“Blame It On the Rain” by Milli Vanilli
We have pointed out in the past how “rain” has a history in song of serving as a metaphor for something bad or depressing. And this (“Blame It On the Rain”) is one of those types of tunes, in the most general sense. The “rain” is not depicted as being anything bad per se. But it does embody the excuse the subject of the story has adopted to explain why his relationship with the woman he loves has dissolved.
Or put differently, at the center of the narrative isn’t the vocalist himself but rather some dude he’s singing about. And to make a long story short, said individual has obviously ruined the romance he was in. Judging by the second verse, this all began with him making some kind of mistake in the first place.
But he had the opportunity to make things right. Yet instead, as implied in the first verse, he rather played like he “didn’t need” his sweetheart when she was threatening to leave. Or stated otherwise, he is portrayed as being woefully prideful. And in the aftermath of in fact encouraging her to go, he now “feel(s) like such a fool”, as he is unable to win “her back again”.
Yet and still, he is not able to live up to the monumental mistakes he has made. So instead of blaming the situation on his own hubris, he is instead putting the onus on “the rain”. And the innocent rain is an unidentifiable and unable-to-defend-itself antagonist which supposedly contributed to the dissolution of this relationship.
So it’s almost as if the Milli Vanilli boys are mocking this dude. That is to say that there doesn’t appear to be any actual moral to the story. But perhaps the underlying, logical lesson in it all is that we do not want to end up like the main character. Not only did he drive away his significant other via his own actions. But also, he apparently did not learn anything from the whole ordeal.
Who wrote “Blame It On the Rain”?
This song was written exclusively by an American musician named Diane Warren. That may not be a name most of us have ever heard of. But she just so happens to be one of the most-renowned songwriters in modern history. She even earned the Hollywood Walk of Fame star to prove it.
In fact “Blame It on the Rain” proved to be a Billboard Hot 100 chart topper. And the song it knocked out of first place, Bad English’s “When I See You Smile” (1989), also happened to be written by Diane Warren.
Additionally this track received platinum certification via the RIAA. For whatever reason, all things considered Milli Vanilli was better received in North America than they were in Europe. For instance, “Blame It on the Rain” also peaked at number three on Canada Top Singles. However, it didn’t even break the top 40 of the UK Singles Chart.
Part of Milli Vanilli’s appeal was their unique image – two lean Black dudes with long dreadlocks singing and bouncing around. Well, it was ultimately revealed that they didn’t sing their songs at all. So the two vocalists on this track are not Rob Pilatus (1965-1998) and Fab Morvan, i.e. the two artists that made up Milli Vanilli and are actually featured on the Marc Bienstock-directed music video. Rather it’s two singers, Brad Howell and John Davis, that you likely never heard of unless you were really into Milli Vanilli.
Arista Records released this track on 13 July 1989. It is the fourth single from Milli Vanilli’s debut and only album in the US, which is entitled “Girl You Know It’s True”. It was not featured on their debut album in Europe, which is called “All or Nothing” and came out a few months prior to the North American release.
“All or Nothing” also proved to be the only album the original Milli Vanilli ever dropped in Europe. Despite being one of the hottest musical acts of the early 1990s – having topped the Billboard Hot 100 a total of 3 times in only 5 tries – their basking in the spotlight was ultimately short-lived due to the aforementioned revelation.
When the truth did come out, it left many of their fans heartbroken. Also the pair were compelled to return the Grammy Award they won in 1990 for Best New Artist.
The producer of “Blame It on the Rain” is Frank Farian, the mastermind behind the whole aforementioned scandal.
In 2006 well-decorated American singer Sam Moore covered this song in conjunction with another stateside artist, Fantasia.
The “Girl You Know It’s True” Project
In all the “Girl You Know It’s True” album was marketed by the following 5 strong singles:
- “All or Nothing”
- “Blame It on the Rain”
- “Girl I’m Gonna Miss You”
- “Baby, Don’t Forget My Number”
- “Girl You Know It’s True”
The album was so successful that it spent several weeks on Billboard’s Top 200 record chart. It was so successful that it led to Milli Vanilli grabbing a Grammy in 1990.