|Origin||Los Angeles, California, US|
|Years active||1981–1988, 2012–|
|Labels||Enigma, Zippo, Island|
|Associated acts||Rainy Day, Opal, Viva Saturn, Gone Fishin', Mazzy Star|
The band was founded by college roommates Matt Piucci (guitar, vocals) and David Roback (guitar, vocals) in 1981, originally as The Sidewalks. David's brother Steven Roback (bass, vocals) joined the band shortly thereafter. David and Steven had been in a band called The Unconscious with neighbor Susanna Hoffs (who went on to lead the most famous of the Paisley Underground bands, The Bangles.) The band soon added Will Glenn (keyboards and violin) and later Eddie Kalwa (drums). They self-released their debut single, "What She's Done to Your Mind" on their Llama label in 1982. In 1983 they released the debut album Emergency Third Rail Power Trip on the Enigma/Zippo label.
David Roback left to form a new band, Opal, the rest of the band continuing to record as a four piece, releasing the mini-LP, Explosions in the Glass Palace in 1984. After a single, "You Are My Friend", Kalwa left, his replacement being Mark Marcum, and John Thoman (guitar, vocals) was added to the line-up. The band signed to Island Records, and a live album (Beyond The Sunset) recorded in Japan, and a third album, Crashing Dream, came out in 1985.
The band split in 1986, with Piucci going on to release the LP Can't Get Lost When You're Goin' Nowhere with Tim Lee under the band name Gone Fishin', and later joining Crazy Horse. The band reformed in 1988 to finish off a double album they had started, but it was never released. Steven Roback went on to form the band Viva Saturn whose releases appeared on the San Francisco label Heyday Records which was run at the time by Pat Thomas. (Pat Thomas made waves of his own in the Rochester New York band Absolute Grey).
After making the album Rainy Day, featuring cover versions performed by various leading lights of the Paisley Underground, David Roback formed The Clay Allison Band and Opal with ex Dream Syndicate bassist Kendra Smith, and later formed Mazzy Star with Hope Sandoval.
The Rain Parade reformed in 2012, performing their comeback gig on December 20, 2012 at Cafe Du Nord in San Francisco on a sold out bill with Powder and The Bang Girl Group Revue. The current Rain Parade line-up includes original members Matt Piucci, Steven Roback and John Thoman, augmented by Mark Hanley, Alec Palao and former Game Theory drummer Gil Ray.
In December 2013, Rain Parade played two nights with three other reunited Paisley Underground bands — The Bangles, The Dream Syndicate, and The Three O'Clock — at The Fillmore in San Francisco (Dec. 5) and The Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles (Dec. 6 benefit concert).
- "What She's Done To Your Mind" b/w "Kaleidoscope" (1982) Llama DK002
- "You Are My Friend" (1985) Enigma/Zippo (UK Indie No. 28)
- Emergency Third Rail Power Trip (1983) Enigma/Zippo (UK Indie No. 5)
- Explosions in the Glass Palace mini-LP (1984) Enigma/Zippo (UK Indie No. 4)
- Beyond The Sunset (live in Tokyo 1984) (1985) Restless/Island (UK No. 78)
- Crashing Dream (1985) Island
- Demolition (1991) Outtakes and unreleased material
- Emergency Third Rail Power Trip/Explosions in the Glass Palace (1992) Mau Mau
- Perfume River (2002) Live in New York, November 1984
- Strong, Martin C. (1999). The Great Alternative & Indie Discography. Canongate. ISBN 0-86241-913-1.
- Larkin, Colin (1992). The Guinness Who's Who of Indie & New Wave Music. Guinness Publishing. ISBN 0-85112-579-4.
- Mills, Fred (October 16, 2013). "Reunion Concerts: A Million Paisley Underground Fans Can’t Be Wrong!". Blurt.
- Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980–1989. Cherry Red Books. ISBN 0-9517206-9-4.