Abracadabra (Steve Miller Band song)

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Single by Steve Miller Band
from the album Abracadabra
B-side "Never Say No"
Released May 1982
Format 7" 45 RPM
Recorded 1981
Genre Pop rock, electronic rock, new wave
Length 5:08 (Album version)
3:34 (Single version)
Label Capitol
Writer(s) Steve Miller
Producer(s) Steve Miller, Gary Mallaber
Certification Gold (RIAA)[1]
Silver (BPI)[2]
Steve Miller Band singles chronology
"Heart Like a Wheel"
"Keeps Me Wondering Why"

"Abracadabra" is a song by American rock group Steve Miller Band, written by Steve Miller. The song was released as the first single from the 1982 album of the same name the same year (see 1982 in music). The song is said to have been inspired by the American singer Diana Ross with whom Miller had met while performing together on Hullabaloo in the 1960s[3] and is listed at #70 on Billboard‍‍ '​‍s Greatest Songs of all time.[4]

The song became a worldwide hit, charting in ten countries and topping the charts in six countries, and has become one of the band's biggest hits, along with "The Joker" and "Rock'n Me".

In the United States, the song was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two non-consecutive weeks. It knocked Chicago's "Hard to Say I'm Sorry" out of the #1 spot, just as Steve Miller Band had done to Chicago in 1976 when "Rock'n Me" knocked "If You Leave Me Now" out of the #1 spot.

The UK single version has never yet appeared on CD. It is 3:33 and is an exclusive edit where the chorus is edited back in at 3:06 and repeats to fade. The non-UK single version of the song appears in several Steve Miller Band compilation albums such as Young Hearts as well as on the Time-Life compilation Sounds of the Eighties: 1980–1982 and on a CD of songs hand-picked by Guy Fieri titled Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives: Road Songs That Rock. Capitol issued an alternative version on a promotional 12" single (Capitol Records #SPRO 9797) for radio airplay; it featured a slightly slower tempo, removal of the second verse and first chorus, and a slightly earlier fade than the LP version. A live version of the song was released on Steve Miller Band Live! in 1983.

Music Video[edit]

The video features magicians in a white room performing tricks and other illusions with a female assistant. Steve Miller appears in the video in a series of photos throughout the promo. Miller wears sunglasses or his eyes are blacked out.

Single track listings[edit]

7" 45 RPM[edit]

Side one
  1. "Abracadabra [Single version]" (Note: UK 7" version is an exclusive edit - see above for details)
Side two
  1. "Baby Wanna Dance" (North American release)
  2. "Never Say No" (European release)

12" Maxi[edit]

North American release[edit]

Side one
  1. "Abracadabra" [Album version]
  2. "Abracadabra" [Single version]
Side two
  1. "Macho City" [Album version]

European release[edit]

Side one
  1. "Abracadabra" [Album version]
Side two
  1. "Never Say No" [Album version]

Cover Versions[edit]

Sugar Ray covered this song in 1999 on their album 14:59.

John Parr and Rick Wakeman from Yes covered this song, which was released in 2013 on the album Fly Like An Eagle: An All-Star Tribute to Steve Miller Band.


Chart (1982) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[5] 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[6] 1
Canada (RPM)[7] 1
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[8] 26
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[9] 8
Norway (VG-lista)[10] 4
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[11] 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[12] 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[13] 2
US Billboard Hot 100[14] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1982) Position
US Billboard Hot 100 9[15]

End-of-decade charts[edit]

End of decade (1980–1989) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 44[16]

Popular culture[edit]

Cover versions of the song have been performed by Sugar Ray on their album 14:59 and by the Mike Chapman Band. A live version by the Belgian band Das Pop appeared on their 2004 DVD-single Love is Fair. The song was also covered by Australian jazz/folk group Flap! on their self-titled debut album (2010).[17] The song was used repeatedly in the 2013 film The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.

The song also featured in an advert for drink brand Robinsons.

See also[edit]

List of Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles of 1982


Preceded by
"I've Never Been to Me" by Charlene
Canadian "RPM" Singles Chart number-one single
July 24, 1982
Succeeded by
"Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor
Preceded by
"Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor (first run)
"Hard to Say I'm Sorry" by Chicago (second run)
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
September 4, 1982
September 25, 1982
Succeeded by
"Hard to Say I'm Sorry" by Chicago (first run)
"Jack and Diane" by John Mellencamp (second run)
Preceded by
"The Other Woman" by Ray Parker, Jr.
Australian Kent Music Report number-one single
September 6, 1982 – September 13, 1982
Succeeded by
"Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor