Steve Miller is omnipresent on classic rock radio, but you probably couldn't pick him out of a crowd unless he was wearing a Stratocaster and had "Fly Like an Eagle" tattooed on his face. Anonymity is part of his humble omnipotence, which Miller explains on the DVD portion of this anniversary release. Y'see, he needs to walk among us to know exactly what the people want to hear. OK, so his sonar hasn't worked for, uh, 28 years. ("Macho City" anyone?) But he had it all figured out in 1975-76. Listen to the outtakes and you'll hear "The Joker" with the lyrics to both "Rock 'N Me" and "Take the Money and Run" sung over it like he already knew those titles would be his next two hits one way or the other. For an album befitting the classic album treatment, Eagle sure doesn't flow as seamlessly as contemporaries like Rumours or Hotel California the jump from the first three Moog-space tracks to "Serenade" is fairly traumatic but even that doesn't matter in 2006. Nearly everything on Eagle has gotten enough FM rotation to seem like a standalone hit. Besides, you're probably going to dump these songs into your iPod and shuffle Miller's hard sequencing work.
Serene Dominic writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.