steve Miller Band singles chronology
"Rock'n Me"
"Fly Like an Eagle"
"Jet Airliner"


The band first performed the song in 1973[3] for the concert at New York City's Felt Forum venue with The Marshall Tucker Band, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells.[4] It was re-recorded for the eponymous album released in 1976.[3]

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).

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


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]


Chart performanceEdit

Seal versionEdit

"Fly Like an Eagle"
Single by Seal
from the album Space Jam: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture
ReleasedNovember 21, 1996 (1996-11-21)
RecordedSeptember 1996
Songwriter(s)Steve Miller
Producer(s)Seal; Rashad "Ringo" Smith (additional production)
Seal singles chronology
"Don't Cry" / "Prayer for the Dying"
"Fly Like an Eagle"
"Human Beings"

Twenty years after Miller's original version, 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 Seal's first (and, as of 2017, last) 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 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."[15]


Weekly chartsEdit

Chart (1997) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[16] 81
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[17] 7
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[18] 2
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[19] 4
Germany (Official German Charts)[20] 61
Iceland (Íslenski Listinn Topp 40)[21] 18
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[22] 29
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[23] 20
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[24] 38
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[25] 13
UK Dance (Official Charts Company)[26] 14
US Billboard Hot 100[27] 10
US Adult Alternative Songs (Billboard)[28] 14
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[29] 9
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[30] 7
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[31] 44
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[32] 12
US Rhythmic (Billboard)[33] 36

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (1997) Rank
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[34] 47
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[35] 36
US Billboard Hot 100[36] 79

Other cover versionsEdit

  • Biz Markie sampled the song in his 1986 song, "Nobody Beats the Biz", that was released on his debut album Goin' Off (1988).
  • EPMD sampled the song in the song, "You're A Customer", from the album Strictly Business (1988).
  • The British dance project Habit released a groovy version of the song as a single (1990) and on their album Precious (1991).
  • Vanilla Ice sampled the song on "Rollin' in My 5.0" (1991). Ice 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 her 1995 album, More Than a Melody.
  • 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.[37][38]
  • 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 (1999).
  • City High sampled the song in their unreleased remix of the song "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.
  • Part of the vocals was sampled by Nate Dogg in Xzibit's song "Been a Long Time" on the album Restless (2000).
  • Portugal. The Man covered the song for the French radio station Mouv'.

Additional informationEdit


  1. ^ "Steve Miller Band - Fly Like An Eagle" – via
  2. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-10-11.
  3. ^ a b Chicken Soup for the Soul: Piano Songbook. Hal Leonard. 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 2016-10-11.
  6. ^ Leszczak, Bob (2014). Who Did It First? Great Rock and Roll Cover Songs and Their Original Artists. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 61. 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. ^ " – Steve Miller Band – Fly Like an Eagle" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  9. ^ [Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-2002]
  10. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 165.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-07. Retrieved 2015-05-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-11.
  13. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1977/Top 100 Songs of 1977". Retrieved 2016-10-11.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-07-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Seal – Fly Like an Eagle Lyrics". Genius. 18 November 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  16. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  17. ^ " – Seal – Fly Like an Eagle" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  18. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9792." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  19. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 9788." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  20. ^ " – Seal – Fly Like an Eagle". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  21. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (9.1. '97 – 15.1. '97)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). January 10, 1997. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  22. ^ " – Seal – Fly Like an Eagle". Top 40 Singles.
  23. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  24. ^ " – Seal – Fly Like an Eagle". Swiss Singles Chart.
  25. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  26. ^ "Official Dance Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  27. ^ "Seal Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  28. ^ "Seal Chart History (Adult Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  29. ^ "Seal Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  30. ^ "Seal Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  31. ^ "Seal Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  32. ^ "Seal Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  33. ^ "Seal Chart History (Rhythmic)". Billboard. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  34. ^ "RPM '97 Year End Top 100 Hit Tracks". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  35. ^ "RPM '97 Year End Top 100 Adult Contemporary Tracks". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  36. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1997". Archived from the original on June 11, 2009. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
  37. ^ "Groovology overview".
  38. ^ "Groovology Ed Hamilton".
  39. ^ Reilly, Jim (2010-08-20). "Rock Band 3 Set List Revealed - IGN". Retrieved 2016-10-11.
  40. ^ "Steve Miller's 'Fly Like an Eagle' Voted Best Song By Bird Lovers". 2012-07-04. Retrieved 2016-10-11.