Monday, March 6, 2023

"Blame It on the Rain" by Milli Vanilli

#1 Alert!
Platinum Record Alert!
Song#:  4067
Date:  10/07/1989
Debut:  65
Peak:  1 (2 weeks)
Weeks:  23
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  Milli Vanilli were definitely on a hot streak. Their debut album Girl You Know It's True had just spent a couple weeks at #1 in September of '89 and the previous two singles from the LP had also topped the Pop chart and gone gold. It seemed like things couldn't get any better, but then this fourth single was issued out. It would catch on quickly and become the duo's third straight #1 on the Pop chart. It also topped out at #14 R&B and #27 AC. It sold well enough to become their second platinum single. The hit drove sales of the album and it would return to the #1 spot in November where it would stay for an additional five non-consecutive weeks. As 1990 began, the LP would reach the 6 million sales mark. It seemed the duo were unstoppable, but it ended up they a very big, bad way.

ReduxReview:  By this point in time, I really didn't care for Milli Vanilli. While I liked "Girl You Know It's True," their next two singles didn't do it for me at all and I proceeded to ignore the duo. So when this single came out, I didn't give it much attention. However, listening to it now I can hear that it was a nicely penned track from Warren (see below). The mid-tempo tune has a nice feel and features a solid, catchy chorus. Now, why Warren put in that quirky key change in the pre-chorus I do not know. When first listening to the song it kind of threw me for a loop and made my ears twitch. It was like - where the hell is this tune going? Then on later listens, it became a twisty part that I kind of look forward to and when it happens I have to chuckle a bit. Odd changes like that are not really common in big pop hits but leave it to Warren to toss a curve ball. I also don't mind Farian's production on the track. It fit the song well for the time period. Is it something I want to keep hearing? No. But I can listen to it differently now and appreciate Warren's work.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  This song was written by Diane Warren who had been on a hot streak since hitting #1 for the first time with Starship's "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now." She would hit a milestone and set a record when this Milli Vanilli track topped the chart. The two weeks prior, the #1 song was "When I See You Smile" by Bad English, which was written by Warren. So when "Blame it on the Rain" replaced that song at the top of the Pop chart, Warren became the first female songwriter to have two consecutive #1s on the chart. Warren's hit streak would continue well into the 90s and as of this posting date she has amassed a whopping 32 Pop Top 10 hits including 9 #1s. Milli Vanilli ended up with this song by chance. Warren had written the tune for The Jets, but they ended up turning down the song. Warren then took the tune to Arista's Clive Davis. Davis had just signed Milli Vanilli for US distribution and along with that came certain demands from Davis. Instead of just releasing MV's European debut album All or Nothing as it was, Davis wanted to repackage it and include two new tracks. One was a remake of The Isley Brothers' 1969 #2 Pop/#1 R&B hit "It's Your Thing." The other was this Diane Warren track that she had just submitted. Producer and Milli Vanilli creator Frank Farian acquiesced and the two tunes were included on the duo's US debut album Girl You Know It's True. Through Davis, Warren earned her fourth #1 Pop hit when "Blame It on the Rain" got issued out.


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