"Jet Airliner" is a popular song written by Paul Pena, an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. However, it is important to note that while Paul Pena did write and perform the song, the version that is most widely recognized and popular is not his original recording. The better-known version of "Jet Airliner" was actually recorded and released by the Steve Miller Band.
Paul Pena originally wrote and recorded the song for his 1973 album titled "New Train." The album showcased his musical talents, fusing elements of folk, blues, and rock. Unfortunately, due to conflicts with his record label, the album was not released until 2000.
The song would gain widespread recognition when the Steve Miller Band covered it. Miller was made aware of the song by a former band member who also happened to produce Pena's 1973 album. This version, in addition to some slight changes lyrically, featured a more rock-oriented sound and became a major hit, receiving extensive radio airplay and charting well on music charts. Miller's band had recorded their version of "Jet Airliner" in 1975, during sessions for the "Fly Like an Eagle" album, but the song was not released until 1977, when it was included on their album "Book of Dreams."
Steve Miller's rendition of "Jet Airliner" propelled the song to greater fame, reaching a broader audience and becoming a staple in classic rock radio playlists. Its catchy chorus and upbeat melody contributed to its popularity, and it remains one of Steve Miller Band's most iconic and enduring songs.
Paul Pena's original version of "Jet Airliner" was rediscovered and gained some recognition after Steve Miller's cover became a hit. Paul Pena continued to pursue his music career and performed with various artists, showcasing his impressive talents as a musician and vocalist.
Overall, "Jet Airliner" is a song that highlights the journey of its original songwriter, Paul Pena, as well as the enduring success of the Steve Miller Band's cover version, which brought the song to a wider audience and secured its place as a classic in the world of rock music.