#MusicMonday – August 6, 2018

It’s Monday, and all I need is a miracle.  I’d say all I need is you.  But really, I just need Monday to not be so…Monday.

That’s not always easy, but we’ve got music to help get us through.  So there’s that.

So, have you ever been in a predicament where you just needed a simple twist of fate, a reversal of fortune, or just a flat out miracle to turn everything around in your favor?

If you have, then you understand the plight of the protagonist in the music video for today’s song choice.

A restaurant owner threatens to hold a band’s instruments as collateral, unless he is paid 500 pounds for the band’s performance in his half-empty restaurant (he won’t pay them because of the last-minute booking and half-empty restaurant), thus sending the manager of that band into the streets as an attempt to acquire the payment.

This story isn’t a TV show episode, it is the plot of the Mike and the Mechanics music video “All I Need Is A Miracle,” released as part of the group’s 1985 debut album.  The song was written by guitarist Mike Rutherford, along with producer Christopher Neil.  It was released in early 1986, as the second single from that album – the first being “Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground).”  It features vocals by singer Paul Young, who contributed both to this version and the 1996 version of the same song.

Yes, this song got an updated treatment, complete with an entirely different music video that actually lacked a story and featured naked cherub statues jumping.

You’ll see what I’m talking about shortly. Just keep reading!

The single for “All I Need is a Miracle” was released on February 3, 1986, and reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, following the Top 10 success of their previous single, “Silent  Running (On Dangerous Ground).”  The third and final single from Mike + the Mechanics’ debut album, “Taken In,” fared less successfully, but fared well with the release of their second album, Living Years, and the hugely successful single “The Living Years” in 1988.

Mike Rutherford was one of the founding members of Genesis (you know, the group Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel alternated with their solo efforts!).  He formed Mike + the Mechanics in 1985, but went back to Genesis on a recurring basis.

Mike + the Mechanics was active from 1985 until 2004, but has been active since 2010.  They’re described as not being a tight-knit group (much like a recent Music Monday-featured band, Steely Dan), but instead a vehicle for Mike Rutherford’s songwriting (as well as singer/writer/composer B.A. Robertson and Christopher Neil).  The group didn’t really have official members at the outset, but by the time Paul Young came to the group, it had become more cohesive.

Reformed in 2010, the group is once again active, and is releasing albums, though their biggest hits happened in the 1980s.

Genesis, where Rutherford had come from, had formed in 1967 and was active until 1998, and again from 2006 until 2007.  Rutherford was part of the group pretty much during their entire lifespan (of course, between albums with his band).  Singer Paul Carrack (who played the bassist in this video) continues to have a solo career.  If you’ve ever heard the song “Don’t Shed a Tear For Me,” well, that was him!

Lead singer Paul Young, who provided the vocals for “All I Need Is A Miracle,” split duties of a solo artist with his time in Mike + the Mechanics and (until 1989) Sad Cafe.  His death in 2000 was partially a catalyst for the group’s hiatus.

All this talk of dissolved groups and hiatuses, it makes me sad.  Unfortunately, that’s the subject of another (perhaps moreso) well-known Mike + the Mechanics song, “The Living Years,” but why not listen to a happy song.  As co-writer Mike Rutherford said, he doesn’t write happy songs very often.

Anyway, here’s the original music video, where the story picks up after the “Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground)” music video.

Screenshot (1225)

By the time the manager catches his lucky break, you’ll be cheering for him.

I said there was another video from 10 years later, right?  Of course I did!

And how about the 1996 version?  Let’s give that one some love too!

And there we have it.  At least the song was optimistic.

I guess a miracle involves keeping a band together despite everything against them, but thankfully, the band discussed here is still together, and hopefully performing this song.  You don’t need miracles there, just a good set list.

Well, that does it for today.  Have a great Monday, and enjoy the music!

Hopefully, no miracles needed!

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