Recycling wasn't yet in fashion in 1976, but Steve Miller was already practicing it. His hit "Fly Like an Eagle" reused a guitar lick that first made its appearance on a 1969 song titled "My Dark Hour." The old song was good, but in its new form it would help Miller sell millions of records. This contrasts with today's currently musical practices, which often involve sampling past work and making additions that result in music worse than the original. But I digress.
The most popular form of Steve Miller ingestion nowadays is his Greatest Hits 1974-78, which has also sold many millions of copies in both LP and CD form. While not a bad-sounding CD, there's certainly room for improvement. DCC has been releasing hits collections from a number of popular artists the last few years, and in addition to sounding better, they usually include extra material not available in the regular release.
I wish I knew why the old CD release of this song is missing the opening drum beat; this is only a second of extra material.
"Fly Like an Eagle"
The original CD? Three minutes and its over. Bah. DCC gives you the full length intro, and a little extra at the end, making for a six-minute "...Eagle."
We find another truncated single on the old hits collection, clocking in at a sanitized ("funky kicks going down in the city") 3:34. The extra long version of the opening on the DCC version adds almost a full minute to the song.
The liner notes on the original CD are, to put it nicely, pathetic. You get a track listing and some dates. DCC's release adds a listing of the musicians involved and a lot of pictures, including what the original LP looked like. Still no lyrics, though.
Recycled or not, Steve Miller's music isn't going away. A hilarious Pitchfork special report suggests that "this greatest hits collection will even outlive the cockroaches after the plague erases us from the map." Having gotten used to the higher quality and complete versions of these songs on DCC's release the last few months, it's hard to listen to my ancient aluminum CD anymore. If you want a single Steve Miller disc with the hits from the most popular part of his career, this DCC release is the one to have.
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