January 28th, 2012
Rain is no stranger to the fungus-fighting folk of the Pacific Northwest. However, this winter brought nothing but droughts, endless bouts of cold, sunny days. Then, a couple of weeks ago, it snowed, melted, and hasn’t stopped raining in the proverbial torrential downpour ever since. Rain is on the brain.
I was sitting at my corner pub the other night– The C Bar– when CCR came playing over whatever passes for a jukebox these days (yeah, CCR at the C Bar, that has a nice sound to it). “Who’ll Stop The Rain” indeed, Mr. Fogerty? And I started compiling a list of rain songs. I met up with my brother Joe later that night and he helped me find a few more good entries, most notably that great Marmalade song. Folks, there are a lot of great songs about crap weather. And a quick search in the iTunes store shows that you could probably make an entire playlist of mediocre songs about crap weather that are all just titled, simply, “Rain” (not to be confused with the South Korean entertainer of the same name).
A couple of concessions were made for a couple of my favorite blues songs (“The Sky Is Crying” and “Texas Flood”) that don’t fit my more strict criteria but they don’t get much more thematically worthwhile than that so: I’ll allow it.
|1||The Rain Song||Led Zeppelin||Houses of the Holy||Yes|
|2||The Sky is Crying||Elmore James||The Blues: Smithsonian Collection||Yes|
|3||Rain||The Beatles||Past Masters||Yes|
|4||Hey Mr. Rain (version 1)||The Velvet Underground||White Light/White Heat||Yes|
|5||Some Strange Rain||Cotton Jones||Paranoid Cocoon||Yes (live ver.)|
|6||So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry)||R.E.M.||Reckoning||Yes (long-haired Stipe!)|
|7||Only Happy When It Rains||Garbage||Garbage||Yes|
|8||Right as Rain||The Minders||Golden Street||Yes|
|9||More Than Rain||Tom Waits||Franks Wild Years||Yes (live, awesome)|
|10||I See the Rain||Marmalade||Reflections of My Life||Yes|
|11||Rain Ammunition||Pavement||Slanted and Enchanted: Luxe & Reduxe||Yes|
|12||It’s Raining||Quasi||The Sword of God||Yes|
|13||Rain in the Country (suite)||Pink Floyd||Zabriskie Point Sessions||Yes|
|14||Dirty From The Rain||Giant Sand||Chore of Enchantment|
|15||Texas Flood||Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble||Texas Flood||Yes (live, of course)|
|16||Who’ll Stop The Rain||Creedence Clearwater Revival||Cosmo’s Factory||Yes|
|17||LA Rain||The Mynabirds||What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood||Yes|
|18||No Rain||Blind Melon||Blind Melon||Yes (bee girl!)|
|19||Protected from the Rain||Grandaddy||Signal to Snow Ratio||Yes (surprisingly)|
|20||Rainbirds (instrumental)||Tom Waits||Swordfishtrombones||Yes|
|21||I Love a Rainy Night||Eddie Rabbitt||Yes (live)|
And hooray for YouTube, to enable the curious.
- George Harrison was allegedly the inspiration for Zeppelin’s “The Rain Song” after commenting to John Bonham that Zep never wrote ballads. Accordingly, the opening two chords are slower but recognizable as the same opening chords of Harrison’s “Something” (Frank Sinatra’s favorite “Lennon-McCartney” song). I also think one could make a rad woodwind quintet arrangement of this song.
- The Beatles’ “Rain” was one of the first songs to use backwards vocals on a record (heard just before the end of the song). This is also my favorite Beatles song. It is really that great.
- A stellar live version of that Cotton Jones track can be found online from their Luxury Wafers session here. I think I like it better than the album version because the vocal parts are less subdued amidst the music but, on the other hand, it runs over seven minutes so it’s not the best fit here. Not with all of these overflowing gutters.
- “Only Happy When It Rains” was recorded in Madison, Wisconsin where June is the wettest month.
- Michael Stipe recorded a new vocal track for the “So. Central Rain” video as he refused to lip sync.
- Eddie Rabbitt’s “I Love a Rainy Night” was twelve years in the making, it having been fleshed out in 1980 after Rabbitt rediscovered an old tape with a fragment of a song that he had written in the late sixties.
This was a really fun mix to make with a lot of chaff on the cutting room floor, good and bad (from purple rains to November rains and everything in between) and may be my favorite listenin’ mix to-date. As always, hitting the little grey arrow at the bottom right will bring up the player; in this case, you’ll be able to listen to most of these songs. Thanks, YouTube!
Entry Filed under: Music