Monday, 21 January 2013

Mike and the Mechanics 'All I Need Is A Miracle 96'

Chart Peak: 27 [original version: 54 in 1986]

Originally a chart record back in 1986, 'All I Need Is A Miracle made the Top 30 in remix form in early 1996... Ten years after they first got together, Mike And The Mechanics are surely the most popular part-time band in the world.
A pedant writes: just as 'Out Of The Sinking' was a remix and not just a re-issue, 'All I Need Is A Miracle' is an entirely re-recorded version of the original, and not just a remix. I'm not sure why this was felt necessary, as the finished track still sounds rather 1980s, but it did provide some sort of bait for potential buyers of the imaginatively-titled Hits compilation, for which this was the lead single. The original version had not been a major hit in the UK but went Top 5 in the US, I also recall hearing it (and 'Invisible Touch') when we were on holiday in Canada in 1986.

Many members of well-known bands have taken the opportunity of side-projects to record more experimental material, but Genesis are unusual in having seemed to do the opposite. Admittedly, I've never heard anything by Tony Banks or his unappealingly-named band Bankstatement, but whilst Phil Collins possibly had more edge in his early solo work than he's given credit for (not saying much) Mike Rutherford's second-longest-lasting project were headed straight for the coffee table. There's nothing wrong with making pop-oriented music, of course, and in posts elsewhere on this blog I've often been unfashionably positive about the moves Genesis made towards a more commercial sound. The trouble with the Mechanics was that by and large the material wasn't up to the job and whilst they mostly avoided the turgid showing-off that tends to ruin supergroups, a lot of their recordings sound neither spontaneous nor perfectly poppy but a bit stale. 'All I Need Is A Miracle' is according to Rutherford one of their more optimistic songs (I suppose because it at least acknowledges the possibility of a miracle), and it has a decent vocal from the late Paul Young, not to be confused with the Paul Young featured on other Now albums who's still with us, but it deserved to be no more of a hit than it was.

Also appearing on: Now 30
Available on: Mike + The Mechanics Hits

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