|Single by Steve Miller Band|
|from the album Abracadabra|
|B-side||"Give It Up" (US/Canada)|
"Baby Wanna Dance" (US/Canada, alternate B-side)
"Never Say No" (international)
|Length||5:08 (Album version)|
3:34 (Single/Video version)
|Producer(s)||Steve Miller, Gary Mallaber|
|Steve Miller Band singles chronology|
"Abracadabra" is a song by American rock group Steve Miller Band, written by Steve Miller. The song was released as the first single from the 1982 album of the same name the same year.
The song is said to have been inspired by the American singer Diana Ross, whom Miller had met when they each performed on the same episode of the pop music television show Hullabaloo in the 1960s. The lyrics "Round and round and round it goes, where it stops nobody knows" are a reference to the spinning wheel segment from The Original Amateur Hour. Speaking on The Howard Stern Show in June 2016, Miller said at first his record company Capitol Records did not see the potential hit it would become. "Capitol didn't believe in it and didn't want to release it. I had a different deal with Phonogram in Europe. When it came out in Europe, I cancelled my American tour because it was No. 1 everywhere in the world, except the States." After seeing its success overseas, Capitol released it in the U.S. and it also climbed to No. 1.
The song became a worldwide hit, charting in ten countries and topping the charts in six. In the U.S., the song was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two non-consecutive weeks, becoming the band's third number one hit in the U.S. along with "The Joker" and "Rock'n Me". It was knocked off the top by Chicago's "Hard to Say I'm Sorry", only to return to No. 1 two weeks later. A similar occurrence happened in 1976, when "Rock'n Me" knocked Chicago's "If You Leave Me Now" out of the No. 1 spot. The song also showed substantial longevity, spending fourteen weeks in the top ten of the Hot 100 chart. "Abracadabra" is listed at No. 90 on Billboard's Greatest Songs of all time.
The UK single version has never yet appeared on CD. It is 3:33 and is an exclusive edit where the chorus is edited back in at 3:06 and repeats to fade. The non-UK single version of the song appears in several Steve Miller Band compilation albums such as Young Hearts as well as on the Time-Life compilation Sounds of the Eighties: 1980–1982 and on a CD of songs hand-picked by Guy Fieri titled Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives: Road Songs That Rock. Capitol issued an alternative version on a promotional 12" single (Capitol Records #SPRO 9797) for radio airplay; it featured a slightly slower tempo, removal of the second verse and first chorus, and a slightly earlier fade than the LP version. A live version of the song was released on Steve Miller Band Live! in 1983.
The video features magicians in a white room performing tricks and other illusions with a female assistant. Since Miller himself was touring Europe at the time and unavailable for the shoot, he appears in the video only in a series of photos, wearing sunglasses or having his eyes covered with a black bar. The video also features an appearance by Joan Severance.
"Abracadabra" was used in the season 12 episode "The Witches of Langley" of the animated television series American Dad! during a musical montage when Steve and his friends take up witchcraft to gain popularity at school. It was also used in the 2013 film The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. It was also played in an audition scene in the 2021 film Sing 2.