Eruption – I Can’t Stand The Rain 1984

Written by on 7 March 2021

One evening in Memphis in 1973, soul singer Ann Peebles was meeting friends, including her partner, Hi Records staff writer Don Bryant, to go to a concert. Just as they were about to set off, the heavens opened and Peebles snapped: “I can’t stand the rain.”

As a professional songwriter in constant need of new material, Bryant was used to plucking resonant phrases out of the air and he liked the idea of reacting against recent R&B hits that celebrated bad weather, such as the Dramatics’ “In the Rain” and Love Unlimited’s “Walkin’ in the Rain with the One I Love”. So he sat down at the piano and started riffing on the theme, weaving in ideas from Peebles and local DJ Bernie Miller.

The song was finished that night and presented the next morning to Hi’s studio maestro, Willie Mitchell, who used a brand new gadget, the electric timbale, to create the song’s distinctive raindrop riff. It really was that easy. “We didn’t go to the concert,” Bryant remembers. “We forgot about the concert.”

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