Not 10, Not 20, but the Top 30 "Rain Songs"! (Waiting For May Flowers W/O)
May 1, 2003
Popular Products in MusicThe Bottom Line You'd never believe there were this many songs with "rain" in the title.
Special thanks go out to hipyx for inviting me to be a part of this great write-off! The theme is April showers and May flowers... and RAIN is the flavor of the week! I admit, the order is a little bit muddled, but I'm reasonably sure about the top ten. So without further adoodoo, here comes the top 30 rain songs, as picked by yours truly.
30.) "Fall Like Rain ~Eric Clapton
From his CD Pilgrim, Eric Clapton offered a single upbeat song and this was it. Such a misty, euphoric feel to the song, I couldn't possibly not include it.
29.) "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" ~Dorothy
Rather than digging around for the "real" artist, assuming there is one, I figured I'd just go with the version we all know best, right out of the classic The Wizard Of Oz. "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" represents that awful naive side of all of us, the one that bugs us about the grass being greener on the other side. But, the song happens to work because hey, most of the time that's true! And I guess the melody is kind of pretty too.
28.) "Why Does It Always Rain On Me" ~Travis
This forcibly slow tune from Travis doesn't quite measure up to most of the stuff on The Invisible Band, but it's still a decent easy-listening popper from "the other Blur". Or is it "the other Coldplay"? Why does it always rain on me... is it because I lied when I was seventeen? Hey, if that's the only time you've lied then no wonder Karma made you so famous!
27.) "Looks Like Rain" ~Tal Bachman
Surely you've heard of Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Well, this is the offspring of Bachman, but he sounds nothing like The Offspring. Except maybe for this song, which couples relentless guitar chords with a descending, tinny sort of "siren" sound behind it. You've never heard a song as weird as this one before. It's really all over the place musically, but once you learn it, it's a lot of fun to listen to Tal "running away" from his rainy feelings in this wildly fast tune.
26.) "I'm Only Happy When It Rains" ~Garbage
Electronic rock band Garbage is always good for a fast song, and here they deliver. It's an old melody played a new way. Shirley Manson utters, I'm only happy when it rains, and guitars come out swinging on the word "rains". I always thought that was funny, I guess just because it's so predictable. This is yet another one of those songs someone will start to sing, but will always sing the line of the title. My favorite part is actually when the melody changes up and Shirley sings, Poooour your misery down on me.
25.) "Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again" ~The Fortunes
This is one of those oldies you don't even know it's playing. It's just that much a part of you, or something. It's a great little song that is depressing without wallowing in itself. It has one of the finest beats around, and if you pay attention it won't lose you! It always seems to be a Monday, leftover memories of Sunday always spent with you before the clouds came, and took away my sunshi-hiiine... A lot of fun to sing along to this one.
24.) "Blame It On The Rain ~Milli Vanilli
Go on, admit it. It's a great idea for a song. It's a great idea, period. Just blame it on the rain, yeah, yeah. I s'pose when you're in the Army you learn that you can't blame anyone else.
23.) "Kentucky Rain" ~Elvis Presley
When I was younger I thought Elvis' songs all sounded the same, except for the ones I didn't know were him (e.g. In The Ghetto). As I grew up I learned to tell them apart, but I never knew he was capable of something this beautiful until I heard Dad sing it at Karaoke one night. The chorus throws you into a different key and completely changes the mood into something anthemic and hopeful. Otherwise it's a real downer of a song, describing someone's endless search for his lover from town to town. Kentucky rain keeps falling down, and up ahead's another town that I'll go walking through... with the rain in my shoe... searching for you in the cold Kentucky rain.
22.) "Here Comes The Rain Again" ~The Eurythmics
Raining on my head like a tragedy, tearing me apart like a newt in motion. Well, that's what I used to think she said. I think "Sweet Dreams" is one of the most played out songs ever... and I was a bit fascinated when I finally learned to tell the difference between this song and that one... let's just say that happened a lot later than it should have. I like this song better because of its use of string sections, a fascinating chorus and you can really get lost in it. Especially the way the chorus ends out with a slew of strings and a moment of silence.
