Mike + The Mechanics: “All I Need Is A Miracle” (1986)

Mike Rutherford got his miracle with a second Top 10 hit, giving the Genesis juggernaut a run for its money.

Kronomyth 1.3: Flowers for Algernon.

With the Genesis machine approaching full power (Invisible Touch), Mike Rutherford found himself the center of attention for a change with Mike + The Mechanics. All I Need Is A Miracle is the best song from the Mechanic’s debut, a boost of adrenalin and optimism that perfectly captures the idealism of the 80s. It had a good hook, a great chorus and a nice balance of human energy and machine technology. Naturally, it felt like fingernails on a blackboard to me, but I was still holding a torch for “Time Table.”

The B side, also from their debut, is You Are The One. This song has that slower Rutherford feel, and you can hear where this would have worked in the context of Genesis (cf. “Alone Tonight”). Both tracks were co-written with Christopher Neil and, on the heels of listening to Elliot Easton’s Change No Change, I’m coming around to the idea that pairing a professional musician with a professional songwriter is a good formula for success (so long as that songwriter isn’t named Diane Warren).

In the UK, a remixed version of “All I Need Is A Miracle” was released. It plays up the mechanical side of the song with lots of studio tricks, but the effects are mostly a distraction. A slightly edited version of the song also appeared on a promotional single. And, of course, there was the requisite music video. The video features actor Roy Kinnear, who passed away in 1988. The video below is a short BBC documentary on Kinnear’s career.

Original 7-inch single version

A1. All I Need Is A Miracle (Michael Rutherford/Christopher Neil) (4:10)
B1. You Are The One (Michael Rutherford/Christopher Neil) (3:43)

Original 12-inch single
A1. All I Need Is A Miracle (remix) (Michael Rutherford/Christopher Neil)
B1. You Are The One (Michael Rutherford/Christopher Neil)
B2. A Call To Arms (Anthony Banks/Phil Collins/Michael Rutherford/Christopher Neil/B.A. Robertson)

Original double 7-inch single
A1. All I Need Is A Miracle (Michael Rutherford/Christopher Neil)
B1. You Are The One (Michael Rutherford/Christopher Neil)
C1. Silent Running (Michael Rutherford/B.A. Robertson)
D1. I Get The Feeling (Michael Rutherford/Christopher Neil)

Back-to-back hits 7-inch single
A1. All I Need Is A Miracle (Mike Rutherford/Christopher Neil) (4:10)
B1. Silent Running (Mike Rutherford/B.A. Robertson) (4:10)

The Product

Released on 7-inch, double 7-inch, 12-inch and 12-inch picture disc single in March 1986 in the US (Atlantic, 7-89450), the UK (WEA, U8765/(F)T/TP), Australia (WEA, 7-258765), Canada (Atlantic, 78 94507), Germany and Spain (WEA, 258 765 7) and Japan (WEA, P-2085) with regional picture sleeve; reached #5 on the US charts (charted on March 22, 1986 for 19 weeks) and #53 on the UK charts (charted on May 31, 1986 for 4 weeks). Also released as promotional 7-inch single in 1986 in the US (Atlantic, 7-89450) with 3:45 edit on both sides.

  1. Re-issued on back-to-back hits 7-inch single with “Silent Running” in the US (Atlantic Oldies Series, 7-84975).

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