Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head
|"Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head"|
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"|
|Songwriter(s)||Hal David and Burt Bacharach|
|Producer(s)||Hal David and Burt Bacharach|
|B. J. Thomas singles chronology|
"Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" is a song written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach for the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. David and Bacharach also won Best Original Score. 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 hoarser 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.
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. 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. Billboard ranked it as the No. 4 song of 1970. 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.
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. The trumpet solos in the song are performed by Chuck Findley.
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 and placed 95th in the 55th Anniversary edition of the All-Time Hot 100 list in 2013. Billboard Magazine also ranked the song 15th on its Top 50 Movie Songs of All Time list in 2014.
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.
Use in Film and Television
"Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" was used in the film Spy Hard, which parodied the scene in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Police Constable Pan-Am sings the opening lines at the end of his appearance in Series 2, Episode 4 of Monty Python's Flying Circus. 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, while credits are presented. It was also used in a season 1 episode of Arrested Development entitled "Altar Egos". 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 also featured in the TV show 'Feud: Bette and Joan'. The song was played during the segment where we see Joan Crawford settling into her New York City apartment.
Weekly singles charts
B. J. Thomas version
Johnny Farnham version
The song has been covered numerous times. In 1969, Craig Douglas released a version produced by Tony Hatch. From January 24 to March 13, 1970, it was a number-one hit (for seven weeks) in Australia on the Go-Set National Top 40 for local pop singer, Johnny Farnham. In 1970, it was also covered by Dionne Warwick on her album I'll Never Fall in Love Again, 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. A Swedish version was also made in 1970, "Regnet det bara öser ner" sung by Siw Malmkvist. Genesis referenced the song title in their lyrics of In the Cage" in 1974.
It has been covered in French by French singer Sacha Distel, whose version Toute La Pluie Tombe Sur Moi was a number 10 hit in the UK Singles Chart, and number 13 in Ireland, as well as number 10 in 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 number 40 in the UK chart. Paul Mauriat recorded it with his Grand Orchestra it 1973. It was the only known cover in the USSR.
The Welsh rock band Manic Street Preachers cover version is credited with adding greater nuance to the song, the Financial Times citing their recording as transforming the song from carefree optimism to "an exhortation to keep going in the face of tragedy" and noting that Bradfield's voice "added grit to the facile lyric". The group often spent their downtime on the tour bus watching the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and incorporated the song into live sets. After the disappearance of lyricist Richey Edwards, the band decided to continue rather than split up. Having booked studio time in France to record their fourth album, Everything Must Go, they were invited to record for the War Child album The Help Album. The project required all songs to be recorded in one day. While band biographer Simon Price has described the recording and release of the record as a "coded message" that the band still existed, Bradfield recalls the events differently: "...us putting it out wasn't planned as us saying 'We're OK, guys!', but the deadline was the next day after we'd arrived in this place, for some kind of new beginning." The band's recorded version of the song contains the first recorded instance of drummer Sean Moore performing on trumpet, and 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".
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Sydney : Columbia , DO-8965 7XCT3526 7XCT3527
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Polydor - 2054 005, Denmark
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Label: Reboot Stereophonic
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Stockholm Records - 986 737-6