ST-12216 Abracadabra
Produced by Steve Miller & Gary Mallaber
Released on June 1982
US CHART POSITION #3 . . . PLATINUM RECORD . . . UK CHART POSITION #10
Find it at GEMM
ST-12216 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

A savvy bit of smoke and mirrors that many mistook for a return to form. On closer inspection, the form is a phantasm, an insubstantial Steve Miller haunting middle-of-the-road melodies. Which is still a better place to be than out in the fields, like Circle of Love. Abracadabra did produce a bonafide hit in the title track. They played it on the radio all the time, talked about how Steve Miller was back in the saddle again, but the novelty of the synthesizers wore off quickly for me. A then-groundbreaking music video (which today represents a sizeable chunk of 80s cheese) further cemented the comeback. The song soon topped the US charts and the album went platinum; not bad for an artist who had clearly burned out only a few years back. Yet you’d have to be wearing pretty thick rose-colored glasses not to notice that Steve Miller the star was fading. He writes only two songs on Abracadabra, one of which (“Give It Up”) is pure fluff. Gary Mallaber and the rest of the band penned the other eight. It’s not like Miller farmed the works out to a bunch of hacks, but the end result is the same. On the Miller meter, they rate in the dead middle, charming insofar as they have that classic sound and vibe, disappointing because that’s all they have. The mix of California rock and dated synthesizer pop works on a modest level (“Keeps Me Wondering Why,” “Young Girl’s Heart,” “Cool Magic”), so fans are likely to champion this far more than a Circle of Love or Italian X-Rays. However, the magic is clearly gone, even on Abracadabra, and only the image remains.

ST 12216 back cover ST 12216 lyric sleeve
ST 12216 back cover ST 12216 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. KEEPS ME WONDERING WHY    (Gary Mallaber/Kenny Lee Lewis)    3:43
  2. ABRACADABRA    (Steve Miller)    5:10
  3. SOMETHING SPECIAL    (Gary Mallaber/Lonnie Turner/Greg Douglass)    3:35
  4. GIVE IT UP    (Steve Miller)    3:35
  5. NEVER SAY NO    (Gary Mallaber/John Massaro/Kenny Lee Lewis)    3:37
  6. THINGS I TOLD YOU    (Gary Mallaber/John Massaro)    3:15
  7. YOUNG GIRL'S HEART    (Gary Mallaber/John Massaro)    3:33
  8. GOODBYE LOVE    (Gary Mallaber/Greg Douglass/Lonnie Turner)    2:53
  9. COOL MAGIC    (Gary Mallaber/Kenny Lee Lewis)    4:23
  10. WHILE I'M WAITING    (Gary Mallaber/John Massaro)    3:26

CREDITS

BYRON ALLRED -- keyboards, synthesizers
GERALD JOHNSON -- bass
KENNY LEE LEWIS -- guitar
GARY MALLABER -- drums, percussion, keyboards, additional engineering
JOHN MASSARO -- guitars
STEVE MILLER -- guitar & vocals
Greg Douglass -- guitar (3,8)
Lonnie Turner -- bass (3,8)
David Cole -- engineer, mixing
John Palladino -- executive producer
Tommy Steele -- art, design
Jeff Lancaster -- design
David Alexander -- photography

return to THE STEVE MILLER BAND discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US/CAN June 1982 Capitol LP/CS ST-12216 lyric sleeve
UK/GER/ITA June 1982 Mercury LP/CS 6302 204/7144 204 lyric sleeve
JPN 1982 Capitol LP ECS-81505  
YUG 1982 RTB LP ST-2221330  
US January 1983 Capitol CD/CS CDP7/C4-46102  
US 2002 Eagle Rock CD EAMCD044  

 

For more discographies visit...
progrography

© 2008 Connolly & Company. All rights reserved.