Instead of talking about the weather, there are some musical artists that would rather sing about it instead. For this article we decided to go with some of the lesser known songs to make it more interesting. Everyone knows the popular ones already, so why repeat them. Whether it’s about the sun, the snow, or the rain, there is no shortage of songs about the subject. Some artists love to sing about sunny days and have some really great material about the topic. Meanwhile, some love to sing about rain, either as an actual event or as a metaphor. Some songs about rain are celebratory and some have been known to be quite somber. Among the multitude of rain-related songs ever recorded and released, there are some that stand out more than others. According to personal preferences and musical genre flavors, there is a long list of released hit singles and uncharted songs that beautifully and creatively sing about rain and how it affected the narrator while singing it. The list of ten favored songs revolving around the topic of rain was not an easy one to put together as this is always according to a person’s taste.
Top 10 Songs About Rain
#10 – Run Between the Raindrops – Pat Benatar
For Pat Benatar, “Run Between the Raindrops” was the ideal way to be able to see the sun. From the album, Seven and the Hard Way, this 1985 musical work of art featured Benatar’s vocals at its finest as she beautifully painted the reality that it doesn’t rain all the time and the sun has been known to come out. This wasn’t simply a song about the weather. It was about learning to focus on the positives as a means to get away from all that is negative.
#9 – Take This Rain – Jackson Browne
When Jackson Browne’s relationship with Daryl Hannah came to an end in 1992, “Take This Rain” became a song he wrote about that breakup. Gentle and somewhat uplifting for a breakup song, “Take This Rain” came from his 1993 album, I’m Alive. The song, as well as the entire album, somewhat served as a comeback for Jackson Browne as it was regarded as his best work in two decades according to music critics. With “Take This Rain” the admittal of a once strong relationship losing its magic and that it’s okay to move on in the name of emotional freedom had a beautiful wash away feeling that makes this an easy listening favorite.
#8 – Famous Blue Raincoat – Leonard Cohen
By Leonard Cohen, “Famous Blue Raincoat” was a song from his 1971 album, Songs of Love and Hate. It was performed as if reading from a written letter, telling a story of a love triangle between the narrator, his love interest, and the second man in the story. It made references to the German love song, “Lili Marlene,” as well as to scientology and to a street in Manhattan that once served as a lively Latino community. In the song, the mention of a “Famous Blue Raincoat” was an item that belonged to him since 1959. This coat was later stolen in New York City during the 1970s when Leonard Cohen wasn’t wearing it very much at that time. According to Cohen, the influence behind “Famous Blue Raincoat” had a bit of a Spanish root that made it beautiful a musical masterpiece.
#7 – Cloudbusting – Kate Bush
From 1985’s Hounds of Love, “Cloudbusting” was a single by Kate Bush that peaked at number twenty on the UK Singles Chart and earned a silver certification from it’s British Phonographic Industry (BPI). Among the European nations of Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, and Germany, it was at least a top twenty hit. In 2019, “Cloudbusting” US Billboard Alternative Digital Song Sales peaked it at number twenty-two, five years after Bush performed live for the first time in thirty-five years.
The inspiration behind “Cloudbusting” came from the 1973 Peter Reich memoir, A Book of Dreams. For Kate Bush, putting into song form the boy’s memories of his life as he spent time on the family farm busting up clouds with a machine he called a cloudbuster, was a work of musical genius. The song brought up the arrest and imprisonment Reich endured, causing him to feel helpless as he wasn’t able to protect his father. “Cloudbusting” is a hypnotic work of musical art that was beautifully woven with cello-heavy melody and a sense of adventure as this remarkable song played itself out.
#6 – Red Rain – Peter Gabriel
The final single from Peter Gabriel’s album, So, was “Red Rain,” which peaked on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart at number three. In Ireland, it was a number twenty-seven hit and in the UK it charted as high as number forty-six. Although the album was released in 1986, “Red Rain” was not released until 1987. Gabriel’s reference of a recurring dream saw him swim in his backyard pool and drinking chilled red wine, as well as bottle-shaped people falling off a cliff. In the dream, as the bottles smash on impact, a heavy downpour of red rain fell upon the narrator as he shared his broody dream.
#5 – Rain Is Falling – Electric Light Orchestra
From the album, Time, Electric Light Orchestra’s single, “Rain Is Falling” was the third single released in the US in 1982. Although it failed to chart, this beautifully performed song laid out a series of visuals through the brilliance of the descriptive lyrics about the rainy weather, how people respond to it. In ELO’s case, there’s a hope it will wash away the tears.
#4 – Any Rain – Garland Jeffreys
Released in September 2013, “Any Rain” was a single from Garland Jeffreys’ album, Truth Serum, a crowd funded project through PledgeMusic, featuring the combined talent of Jeffreys, Larry Campbell, Steve Jordan, and Brian Mitchell. It’s easy to become caught up in this acoustic favorite as Jeffreys looked upon any form of rain to ease the pain and suffering brought on by situations that cause the heart to break. The music video beautifully laid out the visual portrayal of a creative artist that knew how to do more than just put together quality-sounding music.
#3 – Rainier Fog – Alice In Chains
On the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, “Rainier Fog” by Alice In Chains peaked at number twenty after it was released in 2018 from the group’s sixth studio album. The inspiration behind this song revolved around former band members, Layne Staley and Mike Starr, both of whom died from drug overdoses. The half-empty feeling the loss of someone close feels like a downpour of rain, mixed with fox. “Rainier Fog” came about after the riffs were already composed for the song. According to Jerry Cantrell, when the time came to write out the lyrics for the song he felt as if Staley and Starr were present in the room with him, like a form of rain clearing the fog.
#2 – Buckets of Rain – Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan’s single, “Buckets of Rain” was recorded during the early fall of 1974 then released in 1975 from his album, Blood on the Tracks. The simple five verses of Dylan using “Buckets of Rain” as a metaphor to address his lover in the song was beautifully played and sensually appealing. In the song, he addressed his lover what it was about her he found special. For a good song to simply sit back and enjoy or perhaps use it as a special message to send to that special someone as a token of love and appreciation, “Buckets of Rain” would be it.
#1 – I Wish It Would Rain Down – Phil Collins
1989’s …But Seriously was the fourth solo studio album recorded by Phil Collins. “I Wish It Would Rain Down” was a power ballad Collins’ beautifully performed as a man wishing the rain would fall upon him to wash away his sorrow. Eric Clapton collaborated with Collins as the lead guitarist. Also featuring a large gospel choir as backing vocals, “I Wish It Would Rain Down” felt like an epic performance worth getting caught up into. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it peaked at number three and was a number one hit in Canada.
In the UK, the closest thing to a blues song Collins’ admitted he ever performed peaked at number seven. Globally, “I Wish It Would Rain Down” was a top twenty hit among most nations including Australia, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland. For that perfect song to find yourself swept up into a powerful wave of emotions, “I Wish It Would Rain Down” would be it.
10 Classic Rock Songs About Rain article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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