Barry Manilow

It's a Miracle

Composed by Barry Manilow / Marty Panzer

Song Review by

The follow-up to Barry Manilow's breakout number one hit "Mandy," "It's a Miracle" was one of the theatrical, slightly (if unintentionally) campy up-tempo numbers that Manilow sometimes recorded to indulge his taste for Broadway. It just missed the Top Ten in 1975, which seemed to be taken as an indicator that Manilow's hit potential lay with ballads; most of his future single releases and best-known songs were in that vein. "It's a Miracle" establishes the sonic blueprint Manilow would use on much of his future show tune-style numbers: a relatively driving beat with lots of '70s high-hat (though one still might wish it was faster), a female backing chorus echoing most of his lyrics, and an over-the-top flair that came across more playfully than on his ballad fare. The song is about coming home (clearly, from a national tour) to a lover, and the lyrics lay it on pretty thick, as Manilow sings repeatedly that "there'll be dancing in the streets," celebrating the miracle of their love (and he's talking about the city of New York dancing, not himself). The sentiment is overdone, yes, but the break where that line is repeated over and over is tailor-made for a glamorous stage production with a gaggle of elaborately costumed and choreographed dancers. (Pity there's no way to know from the exciting version on Live just how much the song was done up visually.) The studio version from Barry Manilow II features a groovy electric piano, an instrument rarely heard on Manilow singles; it instantly dates the song, but that's not a bad thing at all. Manilow was often accused of a complete lack of subtlety, but songs like "It's a Miracle" demonstrated where at least part of that sensibility came from.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Barry Manilow II 1974 Arista 4:02
No Image 1975
Various Artists
Ronco Silver
Live 1977 Arista 4:02
No Image 1977 MGM/UA
Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 1978 Arista 3:53
Greatest Hits [Bonus Tracks] 1978 Arista
No Image 1985 Arista
Live on Broadway 1987 Immortal
Concert at Blenheim Palace 1991 RCA/Columbia Home Video-Musicvision
The Complete Collection and Then Some... 1992 Arista/Legacy 4:01
No Image 1993 Alex 1:48
Ultimate Manilow [Arista] 2002 Legacy / Arista / Sony Music Distribution
Ultimate Manilow [BMG International] 2002 BMG / Arista
2 Nights Live 2004 BMG Heritage 2:35
Ultimate Manilow [Japan] 2004 Sony Music 3:52
The Essential Barry Manilow 2005 Arista / Sony Music Entertainment 3:43
The Very Best of Barry Manilow [Hallmark] 2005 Hallmark Recordings 3:54
Music and Passion: Live from Las Vegas 2006 Rhino/Warner Bros.
No Image 2006 Sony Music Distribution / BMG Special Products
First and Farewell [DVD] 2006 Rhino
The First Television Specials 2007 Rhino
The Very Best of Barry Manilow 2009 Allegro Corporation / Platinum Legends 3:54
The  Music of Barry Manilow 2010 Arista / Legacy 4:00
Super Hits 2011 BMG / Commercial Music Group / Sony Music Entertainment 3:45
The Box Set Series 2014 Sony Legacy 4:00
blue highlight denotes editor's pick