Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"I Can't Stand the Rain" by Ann Peebles

One of the great things about writing a blog like this one is not only all the stuff you learn, but how constant that influx of new knowledge can be; for instance, not only did I recently learn that two of my favourite songs weren't originally performed by the people I'd thought they were - but rather by Ann Peebles - it was about the tenth such revelation on that day alone.

So while her name had been unfamiliar to me up until that point, well, it got familiar but quick; a brief Google through the Interwebs and voila! I've got someone new to add to my ever-lengthening list of divas who in my opinion are long overdue for rediscovery - along with Evelyn 'Champagne' King, Millie Jackson, Adeva...

So while my favourite Ann Peebles track is - and is likely to remain - 1971's Slipped, Tripped and Fell in Love* her original versions of I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down (a huge hit for Paul Young from his 1986 album The Secret of Association) and this little ditty, I Can't Stand the Rain (more familiar to me as the sixth single from Tina Turner's tour-de-force 1984 album Private Dancer) remain near and dear to me for the forceful R&B renderings she made that helped to set the standard for their performance.

I Can't Stand the Rain, of course, was originally the title track from Peebles' 1974 album; in addition to Turner's version a decade after its initial release, in the late 1970s the Anglo-Caribbean combo Eruption gave it the disco treatment; it's also been covered by Lowell George on his 1979 album Thanks, I'll Eat it Here, Bad Manners on their 1993 album Fat Sound, and Seal on his 2008 album Soul to name just four. Terry Manning did a live version for the 2006 CD re-release of his 1970 album Home Sweet Home; the song also formed the basis for Missy Elliott's The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly), from 1997's Supa Dupa Fly.

It gives me great pleasure to post it here on the occasion of Ann Peebles' birthday, with just a minor warning... The video starts out a bit slow, with a discussion as to the genesis of the song, but quickly segueways into a fairly recent performance of it by the lady herself.

*Which fairly cries out to be remixed, if not remade outright.
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