Sunday, December 22, 2019

"Mandolin Rain" by Bruce Hornsby & the Range

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2989
Date:  01/17/1987
Debut:  69
Peak:  4
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Soft Rock, Americana

Pop Bits:  Hornsby and his band hit the big time when "The Way It Is," the second single from their debut album of the same name, reached #1. The unexpected hit tossed the band into the limelight and made them stars. They needed a follow-up and this next track was selected as the third single from the LP. The wistful tune turned out to be another winner for them hitting the Pop Top 10 while going to #1 AC, #2 Rock, and #38 Country. The two hits pushed the album to #3 and eventually it would be a triple-platinum seller. Just about a month after this song debuted on the Pop chart, Hornsby and the band would win the Grammy for Best New Artist.

ReduxReview:  While both are still piano-driven, this song subtracts some of the more modern elements of "The Way It Is" in favor of a more traditional arrangement. It also leaned more towards a country sound that would later be known as Americana, hence its appearance on the Country chart. It was the perfect follow-up tune and it made sure they were not going to be one-hit wonders after the fluke #1 showing of "The Way It Is." The relaxed feel of the song combined with the strong chorus made it stand out on radio. As with "The Way It Is," the tune still sounds great today.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  This song was covered by Pam Tillis in 1995. It was a track on her album All of This Love. It was not issued as a single, but did serve as the b-side to her #62 Country single "Betty's Got a Bass Boat." Tillis is the daughter of country music legend Mel Tillis, who in his career amassed thirty-six Top 10 Country singles including six #1 hits. Pam Tillis started out as a backup singer and songwriter before attempting a solo career in the early 80s. It didn't work out all that well with Tillis' career floundering for most of the decade. Then with Arista Records in the early 90s she finally broke through. Between 1990 and 1997, Tillis scored thirteen Top 10 Country hits including one #1. Three of her albums went platinum while two went gold.


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