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Do You Believe in Miracles

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Covid-19
Released  18 November 1985
Genre  Pop rock
Label  RCA Records
Format  7" Single, 12" single
Length  4:11
B-side  My Oh My (Swing Version)

"Do You Believe in Miracles" is a UK and German only single from rock band Slade. It was written by lead singer Noddy Holder and bassist Jim Lea. The single was released in 1985 and peaked at #54 in the UK, spending 6 weeks on the chart. The single's earning went to charity.

Contents

The track was added to Slade's Christmas Party album Crackers which was released on the same date as the single, 18 November.

Background

In the summer of 1985 Holder sat and watched Live Aid, amazed at what Bob Geldof was achieving with some rock ‘n’ roll, some organisation and a vision. Remembering Slade’s depression in 1979, he recalled an earlier encounter with "the man they called the mouth" and put his feelings in the lyrics that became Slade’s Christmas charity single. A bigger hit would have generated more funds, but the record had its heart in the right place.

Jim Lea was asked in a 1988 interview on the sales of the single. "Certainly a few thousand pounds have been paid over and I keep getting these very nice letters all the time saying 'Thank you very much, Mr Lea'."

Whilst performing the song on UK TV, one man confronted Lea, stating "That's a great song but it won't be a hit." Upon being asked why by Lea, the man replied "It's too good."

A special 12" vinyl Christmas pack was created which added two further tracks from the Crackers - The Christmas Party Album. A cover of both Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Auld Lang Syne/You'll Never Walk Alone. Both were produced by Lea. A special double 7" vinyl gatefold was released with a similar track listing, minus Time to Rock.

Promotion

The track was promoted by a music video as well as UK TV performances of the track being mimed. These performances were on TV shows Krankies, Razzmatazz and Saturday Superstore. Another mimed TV performance was also filmed and broadcast, although the show is unknown, possibly European but most likely a UK based show.

Powell spoke of the single in an early 1986 fan club interview, "It didn't do too well chartwise, but it had every radio play in the book really. I could never turn the radio on without hearing it played. We did quite a few T.V. shows to promote it - but when we recorded them, when the record first came out - all the T.V. shows centred around Christmas, so we missed out on the initial thing. If we'd have had those T.V.'s when the record was actually released, that would have helped a lot more. The radio play was incredible though, even Alan James, our plugger couldn't understand it. I'm not quite sure if the commercial stations picked up on the single too, but I would assume so. They normally follow the BBC. I think the Sheffield station, Radio Hallam and Liverpool commercial stations played it a lot."

In the same interview, Powell replied to the fact that the single was included on the "Crackers – The Christmas Party Album" before being released as a single. "That could be a reason. Funnily enough, that was one of the bones of contention - Telstar said that they wanted it on the album, whereas we didn't because that would mean that it would split the sales between the single and the album. I know that if I personally like someone's single, and it's going to be on their latest album, then I'll wait and buy the album."

Powell also stated that he was surprised that the re-release of "Merry Xmas Everybody" that year was more successful than this single. Powell asked "how far can that song go?"

Powell confirmed the single was released all over Europe and was asked if it did well within Europe at all. "I think it did quite well in the Scandinavian countries, but I haven't heard anything from Germany or Holland."

Powell was also asked if Slade were offered to perform the song on European TV. "At the time they wanted us to do the T.V. shows in Europe, we were doing the T.V. shows over here in the UK - to get them ready in time for Christmas - so we didn't have time to go over there. At least we did do the video for the single so they could show that."

Powell was questioned about the music video which shows a new drum kit used by Powell himself. Powell stated "I think that kit was hired by the video company, as there was problems getting my kit as it was packed away in the warehouse in Birmingham."

For the September–December 1986 Slade fan club magazine, Lea was interviewed with one question asking if Lea was conscious of the long break between the last single Do You Believe in Miracles and the present. Lea mentioned the Do You Believe in Miracles single by stating "Do You Believe in Miracles was played to death on the beeb. I really believed in that record. I didn’t like the sound of it on the radio though. I tried to combat that in my own way, but we’d reached the fourth mix of that single and by then I think everybody was past doing another mix. I was happy with the first mix because I knew it would have sounded good on the radio."

Music Video

Slade’s last video of the 1980s, filmed by Phillip Davey who had filmed the video for Slade’s All Join Hands, 7 Year Bitch, Myzsterious Mizster Jones and Little Sheila. By 1986, Lea himself had not even seen the finished version. The most he saw of the video were clips shown as he was interviewed by Gary Davies on the Sky Channel Cable T.V. programme. The video is constructed of three sequences which are slotted together. The first sequence was filmed in an attic with Holder dressed in a smoking jacket, peering through a telescope, plotting the course of Halley’s Comet. The attic has an ‘olde worlde’ appearance, complete with trunks of cast away junk, globes and the customary black cat strolling about.

The second sequence is of the band playing the track live on stage to the backdrop of a white curtain that is being blown as if in a wind-tunnel. The effects are highlighted by the band wearing black and white outfits and also the lighting being in black and white only. The third sequence is of the band performing the song in front of a live audience. Slade are seen sitting on stage, all with acoustic guitars except Powell. They are surrounded by a mass of candles. All of the different images are intermingled together with a final shot of the band all together in the attic, Hill with the black cat on his shoulder, seeing Halley’s Comet through the telescope.

Formats

7" Single
  1. "Do You Believe in Miracles" - 4:11
  2. "My Oh My (Swing Version)" - 3:02
12" Single
  1. "Do You Believe in Miracles (Extended version)" - 6:12
  2. "My Oh My (Swing Version)" - 3:02
  3. "Time to Rock" - 4:08
12" Christmas Pack Single
  1. "Do You Believe in Miracles" - 4:11
  2. "My Oh My (Swing Version)" - 3:02
  3. "Time to Rock" - 4:08
  4. "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" - 2:39
  5. "Auld Lang Syne/You'll Never Walk Alone" - 3:28

Personnel

  • Noddy Holder: Lead vocals and guitar
  • Jim Lea: Bass guitar, synthesizer and backing vocals
  • Dave Hill: Lead guitar and backing vocals
  • Don Powell: Drums
  • References

    Do You Believe in Miracles Wikipedia


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