Let It Rain

Album: Eric Clapton (1970)
Charted: 48
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • Clapton wrote this with the help of Bonnie and Delaney Bramlett. They put most of it together while they were touring together in 1969; Clapton with Blind Faith, and The Bramletts supporting them with their group Delaney & Bonnie. Blind Faith broke up after their first tour, and Clapton formed Derek and the Dominos with Delaney & Bonnie's backup group, who Clapton became friends with on the tour.
  • This was the last track on Clapton's first solo album. Delaney Bramlett produced it.
  • Organist Bobby Whitlock, bass player Carl Radle and drummer Jim Gordon were part of Clapton's backing band on his first album and played on this track. After recording the album, these four formed their own group, Derek and the Dominos, and released the classic album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.

    Jim Gordon wrote the piano part for "Layla" and later suffered terrible mental illness and bludgeoned his mother to death.
  • Jerry Allison and Sonny Curtis sang backup on this track. They were former members of The Crickets, Buddy Holly's backup band. The female backup singers were Bonnie Bramlett and Rita Coolidge.
  • This wasn't released as a single until 1972, two years after the album came out. This was done to capitalize on the success of "Layla," which became a hit that year when it was re-released as a long version and after people figured out that Derek and the Dominos was Clapton's group.
  • This was one of the few Eric Clapton solo tracks Derek and the Dominos played when they toured. At one point, they used it to teach drummer Jim Gordon a lesson. "Jim Gordon was going on about how he never got a drum solo, so we fixed his little wagon," Bobby Whitlock said in his Songfacts interview. "We gave him a drum solo in 'Let It Rain' and it lasted for nine-and-a-half minutes. And he kept going - you could hear it in the solo. He would stop and he was looking at Eric. We were on the side of the stage behind the curtain smoking a cigarette and having a drink, and we wouldn't come back out, so he had to keep going and keep going. Okay, Mr. Drummerman, you want a solo? Take your solo."
  • Stephen Stills played the guitar solo in the middle of the song.
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 21

  • Amine from FranceOne of the rare songs where Clapton tries some Mixolydian mode on stage (not in early live versions but in the 80's) , and the result is wonderful. He does n't seem to master the mode completely but it ends up with a mix of pentatonic and mixolydian that brings tears to my eyes.
  • Michael from AlabamaRe: Rita Coolidge on backing vocals. The single was released in 1972, but the track was recorded in 1970.
  • John from BostonEric Clapton - Lead guitar and vocals
    Carl Radle - Bass
    Stephen Stills - Guitar (the echoed solo on the instrumental middle part), vocals
    Delaney Bramlett - Rhythm guitar, backing vocals
    Bonnie Bramlett - Backing vocals
    Leon Russell - Piano
    Bobby Whitlock - Organ
    Jim Gordon - Drums
    Jerry Allison - Backing vocals
    Sonny Curtis - Backing vocals
    Rita Coolidge - Backing vocals
  • Chuck from South Milwaukee, WiCan anybody definitevly tell me who is playing piano on "Let it Rain". It is either John Simon or Leon Russell based on what I see from the album credits on-line. John Simon indicates he's not sure.
  • Joe from Smith, AbThe voice on the verses sounds more like Stills than Clapton.
  • Brad from University Place, WaWhere do all of you get your "first-hand" information?
  • Martia from Nashville, Tn, TnOne more note of clarification: when I said you could hear Stills on the chorus, I meant he was SINGING ECHOES during the chorus (B Section) of the song. Coincidentally, he had a chorusing effect rack on his Gibson (probly that white Firebird he loved to play during the 70s). And sorry, Tim from Minnesota: Stills did not play the ride (lead part during the middle of the song); he played the backing riff that you hear first in the song and throughout it. Clapton and his Strat laid down the ride. Sheesh...I need some more coffee. That is all.
  • Martia from Nashville, Tn, TnNo, Stills didn't play bass. He played the Gibson guitar playing the riff you hear throughout the song. Clapton played Brownie, his favorite Fender Strat. Toward the end you can hear Stills echoing on the chorus. He and Clapton fought it out to be the Last Axe Standing, and it looked like Stills was gonna win, but Clapton throws a little run just as Stills' chorus sustain decays and the tape stops. I wasn't aware that there were any female voices on this song. I doubt sincerely that Coolidge was on this song----she was avoiding both Clapton and Stills by '72, and for 2 very different reasons ;)
  • Matt from Pleasanton, CaAlways thought that Stephen Stills did the bass on this song. Regardless of who did it, it was excellent!
  • Tim from North Mankato, MnAfter stints with John Mayall, Cream and Blind Faith, Clapton was tired of playing "Guitar God". He enjoyed touring with Delaney & Bonnie and Friends - being part of an ensemble. Clapton's first solo album (1970) was recorded with the Delaney & Bonnie band. (Delaney & Bonnie Bramlett, Leon Russell, future Dominos Radle, Gordon & Whitlock - with help from guests including George Harrison, Rita Coolidge and Stephen Stills.) When it comes time for the (memorable) guitar solo on "Let It Rain", Eric lets Stephen Stills do the duties.
  • Vanessa from Schnecksville, PaGeorge Harrison also sings backing vocals on this song.
  • Scott from Boston, MaThere is also a 19-minute version of this song on the Derek and the Dominos' "Live at the Fillmore" album. It features an extended instrumental jam, including a great drum solo by Jim Gordon.
  • Scott from Boston, MaI'd also like to point out that Carl Radle's bass on this song is awesome.
  • Confidential from Confidential, NyThis song is one of Clapton's best songs I ever heard. It has such a bright mood, whether or not it's supposed to be.
  • Scott from Boston, MaOf all Clapton's solo songs, this is my favorite. It's probably my second favorite all-time Clapton song after "Layla".
  • Muffy from Poway, CaThe best song ever. Period.
  • Mark from Twin Cities Metro Area, MnThere seem to be a lot of great "Rain" songs.
    "Rain on the Roof" Lovin Spoonful, The Beatles, "Rain", "Have You Ever Seen It Rain"
    to mention a few.
    I agree. This is a great song. Very moody.
  • Dan from Kingston, Canadaone of the finest songs off ALL time- Clapton's guitar on this song is breathtaking
  • Julian from Anaheim, Caone of my personal favorites
  • Wyatt from Oak Park, IlI know man, a shining example of happy sunshine music
  • Tom from Port Kent, NyOne of Claptons best...This song puts you in such a good mood.
see more comments

Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and Black Star RidersSongwriter Interviews

Writing with Phil Lynott, Scott saw their ill-fated frontman move to a darker place in his life and lyrics.

Jay, Peaches, Spinderella and other Darrining VictimsSong Writing

Just like Darrin was replaced on Bewitched, groups have swapped out original members, hoping we wouldn't notice.

Supertramp founder Roger HodgsonSongwriter Interviews

Roger tells the stories behind some of his biggest hits, including "Give a Little Bit," "Take the Long Way Home" and "The Logical Song."

Evolution Of The Prince SymbolSong Writing

The evolution of the symbol that was Prince's name from 1993-2000.

Emilio Castillo from Tower of PowerSongwriter Interviews

Emilio talks about what it's like to write and perform with the Tower of Power horns, and why every struggling band should have a friend like Huey Lewis.

Hawksley WorkmanSongwriter Interviews

One of Canada's most popular and eclectic performers, Hawksley tells stories about his oldest songs, his plentiful side projects, and the ways that he keeps his songwriting fresh.