"Birdland" marked the peak of Weather Report's commercial career with the release of Heavy Weather. With the addition of Jaco Pastorius, the band was able to push its music to the "height of its popularity", and with that came "Birdland." Weather Report's most commercially successful composition, "Birdland" served as a tribute to the New York City jazz club on 52nd street that housed many famous jazz musicians. The song was also named in honor of the man after whom the club was named, Charlie Parker, the 'Bird' himself. It was this club, which he frequented almost daily, that inspired Zawinul to write the song. Looking back, Zawinul claimed, "The old Birdland was the most important place in my life."