Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head

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"Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head"
Single by B. J. Thomas
from the album Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head
B-side "Never Had It So Good"
Released October 14, 1969[1]
Genre Easy listening, soft rock, traditional pop
Length 2:57
Label Scepter Records
Writer(s) Hal David and Burt Bacharach
Producer(s) Hal David and Burt Bacharach
Audio sample
file info · help
Gold record presented to backup singer Linda November for her work on "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head"

"Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" is B. J. Thomas's #1 song, written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach for the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.[2] It won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.[2] David and Bacharach also won Best Original Score. It was recorded in seven takes, after Bacharach expressed dissatisfaction with the first six. In the film version of the song, B. J. Thomas had been recovering from laryngitis, which made his voice sound hoarser than in the 7-inch release. The film version featured a separate instrumental break when Paul Newman undertook stunts on a bicycle.

History[edit]

Ray Stevens was first offered the opportunity to record it for the film, but turned it down. He chose instead to record the song "Sunday Morning Coming Down", written by Kris Kristofferson. Bob Dylan is supposed to have been approached for the song, but he, too, reportedly declined.[3]

The single by B. J. Thomas reached #1 on charts in the United States, Canada, and Norway. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks in January 1970 and was also the first American number-one hit of the 1970s. The song also spent seven weeks atop the Billboard adult contemporary chart.[4] In 2008, Thomas's version was ranked as the 85th biggest song on Billboard's Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs.[5] His version reached #38 in the UK Singles Chart.[2]

"The song, initially when it came out, I believe it was October of 69, the movie didn't come out until December, it did get some bad reviews. It was a very unique and different sounding song, Bacharach and David never had any qualms about trying to do anything different, or push the envelope so to speak. So nowadays, it sounds pretty tame, but back then, radio resisted it to some degree. But, when the movie came out it hit hugely and sold about 200,000 to 300,000 records a day for about three years."

— B.J. Thomas, Interview, Pods o' Pop (August 22, 2011)[6]

"Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" was used in the film Spy Hard, which parodied the scene in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It is on the soundtracks to Forrest Gump and Spider-Man 2, in the latter accentuating Peter Parker's blissful mood after abandoning his Spider-Man identity and its responsibilities. It was used in the Kevin Smith film Clerks II. The first episode of the second season of the popular medical drama Grey's Anatomy is named after the song. It is also used in The Simpsons, episode 16 of the fourth season, called Duffless, at the end of the episode, during credits are presented. It was also used in the 2003 film "The In-Laws" starring Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks, which was a remake of the 1979 Peter Falk / Alan Arkin film. The song was parodied as "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Red" in the Dick Figures episode "Y U So Meme?".

On December 3, 2013, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences announced that the B.J. Thomas', 1969 single, "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" has been inducted into the 2014, Grammy Hall Of Fame. [7]

Chart positions[edit]

B. J. Thomas version
Chart (1969/1970) Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart[8] 20
Austria Top 40 11
Canadian RPM Top Singles 1
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary 1
Dutch Top 40 28
French Singles Chart 56
German Singles Chart 40
Irish Singles Chart 9
Italian Singles Chart 31
Norwegian Singles Chart 1
New Zealand Singles Chart[9] 3
South African Singles Chart 1
UK Singles Chart[2] 38
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Billboard Easy Listening 1
U.S. Cash Box Top 100 1
Johnny Farnham version
Chart (1970) Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart[10] 1

Covers[edit]

The song has been covered numerous times. From January 24, 1970 to March 13 it was a number-one hit (for seven weeks) in Australia on the Go-Set National Top 40 for local pop singer, Johnny Farnham.[10][11] In 1970, it was also covered by Engelbert Humperdinck on his album We Made It Happen, Johnny Mathis on his album Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head, Perry Como on his album It's Impossible, The Four Tops on their album Changing Times, Andy Williams on his album, Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head, and The Free Design on their album Stars/Time/Bubbles/Love. Portuguese-born television and radio presenter Pedro Biker released a Danish version re-entitled "Regndråber Drypper I Mit Hår" in 1970. [12]

