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Miracles

by

Jefferson Starship



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Jefferson Airplane founder/vocalist Marty Balin wrote this song. He quit the group in 1971, only to rejoin in 1975, before this album was made.
The album version is nearly seven minutes long, but was edited down for radio airplay by their producer Larry Cox, who made sure the radio edit got right to the chorus. Some of the suggestive lyrics were also removed, an action uncharacteristic of Jefferson Airplane. Cox, who had worked with Buddy Holly and Brian Wilson, told Melody Maker in 1976: "I cut the chorus in half and dealt with three verses of lyric which I wanted to preserve. Every verse was extremely important. I applaud the group for making the concession and allowing me to edit the tune down for radio play."
Red Octopus was the only #1 album Jefferson Airplane/Starship ever had, largely thanks to this ballad. The album sold more than four million copies.
A hit song can be an albatross for a band if it takes them in a direction they'd rather not go, and the very Middle-of-the-Road sound of "Miracles" didn't sit well with Grace Slick, who told BAM magazine in 1980: "All of that 'baby come back to me' stuff was us trying to copy 'Miracles.' We'd never been a real hot singles band. So, when 'Miracles' hit, it was all of a sudden 'better stick with that s--t.' But I felt odd doing it, felt like I was wearing a costume, a monkey suit or something."
Jefferson Starship
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Comments (41):

Jim From Morgantown... I can totally appreciate your opinion... be it negative or not. But to claim that it's the worst song that you have ever heard would imply your
blindness to the obvious genious of the song (I feel). There is nothing "hallmark" about the lyrics: " I had a taste of the real world... (just a drop of it) When I went down on you (Don't stop it). It was the 1970s and they slipped in a the action of cunnalingus without being banned form mainstream radio. I invoke you to look deeper into the song my friend and find a greater argument than the drop of sugar line. It is a love song filled with lust, adoration and passion but it reaches way beyond that in it's sensual experience. Just give it a shot... lyrically. Thanks!!
- Scott, Columbus, OH
To Scott from Columbus. So I'm a troll because I'm not a fan of songs that sound like Hallmark greeting cards? I guess you're entitled to your opinion, as am I. I assure you, there's absolutely no jealousy involved in my viewpoint. None.
- Jim, Morgantown, WV
This comment is meant for Jim. Morgantown. You must be a troll because anyone who I have ever introduced this song to have been amazed by it. It is a timeless and powerful piece of music by Jefferson as a love ballad. It wasn't meant as anything else and it hit the target in a substantial way. It shows that they can not only rock, but they could create a sound, melody, and feeling outside of their norm... and do it with a serious conviction. Be jealous if you must, but this song is almost a spiritual experience for those who love it.
- Scott, Columbus, OH
My alarm woke me up with the long version of this song in the summer of 1975 and I was hooked. So beautiful, so romantic, so rich, so sexy. Now, so many years later, I can't believe it but I just met a guy who makes me feel this way. I'm dancing around my room to this song and loving it.
- Anne, Mountain View, CA
I hate to be the turd in the punchbowl but not only is this the worst song I ever heard from them, it's one of the worst songs I've ever heard. Period! The band that gave us "Volunteers", also a duet between Marty Balin and Grace Slick, gives us "pretty please, sugar on it". This is one of the sappiest songs in history. It should have been recorded by Air Supply.
- Jim, Morgantown, WV
A guy I dated actually said to me once, " you ripple like a river when I touch you" I thought he was so clever, until I told my sister he said it and she informed me it was from a song!! Made me like him even more!
- janice, amesbury, MA
A perfect example of a love ballad: haunting, dreamy, romantic, sexual, not the least bit sappy.
- Marlene, Montreal, QC
Sounds like the theme song to blacksploitation film, but it works. Sometimes too much is just the right amount.
- Matt, Washington, DC, DC
There are few corrections that need to be clarified: First, in the Rolling Stone edition (01/01/76), it is noted that Marty orchestrated the background vocals so that Grace (or anybody else for that matter) wouldn't sing over his lyrics. Secondly, the "Jefferson Starship" monicker didn't occur until 1970,when Paul was recording the "Blows Against the Empire" sessions. There he had assembled his "back-up" band consisting of among others: Jerry Garcia, Steven Stills, and Mickey Hart. Then Paul decided to contemperize the name of Jefferson Airplane to Jefferson Starship. Thirdly,Grace never married Skip Spence. She married Skip Johnson, JS's lighting director in 1976. Fourthly, After the Lorelei Fiasco, both Grace and Marty left the band and Mickey Thomas started doing vocal duties for JS in 1979. It is my all-time favorite song with so many of personnal memories attached to it, but that's for another time. I hope this helps in clearing things up
- Chet, Southfield, MI
Yes, everything about this song is pure musical, magical genius. The pairing of Mary Balin & Grace Slick on Miracles is genius. Who cares what their personal relationship was like. The flawless perfection of the tune combined with lyrics and vocals transcends all of that. One of my all time favorites.
- Camille, Toronto, OH
Yeah, well a pity to spoil the Sai Baba fun and all the loss of virginity, but this so-called JS song is actually a rip-off of Gayle McCormick's "If only you believe", a Lambert-Potter song of 1971.
- André, Amsterdam, Netherlands
To be 13 in the fall of 1975, and on the cusp of being exposed to music at that would shape my personal vibe linking music and romance during my teenage years, was a blessing. I remember how girls responded to this song in jr. high that year. I got it. This song is on par with any Barry White song that was on the radio at that time...and from a rock band.

