Tuesday, October 24, 2017

"When the Rain Begins to Fall" by Jermaine Jackson and Pia Zadora

Song#:  2202
Date:  02/02/1985
Debut:  95
Peak:  54
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Synthpop, Europop, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  Actress/singer Zadora's 1983 film The Lonely Lady was a heavily panned box office dud, but on the bright side her music career got a boost when her single "The Clapping Song" reached the Top 40. For her next venture, she decided to combine acting and singing via the campy b-movie spoof Voyage of the Rock Aliens. The sci-fi flick had several musical numbers including this tune, which was recorded in the studio by Zadora and Jermaine Jackson. Jackson was not initially part of the film. Actor Craig Shaffer lip synced the part. After the film was done, Zadora and Jackson filmed a video for this song, which was going to be released as a single. The film saw limited release and was promptly ignored. However, the single version of this song started to catch on. In Europe, it topped the charts in several countries including France, Germany, and the Netherlands. It seemed like it would then do well in the US, but even though Jackson just had two Top 20 hits, the Europop track fizzled before it could get into the top half of the chart. It did a little better at Dance getting to #22.

ReduxReview:  I have no idea why I bought this single. I know I had not heard the tune yet. Perhaps the draw of Jackson and Zadora drew me in. Whatever it was, I got the single and kind of liked it. The production is a bit cheesy and cheap sounding now, but it seemed interesting back in the day. It was produced by Jack White, who had success with Laura Branigan. While the song was kind of a dud here, it was big in Europe. I remember in 2013 I was staying in Portugal and found an 80s radio station to listen to. Over a two-week period, this song came up at least twice a day on the station. I couldn't believe it. In the US, the song could barely get airtime when it came out let alone now! It's really not a very good song, but I think it is kitschy fun and it kind of cracks me up when I hear it now. Oh, and the video for this tune is pretty awful and certainly didn't do the song any favors. Although Zadora rocked a near-drag white pant suit look in it with fab sunglasses...

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) The video for this song featured nothing from the film. Although it had futuristic costumes and was something akin to Mad Max, it had nothing that was tied in with the movie. The original idea was to have the video tagged on to the end of the film, but at the last minute the producers decided to intertwine portions of the video into the opening segment of the film. Because of this, Jermaine Jackson now seemed to appear in the movie and even got credited as a character called "Rain," even though he appeared nowhere else in the film.  2) This song was co-written by Michael Bradley, Steve Wittmack, and Peggy March. March had been a music star herself. Billed as Little Peggy March, she topped the Pop chart in 1963 with the song "I Will Follow Him." March was only fifteen years old at the time and that made her the youngest female artist to ever have a #1 song on the chart. It's a record that she still holds today. In 2010, March recorded a version of "When the Rain Begins to Fall" with German actor/singer Andreas Zaron.



  1. Interesting song. Never knew that Pia and Jermaine did a duet together. Also, eventually as 1985 winds down, you'll get to a song called "Kayleigh" by Marillion. It's one of my all time 100 favorite songs of the 80's, so it'll be interesting to see your opinion on it. It was the band's only Hot 100 chart entry, peaking at just No. 74 on October 26th, 1985

    1. I'm actually already familiar with Kayleigh! But I'll wait until it comes up to say anything about it!