Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head

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"Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head"
Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head.jpg
From the motion picture, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Single by B. J. Thomas
from the album Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head
B-side"Never Had It So Good"
ReleasedOctober 1969[1]
Recorded1969
StudioA&R Recording Studios, New York City
Genre
Length3:02
LabelScepter
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
B. J. Thomas singles chronology
"Pass the Apple Eve"
(1969)
"Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head"
(1969)
"Everybody's Out of Town"
(1970)

"Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" is a song written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David for the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.[3] The uplifting lyrics describe somebody who overcomes his troubles and worries by realizing that "it won't be long 'till happiness steps up to greet me."[4][5]

The single by B. J. Thomas reached No. 1 on charts in the United States, Canada, Norway and reached No. 38 in the UK Singles Chart.[3] It topped the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks in January 1970 and was also the first American No. 1 hit of the 1970s. The song also spent seven weeks atop the Billboard adult contemporary chart.[6] Billboard ranked it as the No. 4 song of 1970.[7] According to Billboard magazine, Thomas' single had sold over 2 million copies by March 14, 1970, with eight-track and cassette versions also climbing the charts.[8] It won an Oscar for Best Original Song.[3] Bacharach also won Best Original Score.

History[edit]

Composition and recording[edit]

The song was recorded by B. J. Thomas in seven takes, after Bacharach expressed dissatisfaction with the first six. In the film version of the song, Thomas had been recovering from laryngitis, which made his voice sound huskier than in the 7-inch release. The film version featured a separate vaudeville-style instrumental break in double time while Paul Newman performed bicycle stunts.[citation needed]

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 reportedly declined too.[9] The trumpet solos in the song are performed by Chuck Findley.[10]

Legacy[edit]

Gold record presented to backup singer Linda November for her work on "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head"

In 2004, it finished at number 23 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema. In 2008, the single was ranked 85th on Billboard's Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs[11] and placed 95th in the 55th Anniversary edition of the All-Time Hot 100 list in 2013.[12] Billboard Magazine also ranked the song 15th on its Top 50 Movie Songs of All Time list in 2014.[13]

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 [and continued selling] for about three years.

— B.J. Thomas, Interview, Pods o' Pop (August 22, 2011)[14]

On December 3, 2013, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences announced that the single would be inducted into the 2014 Grammy Hall Of Fame.[15]

Use in film and television[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

The song has been covered numerous times.

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. ^ "Soft Rock Music Songs". AllMusic.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Liebenson, Donald. "Remembering Butch Cassidy's Controversial Smash Hit, "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head"". Vanity Fair. Retrieved Dec 15, 2020.
  5. ^ "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head - BJ Thomas". www.nporadio2.nl. Retrieved Dec 15, 2020.
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition (Billboard Publications)
  7. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1970
  8. ^ "Photo caption". Billboard. 14 March 1970. p. 1. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  9. ^ A Song A Day - Raindrops Keeps Falling On My Head, Music Aloud
  10. ^ "Herb Alpert FAQ | Herb Alpert/Tijuana Brass Discography and Collector Resource". Tijuanabrass.com. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  11. ^ "The Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs (90-81)". Archived from the original on Sep 29, 2008. Retrieved Dec 15, 2020.
  12. ^ Bronson, Fred (2 August 2013). "Hot 100 55th Anniversary: The All-Time Top 100 Songs". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  13. ^ Dan, Reilly (27 February 2014). "Top 50 Movie Songs Of All Time". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  14. ^ B.J. Thomas (2011). Pods o' Pop-BJ Thomas Interview and Songs (MP3). Pods o' Pop. Event occurs at 34m 18s. Archived from the original (Audio) on December 12, 2013. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ "Flavour of New Zealand". Retrieved 27 November 2014.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". collectionscanada.gc.ca.
  20. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1980". Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  21. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1970/Top 100 Songs of 1970". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  22. ^ "Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 26, 1970". Archived from the original on July 22, 2019. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
  23. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  24. ^ Joel Whitburn's Bubbling Under the Billboard Hot 100 1959-2004
  25. ^ 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
  26. ^ "Pedro Biker - Regndråber Drypper I Mit Hår/Sjælens Karrusel". Discogs. 1970. Retrieved 30 July 2014. Polydor - 2054 005, Denmark
  27. ^ "Bridge Over Troubled Water - Peggy Lee | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". Retrieved Dec 15, 2020 – via www.allmusic.com.
  28. ^ "Our Way". Album Cover Notes. Stereophonic. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  29. ^ "Our Way". MTV. Retrieved 10 April 2014. Label: Reboot Stereophonic
  30. ^ Aspden, Peter (22 May 2015). "The Life of a Song: 'Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head'". Financial Times. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  31. ^ a b Price, Simon (2 June 2016). "And If You Need An Explanation: Manic Street Preachers interviewed". Quietus. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  32. ^ a b Price, Simon (1999). Everything (A Book About Manic Street Preachers). Virgin. pp. 199–200. ISBN 0-7535-0139-2.
  33. ^ Price, Simon (1999). Everything (A Book About Manic Street Preachers). Virgin. p. 220. ISBN 0-7535-0139-2.
  34. ^ "Lisa Miskovsky - Lisa Miskovsky (New Version)". Discogs. 2004. Retrieved 30 July 2014. Stockholm Records - 986 737-6

External links[edit]