Jefferson Starship

Miracles

Song Review by

"Miracles" is one of those phenomenal compositions and productions which could only have come from another universe and is exactly what the title promises -- a miracle. The biggest hit and long overdue vindication for one of the founding members of Jefferson Airplane, Marty Balin's exquisite voice finds its most perfect setting soaring above Craig Chaquico's silken guitar lines and Grace Slick's wonderful vocal accompaniment.

It's probably the only time Slick and Balin ever made love, their voices pure sex together inside this tune about the potential of that once-in-a-lifetime friendship. The delicate intro so light and airy, with the brilliant statement "if only you believe like I believe," having faith in both the love affair and metaphysics. When the voices and guitars combine with the saxophone in the instrumental portion of the song, it is pure cosmic joy. Balin said he has a "pocketful of miracles," and fans can only hope he does, because this composition is as perfect a song as anyone could ever write, with production by Jefferson Starship and engineer Larry Cox as sublime as the melody.

When asked how such an amazing work was put together, Balin said matter-of-factly that they just went in (to the studio) and let it happen. It would have been hard to imagine those counterculture revolutionaries who urged anarchy for all the "volunteers" at Woodstock coming up with not only an album rock classic but an adult contemporary standard; however, Red Octopus was the maturing and refinement of a highly intellectual underground band and evidence that the group should have continued in this art/pop direction. "Miracles" is the antithesis of the latter-day Starship's masterpiece, "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now," the difference in the two tunes the difference between the two groups.

Where Diane Warren and Albert Hammond manufactured the Grace Slick/Mickey Thomas 1987 number one hit, Balin penned this gem from the heart, fusing the underground elements Slick and he were such an integral part of with subtle power pop. It's just a magical effort like Bobby Hebb's "Sunny," a song that doesn't come along every day and a performance that is one in a million.

The 45, a three-minute-and-30-second version of the six-minute-and-52-second album cut, is edited so cleanly for radio one would think it was the entire tune if not for radio going on the longer track. It got major airplay despite Balin's revealing and quite descriptive lyrics that the censors would've have had a field day with just a half a dozen years prior.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Red Octopus 1975 RCA 6:51
Gold 1979 RCA 3:30
Nipper's Greatest Hits: The 70's 1990
Various Artists
RCA 6:51
No Image 1990 Rhino 6:54
A Retrospective 1993 RCA
Dim the Lights: Soft Rock Hits of the 70's 1996
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:30
I Love Rock & Roll: Hits of the '70s, Vol. 3 1996
Various Artists
Priority Records 6:52
70's Heavy Hitters: Summer Love 1997
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:30
The Ultimate Rock Collection Gold and Platinum, Vol. 3: 1974-1979 1997
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:34
Hits of the 70's [Columbia River] 1998
Various Artists
Valmark 6:54
70's Hits Back 1998
Various Artists
Hip-O 3:33
Daydream 1998
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 6:53
Have a Nice Decade: The 70s Pop Culture Box 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 3:29
Love Rocks, Vol. 6: Hot Nights Dim Lights 1998
Various Artists
Simitar Distribution 6:54
Hits 1998 RCA 6:51
Lava Love 1999
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:30
Time in a Bottle: Mellow Rock Classics 1999
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 6:53
Entertainment Weekly: The Greatest Hits 1975 2000
Various Artists
Buddha Records 3:29
Love Songs 2000 RCA 6:54
The 70's [Original TV Soundtrack] 2000
Original TV Soundtrack
Island / Polygram 6:54
70's Jewels 2000
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:33
VH1 Behind the Music: The Jefferson Airplane Collection 2000 RCA 6:54
Classic Rock 70's 2000
Various Artists
Trans World 3:34
Radio's Greatest Hits: The '70s 2000
Various Artists
Trans World 3:33
American Woman and Other Hits from the 1970's 2001
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 6:54
Entertainment Weekly: The Greatest Hits 1975-1979 2001
Various Artists
Buddha Records 3:29
The Ultimate Hits of the 70's 2001
Various Artists
Collectables 3:32
A Year in Your Life: 1975, Vol. 1 2001
Various Artists
Definitive 6:55
The Ultimate Jukebox Hits of the '70s, Vol. 1 2001
Various Artists
Collectables 3:32
Jukebox Hits of the '70s [Collectables] 2002
Various Artists
Collectables 5:08
Greatest Hits 2002 BCD 6:55
40 Years of Jukebox Hits: The 50's, 60's, 70's & 80's 2002
Various Artists
Collectables 3:32
Platinum & Gold Collection 2003 BMG Heritage / RCA 6:55
No Image 2004
Various Artists
BMG Special Products 3:32
No Image 2004
Various Artists
BMG Special Products 3:28
Straight from the Heart [Box Set] 2004
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 6:54
Casey Kasem Presents: America's Top Ten - The 70's Rock's Greatest Hits 2005
Various Artists
Top Sail Productions 3:31
Crank 2006
Original Soundtrack
Lakeshore Records 6:51
Legends: We Will Rock You 2006
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:34
Super Hits 2007 Sony Music Distribution / Sony CMG 3:32
Legends Informercial Set 2007
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:34
Get Ready, Here Come the '70s 2007
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 3:28
The Ultimate Rock Ballads Collection [Time Life] 2007
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:32
The Ultimate Rock Ballads Collection: The Flame 2007
Various Artists
Rhino 3:32
Original Album Classics 2009 Sony BMG / RCA 6:51
Singers & Songwriters [Time-Life Box Set] 2011
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 6:52
Singers & Songwriters: 1974-1975 2012
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 6:52
The Essential 2012 Legacy / RCA 6:54
The Box Set Series 2014 RCA 6:52
The Box Set Series: Classic Rock 2014
Various Artists
Legacy 6:53
Starship Enterprise: The Best of Jefferson Starship and Starship 2019 Rhino
Rock & Romance Collection
Various Artists
Time Life 6:54
The Heart of Classic Rock [Box Set]
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:32