I Can't Stand The Rain

Album: I Can't Stand The Rain (1973)
Charted: 41 38
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Songfacts®:

  • This steamy heartbreaker is about a woman who can't stand the sound of rain against her window, since it reminds her of her lost love (note the double meaning of window pane/pain in the lyric).

    The African American singer-songwriter Ann Peebles wrote the song with her husband, Don Bryant, and the radio broadcaster Bernard "Bernie" Miller. The number originated from an offhand comment made by the singer when the threesome were preparing to head out to a Blues show one evening and it began tipping down with rain. "It was pouring outside and I just said, I can't stand this rain," recalled Peebles to Mojo magazine March 2014. "And I think it was Don who perked up: 'That's a good title.' We sat down and began to write. We started writing and forgot all about the rain."
  • The dramatic raindrop intro was provided by an electronic timbale, which was newly installed in the studio. It was an unusual choice, as Pop songs generally evoked rain via pizzicato violins in those days.
  • A disco version of this song was an international hit for Eruption in 1978. Eruption was a British-based American R&B act who were taken under the wing of Boney M's producer Frank Farian. He signed the group with Germany-based Hansa Records in 1977 and they covered this song for their first album. It became the group's biggest hit, peaking at #18 in the US and #5 in the UK.
  • Tina Turner recorded the song for her 1984 Private Dancer album. Released as a single, it found minor success in the US and UK, but sold well in continental Europe, reaching the Top 10 in Germany and France.
  • The chorus of Missy Elliott's 1997 debut single "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" is based around this song.
  • This was one of John Lennon's favorite tunes. In a Billboard magazine article he commented, "It's the best song ever."
  • Ann Peebles recorded the song at the old Royal Movie Theater in Memphis with production by Willie Mitchell. Organist Charles Hodges told Uncut magazine: "I always like to really learn a song, hear the lyrics, see if I can't put a little church on the organ. I started off playing chord patterns, but it wasn't doing it for me. I said to Willie, 'Count it off again.' I was thinking about the raindrops. So the organ started off with the chords, and then there is [sings the high, two-note organ part] - the raindrops! Willie counted us again and after the 1st 10 or 12 bars we knew we had it. The way we all tied everything in, it was like magic."

Comments: 2

  • Don from Sevierville, Tn, UsaBoth Eruption and Tina Turner have covered this song. Eruption's version was sped up to a disco beat.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 5th 1974, Ann Peebles performed "I Can't Stand the Rain" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was at #41 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it had entered the chart five months earlier on August 26th, 1973 at position #99 and seventeen weeks later on December 16th, 1973 it would peak at #38, for one week...
    It reached #6 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    Between 1969 and 1979 she had nineteen records make the R&B Singles chart; two made the Top 10, her other Top 10 record was "Part Time Love", it reached #7 in 1970
    Ms. Peebles will celebrate her 68th birthday in three months on April 27th {2015}.
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