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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."
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