Song of the Day #399: ‘Abracadabra’ – The Steve Miller Band

stevemiller20 Best Songs of the 80s – #7

Today’s SOTD is different from just about all the rest in that the band performing it was not enjoying success for the first time but capping off a career that had already reached impressive heights. The Steve Miller Band went on to record many more albums, but ‘Abracadabra’ was their last single to chart. Prior to this 1982 release, however, the band had quite a few hits, including ‘The Joker,’ ‘Rock’n Me’ and ‘Fly Like an Eagle.’

But I didn’t know any of that in 1982. I lumped The Steve Miller Band in with all the other one-hit wonders that put music out around that time. Or at least that’s how I remember it… I don’t know if my 10-year-old mind really thought in terms of one-hit wonders.

The reason I remember this song so well, and so fondly, is that it’s one of the first songs I recall owning on 45. I can still picture the shiny little disc in its paper sleeve with ‘The Steve Miller Band / Abracadabra’ printed neatly on the label. I don’t know if I bought it or if my sister bought it and and I just swiped it from her, but it’s one of my earliest memories of being interested enough in music to own a copy of something.

People talk about vinyl sounding better than CDs but I’m not enough of an audiophile to really appreciate the difference. However, I do think vinyl forced you to care more about your music. Today if you want to hear a single, it’s a double-click away. Back then you had to pull out the record, make sure the little disc was on the turntable, load it up, carefully lower the needle into the groove. You kind of had to work for the privilege. I think that made us appreciate it more.

I heat up, I can’t cool down
You got me spinnin’
round and round
round and round and round it goes
Where it stops nobody knows

Every time you call my name
I heat up like a burnin’ flame
Burnin’ flame full of desire
Kiss me baby, let the fire get higher

Abra-abra-cadabra
I want to reach out and grab ya
Abra-abra-cadabra
Abracadabra

You make me hot, you make me sigh
You make me laugh, you make me cry
Keep me burnin’ for your love
With the touch of a velvet glove

Abra-abra-cadabra
I want to reach out and grab ya
Abra-abra-cadabra
Abracadabra

I feel the magic in your caress
I feel magic when I touch your dress
Silk and satin, leather and lace
Black panties with an angel’s face

I see magic in your eyes
I hear the magic in your sighs
Just when I think I’m gonna get away
I hear those words that you always say

Abra-abra-cadabra
I want to reach out and grab ya
Abra-abra-cadabra
Abracadabra

Every time you call my name
I heat up like a burnin’ flame
Burnin’ flame full of desire
Kiss me baby, let the fire get higher

I heat up, I can’t cool down
My situation goes round and round
I heat up, I can’t cool down
My situation goes round and round
I heat up, I can’t cool down
My situation goes round and round

5 thoughts on “Song of the Day #399: ‘Abracadabra’ – The Steve Miller Band

  1. Amy says:

    So that’s where my 45 went! 😉

    I completely agree with you about the process of “owning” music – buying, storing it, sorting it, playing it. I don’t even know half of what is on my iPod, so it’s difficult to have a meaningful connection with it. When Dana and I were designing the library bookshelves for our house, Laurence (our wise carpenter) made fun of us for wanting shelves for CD’s. Somehow the idea of having no physical “proof” of a collection leaves me cold. Same reason I shudder when talk of the Kindle gets going.

    As for your early foray into a life of crime… I forgive you. This is a perfectly fun song that does capture the spirit of the 80’s, but it’s not one that I feel a burning need to ever play again 😉 Spin away.

  2. Dana says:

    I can appreciate your point about vinyl. Of course, for someone like me, who was not always so careful with the record or the needle, it became a bit frustrating when my favorite songs developed a skip.:) Still, there was absolutely something more tangible, something more imprinted upon you, by owning a record–being able to see it, touch it, handle it. There is less of a connection, and maybe less of a passion, when the music we “own” is now stored in megabits and not on our shelves.

    So, as for today’s song–an interesting pick, and one I wasn’t expecting. But I see why you picked it given your personal memory of the 45. I really have always liked Steve Miller Band’s sound. I suppose fans of their 70’s songs would argue that they jumped the shark with Abracadabra. Then again, I’m not sure there was any great depth to a song like Rock’n Me. With this band, it was always about the smooth sound–a quality that you also found in the Alan Parson’s Project. I know you are running out of songs on this countdown, but I might have given Parson’s a nod on this list as well.

  3. Kerrie says:

    I have to say that, for me, this is much more of a 70s song that happened to come out in the 80s than one that exemplifies the 80s. I do remember this video in heavy rotation on MTV (the early days of MTV might be another cool theme, by the way), but it doesn’t otherwise stand out for me as part of what made the 80s special. I’m intrigued that it is so high on the list for you….

  4. Clay says:

    I’m giving higher placement to songs for which I have specific memories or associations. Going by sound alone, I’d probably have a very different list.

  5. mike says:

    I loved the videos for the 80s songs. I like buying my music on CD. I can’t relate to people downloading albums online. I like to hold something. You also miss out on the album art if you just download songs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.