Saturday, December 11, 1976

Steve Miller Band “Fly Like an Eagle” charted

Fly Like an Eagle

Steve Miller Band

Writer(s): Steve Miller (see lyrics here)

Released: August 13, 1976

First Charted: December 11, 1976

Peak: 2 BB, 3 CB, 5 GR, 5 HR, 4 RR, 38 AC, 1 CL, 2 CN, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 14.8 video, 146.05 streaming

Awards (Steve Miller Band):

Click on award for more details.

Awards (Seal):

About the Song:

The Steve Miller Band was formed by its namesake I 1966 in San Francisco. They appeared at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967 and released their first album, Children of the Future, in 1968. Their real breakthrough, however, came in 1973 with The Joker, which reached #2 on the album chart and went platinum. It sparked the #1 tile cut which went five times platinum.

It set them up for the even more successful Fly Like an Eagle in 1976. It reached #3 and sold four million copies. Lead single “Take the Money and Run” hit #11 and “Rock ‘N’ Me” topped the charts. The album, however, is “dominated by its title track, all bubbling synths and breathy boys, while everything percolates furiously beneath.” DT “Fly Like an Eagle” just missed out on the top spot, peaking at #2, but was the album’s only gold single.

Miller said, “Originally, I wrote the lyrics as a political statement. The words were from the perspective of Native Americans and the despair they felt, especially after the Wounded Knee standoff with law enforcement earlier that year.” MM He continued, saying, “As I sang the song on the road, I came up with new lyrics and kept the ones I like best. At some point on tour, I broadened the lyrics’ focus, replacing ‘reservation’ with ‘revolution.’ I wanted to make the song’s message more universal.” MM

When it came time to record the song, he lifted some of the guitar work from his own song “My Dark Hour.” He still thought “it needed more dimension and texture” MM so he picked up a cheap synthesizer. He created effects “that felt like an eagle taking off and flying.” MM He later “added the spacey overdubs…[and] the song sounded just right.” MM On the album, the minute-long instrumental is listed as a separate song, “Space Intro.” The two are often played together on the radio. SF

In 1996, Seal covered the song for the movie Space Jam and reached #10 on the Billboard Hot 100.


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First posted 10/2/2023.

Wednesday, December 8, 1976

The Eagles released Hotel California

Hotel California


Released: December 8, 1976

Charted: December 25, 1976

Peak: 18 US, 2 UK, 14 CN, 112 AU

Sales (in millions): 26.0 US, 1.8 UK, 32.33 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classic rock

Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. Hotel California (Don Henley/Glenn Frey/Don Felder) [6:30] (2/22/77, 1 US, 1 CB, 1 HR, 1 RR, 10 AC, 1 CL, 8 UK, 1 CN, 60 AU)
  2. New Kid in Town (Don Henley/Glenn Frey/J.D. Souther) [5:04] (12/11/76, 1 US, 2 CB, 3 HR, 1 RR, 2 AC, 43 CW, 1 CL, 20 UK, 1 CN, 16 AU)
  3. Life in the Fast Lane (Don Henley/Glenn Frey/Joe Walsh) [4:46] (5/13/77, 11 US, 11 CB, 16 HR, 7 RR, 1 CL, 12 CN, 96 AU)
  4. Wasted Time (Don Henley/Glenn Frey) [4:55] (20 CL)
  5. Wasted Time (Reprise) (Don Henley/Glenn Frey/Jim Ed Norman) [1:22]
  6. Victim of Love (Don Henley/Glenn Frey/Don Felder/J.D. Souther) [4:11] (6 CL)
  7. Pretty Maids All in a Row (Joe Walsh/Joe Vitale) [4:05] (47 CL)
  8. Try and Love Again (Randy Meisner) [5:10] (47 CL)
  9. The Last Resort (Don Henley/Glenn Frey) [7:25] (11 CL)

Total Running Time: 43:28

The Players:

  • Don Henley (vocals, drums, percussion)
  • Glenn Frey (vocals, guitars, keyboards)
  • Don Felder (guitar, backing vocals)
  • Randy Meisner (bass, vocals)
  • Joe Walsh (guitar, keyboards, vocals)


4.344 out of 5.00 (average of 23 ratings)

Quotable:Hotel California unveiled…a band…that made music worthy of the later tag of ‘classic rock’” – William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Hotel California proved a major milestone for the already immensely popular Eagles. The band’s sound had previously been rooted in country rock. They didn’t abandon that sound, as evidenced by lead single and #1 hit New Kid in Town – but in the eighteen months between the release of their 1975 album One of These Nights and Hotel California in 1976, they made “a stylistic shift toward mainstream rock.” WR

