Robert Hodgens of The Bluebells was dating Siobhan Fahey from Bananarama when he decided to help them out with some songs for their debut album Deep Sea Skiving. This was one of them, and although it made Bananarama's album, Fahey felt that The Bluebells should cover it. They did so and it became a UK hit.
In 1993, this was reissued in the UK and went to #1 after it was used in a Volkswagen television advertising campaign. The band had long ago split up but they got together again to perform this on the BBC music show Top of the Pops.
In 2002, session musician Bobby Valentino sued Hodgens for unpaid royalties on the grounds that he, not Hodgens, had composed his distinct violin solo in the tune. Valentino played the piece in court, and the judge ruled in his favor, which gave Valentino a co-writing credit on the song.
"Abracadabra" was inspired by Diana Ross and The Supremes. Steve Miller first met the girl group when they performed together on NBC's Hullabaloo in 1966, and he wrote the lyrics after spotting Diana Ross skiing in the mountains years later.