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Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head"
Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head.jpg
Single by B. J. Thomas
from the album Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head
B-side"Never Had It So Good"
ReleasedOctober 1969[1]
StudioA & R (New York City)
B. J. Thomas singles chronology
"Pass the Apple Eve"
"Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head"
"Everybody's Out of Town"
"Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" on YouTube

"Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" is a song written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David for the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.[3] The uplifting lyrics describe somebody who overcomes his troubles and worries by realizing that "it won't be long till happiness steps up to greet me."[4][5]

The single by B. J. Thomas reached No. 1 on charts in the United States, Canada and Norway, and reached No. 38 in the UK Singles Chart.[3] It topped the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks in January 1970 and was also the first American No. 1 hit of the 1970s. The song also spent seven weeks atop the Billboard adult contemporary chart.[6] Billboard ranked it as the No. 4 song of 1970. According to Billboard magazine, it had sold over 2 million copies by March 14, 1970, with eight-track and cassette versions also climbing the charts.[7] It won an Oscar for Best Original Song.[3] Bacharach also won Best Original Score.


Composition and recording

The song was recorded by B. J. Thomas in seven takes, after Bacharach expressed dissatisfaction with the first six. In the film version of the song, Thomas had been recovering from laryngitis, which made his voice sound huskier than in the 7-inch release. The film version featured a separate vaudeville-style instrumental break in double time while Paul Newman performed bicycle stunts.[citation needed]

Ray Stevens was first offered the opportunity to record it for the film, but turned it down. He chose instead to record the song "Sunday Morning Coming Down", written by Kris Kristofferson. Bob Dylan is supposed to have been approached for the song, but he reportedly declined too.[8] The trumpet solos in the song are performed by Chuck Findley.[9] Carol Kaye played electric bass on the song.[10][11]


Gold record presented to backup singer Linda November for her work on "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head"
Gold record presented to backup singer Linda November for her work on "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head"

The song was featured during the 2004 superhero film Spider-Man 2 over a montage sequence when Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) initially renounces his identity as Spider-Man.[12] The same year, it finished at number 23 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema. In 2008, the single was ranked 85th on Billboard's Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs[13] and placed 95th in the 55th Anniversary edition of the All-Time Hot 100 list in 2013.[14] Billboard Magazine also ranked the song 15th on its Top 50 Movie Songs of All Time list in 2014.[15]

The song, initially when it came out, I believe it was October of 69, the movie didn't come out until December, it did get some bad reviews. It was a very unique and different sounding song, Bacharach and David never had any qualms about trying to do anything different, or push the envelope so to speak. So nowadays, it sounds pretty tame, but back then, radio resisted it to some degree. But, when the movie came out it hit hugely and sold about 200,000 to 300,000 records a day [and continued selling] for about three years.

— B.J. Thomas, Interview, Pods o' Pop (August 22, 2011)[16]

On December 3, 2013, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences announced that the single would be inducted into the 2014 Grammy Hall Of Fame.[17]

Chart performance

Certifications and sales

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[29] Gold 100,000[29]
United States (RIAA)[31] Gold 2,000,000[30]
Worldwide 3,000,000[30]

Cover versions

The song has been covered numerous times.

  • In 1970, Barbara Mason's cover reached U.S. number 112 and R&B number 38.[32]
  • In 1970, from January 24 to March 13, it was the number-one hit (for seven weeks) in Australia on the Go-Set National Top 40 for Johnny Farnham.[23][33]
  • In 1970, Bobbie Gentry's version, from her album Fancy, reached number 40 in the UK chart.[3]
  • In 1970, it was covered in French by French singer Sacha Distel as ”Toute La Pluie Tombe Sur Moi”, while his English-language version was a number 10 hit in the UK Singles Chart,[3] and number 13 in Ireland; the French version reaching number 10 in his home country. Distel also recorded a version in Italian, ”Gocce Di Pioggia Su Di Me”.
  • In 1970, Portuguese-born television and radio presenter Pedro Biker released a Danish version re-entitled "Regndråber Drypper I Mit Hår".[34]
  • In 1970, the song was covered by:
  • Patty Pravo records a cover of the song, inserted in the 1970 album of the same name, (RCA Italiana- LP8S 21102), with an Italian text by Cristiano Minellono, entitled Gocce di pioggia su di me (Raindrops on me).
  • In 1973, the Barry Sisters covered the song in a Yiddish version ("Trop'ns Fin Regen Oif Mein Kop") on their album Our Way.[35][36]
  • The 1995 cover version by Welsh rock band Manic Street Preachers is credited with adding greater nuance to the song, the Financial Times citing their recording as transforming the song from carefree optimism to "an exhortation to keep going in the face of tragedy", and noting that Bradfield's voice "added grit to the facile lyric".[37] The group often spent their downtime on the tour bus watching the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and incorporated the song into live sets. After the disappearance of lyricist Richey Edwards, the band decided to continue rather than split up. Having booked studio time in France to record their fourth album, Everything Must Go (1996), they were invited to record for the War Child charity album The Help Album (1995). The project required all songs to be recorded in one day.[38] While band biographer Simon Price has described the recording and release of the record as a "coded message" that the band still existed,[39] Bradfield recalls the events differently: " putting it out wasn't planned as us saying 'We're OK, guys!', but the deadline was the next day after we'd arrived in this place, for some kind of new beginning."[38] The band's recorded version of the song contains the first recorded instance of drummer Sean Moore performing on trumpet,[39] and also appears on their 2003 B-sides and rarities compilation album Lipstick Traces (A Secret History of Manic Street Preachers). The Manics further reference the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with the B-side "Sepia".[40]
  • Lisa Miskovsky covered the song in the extended version of her self-titled (2004) album.[41]

