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"
I wish it would rain down.jpg
Single by Phil Collins
from the album ...But Seriously
B-side "Homeless", "You've Been in Love (That Little Bit Too Long)"
Released 15 January 1990 (UK)
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"
"I Wish It Would Rain Down"
"Something Happened on the Way to Heaven"
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 lead guitar by Eric Clapton. The song was a significant chart hit in 1990, peaking at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States and No. 1on the RPM Top 100 in Canada. It also reached No. 7 on the UK Singles Chart.

Collins felt that it was as close as he had ever gotten at the time to writing a blues song.[1]


Eric Clapton plays lead guitar 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.'"[1] Collins also felt that it was a Clapton song.[1]

Music video[edit]

The 8:30 minute-long black-and-white music video, produced by Paul Flattery and 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. 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 (played by Collins) used to be the drummer in a good band and is a good singer, taking over when the original singer left. (This is an in-joke referencing Collins' tenure with the band Genesis, in which he played drums and then became the lead singer when Peter Gabriel exited the group.) 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 [pointing to Clapton] said I could sing," 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's name is inserted onto fake covers of major industry publications such as Variety and Billboard and newspapers such as the Denver Post. His 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.) Billy is shown receiving an Academy Award from Clark Gable (impersonated by actor Ralph Chelli).

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", 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 fellow on the guitar (Eric Clapton) is pretty good," but his assistant says that, "Eric gave a week's notice." Collins, in disbelief, goes back to sit behind the drums.

Chart performances[edit]

The song was a significant chart hit in 1990, peaking at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. and No. 3 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.[2]

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)"
3" CD Single
  1. "I Wish it would rain down" 5:32
  2. "Homeless (Another Day In Paradise Demo)" 4:15
  3. You're been in love (that little bit too long)" 4:50

Virgin VSCD 1240 (Martin H)


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



  1. ^ a b c "Phil Collins interview". philcollins.co.uk. Warner Music Group. 1989. Archived from the original on 7 December 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c Top Singles - Volume 53, No. 6, 22 December 1990
  3. ^ "australian-charts.com > Discography Phil Collins". Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 February 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e ""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. ^ "Offizielle Deutsche Charts > Phil Collins - I Wish It Would Rain Down (single)" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 16 February 2016. 
  8. ^ "Irish Single Chart". irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 15 February 2008. 
  9. ^ "Polish Singles Chart |". 
  10. ^ "Official Charts > Phil Collins". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 16 February 2016. 
  11. ^ a b c "Billboard". allmusic. Retrieved 10 August 2008. 
  12. ^ * Zimbabwe. Kimberley, C. Zimbabwe: singles chart book. Harare: C. Kimberley, 2000
  13. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. 
  14. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1990". Retrieved 15 September 2009. 

External links[edit]