It has been covered in French by French singer Sacha Distel, whose version Toute La Pluie Tombe Sur Moi was a #10 hit in the UK Singles Chart,[2] as well as France. Distel also recorded a version with the original English lyrics, and another in Italian, Gocce Di Pioggia Su Di Me. Bobbie Gentry's version reached #40 in the UK chart.[2] Paul Mauriat recorded it with his Grand Orchestra it 1973. It was the only known cover in the USSR. The Barry Sisters covered the song in a Yiddish version ("Trop'ns Fin Regen Oif Mein Kop") on their 1973 album Our Way. [13] [14]

The Welsh rock band Manic Street Preachers maintain "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" in their repertoire of live songs, playing it as part of an acoustic set during concerts. The band recorded a version of the song complete with trumpet solo by their drummer Sean Moore. It was the first piece of music the band recorded after the disappearance of guitarist and lyricist Richey Edwards, and saw release on the 1995 charity album Help. That version also appears on their 2003 B-sides and rarities compilation album Lipstick Traces (A Secret History of Manic Street Preachers). The Manics further reference the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with the B-side "Sepia".

Reggae artist Dennis Brown covered the song on his 1972 debut album No Man Is An Island, stylized, "Rain Drops Keep Falling". Delroy Wilson recorded a reggae version of the song that does not appear on any of his official albums. Mute Beat recorded a reggae version for their 1989 album March.

Jacques Loussier recorded a cover on his 1987 album In Loussier's Mood. The Flaming Lips covered it on 1996's Brainville EP. Ben Folds Five also covered it for the 1998 Burt Bacharach tribute TV special and soundtrack One Amazing Night. In 1998, Shonen Knife covered it as part of Big Deal Recording Artists Perform The Songs Of Burt Bacharach. In 2005, Australian band Jebediah covered it for Triple J's Like a Version compilation. Dionne Warwick has collaborated with Kelis on a cover for her 2006 duets album, while Barry Manilow covered it on his 2006 album The Greatest Songs of the Sixties.

Lisa Miskovsky covered the song in the extended version of her self-titled (2004) album.[15]


Preceded by
"Someday We'll Be Together" by Diana Ross & the Supremes
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
January 3 - 24, 1970 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"I Want You Back" by The Jackson Five

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Audio Single: Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head - B.J. Thomas (October 1969)". SHS - secondhandsongs. Retrieved 2011-05-15. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 136. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ A Song A Day - Raindrops Keeps Falling On My Head, Music Aloud
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition (Billboard Publications)
  5. ^ The Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs (90-81)
  6. ^ B.J. Thomas (2011). Pods o' Pop-BJ Thomas Interview and Songs (Audio) (MP3) (in English). Pods o' Pop. Event occurs at 34m 18s. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  7. ^ "2014 Grammy Hall of Fame". Raindrops Keep Fallin' on my Head. THE RECORDING ACADEMY. 3 December 2013. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  8. ^ Nimmervoll, Ed (January 24, 1970). "National Top 40". Go-Set. Waverley Press. Retrieved May 16, 2014.  Note: Australian pop singer, Johnny Farnham's cover version sits at No. 1 (first week), while B. J. Thomas' version is at No. 20.
  9. ^ http://www.flavourofnz.co.nz/index.php?qpageID=search%20listener&qartistid=738#n_view_location
  10. ^ a b Nimmervoll, Ed. "Go-Set Australian Charts – Top Records for the Year of 1970: Number One Singles 1970". Go-Set. Waverley Press. Retrieved May 16, 2014. 
  11. ^ Farnham, John (1969). "Raindrops keep fallin' on my head /​ Bacharach - David ; [performed by] Johnny Farnham. Two /​ [written and performed by] Johnny Farnham". National Library of Australia. Retrieved 30 July 2014. "Sydney : Columbia [1969], DO-8965 7XCT3526 7XCT3527" 
  12. ^ "Pedro Biker - Regndråber Drypper I Mit Hår/Sjælens Karrusel". Discogs. 1970. Retrieved 30 July 2014. "Polydor - 2054 005, Denmark" 
  13. ^ "Our Way". Album Cover Notes. Stereophonic. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  14. ^ "Our Way". MTV. Retrieved 10 April 2014. "Label: Reboot Stereophonic" 
  15. ^ "Lisa Miskovsky - Lisa Miskovsky (New Version)". Discogs. 2004. Retrieved 30 July 2014. "Stockholm Records - 986 737-6"