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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."
Charlie Benante of Anthrax
The drummer for Anthrax is also a key songwriter. He explains how the group puts their songs together and tells the stories behind some of their classics.
The renown Texas songwriter has been at it for 40 years, with tales to tell about The Flatlanders and The Clash - that's Joe's Tex-Mex on "Should I Stay or Should I Go?"
Did Marvin try out with the Detroit Lions? Did he fake crazy to get out of military service? And what about the cross-dressing?