22.) "Mandolin Rain ~Bruce Hornsby & The Range
The better part of Bruce Hornsby's hits were fast songs... but he and his band scored big with the ballad "Mandolin Rain". The chorus soars, the presence of sadness is undeniable, and the drums sound the same as in all the other songs by these guys. Still not a bad song, not to the point of being distracting.
21.) "Rhapsody In The Rain ~Lou Christie
Here's a tune that brings me right back to the first grade. With the high-pitched Bee-Gees-like vocals, this song smacks of cheer like no other. Kermit's edition was particularly interesting as well. But the beat is danceable and the words are singable (if you have the range, I know Mom does!)
20.) "I Wish It Would Rain Down" ~Genesis
This is a lesser-known (or perhaps just lesser-played) Genesis track that, if I remember correctly, made the cut for Phil Collins' Hits. (Hey Mom, review that one and maybe I'll link to ya...heh heh) It's got a lot of heart, and hey, haven't we all just wished that nature could shut up and conform to our feelings sometimes?
19.) "(It Must Be) Raindrops" ~David Cassidy
This classic little ditty remains a part of my memory for reasons I can't begin to explain. It was the first song I actually thought of when presented with the idea for this write-off. David's classic line of It must be raindrops, so many raindrops, it looks like-a raindrops, falling from my eye, eyes... falling from my eyes. As a child, I used to think it was so funny when he said "eyes" twice, and with so much conviction!
18.) "Rain" ~Madonna
Madonna was not quite a girl, pretty much a woman at this point. Or just a pretty woman. Still, her sultriness continued with mellow songs like "Rain". Of course it IS Madonna, and she's never too old to make a suggestive statement such as Let me feel your rain, I feel it, it's coming.
17/16.) "Have You Ever Seen The Rain/Who'll Stop The Rain" ~Creedence Clearwater Revival
CCR earned their respect as a band by developing a style and sticking with it. These two songs are the epitome of oldies. They're the kind of songs that are so utterly unobtrusive, you forget the radio is even on. But, try to sing along and you will not likely have much luck there either. Good beats on both of these, but that's no surprise coming from CCR who could give a good beat to even their most outlandish tunes.
15.) "November Rain" ~Guns N' Roses
I honestly have no clue what song this is. But I figured I'd better put it in my list, or else I'll get g^ngb^nged for it.
14.) "Purple Rain" ~Prince
See "November Rain". I heard this once at Karaoke, that's about it. But I don't dare leave it off! On a somewhat unrelated note, it is nothing short of appalling that when you run a Google search for "purple rain lyrics" (with quotation marks) 2/3 of the results list Leann Rimes as the artist.
13.) "The Rain, The Park, and Other Things" ~The Cowsills
One of those "ultimate oldies", this song is probably most widely known by Gen-X as "the Dumb & Dumber song". Some beeping organ effects drop from above, and we hear about a guy walking through a park and happening across the most beautiful thing he's ever seen. The band kicks in and the cheese-o-meter goes off the charts -- And I knew (I knew I knew I knew I knew) she could make me happy (happy, HAPPY, she could make me very happy) Flowers in her hair, flowers everywhere... Most songs use the entire chorus as a climactic moment of a song... well this is one of those songs that takes you into the chorus and then sort of takes you into "another one" -- I love the flower girl, oh I don't know just why, she simply caught my eye. So you don't really know if you were hearing the chorus the whole time or if it just started there. That's one of the cool things about it, though.
12.) "Rain" ~Rusted Root
Who is Rusted Root? They did a song called "Send Me On My Way" which eventually made it onto the soundtrack to the movie Ice Age. The style of this band is tough to describe -- they used everything from Indian horns and flutes to bongo drums, and an overassertive singer who always sounded on the verge of laughter. This song is a perfect example of their fun and spontaneous mile-a-minute sound.