See also


  1. ^ "Audio Single: Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head - B.J. Thomas (October 1969)". SHS - secondhandsongs. Retrieved 2011-05-15.
  2. ^ "Soft Rock Music Songs". AllMusic.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 136. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  4. ^ Liebenson, Donald (25 September 2019). "Remembering Butch Cassidy's Controversial Smash Hit, "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head"". Vanity Fair. Retrieved Dec 15, 2020.
  5. ^ "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head - BJ Thomas". Retrieved Dec 15, 2020.
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition (Billboard Publications)
  7. ^ "Photo caption". Billboard. 14 March 1970. p. 1. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  8. ^ "A.Song.A.Day – Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head". 8 November 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  9. ^ "Herb Alpert FAQ | Herb Alpert/Tijuana Brass Discography and Collector Resource". 8 February 2007. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  10. ^ Kaye, Carol. "Royalty Check - Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head". Carol Kaye.
  11. ^ "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid". Library of Congress.
  12. ^ Liebenson, Donald (September 25, 2019). "Remembering Butch Cassidy's Controversial Smash Hit, "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head"". Vanity Fair. Condé Nast. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  13. ^ "The Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs (90-81)". Billboard. Archived from the original on Sep 29, 2008. Retrieved Dec 15, 2020.
  14. ^ Bronson, Fred (2 August 2013). "Hot 100 55th Anniversary: The All-Time Top 100 Songs". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  15. ^ Dan, Reilly (27 February 2014). "Top 50 Movie Songs Of All Time". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  16. ^ B.J. Thomas (2011). Pods o' Pop-BJ Thomas Interview and Songs (MP3). Pods o' Pop. Event occurs at 34m 18s. Archived from the original (Audio) on December 12, 2013. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  17. ^ "2014 Grammy Hall of Fame". Raindrops Keep Fallin' on my Head. THE RECORDING ACADEMY. 3 December 2013. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  18. ^ "Cash Box - International Best Sellers" (PDF). Cash Box. 13 June 1970. p. 53.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  19. ^ Nimmervoll, Ed (January 24, 1970). "National Top 40". Go-Set. Waverley Press. Retrieved May 16, 2014. Note: Australian pop singer, Johnny Farnham's cover version sits at No. 1 (first week), while B. J. Thomas' version is at No. 20.
  20. ^ "Hits of the world". Billboard. July 4, 1970. p. 73. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  21. ^ a b c "Hits of the world". Billboard. February 18, 1970. p. 65. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  22. ^ "Flavour of New Zealand". Retrieved 27 November 2014.
  23. ^ a b Nimmervoll, Ed. "Go-Set Australian Charts – Top Records for the Year of 1970: Number One Singles 1970". Go-Set. Waverley Press. Retrieved May 16, 2014.
  24. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 17 July 2013.
  25. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1980". Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  26. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1970/Top 100 Songs of 1970". Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  27. ^ "Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 26, 1970". Archived from the original on July 22, 2019. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
  28. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  29. ^ a b "B.J. Thomas Receives Compo Gold" (PDF). RPM. May 23, 1970. p. 3. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  30. ^ a b Murrells, Joseph (1985). Million selling records from the 1900s to the 1980s : an illustrated directory. Arco Pub. p. 294. ISBN 0668064595. By the end of January 1970, sales were estimated at two million in the US.A. alone. ... and the disc solve over a global three million
  31. ^ "American  single  certifications – B.J. Thomas – Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head". Recording Industry Association of America.
  32. ^ Joel Whitburn's Bubbling Under the Billboard Hot 100 1959-2004
  33. ^ Farnham, John (1969). "Raindrops keep fallin' on my head / Bacharach - David ; [performed by] Johnny Farnham. Two / [written and performed by] Johnny Farnham". National Library of Australia. Retrieved 30 July 2014. Sydney : Columbia [1969], DO-8965 7XCT3526 7XCT3527
  34. ^ "Pedro Biker - Regndråber Drypper I Mit Hår/Sjælens Karrusel". Discogs. 1970. Retrieved 30 July 2014. Polydor - 2054 005, Denmark
  35. ^ "Our Way". Album Cover Notes. Stereophonic. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  36. ^ "Our Way". MTV. Retrieved 10 April 2014. Label: Reboot Stereophonic
  37. ^ Aspden, Peter (22 May 2015). "The Life of a Song: 'Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head'". Financial Times. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  38. ^ a b Price, Simon (2 June 2016). "And If You Need An Explanation: Manic Street Preachers interviewed". Quietus. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  39. ^ a b Price, Simon (1999). Everything (A Book About Manic Street Preachers). Virgin. pp. 199–200. ISBN 0-7535-0139-2.
  40. ^ Price, Simon (1999). Everything (A Book About Manic Street Preachers). Virgin. p. 220. ISBN 0-7535-0139-2.
  41. ^ "Lisa Miskovsky - Lisa Miskovsky (New Version)". Discogs. 2004. Retrieved 30 July 2014. Stockholm Records - 986 737-6

External links

This page was last edited on 29 August 2022, at 15:22
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