Sunday, August 11, 2019

"The Rain" by Oran "Juice" Jones

Top 10 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
One-Hit Wonder Alert!
Song#:  2857
Date:  09/13/1986
Debut:  94
Peak:  9
Weeks:  19
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  This Houston-born, New York-raised singer/songwriter got involved in the music business via a friend named Kurtis Blow. Blow had scored big with his 1980 debut album and the gold single "The Breaks" and when it came time to record his follow-up LP, Blow worked up a song with his friend Jones along with David Reeves titled "Rockin'." Jones would then co-write a song for Blow's third album, which also featured a song co-written by Russell Simmons, the co-founder of the new hip-hop label Def Jam. Paths crossed and by 1986 when Def Jam was looking to expand beyond hip-hop, they signed Jones as their first R&B artist. Work began on Jones' debut LP with Simmons co-producing with Vincent Bell and Blow lending a hand co-writing a track. Bell would contribute four songs to the LP including this one. It would be issued out as the album's third single and it would be his breakout hit reaching #1 at R&B. Just a few weeks prior to it topping the R&B chart, it began to crossover to Pop. After a low debut, the song steadily climbed and made it into the Top 10. A remix of the song would also get to #7 at Dance. The crossover action made sales soar and Jones would end up scoring a gold record. His debut album, Juice, would make it to #4 at R&B and #44 Pop. It was a great start for the new artist, but unfortunately he just couldn't capitalize on it and further singles failed to reach the R&B Top 40 and none would make the Pop chart. Because of his one-and-done status at Pop and lack of any significant hits at R&B, Jones got labeled a one-hit wonder (#62 on VH1's list of the 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the 80s).

ReduxReview:  This song was kinda like a newfangled 80s quiet storm track. The chorus was memorable ("and him! and him!") and the groove scooted along quite well in a near synthpop kind of way. I liked the song up until the spoken word part. Once that started, I turned it off. To me it changed a solid, groovy jam into a novelty tune. Many people remember the song from the spoken word section, but I think it could have been a hit without it. I found it to be an unnecessary and silly addition and it nearly ruined the song for me.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) In addition to Jones earning a #1 R&B hit and a gold record with this song, it also got him a Grammy nomination in the Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male, category.  2) This song generated not one, but three answer tunes all of which came out in 1986. Two were on small indie labels. An artist by the singular name of Pamala recorded "Walkin' in the Rain, Yes You Saw Me" while Leot Littlepage issued out "The Drain." Neither got much attention, however, a rap artist named Miss Thang (real name Cheryl Sewell) recorded "Thunder and Lightning" for Tommy Boy Records. It ended up making the R&B chart peaking at #48.



  1. I've been with you for the vast majority of songs here - but we will disagree here. I love the spoken word part. You'd probably be more into it if you had worn a lynx coat, crumb cake. Haha

    1. You are right! I might! Yeah, this one didn't grab me.