Miracles by Jefferson Starship (Grunt, 1975)

In the early 70s, Marty Balin was kicking around unemployed, an ex-member of Jefferson Airplane. Paul Kantner, Jefferson’s guitarist was putting together a new version of the group and asked Marty if he had any songs. He had held back one song he was working on for a while and eventually brought it to Kantner, a tune called Caroline. When finally asked to join the new incarnation of Jefferson Airplane full time in 1975, now called Jefferson Starship, Marty wrote them a tune he thought would take them to the top. Everyone hated it. The song was Miracles.

The band relented though and recorded the tune for their new album, Red Octopus. [classy, huh?] The song shot up the charts to #3 and the album went to #1. Marty was back and became their new main lead singer. All for a song which Marty says was inspired by the love of his girlfriend and the love for Indian Guru, Sathya Sia Baba. That’s it, Marty? Are you sure you didn’t get any inspiration from this:

Sound familiar? This song, If Only You Believe, written by Dennis Lambert & Brian Potter was recorded by the Free Movement in 1972 and by Gayle McCormick for her debut LP in 1971. [Ironically Lambert was the co-writer on We Built This City, a #1 hit in 1985 for (Jefferson) Starship, so even though Dennis eventually got paid, Marty was gone by then, by the way.

The album version of this song is nearly 7 minutes, but they edited the 45 down to 3 1/2 minutes. Good thing too, cause it gave the producer an excuse to edit out all the creepy bits of this song. Marty talked about his love a little too explicitly. Now I’m not a prude by any means. It’s just that it comes off sleazy and not very erotic when he, without irony or sensuality, talks about dancin’ inside ya after he’s had a taste of the real world when he’s goes down on you. Wow why did the band think this song was weird? Thankfully the 45 leaves the line about you ripple like a river when I touch you.

All I can picture when I hear lines like that is this guy:

I don’t mean to disparage Marty’s ‘love’, especially when he hears windmills & rainbows, but didn’t that drive Don Quixote insane? Maybe Marty is hanging out in the Netherlands eating Skittles. Who knows?

I am very glad I have the 45 in my memory rather than Plato’s Retreat version. It makes me think of buying puzzles at Child World and running home to put them together on the basement floor while my mom had friends over for ‘tea’ upstairs. If only I could have existed on the stars. I heard it was so easy.

Leave a comment


  1. Ah . . . the single edit. If I weren’t so lazy, I’d have already found this on YouTube. Thanks. By the way, this is a great blog. Truly. (Mine’s at echoesinthewind.net)

  2. Nice blog but I still prefer the EP version of this song. I don’t find this song sleazy at all. As a kid though I only heard the 45 version. I was surprised at the lyrics to the EP version. I do find this song very sensual. I also like the fact that he says “baby” 25 times throughout the song. Just my female perspective. 😉

    • Michael

       /  April 30, 2016

      I agree Lisa.. I was 15 in 1975 loved the Album and song.. Great love making song too..❤️

  3. BTW, cool find “If Only You Believe” by the Free Movement. Never heard it, but I see your point.

  4. Remembered this song, from back in the day. Always heard the radio version, never really knew, what the words actual were until now. Definitely very sexy,but I won’t mind, being called baby that many times.LoL

  5. Patrick

     /  October 4, 2017

    I heard the Gayle McCormick song (“If Only you Believe”) on a podcast that I listen to, “Songs From the Basement”. As I was listening to the track I heard the lyrics to “Miracles”. I thought that maybe the song was a cover by J Starship. Nope. But, damn, the lyrics are taken straight from that song. The host of the podcast (Stuart Held) didn’t mention “Miracles” when he mentioned the title and artist, but I had to tell him what I heard.

  6. W.B.

     /  March 15, 2021

    It seems all Marty Balin did was change the arrangement, tempo, chord arrangement and the way it was sung . . .

    B.T.W., they keep bringing up Billboard’s #3 peak for this, the highest charted of any incarnation of what began in the 1960’s as Jefferson Airplane until what later became Starship had the first of three Number Ones with “We Built This City” in 1985. But “Miracles’ ” biggest peak was #2 in Record World; both Cash Box and Radio & Records charted this at #4.

  7. W.B.

     /  September 18, 2021

    P.S. When Mr. Balin passed away, some obituaries noted that he brought a soulful vibe to the Jefferson Starship. Ah, we get it now: He was channeling Barry White on this song.

  8. Jeremy A Roper

     /  October 17, 2022



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