The Eagles reportedly spent eight months in the studio recording. With “changes in producer and personnel, as well as a noticeable growth in creativity, Hotel California unveiled what seemed almost like a whole new band. It was a band that could be bombastic, but also one that made music worthy of the later tag of ‘classic rock,’ music appropriate for the arenas and stadiums the band was playing.” WR “Early on, the group couldn’t rock convincingly;” WR they “never seemed to get a sound big enough for their ambitions.” WR However, the departure of Benie Leadon, “who had given the band much of its country flavor,” WR and the pairing of new arrival Joe Walsh with guitarist Don Felder gave the band more “arena-rock heft.” WR

Nowhere is that stylistic shift more apparent than on Life in the Fast Lane, a song which “drew a line between the band’s country-tinged past and rock and roll future” TL as it “captured coke culture in a catchphrase.” BL

That song was one of six which Don Henley either wrote or co-wrote, signaling another main shift for the Eagles. He was now “the band’s dominant voice, both as a singer and a lyricist.” WR Though his songs, he “sketches a thematic statement that begins by using California as a metaphor for a dark, surreal world of dissipation; comments on the ephemeral nature of success and the attraction of excess; branches out into romantic disappointment; and finally sketches a broad, pessimistic history of America that borders on nihilism.” WR

Those themes are clearly on display on the title track, “a sprawling epic” TL that “framed Hollywood…in terms so impressively vague they seemed mythic.” BL The song had “Satanic undertones that might have been subconsciously cribbed from Jethro Tull’s ‘We Used to Know’ when the bands toured together. As for the warm smell of colitas, fans are split on whether the word is Spanish slang for cannabis buds or an easy lay. Given the band and the era, the safest guess is both.” TL

“Like much of their catalog, Hotel California seems a lot smarter when you listen to it than when you talk about it.” TL “The lyrics kick in some time after one has appreciated the album’s music.” WR In any event, “the result was the Eagles' biggest-selling regular album release, and one of the most successful rock albums ever.” WR


A 40th anniversary edition of the album included a live disc recorded at the L.A. Forum between October 20-22, 1976.

Review Sources:

  • DMDB Encyclopedia entry for Eagles
  • BL Blender Magazine’s “100 Greatest American Albums” (10/08)
  • WR William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide
  • TL Josh Tyrangiel and Alan Light, Time Magazine’s “All-TIME 100 Albums” (11/13/06)

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 3/11/2008; last updated 8/28/2021.

Saturday, November 27, 1976

Sex Pistols chart with “Anarchy in the U.K.”

Anarchy in the U.K.

The Sex Pistols

Writer(s): Paul Cook, Steve Jones, John Lydon, Glen Matlock (see lyrics here)

Released: November 26, 1976

First Charted: November 27, 1976

Peak: 33 UK, 1 CL, 1 CO, 5 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.2 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 27.04 video, 82.03 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

During the mid-‘70s, a stagnant economy, labor strikes, and the “perpetually drizzly weather that has always afflicted the country” TB contributed to general dissatisfaction amongst British youth and “things seemed to assume a permanent greyness.” TB The Sex Pistols “contempt for their dreary culture and moribund music scene” TB put them at the forefront of the British punk scene.

Then band had generated buzz with their live shows and “the groundswell that was clearly building..for snotty, amateurish rock bands.” TC EMI signed the band and their first single, “Anarchy in the U.K.,” as released in late 1976. It is “what the beginning of a revolution sounds like.” RS500 Its “wit and anger make it the great political protest song of our times.” MC It certainly generated controversy – British radio banned it and EMI “pulled the single and dropped the band, which just made them more notorious. ‘I don’t understand it,’ Rotten said in 1977. ‘All we’re trying to do is destroy everything.’” RS500

The Sex Pistols “were not only sincere in their desire to make rock that smashed rock, but…they were absolutely equal to the task.” MA They “essentially…reinforced what the garage bands of the ‘60s had demonstrated – you don’t need technique to make rock & roll.” TC

Actually, though, while “Anarchy” certainly displayed combative lyrics by opening with “I am an anti-Christ” and ending with “Destroy!” it was otherwise “comparatively familiar, highly competent hard-rock.” TB Steve “Jones made his guitar sound like a pub brawl, while [Johnny] Rotten snarled, spat, [and] snickered” RS500 with an “evil cackle.” RS500 This is a band, which despite its reputation for not being able to play, “understood perfectly how to make rock and roll effects in the recording studio.” MA


  • TC Toby Creswell (2005). 1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time. Thunder’s Mouth Press: New York, NY. Page 735.
  • MA Dave Marsh (1989). The Heart of Rock and Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made. New York, NY; New American Library. Pages 72-3.
  • MC Neil McCormack (3/13/09). “100 Greatest Songs of All Time
  • RS500 Rolling Stone (4/7/2011). “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
  • TB Thunder Bay Press (2006). Singles: Six Decades of Hot Hits & Classic Cuts. Outline Press Ltd.: San Diego, CA. Page 165.
  • WK Wikipedia
  • PW Paul Williams (1993). Rock and Roll: The Best 100 Singles. New York, NY: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc. Page 168.

Related Links:

First posted 4/9/2020; last updated 10/2/2022.