11.) "No Rain" ~Blind Melon
Used to hate this song. Still sort of do. Yeah it's sad that the guy died and all, but that's still got to be one of the most annoyingly whiny voices I've ever heard. And then of course, I used to think the bee in the video was a guy, so that just made my perception even worse. Of course, as with most songs that I once hated, all it took was to sing it once at Karaoke (actually my Dad had the Karaoke machine at his house one day; we were messing around and he accidentally put this song on, so I sung it) and that changed things. Something about singing a song at Karaoke that makes it a part of you. Well, if I hear it on the radio now I usually still flip the station, unless all the other guys are doing commercials (which happens way more than it should according to the math, unless they all spend 80% of their time on commercials). So about the song already! It's about a loner, somebody with an insane point-of view, someone who just doesn't fit in and he's looking for a reason to go through with the day. It's not as depressing as it sounds; there is just too much wit for it to be depressing -- You know I'd like to keep my cheeks dry today. Hard not to laugh at that one. The band itself actually puts on a good show in this song, sporting a bouncy beat, and the guitar solo is a great musical moment.
10.) "I Love A Rainy Night" ~Eddie Rabbitt
This is a great little upbeat tune that you might catch in the nearest grocery store. It's just a simple and fast ditty with a great guitar solo and a cute change-up on the last chorus -- I love a rainy night (can't ya see it in my eye) Yeah I love a rainy night (well it makes me high) Oh I love a rainy night (and I love you too) yeah I love a rainy night.. ooh, ooh! Eddie also references this song in his other big hit "Driving My Life Away". (Well the midnight, head-lllights, drivin' on a rainy night...)
9.) "Kiss The Rain" ~Billie Myers
Billie Myers was one of many new artists to break onto the scene in '98. hers was a song called "Kiss The Rain" which I never liked all that much, I guess because it always conjured pictures of someone out in the rain standing there alone with their lips puckered out. After a few years, I heard it again just over a month ago and it's not as bad as I remember! It has that dark, lonesome and distant feel, but the guitars rock. Billie sounds on the verge of tears as she speaks through a phone line, Hello... Can you hear me? Am I gettin' through to you?
8.) "Fire And Rain" ~James Taylor
James' biggest hit just so happens to have "rain" in the title! It doesn't hurt that the song is really good as well. Just a soft acoustic number that has a number of different interpretations floating around out there. I walked out this morning, and I wrote down this song, he says near the beginning. It always makes me think of what it would be like to wake up in the morning and feel anything at all, let alone feel enough to write a song on top of it. But we all know that the best songs are written outside, so... more power to you, James.
7.) "Rain King" ~Counting Crows
Early in the Counting Crows' career, they were notorious for making albums full of slow songs and releasing the fast and the few..yes, as singles. "Rain King" was one of those fast numbers, even though I never heard it on the radio. It's one of those that couples downbeat lyrics with a cackly upbeat melody. It's just a good thing they didn't call it "Pain King"!
6.) "Rain On My Parade" ~Bobby Darin
Thanks to the American Beauty soundtrack, I found an appreciation for this song. I usually don't dig this whole salsa/calypso/jazz sound with all the upbeat horns, but I just can't help myself -- this song is too good to not like. The production is fantastic, the beat is good, and Bobby sings it like he means it.
Don't tell me not to fly, i've simply got to
If someone takes a spill it's me and not you
Don't bring around the clouds to rain on my parade
Don't tell me not to live, just sit and putter
Life's candy and the sun is a ball of butter
Who told you you're allowed to rain on my parade?
