Steve Miller Band : Jet Airliner
Paul Pena : Jet Airliner
In May of 1977 Steve Miller Band released its tenth album. Book of Dreams was recorded at the same time as Fly Like an Eagle, and, like its twin, contains just as many radio friendly hits and synthesizer noodlings . Naturally it went triple platinum in the United States.
It is interesting to me that the first single, the US Top 10 hit "Jet Airliner", isn't an original Steve Miller song but a cover of a four year old tune by keyboardist Ben Sidran's buddy, Paul Pena. Royalties from the single were sometimes Pena's only source of income for the rest of his life.
Rolling Stone's Frank Rose wrote this positive review of Book of Dreams:
To those who have been dismayed by the progress of the Beach Boys' more or less grotesque attempts at a creative comeback, the recent commercial success of such journeymen survivors as Peter Frampton, Fleetwood Mac and Steve Miller is a heartening sign. It means that laid-back rock and no-thought lyrics can still be had in something other than the dude-ranch space-out of such L.A. hustlers as Linda Ronstadt and the Eagles. What is at stake is the future of open-highway rock. The success of Frampton, Mac and Miller -- especially Mac and Miller -- means the genre is not being abandoned to the cosmic cowpokes
Miller has a strong nesting instinct. His idea of fun is apparently a combination of rural isolation and independence and happy domesticity. As the title of an album that's mostly filled with songs about love, his Book of Dreams is not much different from a hope chest. In "Swingtown," he coos, "Come on and dance/Let's make some romance." In "Jet Airliner" and "My Own Space" (neither of them his own compositions, it's true) he sings about the need for a home and the pain of leaving it. Then there's "True Fine Love," in which he really alters his pitch: "So come on pretty baby," he sings this time, "we're going to raise a family."
Although his first nine albums had been crowded into a six-year span, he took his time recording a followup. When he finally released Fly Like an Eagle 13 months ago, it went crazy in the record stores -- Top Ten for months, almost triple platinum, three Top Ten singles. The record was so big that Book of Dreams, which tentatively had been scheduled for release as early as last December, had to be kept on hold for months. Now it's shipped gold; a repeat success appears inevitable