Thursday, October 23, 2014

"Abracadabra" by Steve Miller Band

#1 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  1051
Date:  05/29/1982
Debut:  75
Peak:  1 (2 weeks)
Weeks:  25
Genre:  Rock



Pop Bits:  Miller's previous LP, "Circle of Love," was certified gold, but its showing was a disappointment coming on the heels of three platinum (or multi-platinum) releases. The lack of a true hit didn't help, so for his next album, Miller decided to change out of his blues-rock roots to try on something a little more poppy. The result was the album "Abracadabra" and this title-track turned into a crowd pleaser that became his third #1 as well as his biggest pop chart hit. It was a terrific comeback for Miller, but it would be short-lived. Not only was the single his last Top 10 hit, but he would never even reach the Top 40 again.

ReduxReview:  I did not like this song whatsoever. I thought it was supremely (pun intended, see below) stupid and dorky. I mean, c'mon. The guy who wrote classics like "Fly Like an Eagle" and "Rock'n Me" put out this claptrap shizzle? No thanks! But like several hit songs I hated back then, I've relented a bit and can hear it differently as an ol' geezer. I'm still no fan of the tune, but I do like the chugging rhythm and for the time period the production and sound was kind of cool. It's no "Jet Airliner," but at least I don't run for the fast-forward button when it plays any longer.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Apparently, this song was inspired by Diana Ross and the Supremes. Miller had met Ross when they performed on the TV show "Hullabaloo" in 1966. Years later, Miller spotted Ross while skiing in Sun Valley. According to an interview with Miller, he said he had written some pretty awful lyrics to a piece of music and after seeing Ross, he skied down for lunch, was thinking of the Supremes, and in 15 minutes he had the lyrics to "Abracadabra." (Note - if you can make some connection between this song and the Supremes, then good on ya. Makes zero sense to me. But inspiration can come from unlikely sources, so I guess you never really know.)

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