Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Top 10 Songs about Rain

So, I live in Missouri. Weather be freaky in Missouri. And it has rained here literally every day for more than a week. That got me to thinking: there are an awful lot of songs that are either about or mention rain, and I would be utterly remiss if I didn't share a few of my favorites.

"Who'll Stop the Rain?" by Creedence Clearwater Revival
I actually find this one to be superior to their better-known hit "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?", but that's just me. Love me some Fogerty regardless. 

"Crying in the Rain" by the Everly Brothers
I've always liked the Everlys, from "Bird Dog" to "Wake Up, Little Susie." But this is one of a select few songs they did that wasn't 100 percent lighthearted and fun. This one resonates on a more personal level--less about frustration and more about heartbreak. 

"Love, Reign O'er Me" by The Who
Heyyyy, I see what you did there! "Reign" and then "rain"--eh, eh? Nice wordplay, good work with the double-meaning, and Roger Daltrey howling at the top of his lungs--what more could one ask for?

"Rain" by Creed
Hold yer horses, I know Creed is a pretty polarizing band (you either love them or you hate them, and if you love them then you're hated), but their 2009 "comeback" album, Full Circle, is actually--surprisingly--really good, featuring head-bangingly awesome tracks like "Overcome" along with slower jams like "A Thousand Faces" and "Away in Silence." But the most commercially successful was "Rain,"

"Umbrella" by Rihanna
Yeah, I went there. There was a time when I really enjoyed Rihanna, and this is by far my favorite of her songs. I understand it was originally written for Mary J. Blige, but Rihanna put such a definitive spin on it I can't imagine it any other way.

"Runaway" by Del Shannon
This was my jam as a kid, listening to "Oldies 100" (back before it became yet another lousy country station--blech!). I used to be able to hit those high notes without my voice cracking, but alas, those days are long gone.

"November Rain" by Guns N Roses
Awwww yeeeeahhhhh. How could this one NOT make the list? One of Axl's few soulful ballads but not without the hard-rocking guitar action by Slash that GNR fans know and love--and, indeed, expect and deserve! "Nothin' lasts forever in the cold November rain!" Alas, that includes Axl's career, but Myles (Alter Bridge) Kennedy has done some pretty fantastic covers of GNR classics whilst on tour with Slash. Worth checking out.

"Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again" by The Fortunes
This is still one of my favorite old songs of all time. It's simultaneously upbeat and melancholy, catchy and introspective, and it always resonated with me because I'm well familiar with that "rainy day feeling." Alas, it was a one-hit wonder, and The Fortunes kind of vanished afterward, but when your one-hit wonder is this good, that counts for something. 

"Riders on the Storm" by The Doors 
I dare you to listen to that instrumental bit and not get goosebumps. The late Ray Manzarek straight-up kills it on this one. Out of all The Doors' songs, as weird and as trippy as they got, this one somehow manages to be the most dark and moody of all. 

"Here Comes the Rain Again" by The Eurythmics
I adore this song. Annie Lennox's voice is so hauntingly beautiful and there's some excellent synth work at play here. It also borrows heavily, I think, from "Riders on the Storm" in that the music itself does a great job conveying the mental image of rainfall.

Honorable mention:

"Summer Rain" by Johnny Rivers is an oldie-but-a-goodie. As is "Look Through My Window" by The Mamas and the Papas. And then there's this one, which falls into the realm of "How could I NOT?"

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