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I Can’t Stand the Rain

When I was a kid listening to my mom’s Private Dancer cassette in the living room, I remember loving this song best. I was also a fool for the Pointer Sisters’ “Automatic” so I guess chilly electronic keyboards + strong female vocalists was just my thing back then.

Listening to it now, it strikes me that the lyrics of “I Can’t Stand the Rain” are 100% traditional pop song. They would fit perfectly with the material on the It’s Gonna Work Out Fine album.

I can’t stand the rain / Against my window / Bringing back sweet memories. / I can’t stand the rain / Against my window / Because he’s not here with me.

What is this, “Hopelessly Devoted to You” from Grease? [Sidenote: Tina’s manager when she went solo was Roger Davies. His other big act at the time was Olivia Newton-John. This connection got Tina a spot on Olivia’s 1980 variety hour “Hollywood Nights,” which aired before the Oscars. They sang “Heartache Tonight” together!]

No, actually, it was originally a song for another R&B singer from St. Louis–Ann Peebles. It charted for her in 1973.

But of course Tina’s “I Can’t Stand the Rain” sounds so, so 1984. It’s more Grace Jones than Ann Peebles. Instead of guitar plucks for raindrop sound effects it’s all keyboards. Dude, this song is all keyboards. And the sound reminds you that Rupert Hine was mostly known then for producing the Fixx.

Tina’s version is ultra cool, a perfect balance between her soulful voice and the cold synths.

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