Friday, March 9, 2012

The Weather Girls - "It's Raining Men"

It's Raining Men - Success

(Debuted January 22, 1983, Peaked #46, 11 Weeks on the Chart)

Revisionist history is interesting. If you didn't live through the 1980s, you might have thought that "It's Raining Men" would have been a Top 10 hit because it's been given a lot of exposure over the years. However, it failed to even reach the Top 40 and only reached #34 on the R&B chart. The dance clubs were hip to it, though, and it was really popular there, as well as a #2 hit in the U.K. Fortunately, its potential was realized over the years and it has come to be seen as a camp classic as well as an anthem for both the gay and female audiences.

The Weather Girls were Martha Wash and Izora Armstead. They were both backup singers for the Disco singer Sylvester and eventually struck out on their own, originally with the name Two Tons o' Fun. "It's Raining Men" was their biggest hit, and they parted ways in late in the decade. Wash became an in-demand session singer who was the "real" voice behind Black Box and the C+C Music Factory, and Armstead managed a new version of The Weather Girls consisting of her daughters Ingrid Arthur and Dynelle Rhodes before passing away in 2004.

"It's Raining Men" was written by producer and former Disco artist Paul Jabara and current David Letterman bandleader Paul Shaffer. Before The Weather Girls recorded it, it was turned down by Diana Ross, Barbra Streisand, Cher and Donna Summer (all of whom could have given it an interesting sound). Judging from that list, it appears to have been targeted for the gay audience right from the beginning. I'm beginning to wonder if Dionne Warwick would have been offered it as well.

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous to get the history on this cult classic. Good for them and the video is amazing!! It was an anthem in Vancouver's West End - I had no idea it was originally het.