Yes, “Miracle of Life” from Union (1991): YESterdays

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This track was co-written by Mark Mancina, who has an extensive soundtrack background and association with Trevor Rabin of Yes. Perhaps this association explains why “Miracle of Life” has such a West Coast, Hollywood-movie feel.

Long-time Yes collaborator Eddy Offord was enlisted to co-produce with Mancina and Rabin, and his touch seems evident in the song’s dense and swirling opening. Tony Kaye’s organ is featured prominently with Trevor Rabin’s acoustic guitar and Alan White’s inspired off-meter playing. The Yes choir burst onto the scene briefly then exit, ushering in more Kaye organ, Rabin mandolin and a contrapuntal bass elements by Chris Squire.

The first two minutes of “Miracle of Life” are pure prog joy. Unfortunately, by the time Jon Anderson’s vocals enter, the song settles into an MOR listlessness.

Knowing that Anderson’s vocals were tacked on doesn’t help. This is another moment on 1991’s Union where it would have been just as effective if Rabin and Squire handled all the vocal heavy lifting. The last middle vocal breakdown also seems hastily attached, with the hook repeated in an attempt to get a hit.

As with many songs on this pieced-together project, “Miracle of Life” has the ingredients of a good Yes song, put it’s torpedoed by band politics, and questionable production decisions. In its present form, “Miracle of Life” would seem better suited for a Trevor Rabin movie soundtrack.


YESterdays is a song-by-song feature that explores the unforgettable musical legacy of Yes. The series runs every other Tuesday.

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Atlanta. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at slangofages@icloud.com; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Preston Frazier
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