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"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.[2] It won an Oscar for Best Original Song.[2] 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.

"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]
Length2:57
LabelScepter Records
Songwriter(s)Hal David and Burt Bacharach
Producer(s)Hal David and Burt Bacharach
B. J. Thomas singles chronology
"Pass the Apple Eve"
(1969)
"Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head"
(1969)
"Everybody's Out of Town"
(1970)
Gold record presented to backup singer Linda November for her work on "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head"

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.[2] 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.[3] Billboard ranked it as the No. 4 song of 1970.[4] 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.[5]

PersonnelEdit

HistoryEdit

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.[6] The trumpet solos in the song are performed by Chuck Findley.[7]

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[8] and placed 95th in the 55th Anniversary edition of the All-Time Hot 100 list in 2013.[9] Billboard Magazine also ranked the song 15th on its Top 50 Movie Songs of All Time list in 2014.[10]

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)[11]

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.[12]

Use in film and televisionEdit

  • It is on the soundtracks to Forrest Gump (1994) and Spider-Man 2 (2004), in the latter accentuating Peter Parker's blissful mood after abandoning his Spider-Man identity and its responsibilities.
  • In 1993 it was used in The Simpsons, episode 16 of the fourth season, called "Duffless", at the end of the episode, while credits are presented.
  • In 1996 it was used in the film Spy Hard, which parodied the scene in movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
  • In 2003 it was used in the film The In-Laws starring Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks, which was a remake of the 1979 Peter Falk / Alan Arkin film of the same name.
  • In 2017 the song was 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.

Chart performanceEdit

CoversEdit

The song has been covered numerous times.

  • In 1970 from January 24 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.[15][20]
  • In 1970 it was 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,[2] 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”.
  • In 1970 Portuguese-born television and radio presenter Pedro Biker released a Danish version re-entitled "Regndråber Drypper I Mit Hår".[21]
  • In 1970 also a Swedish version "Regnet det bara öser ner" was made, sung by Siw Malmkvist.
  • In 1973 Paul Mauriat recorded it with his Grand Orchestra it. It was the only known cover in the USSR.
  • In 1973 the Barry Sisters covered the song in a Yiddish version ("Trop'ns Fin Regen Oif Mein Kop") on their album Our Way.[23][24]
  • The Welsh rock band Manic Street Preachers 1995 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".[25] 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 (1996), they were invited to record for the War Child charity album The Help Album (1995). The project required all songs to be recorded in one day.[26] While band biographer Simon Price has described the recording and release of the record as a "coded message" that the band still existed,[27] 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."[26] The band's recorded version of the song contains the first recorded instance of drummer Sean Moore performing on trumpet,[27] 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".[28]
  • Lisa Miskovsky covered the song in the extended version of her self-titled (2004) album.[29]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  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. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition (Billboard Publications)
  4. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1970
  5. ^ "Photo caption". Billboard. 14 March 1970. p. 1. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  6. ^ A Song A Day - Raindrops Keeps Falling On My Head, Music Aloud
  7. ^ "Herb Alpert FAQ | Herb Alpert/Tijuana Brass Discography and Collector Resource". Tijuanabrass.com. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  8. ^ The Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs (90-81) Archived September 29, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Bronson, Fred (2 August 2013). "Hot 100 55th Anniversary: The All-Time Top 100 Songs". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  10. ^ Dan, Reilly (27 February 2014). "Top 50 Movie Songs Of All Time". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ "Flavour of New Zealand". Retrieved 27 November 2014.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". collectionscanada.gc.ca.
  17. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1980". Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  18. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1970/Top 100 Songs of 1970". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  19. ^ "Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 26, 1970". Archived from the original on July 22, 2019. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
  20. ^ 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
  21. ^ "Pedro Biker - Regndråber Drypper I Mit Hår/Sjælens Karrusel". Discogs. 1970. Retrieved 30 July 2014. Polydor - 2054 005, Denmark
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ "Our Way". Album Cover Notes. Stereophonic. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  24. ^ "Our Way". MTV. Retrieved 10 April 2014. Label: Reboot Stereophonic
  25. ^ Aspden, Peter (22 May 2015). "The Life of a Song: 'Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head'". Financial Times. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  26. ^ a b Price, Simon (2 June 2016). "And If You Need An Explanation: Manic Street Preachers interviewed". Quietus. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  27. ^ a b Price, Simon (1999). Everything (A Book About Manic Street Preachers). Virgin. pp. 199–200. ISBN 0-7535-0139-2.
  28. ^ Price, Simon (1999). Everything (A Book About Manic Street Preachers). Virgin. p. 220. ISBN 0-7535-0139-2.
  29. ^ "Lisa Miskovsky - Lisa Miskovsky (New Version)". Discogs. 2004. Retrieved 30 July 2014. Stockholm Records - 986 737-6