Buffalo Springfield

Expecting to Fly

Composed by Neil Young

Song Review by

One of Neil Young's most beautiful and graceful early compositions, "Expecting to Fly" was indeed a surprise to many listeners, especially juxtaposed along such scathing compositions as "Mr. Soul." Young's sense of craft and the ability to accurately convey the bittersweet emotions of the end of a relationship are positively spellbinding. Built around extremely simple and subtle chord changes, and a melody and feel that recall the early work of Tim Hardin (both Stills and Young were huge fans), it's one of Young's finest early works. Recorded with session arranger Jack Nitzsche during one of the periods when Young had temporarily left the Springfield, it was and is (for all intents and purposes) his first solo work. The recording and Nitzsche's string arrangement (which has been described as "Phil Spector on acid") fit the song's grandeur and sense of grace perfectly. Young was to explore similar emotional avenues with orchestral arrangements down the road, but "Expecting to Fly" is possibly his finest work in this idiom.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Buffalo Springfield Again 1967 Atco 3:39
Retrospective: The Best of Buffalo Springfield 1969 Atco 3:39
Buffalo Springfield [Collection] 1973 WEA 3:29
Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas [Original Soundtrack] 1998
Original Soundtrack
Geffen 4:17
Buffalo Springfield [Box Set] 2001 Atco / Rhino 3:48
Rhino Hi-Five: Buffalo Springfield, Vol. 1 2005 Rhino 2:18
Back to Mine 2007 Afternoon Records / DMC 3:13
The Best of Buffalo Springfield: Retrospective 2007 Atlantic / Rhino 3:43
The Sound of the Westcoast: 1965-1979 2010
Various Artists
No Image 2013 Rhino
What's That Sound? Complete Albums Collection 2018 Atlantic / Rhino 3:49
No Image
Various Artists
Atlantic 3:40