I Wish It Would Rain Down

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Not to be confused with I Wish It Would Rain.
"I Wish It Would Rain Down"
Single by Phil Collins
from the album ...But Seriously
B-side "Homeless", "You've Been in Love (That Little Bit Too Long)"
Released 20 January 1990[1]
Format 7" single, 12" single
CD single, CD maxi
Recorded 1989
Length 5:27
Label WEA
Writer(s) Phil Collins
Producer(s) Phil Collins, Hugh Padgham
Phil Collins singles chronology
"Another Day in Paradise"
(1989)
"I Wish It Would Rain Down"
(1990)
"Something Happened on the Way to Heaven"
(1990)
Music video
"I Wish It Would Rain Down" on YouTube

"I Wish It Would Rain Down" is a song by Phil Collins from his 1989 album ...But Seriously, featuring the guitar of Eric Clapton. The song was a significant chart hit in 1990, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States and number one on the RPM Top 100 in Canada. It also reached number seven on the UK Singles Chart.

Recording[edit]

Collins had Eric Clapton provide the guitar playing throughout the song. As Collins recalls, "I said 'Eric, have I never asked you to play? Come on, I've got a song right up your street.'"[2] Collins felt that it was as close as he had ever gotten at the time to writing a blues song.[2] Collins also felt that it was a Clapton song.[2]

Music video[edit]

The 8:30 minute-long black-and-white music video, directed by Jim Yukich, contains 2:30 minutes of acting prior to the start of the music. The setting is a theatre in the 1930s or 1940s. Actor Jeffrey Tambor plays a hyper-critical, unhappy theatre director. He is rehearsing some dancers (who are dancing to the guitar/bass guitar riff from the song "Sunshine of Your Love" by the band Cream, in which Eric Clapton played guitar.) The director complains that the girls can neither dance nor sing, and then discovers that his star has appendicitis. Eric Clapton, seated on a stool, says that "Billy" used to be the drummer in a good band (an in-joke reference to Collins' tenure with the band Genesis, in which he played drums) and is a good singer. Members of Collins' backing band play various non-speaking parts (such as the janitor "Chester," who is played by Chester Thompson, and the Bassist, played by Leland Sklar). Collins is forced to act with the play's star. The director deems Collins' acting "terrible". To which Collins replies, "I never said I could act, he said I could sing," (pointing to Clapton) and the director says, "alright, play the song." As Collins sings, his character fantasizes about becoming a famous stage actor, singer, and movie star. "Billy" is shown receiving an Academy Award from Clark Gable (impersonated by actor Ralph Chelli).

The "Billy" character's name is inserted onto fake covers of major industry publications such as Variety and Billboard, and newspapers such as the Denver Post. Collins' face is inserted into still photographs from the television program You Bet Your Life (where he appears next to Groucho Marx) and films such as White Heat (where his image is inserted alongside that of James Cagney). "Billy" is depicted imitating the character of Davy Crockett (as played by Fess Parker on the television series of the same name), standing next to Marilyn Monroe, and acting out a scene from the 1941 film The Maltese Falcon (with Humphrey Bogart impersonator Robert Sacchi appearing in the scene). (Music video director James Yukich's name appears on the clapperboard.)

During the montage, the published sheet music for the song is shown, prominently featuring Collins' photo. This is followed by a shot of the sheet music for "Something Happened on the Way to Heaven", which would be the next single from the same album.

After the music ends, Tambor's character decides to cut the musical number, as he feels it was not any good compared to the dancing girls. The character says the guitarist is good, but his assistant says that "Eric gave a week's notice." Collins sits behind the drums, disbelieving.

Chart performances[edit]

The song was a significant chart hit in 1990, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States and number one on the RPM Top 100 in Canada. It also reached number seven on the UK Singles Chart.

In Canada, it was the longest-running number one single of 1990, spending six weeks atop the charts, and ranked as the top single of the year on RPM's year-end charts.[3]

Formats and track listings[edit]

CD maxi
  1. "I Wish It Would Rain Down"
  2. "Homeless" ("Another Day in Paradise" demo)
  3. "You've Been in Love (That Little Bit Too Long)"
7" single
  1. "I Wish It Would Rain Down"
  2. "Homeless" ("Another Day in Paradise" demo)
12" single
  1. "I Wish It Would Rain Down"
  2. "Homeless" ("Another Day in Paradise" demo)
  3. "You've Been in Love (That Little Bit Too Long)"

Charts[edit]

Preceded by
"Escapade" by Janet Jackson
Canadian RPM number-one single
24 March 1990 – 28 April 1990 (6 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Nothing Compares 2 U" by Sinéad O'Connor

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.chartwatch.co.uk/TopTen/acts/act01616.htm
  2. ^ a b c "Phil Collins interview". WEA. 1989. Retrieved 9 April 2009. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b Top Singles - Volume 53, No. 6, 22 December 1990
  4. ^ a b c d e f ""I Wish It Would Rain Down", in various singles charts". Lescharts. Retrieved 15 February 2008. 
  5. ^ a b "Single top 100 over 1990" (pdf) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  6. ^ Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3. 
  7. ^ "German Singles Chart". charts-surfer.de. Retrieved 1 August 2008. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Irish Single Chart". irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 15 February 2008. 
  9. ^ "Polish Singles Chart |". 
  10. ^ "UK Singles Chart". chartstats.com. Retrieved 10 August 2008. 
  11. ^ a b c "Billboard". allmusic. Retrieved 10 August 2008. 
  12. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1990". Retrieved 15 September 2009. 

External links[edit]