I'm gonna march my band out, I'll beat my drum
And if I'm fanned out, your turn at bat sir
Hey, at least I didn't fake it
Hat, sir, so what I didn't make it
5.) "It Never Rains In California" ~Albert Hammond
One of my 21 Best Oldies, this song is a prime example of great music. With a perfect beat and happy harmonies to follow it flawlessly, this song makes me dance like a total maniac. I feel so in touch with the melody here for some ungodly reason, I couldn't even begin to explain it. It never rains in California, but girl don't they warn ya, it pours... man, it pooooooouuuuurs... *THWAP
4.) "Rainy Days And Mondays ~The Carpenters
The Carpenters are legends. You don't need me to tell you about this song. I just think it's a really beautiful song. My favorite part is the bridge, when Karen sings, Funny but it seems that it's the only thing to do, run and find the one who loves me. It's easy to look back on a song that you haven't heard in a while and think of the part of the song where the title is sung... in this case, Rainy days and Mondays always bring me down. What you forget about are those special parts in between, such as the line I mentioned earlier. To paraphrase Sy Parrish, "Those are the things that make up the true meaning of a song."
3.) "Shadows In The Rain" ~Sting
Originating while the Police were still together, this song didn't get exposed to the public until Sting's first solo album. I think this is the only song that works both as something you can bang your head to, and something you can sleep to. It's a versatile little tune, enough so that it became one of my four "names". (Long story.) Sting's developing style of world music really shined through here, despite "Shadows" throwing it all over the place with its wild beat and unpredictable orchestration.
2.) "Raindrop" ~Tripping Daisy
This here's one of those melodic rockers that grabs you by the balls from the beginning and starts shredding away. It's an anthemic, fast and happy sounding song, but the lyrics are a bit more frustrated...
I feel it around me
I feel like a raindrop
I think we're all washed out burned out
I think it's a shame
I feel like we're dying on the needs of the people today
I feel like screaming at the world
I know it's a game called
It's really cool the way he sings "insecurity" an octave higher.. I mean, if you've identified the world's problem, may as well tell it to the world in a way that gets people's attention. It's a well-arranged and just plain fun to listen to song.
1.) "Laughter In The Rain" ~Neil Sedaka
There is nothing more romantic in the world than rain. From the lovely and familiar piano opening straight to the end, "Laughter In The Rain" is as great and romantic as they get.
Neil tells the story of himself and his lover stuck in the rain without an umbrella, totally drenched, but still basking in the warmth of each others' bodies. The way he sings the chorus, it's like he's reliving it every time he hears rain falling now...
Ooohh I hear laughter in the rain
Walking hand in hand with the one I love
Ooohh how I love the rainy days
And the happy way I feel inside
The whole chorus is just beautiful. The soaring harmony vocals come out with incredible heart and don't sound "processed" at all. It's one of this miraculous things, like he must have gotten it right the first time. 'Cause having a heart isn't something you practice anyway, if you got it you got it, first time or the hundredth. And this song... well, it's got it the first time and the hundredth. It gets even "hotter" in the second verse.
After a while we run under a tree
I turn to her and she kisses me
There with the beat of the rain on the leaves
Softly she breathes and I close my eyes
Sharing our love under stormy skies
Man, what I wouldn't give! And I couldn't think of a better way to end the list than with that gorgeous masterpiece.
Now of course I had to leave certain songs off, and there are plenty more I either didn't think of, or haven't heard and therefore glossed over when I finally caved in after only being able to think of sixteen and ran a Google search. Here are a few honorable mentions...
Rainin' Sponge Wish I had known it better...
She Gathers Rain Collective Soul Cherub Rock revisited.
Listen To The Rhythm of the Falling Rain The Cascades Already had too many oldies as it is, so I had to axe one.
Heavy Cloud No Rain Sting Sting's already up there
After The Rain Has Fallen Sting Does Sting have a rain fetish? This is a great song though... just too new. Haven't really had enough time to get that attached to it.
Singin' In The Rain If I put this one here, I might as well put "Rain Rain Go Away"!
Thanks again Janet, I hope you don't mind me overshooting on the top ten thing :)
Here are the other participants...