February 1986: Mike + the Mechanics Release ALL I NEED IS A MIRACLE

Wednesday, February 1, 2023
AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01: Photo of GENESIS and Mike RUTHERFORD; Mike Rutherford performing live onstage (Photo by Bob King/Redferns)

By the mid-1980s, the members of Genesis were superstars. Phil Collins had struck out on a very successful solo career, and fellow member Mike Rutherford was ready to have a solo impact of his own, albeit with the help of a few friends.

After the lukewarm reception to music recorded under his own name, Rutherford took inspiration from Steely Dan and formed Mike + the Mechanics. Not so much a band in the traditional sense, the project revolved around Rutherford and songwriter B.A. Robertson. With a strong assist from producer Chris Neil, the guitarist recruited top session musicians to realize his musical vision.

Releasing a self-titled debut in October 1985, it was the record's second single that proved the charm. Released on February 3, 1986, "All I Need is a Miracle"--featuring singer Paul Young on lead vocals--flew up the Hot 100, peaking at #5 during the week of June 7, 1986. The #1 song in the country that week: Madonna's "Live to Tell."

For the song's music video, the group blended performance clips with a story line about a band manager trying to raise money to pay off a club owner. The video's success helped propel the song up the charts.

"That kind of tied in the whole thing about when Genesis was just starting to get very popular on MTV, so if you could do something good – or in my case, if it was a matter of who was important – it was advantageous all around," Rutherford said in a 2015 interview. "I think that particular song, 'Miracle,' is quite an up, happy song without being sweet, ‘cause very often when you write a happy song, it gets a bit sweet and sugary. That one was a nice balance, I think."

Sadly, singer Paul Young would die of a heart attack in the year 2000. Formerly of the band Sad Cafe, he's often confused with fellow singer Paul Young of "Come Back and Stay" fame.