Promised You a Miracle

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"Promised You a Miracle"
Single by Simple Minds
Single by Simple Minds
from the album New Gold Dream (81–82–83–84)
B-side Theme for Great Cities
Released April 1982 (1982-04)
Format 12", 7"
Genre New wave
Length 3:59
Label Virgin
Writer(s) Jim Kerr, Charlie Burchill, Derek Forbes and Mick MacNeil
Producer(s) Peter Walsh
Simple Minds singles chronology
"I Travel (reissue)"
(1982)
"Promised You a Miracle"
(1982)
"Glittering Prize"
(1982)

"Promised You a Miracle" is a 1982 song by Scottish band Simple Minds and was released as the first single from their fifth studio album New Gold Dream (81–82–83–84). It is most notable for being the band's first successful chart hit in the UK,[1] reaching #13 in the UK Singles Chart and charting for 11 weeks.[2] Their previous nine UK singles yielded no Top 40 hits in that country.[3]

It was the only song on the album that included Kenny Hyslop as the studio session drummer.[4] Mike Ogletree and Mel Gaynor contributed for the other eight tracks.

The song triggered a prolonged period of commercial success for the band, during which they yielded 21 original UK hit singles in a row, up to and including 1998's "Glitterball" from the album Neapolis.[5][6] It also enabled them to make their debut on the British music television show Top of the Pops.[7][8]

The music video, directed by Steve Barron,[9] features the band members playing amidst colour television imagery, interspersed with a female model passing through an airport X-ray and sunbathing.

A live version from the album Live in the City of Light was released in 1987.

Style[edit]

"Promised You a Miracle" is a dance track which is driven by a combination of "deep electronic beats"[10] from the keyboards of Mick MacNeil and a "deft hook line and riff"[1] courtesy of Charlie Burchill's guitar play. It was considered by Jim Kerr to be the first "pure pop" song written by the band, as their first attempt to craft a song specifically for radio listeners.[11] The song is considered to be a bridging point between the atmospheric and "echo-laden"[12] New wave sound of Sons and Fascination and the stadium pop-rock of the band's later years, due to the clean, crisp production of the band's new producer Peter Walsh, which Allmusic notes gives it a "brash pop edge".[13]

Critical reception[edit]

"Promised You a Miracle" has been praised by many critics as one of Simple Minds' strongest songs. Dave Thompson of Allmusic noted its "funky bass line", "bright melody", and "splashy keyboard hook".[14] Dave Simpson in The Guardian referred to the song as a "showcase of early-80s optimism" with a "wistful edge".[15] A feature in a 2002 edition of Uncut by David Stubbs said: "What's so great about this track, and indeed 'Big Sleep', isn't just its combination of stinging riff with delicate mosaic musical colouring, but its subtle rhythmical patterns, which are a feature of the whole album".[16] A later Uncut review described the song as a "teetering moment of pop promise they could never surpass".[17]

Chart performance[edit]