I wore out this album on my old Radio Shack stereo/8 Track that fall. Looking back 35 years later...it was genious. The BEST work Marty Balin did bar none.

I do disagree with earlie posters that Grace was taunting Marty during this song. No way. Grace was smart enough to leave ego and feelings at the door. She knew she was recording a classic and the proof was in Red Octopus' success.
- Jeff, Bradenton, FL
my favorite Jefferson Starship song!
- Jennifer Harris, Grand Blanc, MI
To: Lisa in Los Angeles/From;Belinda in Cresskill,New Jersey. I'll answer your question: Ryan from Des Moines, IA answers your question correctly,but if you look on Y**Tube, the bass player playing on that fantastic track(Pete Sears from Scotland)explains in a fascinating narrative everything you might want to know about that session, ie; the song "Miracles" on the fantastic Red Octopus album of 1975 the unbeleivably fantastic unreal dreamlike paradise time of total rock geniuses.I love Marty,Paul,Grace,Jorma and Jack for making the summer and autumn and winter of 1975 a dream. Jefferson Starship and the Airplane rule.From Belinda;Your Italian/American friend from Cresskill, New Jersey.
- Belinda, Cresskill New Jresey, NJ
This was the first song I smoked a joint too. I put my big old 80's headphones on, lit candles and tuned out the outside world. Later on I would use the song as an aphrodesiac. Women crumbled when it came on. Great song.
- Danny, Your Town, IA
The biggest hit from their 1975 Album 'Red Octopus' and their greatest ballad in my opinion. Lyrics written by Marty Balin.

Balin says of the song: "I wrote 'Miracles" about Barbara (his girlfriend at the time), and also about the miraculous powers of Sai Baba. I went to Puttaparti with Barbara and saw Sai Baba. We journeyed through the South Indian desert to the village; the song emerged from that darshan, that experience."

"When I wrote 'Miracles,' I had my love for Barbara and my love for Sai Baba -- two very different forms of love -- running through me. So the song is about both of them. I picked up my guitar and I started singing: 'If only you believe, if only you believe like I believe, we'll get by' The words flowed one after another, along with the music; I got the song written down in one draft, on a sheet of yellow paper."
- Frenchie, Orange County, CA
I hear this song and it takes my back to 75 and I am cruising down Dixie Hwy in my 64 Impala
- Joe, Radcliff, KY
This song is perhaps the best love song ever written, make no mistake. And certainly the most sensuous. I first heard this sone in 1975 (when it was released) and am still blown away by the intimacy, the intensity of the lyrics. Balin was undoubtably deeply smitten about the woman.
I would love to have a love like that.
- Rob, Jacksonville, FL
It's a beautiful song...and my most favorite. I was born in 78' and heard this song for the first time about 10 years ago. The first thing I thought after this song was "Wow, people actually feel like this towards each other? I'm missing out!". The instrumentals are almost dream like, and I get goose bumps each time I hear it.
"Musical Panty Remover"..
- Beck, Columbus, OH
Reading the comments from the gentlemen posters is almost as good as the song. Thanks Dale, Scott, Scott and Joe.
- Sharyn, Baton Rouge, LA
great song.i lost my virginity to this in 1975!!
- rob, palmyra, VA
This song, along with "Son of a Preacher Man" are classic examples of how to build passion in music without screaming.
- Dale, Santa Fe, NM
i actually lost my virginity to this song in 1975
- rob, palmyra, VA
A song that was popular as I was transitioning out of a teenage girl into a young woman & it captured the feelings I wanted to have with the "right someone". It could transport me out of the everyday hum drum of life to a place where I believed if you could find this kind of love it'd be ecstasy. The long version was played on the FM station I always listened too, and eventually I got the albumn. These days, it's on my ipod.
- Camille, Toronto, OH
Is it any wonder that I'm such a huge fan of Marty?

Also: Lulz at the comment on the bottom. As everyone said, THEY HATED EACH OTHER. XD
- Meredith, Chesapeake, VA
Sexy, sexy..... silky smooth singer Marty Balin melts me with this song.

I haven't listened to it in years but I've had it in my head for four days now.
- taryn, nashville, TN
Wow what a masterpiece! Makes me want to have a cigarette when it's over--and I don't even smoke.
- Shoshannah, Seattle, WA
This song is the BEST love ballad I have ever heard. Bought Red Octopus when it was first released and have replaced it numerous times ever since. It is a very sensuous song and lets a gal imagine "that special someone" actually singing this to her. It makes me feel today the same as I did when I first heard it.
- Katy, Chattanooga, United States
I wish there was an edit tab, Im sorry I believe the backup vocals are "I had a taste of the real world." "Dont waste a drop of it" "when i went down on you, girl." "Dont ever stop it."
- Ryan, Des Moines, IA
To Lisa in los angeles. Between "I had a taste of the real world." and "when I went down on you girl" the backup vocals are "At least a drop of it." hope that helps
- Ryan, Des Moines, IA
Why did they change from "Jefferson AIRPLANE" to "Jefferson STARSHIP?"

I know that later became just "Starship" because an ex band member sued them for some reason, but why did they change from airplane to starship?
- Mjn Seifer, Not listed for personal reason, England
i have a question and if anyone could help me out, i would appreciate it: there are several places in this song where there are distinct background lyrics. they are distinct in that they are obviously words, but they never appear in the lyrics, at least not online. between the verses, "i had a taste of the real world" and, "when i went down on you girl" grace slick or someone, is singing another line, but what is it...? there are other indistinguishable background lyrics, other than, "baby, baby", or moans, etc....anybody know what they are??
- lisa, los angeles, CA
to joe in philly: i read in the cd insert (a jefferson starship greatest hits collection) that marty balin wrote the song for his girlfriend at the time, i don't recall her name right now, but it was not grace slick. but what an absolutely incredible song.
- lisa, los angeles, CA
brings back great memories...guess you had to be there...
- Julie, Midland, MI
Sometimes you hear a song on the radio, and then you hear it on the album and it just sounds different. This was especially true in the seventies before FM radio, which has much better sound quality, became so commonplace, and also because many people had radios that didn't have good sound quality either, like the little clock radio that was always by my bed until I went to college and bought a real stereo to go by my bed. Which goes a long way toward explaining why, as a kid, I hated this song. I couldn't hear all the music that was going on and how cool it was.
- Dennis, Anchorage, AK
This is one of those songs you hear in the background at a grocery store or office and it never quite sinks in, But... when I bought Red Octopus I had no idea that what I was purchasing. I was bowled over by this song and left in on repeat that night when I went to sleep.
Miracles is truely a masterpiece of blended vocals and music that never stops giving. It's a fluid song with a continuous streaming of it's cushion that surrounds you in ambience. Marty Balin is a stunning vocalist and an amazing writer. I don't know who he wrote the song for, but I only wish I could feel what he was feeling when he did.
- Scott, Columbus, OH
Marty Balin was capable of writing great ballads.
THis one happens to be a classic......reminds me
of the crazy energy when one is infatuated with another, typical of first loves, but a type of love we are all capable of, at least I hope..
let's just say that Balin and slick encapsulate
Yin and Yang itself here, especially with the call-and response style....the climax at the end
indeed is almost orgasmic....Yin and Yand meet
and explode.......ahhh, sweet infatuation!
- Scott, chicago, IL
Ok this is my fave love song! Marty and Grace did not have an affair though - the person that wrote they hated each other and that she slept with all in the band but him is true. This song was not for Grace - Marty wrote it I believe for a girlfriend at the time. Such a beautiful song. What a shame all the good lines are edited on the radio (still!). There are several edited versions. If you haven't heard the full one run and get Red Octopus!
- Lauren, Denver, CO
For Joe in Philadelphia: Marty and Grace absolutely hated one another. Grace had sex with every one in the original Airplane EXCEPT Marty to which Marty stated, "I wouldn't let Grace Slick blow me." Grace Slick sang those back ground vocals as a way to taunt and tease Marty about what she considered a "sappy" love song that was too commercial. I don't know who Marty wrote that song for but it sure as hell wasn't Grace Slick. Grace and Marty had a power struggle going on. Miracles is great love song but it also shows the power struggle between two brilliant artists. Marty left the band - again (remember Mickey Thomas became lead male vocal in about 1978 'cause Marty left)- because Grace and Paul Kantner wanted the band to move in a different direction. And Grace Slick got married again during this time to Skip Spence.
- Denise, Sinton, TX
Radio edited "Everytime you come by let me try...pretty please, sugar on it, that's how I like it" because it was too suggestive, but left in "I had a taste of the real world when I went down on you girl."? Go figure.
- Chris, Hull, MA
This is a wonderful love song...sung by two lovers at the beginning of their love affair...Mary Balin and Grace Slick. Read and follow along with the lyrics as you listen to the song. Hear how when Marty sings the lead Grace is heard in the high background responding to his words. Sometimes in a breathy, turned-on voice. Other times she sounds like the flock shouting amen to the minister's (Marty's) sermon. She doesn't always answer with words...sometimes with sighs or moans. It's incredibly sexy and only so because the two of them were giving us a peek into their relationship at the time. Near the end when their voices blend during the Oh Baby, Baby, Baby segment of the song it's like lovers' climax.
It's a wonderful song...at times very romantic and at times very erotic...but throughout, always harmonic. A love song for the ages.
- Joe, Philadelphia, PA
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