A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that it was the mid-'70s, so expect some low-level sex, drug, and crime references here. But Fly Like an Eagle is arguably Steve Miller's masterpiece, an enduring classic of rock 'n' roll, with Miller and the band in top form. Many an adolescent boy credited this album with giving him the strength to survive high school back in the day.
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What's the story?
Steve Miller's most commercially successful album when it came out in 1976, Fly Like an Eagle is a perfect snapshot of the era, delivering some of its most notable conventions -- outlaws on the run, space rock, hippie-dippy sweetness -- with force and skill in classic tracks \"Take the Money and Run,\" \"Fly Like an Eagle,\" \"Wild Mountain Honey.\" Blues, rock, synths, and power chords directed where they'll do the most good; especially irresistible to teen boys of the era, and surviving on radio today.
Is it any good?
Musically, Miller's at the height of his powers here, and the band's firing on all cylinders. Many of the tracks are enduring classics, and each of the others is appealing on its own merit (e.g. the cover versions of "Mercury Blues" and "You Send Me"). As a lyricist Miller sometimes falls a bit short; while his verses are well suited to rockers, his attempts to impart philosophical wisdom sometimes result in howlers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why the theme of space seems to run through so many of the songs on this album. What was happening with space at the time? What other songs did Steve Miller write about space?
Why do you think the theme of outlaws -- as in "Take the Money and Run" -- is so popular in music? What other songs about outlaws can you think of, and how do they turn out?
Looking at the world's problems that Miller sees in "Fly Like an Eagle," do you think things have changed much since 1976?
Do you think this style of music still sounds good today, or is it too old-fashioned for you?
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