Laughter In The Rain

Album: Sedaka's Back (1974)
Charted: 15 1

Songfacts®:

  • Sedaka wrote this joyful and introspective song with Philip Cody, whose credits include the Huey Lewis & the News song "Doing It All For My Baby" and the Carpenters hit "Solitaire," which he also wrote with Sedaka. In our interview with Phil Cody, he explained: "Neil had a house in Forestburgh, New York, which is up in the Catskills. We were going to go up there and spend a few days in the summertime and just woodshed. The thing is that I'd met a new love and I didn't want to go up there. And when I got there, I was kind of hostile to the whole process. I've never said anything to Neil about this, but as I think about it, I wanted to just get the songs written and get back to the city and my new girlfriend.

    So we got together on a morning and Neil sat down and played me the changes and the melody to 'Laughter in the Rain.' I just sat there with a blank stare on my face. I had nothing. I had totally nothing. I excused myself, and I went out and took a walk. We were up in the country so I just took a walk and I sat down in a field near a golf course, smoked a joint, and watched some deer frolicking. I spent about an hour and a half, two hours out in the sun just kind of nodding off under a tree. I got myself up a couple of hours later and walked my way back, and Neil was there. I sat down, picked up a yellow pad of paper and in five minutes I had most of the song done."
  • In America, this was Sedaka's comeback single. He had 11 Top-40 hits from 1960-1963, but couldn't score a hit after the British Invasion. His fortunes were so bad in America, that this song was at first released only in England, where it was included on an album called Overnight Success. When it was released in America, it re-ignited Sedaka's career and he had six more Top-40 hits by 1977. That's not counting "Love Will Keep Us Together," which he wrote with Howie Greenfield and included on the Sedaka's Back album. The cover by Captain & Tennille was the biggest hit of 1975.
  • Elton John helped make this song an American hit. It was first released in the UK, where it went to #15, but in America, Sedaka couldn't get any traction since his last hit there was "Bad Girl" in 1963. Neil was recording an album in London with 10cc when he reconnected with Elton, who he first met in 1972. Elton had just started his own record label, Rocket Records, and offered to put out a Sedaka single in America. Since "Laughter In The Rain" was already a hit in the UK, that was the choice, and while Sedaka's name didn't carry much clout among radio station program directors, anything with Elton John's name on it was sure to get some spins. So later in 1974, "Laughter" was released on Rocket Records with liner notes and endorsements by Elton, and the song took off, becoming his second million-seller 12 years after his first, which was "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do."
  • Sedaka wrote the song with the line, "I feel the warmth of her hand in mine" repeated twice before each chorus, his songwriting partner Phil Cody thought it would sound better if they cut that part in half and did the line just once. To Cody's surprise, Neil went along with it. Said Phil, "That was a great elevation in status for me, going from the punk kid to someone who Neil Sedaka actually listened to and took advice from musically. It was very fulfilling for him to recognize that and to concur. At that point we still hadn't had a hit, so I was still basically a nobody, and he gave me some props and made me feel really good about my being a professional songwriter."
  • Sedaka recorded this at Clover Studios in Los Angeles with Robert Appere producing. The musicians were the people who played on many of James Taylor's hits and included Russ Kunkel and Danny Kortchmar on guitars, Levon Sklar on bass, and Brenda Russell singing backup.
  • Elton John sang backup on Sedaka's song "Bad Blood," which hit #1 in 1975. Elton also lent his vocals to Neil's 1976 hit "Steppin' Out."
  • When he appeared on the BBC News programmed on July 8, 2009 in the wake of the funeral of Michael Jackson, Sedaka said every time he met him, Jackson told him this was his favorite Sedaka song. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England

Comments: 5

  • Tjy from Qld, AustraliaNeil had several more hits in Australia, than he did in the USA, including Star Crossed Lovers reaching #1 in 1968. The song was recorded in Australia, at Festival Records Studios, in Sydney, and released on the Atlantic label. This was only a major hit in Australia. Neil worked in Australia for a couple of years, performing cabaret shows. During that time he also recorded another Australia only hit, making #1 in 1970 with Wheelin' West Virginia, which was also recorded at Festival Studios, and was released on the Festival Records label. Laughter In The Rain was also released in Australia in December 1974, becoming a bigger hit in Australia, than in the UK, reaching #4 in January 1975. It was released on the MGM label. Standing On The Inside was also a major hit, making the top 10 in 1975, also released on MGM. Later in '75 Bad Blood made #1 in Australia, released on RCA Victor. Further chart success came in 1976, with a re-recorded version of Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, making the Australian Top 20, released on Polydor.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 25, 1975, Neil Sedaka performed "Laughter In The Rain" on the Dick Clark ABC-TV Saturday-afternoon program, 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was at #2 on Billboard's Top 100 chart, one day later it would peak at #1 {for 1 week} and it spent twenty weeks on the Top 100...
    And on January 18th, 1975 it reached #2 {for 1 week} on the Canadian RPM Singles chart, the week it was at #2, the #1 record for that week was "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" by Elton John, and "Laughter In The Rain" was on Elton's Rock Record label .
    Between 1959 and 1980 Neil had thirty records on the Top 100 chart, nine made the Top 10 with three reaching #1...
    Beside "Laughter In The Rain", his other two #1 records were "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" for 2 weeks in 1962 and "Bad Blood" for 3 weeks in 1975...
    Neil Sedaka will celebrate his 79th birthday in two months on March 13th {2018}...
    And from the 'For What It's Worth' department, exactly six years earlier on January 25th, 1969 Neil appeared on 'American Bandstand' and performed "Workin' On A Groovy Thing".
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 26th 1975, "Laugher In The Rain" by Neil Sedaka peaked at #1 (for 1 week) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart...
    Back on December 22nd, 1974 it entered the Top 10 at #8; then for the next five weeks it began its step by step move up the Top 10, starting next at #5, then #4, to #3, to #2 and then to #1 on this date...
    Mr. Sedaka will celebrated his 75th birthday in two months on March 13th (2014).
  • Steve Dotstar from Los Angeles, CaNeil, This song makes me feel good all over...especially your record production of it..Thanks for writing this tune!
  • Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiThis is my favorite Neil Sedaka song too.RIP King of POP.
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