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Abracadabra by Steve Miller Band

Album: AbracadabraReleased: 1982Charted:
1
2
  • This is a catchy Pop song with mild sexual innuendo that is far removed from the band's earlier work. The Steve Miller Band started out as a Blues band in the '60s, evolving into a Rock band in the '70s.
  • Miller is one of several established Rock artists to release a slick Pop song in the early '80s. ZZ Top, Van Halen, and Yes also had hits with highly produced songs featuring synthesizers. They all lost some core fans as a result, but gained many more.
  • Six months before this came out, Miller released an album called Circle Of Love, which tanked.
  • This was the first video Miller made. MTV was becoming a force, and you needed a video to sell records. It featured magicians performing various tricks. Miller is in the video wearing sunglasses while playing the guitar and moving in slow motion. (thanks, chet - saratoga springs, NY)
  • Sugar Ray covered this in 1999 on their album 14:59.
  • This was the third Steve Miller Band single to hit US #1, following "The Joker" and "Rock 'n' Me." (thanks, Brad Wind - Miami, FL)
  • The lyrics were inspired by Diana Ross and the Supremes, whom Miller had met while performing together on NBC's Hullabaloo in 1966. "'Abracadabra' started off as a great piece of music with really atrocious lyrics," Miller explained to The Dallas Morning News. "One day I was out skiing in Sun Valley and, lo and behold, who did I see on the mountain but Diana Ross. I skied down off the mountain to go have lunch. I had played with Diana Ross and the Supremes on Hullabaloo in the '60s, and I started thinking about the Supremes and I wrote the lyrics to 'Abracadabra' in 15 minutes."
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Comments: 24

My understanding is that most of the lyrics were inspired by two preschool playing "patty-cake" at a kindergarten near his home. Sounds pretty plausible.Steve - Tempe, Az
Eric, you're right. It DOES sound like the end theme to M*A*S*H! Good ears!Dave - Wheaton, Il
To Vida, Los Angeles, Ca ---Maybe you should reach out and grab her <(*_*)>Bmn - Hisuan, Argentina
On September 4th, 1982 "Abracadabra" became #1 for one week, then "Hard to Say I'm Sorry" by Chicago became #1 for two weeks. But abracadabra, just like that; the Steve Miller Band reclaimed the #1 spot for one more week!!! {That's two total weeks at #1 and 25 weeks in the Top 100}Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
SMD made a lot of great songs. Pity this wasn't one of them. What few lyrics there are sound like a kindergartener wrote them.Esskayess - Dallas, Tx
This song made Billboards list of the top selling 100 singles of the past 50 years, although it only stayed at #1 for two non-consecutive weeks. Apparently, it rode the top 100 for many, many weeks.Paul - Detroit, Mi
Is it just me, or does part of this song (toward the end) sound like part of the theme song to the TV show M.A.S.H.?Eric - Beaverton, Or
This is my favorite Steve Miller Song! I also love the video to it. With the guy who looks like Robin from Batman.Jennifer Harris - Grand Blanc, Mi
Ryan/IL, I'm glad you mentioned that--I sorta thought I was hearing him say, "Debra-cadabra" at times! What I don't remember is, whether I heard it while listening to the song, or later replaying it in my head, with free-form variations/mutilations. Did anybody else hear that, or was it my imagination? *** VIDA/LA--That's great! But that URL no longer works. Is there an update? Or has it fallen into the big bit-bucket of history?Fred - Laurel, Md
Is it just me or does it sound like he's saying "AbracaDEBRA" in it when he sings "Abracadabra"?Ryan - Farmer City, Il
Hey Brandon, you have to admit even though Steve Miller is no great poet, he did manage to get Joker, Smoker and Toker all in the same verseKarl - Akron, , Oh
According to Steve himself, he had Diana Ross in mind when he wrote the lyrics.Eddie - Acton, Me
Jesse and Brandon: At least they didn't cheat by rhyming a word or phrase with itself, like they did in "The Joker" (where they "rhymed" "the Gangster of Love" with the infamous phrase "the pompitus of love").Joshua - Twin Cities, Mn
Hmmmm..."Abra-Abracadabra...I wanna strip ya and jab ya." Or..."Abra-Abracadabra...I'm gonna stalk ya and nab ya." Or..."Abra-Abracadabra...I'll take this bread knife and stab ya."K - Toronto, Canada
The first prominent rock band that Ross Valory appeared in was the Steve Miller Blues Band when their album Rock Love was released in September 1971.
Still have not verified if Valory actually wrote the lyrics to Abracadabra. Other sites give credit to Steve Miller for the song but do not specify whether he wrote all of it or only the music.
Kara - Cadillac, Mi
I heard (or read) somewhere that Ross Valory of Journey actually wrote the lyrics to this song. Can anyone verify?Kara - Cadillac, Mi
Hey Jesse: Steve Miller was never the best rhymer in rock. C'mon, in "Take the Money and Run" he rhymed Texas, Facts Is, Justice, and Taxes. Someone get that man a songwriter's rhyming dictionary!!!Brandon - Peoria, Il
This song is MAGIC!Terry - Northampton, England
When they were writing this song, they must have had a mseeage from God or sumthin/ 'Hmm, what do we rhyme abracadabra with'? BING! 'I wanna reach out and grab ya of course! O ya that's really romantic. You wanna reach out and grab her. Not much of a sweet talker, are ya stevey?Jesse - Haddam, Ct
I've never seen the music video and I have forgotten the guitar solo, so i don't have much common ground for talking. But Steve Miller was BLUES in the 60's! can't picture...so woozy...but so was Fleetwood Mac...Even more woozy..Johnny - Los Angeles, Ca
This is a great song, but with possibly the worst guitar solo ever.Danny - Sydney, Australia
This was NOT Steve Miller's first MTV video. I remember seeing both Livin in the USA which featured a young couple skipping through an amusement park as well as Heart Like A Wheel which was memorable for having Miller shift the sports car during the hook back in early 1982. Also, back in the 90s VH1 showed an early version of Fly Like An Eagle from Midnight Special or some such with more hippy dippy lyrics, but that might not be a true video.Frank - Mars, Me
THE BEAUTIFUL GIRL THAT APPEARS THROUGHOUT THE ABRACADABRA MUSIC VIDEO LIVES IN MY APT BUILDING IN LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA. SHES STILL BEAUTIFUL AND STUNNING AS EVER! HER EYES ARE PIERCING AND I GET CHILLS WHEN WE RIDE IN THE ELEVATOR TOGETHER.
SADLY SHE DOES NOT SEE HER APPEARANCE IN THE VIDEO AS NOSTOLGIC AND NOTEWORTHY. I SEE IT AS A IMPORTANT PART OF MUSIC HISTORY!
http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a348/vida_vision/abra.jpg
Vida - Los Angeles, Ca
Steve Miller does not actually appear in this video. What you are seeing is a life-size cutout. Steve was on tour when they started to shoot the video, so, in order for him to be in it, they had to use the cutout. I saw this on VH1's "Pop Up Video".Richard - Savannah, Ga