Fly on a Windshield

Song Review by

"Fly on a Windshield" was written and recorded for the concept album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. After the opening rock number had introduced the hero, this song marked the start of the action: walking on the street, Rael sees a dark cloud lowering in Times Square and slowly moving toward him. He starts to run, but the wind blows harder, making it impossible for him to escape. He waits for the impact, feeling like a fly "waiting for the windshield on the freeway." One of the strongest pieces on the album, "Fly on a Windshield" is built in two parts: a delicate guitar strumming accompanies the vocal part, stopping a second to let tension build right before the impact, then punching in with a slow riff with electric guitar solo, heavy drumming, and loud bass pedals. Although credited to the whole band, this second part was probably written by Steve Hackett, as he will use the same kind of mood and instrumentation on a few of his first solo songs ("Shadow of the Hierophant," "Clocks," "Spectral Mornings"). After the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway tour, "Fly on a Windshield" was performed only on a handful of occasions as part of a suite including the album's title track and "Broadway Melody of 1974," in which it leads right into.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway 1974 Atlantic / Rhino 2:45
The Demo Mix Down on Broadway 1998 Highland Records