Miracle Goodnight singleWritten by: David Bowie
Recorded: June-September 1992
Producers: David Bowie, Nile Rodgers

Released: 5 April 1993

Available on:
Black Tie White Noise

Personnel

David Bowie: vocals
Nile Rodgers: guitar
Barry Campbell/John Regan: bass guitar
Richard Hilton, Dave Richards, Philippe Saisse, Richard Tee: keyboards

‘Miracle Goodnight’ was the third single released from David Bowie’s 18th studio album, 1993’s Black Tie White Noise.

I love ‘Miracle Goodnight’, because he spoke to me in those wonderful abstract Bowie terms when we were doing that song. I flipped out. I mean, things like that are really deeply personal Bowie stuff. Once again, I was trying to make it very competitive.
Nile Rodgers
David Bowie: Ultimate Record Collection (Uncut)

Although written for his new bride Iman, Bowie brought a slightly twisted viewpoint to the subject of love.

It’s much nicer not to recognise that decay and the passing of all things is part of our existence. The Japanese novelist Yukio Mishima had this problem chase him throughout his life, and found it almost insurmountable. In fact he got to a point where he realised that, for him, the answer to retaining beauty in all its glory was to destroy beauty when it had reached its zenith. Indeed, that’s what he did with his own life. He took his own life when he had reached the most potent of his powers. Committed public suicide.

Not many pop singers have quite the courage of those convictions, I’m pleased to say. But we do sort of run around a lot with – I guess they were called balaclavas when I was younger, they’re called ski masks now – emotional balaclavas on anyway, to hide the fact that sometimes our love decays, and one of the scariest things is the idea that love may not be there the next morning. And ‘Miracle Goodnight’ is a pop song about that.

David Bowie
Black Tie White Noise film

Newly reinvigorated as a solo artist, Bowie was keen to experiment and break new ground on Black Tie White Noise. On ‘Miracle Goodnight’ he gave Nile Rodgers an unorthodox direction when it came to the guitar solo.

‘Imagine the fifties never existed,’ he told me. I went, ‘Wow, now we’re in some nebulous era because if the fifties hadn’t happened there would be no Jeff Beck and Hendrix.’ It was a great direction.
Nile Rodgers
Starman, Paul Trynka

Rodgers’ solo harked back to the jazz era, a clash of cultures which worked perfectly in the song.

With ‘Miracle Goodnight’, the first thing I recall about that besides David’s song textures and vocals is an incredible Les Paul guitar solo by Nile Rodgers. It sounds like a Les Paul/Mary Ford solo, in which Les Paul would layer all of these different elements.
Richard Hilton, keyboards
David Bowie: Ultimate Record Collection (Uncut)

The release

‘Miracle Goodnight’ was issued as the third single from Black Tie White Noise on 11 October 1993. The b-side on the 7″ was ‘Looking For Lester’.

The single was not a commercial success, and peaked at number 40 on the UK singles chart.

In Europe it was also released as 12″ and CD singles. The first had four remixes of the song: Blunted 2, Make Believe Mix, 2 Chord Philly Mix, and Dance Dub. The CD contained the album version, plus the 2 Chord Philly Mix and Maserati Blunted Dub. The remixes were by Tony Maserati and Robert Holms for Two Chord Music.

A music video for ‘Miracle Goodnight’, directed by Matthew Rolston, featured Bowie amid a harem of women, plus scenes of him wearing a jester’s costume, a mime artist, and the Thin White Duke.

I loved that song ‘Miracle Goodnight’, though. I thought it was incredible. If he’d released that as the first single, he would have had a smash.
Nile Rodgers
Strange Fascination, David Buckley
Previous song: ‘Pallas Athena’
Next song: ‘Don’t Let Me Down & Down’