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.