Lenny Kravitz's 'Fly Away' Was Almost Left Off Its Album
“Fly Away” is one of Lenny Kravitz’s most famous classic rock songs. However, it almost left of its album. Here’s why Kravitz’s label initially hesitated to release the song — and what a young Zoë Kravitz thought of it.
What Lenny Kravitz thought when he started writing ‘Fly Away’
During an interview with Rolling Stone, Kravitz discussed fifteen of his songs which defined his life. He mentioned a mix of songs, from his biggest hits to more obscure album tracks. He cited “Fly Away” as one of these songs.
In the article, he discussed the creation of “Fly Away.” “I cut that album in the Bahamas before I had my studio,” he revealed. “One day, the engineer brought in his guitar amp — it was a Park, very much like a Marshall. I plugged in a guitar and was playing with it and started the chords to “Fly Away.” I was like, “Oh, wow. I think I have something.” So started recording. It was just me there, nobody else. I played the drums, two guitars and the bass and I had this track.”
Kravitz didn’t initially see it as material for his album “The album was done, so I wasn’t even thinking about it,” he said. “I was like, “Maybe this could be a B side or I’ll finish it later.” I would blast it in the car when I’d drive Zoë to school; we would drive really fast down this road next to the beach. It was beautiful. We liked the way it sounded, but I still had no melody or words.”
Why Larry Kravitz almost didn’t get to put the song on his album
Kravitz played “Fly Away” to a friend who felt the song was destined to be a massive hit. He encouraged Kravitz to put it on his album 5. However, Kravitz didn’t think he could do so because he turned in the album.
Subsequently, he called up Virgin Records. He sent the song to the label anyway. They changed their minds and put the song on 5. Ultimately, Kravitz won the Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Performance for the song.
How the world reacted to ‘Fly Away’
Kravitz was able to put the song on the album. The album was a success, reaching No. 28 on the Billboard 200, remaining on the chart for 110 weeks. “Fly Away” reached No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100, remaining on the chart for weeks. It charted higher than any other Kravitz song, with the exceptions of “Again” and “It Ain’t Over ’til It’s Over.”
“Fly Away” has a legacy outside of its initial chart run. The track appeared in the 2009 reboot film Star Trek. It also appeared in Star Trek Beyond as a callback to the earlier film. Despite some initial hesitation from his label, Kravitz was able to put “Fly Away” on 5 and it became a hit — and a small part of Star Trek history.
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