On June 27th, Capitol Records will release 30th Anniversary Edition Fly Like An Eagle by the Steve Miller Band. Fly Like An Eagle is one of the seminal rock albums of the 1970's and, thirty years hence, its hits are still staples at classic rock radio. The original album has been re-mastered for the CD and is presented in 5.1 Surround Sound on the accompanying DVD.
"With the Surround Sound mix, people will finally hear the album the way I originally intended it to be heard," says Miller, noting that it was originally recorded for quadraphonic sound systems. The DVD also contains an exclusive interview with Miller on the making of the record and a two-hour concert.
Filmed in September 2005 at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA, the concert footage was taken straight from the live recording made for the giant screen close-ups the night of the show. The result is an undoctored snapshot of the current day Steve Miller Band. Highlights include a 20-minute version of "Fly Like An Eagle" with guest guitarist Joe Satriani and appearances by George Thorogood, Paraguayan gypsy fiddler/harpist Carlos Reyes and classical composer Nolan Gasser, who accompanied Miller on piano for the Nat King Cole classic "Nature Boy."
To celebrate the release of this remarkable collectible package, which also features three previously unreleased bonus tracks, the Steve Miller Band will be launching a tour on May 25th in Sonoma, CA that will keep them on the road into November.
"We just love to play," says Miller. "This tour will be a blend of everything – we'll do our greatest hits, some acoustic stuff and we'll also be mixing in a lot of jazz and blues."
After the success of 1973's The Joker, the Steve Miller Band's first Platinum album, Miller took some time off and retreated to a home he had purchased on a remote hilltop in Marin County, outside Novato, CA, where he built a recording studio. It was there that he spent months scrupulously overdubbing Fly Like An Eagle and its successor, Book of Dreams. (The albums had been recorded at CBS Studios in San Francisco.)
Originally released in May of 1976 against the backdrop of America's bi-centennial celebration, Fly Like An Eagle proved to be a career-defining album for the Steve Miller Band. "Steve Miller had started to essay his classic sound with The Joker, but 1976's Fly Like an Eagle is where he took flight, creating his definitive slice of space blues," says allmusic.com critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine. With over four million albums sold to date, Fly Like An Eagle is the Steve Miller Band's biggest-selling studio album. It spent nearly two years on the Billboard 200, peaking at #3 and yielding the Top 40 singles "Rock 'N Me," which was the band's second #1 single (following 1973's "The Joker"), the title track, which reached #2 on the pop charts and #20 on the R&B charts, and "Take the Money and Run," which peaked at #11.
The three bonus tracks on the CD provide a revealing glimpse at the evolution of these songs, including an early, bluesy demo of "Fly Like An Eagle," recorded in 1973, a slow version of "Rock'n Me," recorded in 1976, and an acoustic version of "Take the Money and Run" sung over an early version of "The Joker." These "draft" versions offer clear insight into Miller's creative process and are the first fruits of archival work by former Steve Miller Band guitarist Dave Denny. Denny's task is an ambitious one for, as the DVD's compelling concert footage demonstrates, Miller is not an artist content to merely replicate his hits – through the decades, he and his band have continually experimented with the material, taking the songs to new heights.
Initially a fixture in San Francisco's "Summer of Love" scene as leader of the Steve Miller Band, the Texas-bred singer, songwriter and guitarist used his blues/rock roots to transcend the psychedelic trend and develop his own enduring sound. In the ensuing decades, Miller has toured consistently and seen his songs covered by artists as diverse as Smashing Pumpkins, deftones, Seal, Run-D.M.C. and k.d. lang. The band's Greatest Hits 1974-1978 has been certified 13-times Platinum. Cumulatively, the Steve Miller Band has sold 23.5 million records total since its 1968 Capitol debut, Children of the Future.
Upcoming tour dates are as follows:
Steve Miller Band – 2006 Tour Dates
5/25 Sonoma, CA Sonoma Jazz Plus, Field of Dreams Park
6/24 Murphys, CA Ironstone Amphitheatre
7/8 Muskegon, MI Muskegon Summer Celebration, Heritage Park
7/10 Lansing, MI Common Ground Festival, Adado Riverfront Park,
7/12 Walker, MN Moondance Jam 15, Hwy. 200 & Onigum Rd.
7/14 Costa Mesa, CA Orange County Fair & Expo, Pacific Amphitheatre
7/18 Highland Park, IL Ravinia Festival, Pavilion
7/21 Cheyenne, WY Cheyenne Frontier Days
7/22 Minot, ND North Dakota State Fair, Main Grandstand
8/3 Paso Robles, CA California Mid-State Fair
8/7 Sturgis, SD Rock'N The Rally, Glencoe Camp Resort
8/17 Danbury, CT Ives Concert Park
8/18 Augusta, ME Augusta Civic Center
8/19 Hyannis, MA Cape Code Melody Tent
8/20 Gilford, NH Meadowbrook Farm
8/23 Vienna, VA Wolf Trap/The Filene Center
8/25 & 26 Boston, MA Bank of America Pavilion
8/28 St. Paul, MN Minnesota State Fair
9/2 Kelseyville, CA Konocti Harbor
9/3 Salem, OR Oregon State Fair
9/16 Pierre, SD Vietnam Vet's Festival
9/17 Hutchinson, KS Kansas State Fair
9/29 Selma, TX Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
9/30 Houston, TX Cynthia Woods Pavilion
11/4 Phoenix, AZ Arizona State Fair
Additional dates to be announced.