"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.