We enjoyed our posts on Space Songs and Summer Songs, so we wanted to do another themed post about songs. With the crazy wildfires and record heat going out on out west in the US, and weeks of rain here in the Northeast, why not put together a list of songs that touch on the weather? Here are some tunes to listen to no matter what Mother Nature has in store for us.
So many songwriters have used a weather motif, especially rain, to reflect an emotional state, it wasn’t hard to track down some weather-themed song titles. For whatever reason, snow doesn’t seem to get its due, even among our Canadian songwriters. Here’s my list for weather, both fair and not:
- “Weather With You”, Crowded House (1994) – Not only my favorite Crowded House song, but probably in my top 10 of ALL songs. The Finn brothers harmonize beautifully on this.
- “Rain”, The Cult (1985) – No one thinks of The Cult when you talk about 80s bands. They don’t get enough credit for their hard rock tunes like this one, She Sells Sanctuary and Fire Woman that were a sharp turn from the synthesizer-based music of the time.
- “Like The Weather”, 10,000 Maniacs (1987) – I remember reading a Boston Globe review of a 10,000 Maniacs concert, and the writer wished Natalie Merchant would not always be so reserved and for once sing in an Axl Rose-style voice: “Shiver in my bones/just thinking/about the weather!” Have to admit, that would’ve been cool.
- “Rock You Like A Hurricane”, Scorpions (1984) – Classic 80s hair metal, that still sounds good today. Another weather-themed song from the band: “Winds of Change”.
- “Cold”, Crossfade (2004) – From my early 2000s hard rock phase. I had a 40-minute commute home on back roads from work, and I spent many of them with the windows down cranking songs like this and Godsmack, Disturbed, Three Days Grace, etc. Then I had kids.
- “Riders On The Storm”, The Doors (1971) – I could be wrong, as we’ve done almost 130 posts and I lose track, but this may be the first appearance of The Doors on one of our lists.
- “Thunder”, Imagine Dragons (2017) – For whatever reason there are a lot of haters out there for Imagine Dragons, but they are one of the few bands making pop-rock music that makes the top 40. This song was amazing in concert.
- “Flood”, Jars of Clay (1995) – Definitely my first and probably my last mention of a song from a Christian rock band, but I’ll be honest, I enjoyed this album back in the 90s – not too Jesus-y
- “November Rain”, Guns N Roses (1991) – One of the few slower songs by the band – I guess you could call it a ballad, but Slash does eventually rock out on the guitar solo. Is Slash an underrated guitarist? Discuss.
- “Sunshower”, Chris Cornell (1998) – If you want to appreciate the amazing voice of Cornell, check out this lesser known track that was originally on the Great Expectations soundtrack. His vocals on this give me chills.
Bonus: “Red Rain”, Peter Gabriel (1986) – I could have sworn I heard back in the 80s that Gabriel wrote this song as a protest to the death penalty. While I never connected anything in the lyrics to that message, the emotional tone certainly fit. Now, searching the web, there is no mention of it being about that, so I guess I made that up. Regardless, it’s an intense song that always grabs me when I hear it. Gabriel, always the perfectionist, brought in drummer Stewart Copeland from The Police specifically to play high-hat on the track, because Gabriel knew how proficient Copeland was with the instrument.
DJ: “November Rain” would have been on my list great tune. Can’t say I have heard of Crossfade and I was never a Jars of Clay fan. The Doors song is great but the title also makes me think of REO Speedwagon’s “Riding the Storm Out”. Scorpions, classic 80s track I still hear all over the place today, German Heavy Metal at it’s best. One of the best Crowded House songs by far. “Red Rain” is great, solid bonus track.
I have to admit I wasn’t all in on “Weather Songs” but since “Space Songs” was my idea I figured I should go along with it. I can’t do “It’s Raining Men” even though it’s the epitome of weather songs, I mean it’s done by The Weather Girls for god’s sake. I just hate the song. The other real big one is “Heatwave” by Martha and the Vandella’s. I sing it any time we go through a heat wave, but I just didn’t want to use it. Maybe when we do Weather Songs II – A Storm is Coming. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention the classic “Singing in the Rain” by Gene Kelly, which is what the northeast seems to be doing for most of this month.
- “Blue Sky”, The Allman Brothers Band (1972) – A classic tune of Dickey Betts, it’s a happy tune, comparing someone’s love to a beautiful day, has a great jam before it reprises with the chorus.
- “Wild Winds Are Blowing”, Slade (1973) – A bet few people know this tune, do you know Slade was gigantic in England? They just couldn’t break through in the states until the 80s. But their 70s tunes as glamtastic.
- “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”, Bob Dylan (1963) – Another biting tune by Dylan that fills up the 60s film soundtracks. I feel like this song never went out of style. I think the hard rain is still coming and we best be prepared. Dylyn loves the weather by the way – “Blowin’ in the Wind”, “Hurricane”, and also “Shelter From the Storm” for a few.
- “Ocean Rain”, Echo & The Bunnymen (1984) – Maybe my favorite song on this list. The line “Screaming from beneath the waves…” is magic, being a non-swimmer it gets me right in the life jacket.
- “The Wind Cries Mary”, Jimi Hendrix (1967) – Here we go, some heavy 60s guitar. Love Jimi, one of my favorites from him and a slower than usual song for him. May we say a ballad?
- “So Central Rain”, R.E.M. (1984) – We have talked about R.E.M. is many lengths in this blog see Anthology: R.E.M. – Part I. With that being said, a great early classic from them. This song makes me think of rain, just the way it sounds and the early rawness of it.
- “Summer Breeze”, Seals & Croft (1972) – A cold beer on a deck with a nice wind to cool things down. Now that’s summer. Not sure these guys get enough credit, but their soft rock styles are nice to listen to. Not to be confused with Sid and Marty Croft – the H.R. PufnStuf people referenced here Obscure TV Shows From Our Childhood
- “No Thunder, No Fire, No Rain”, Tim Finn (1984) – May be an unknown song for some, but Finn Fanactics know it. Off his acclaimed 80s album Big Canoe Tim Finn rips it up in this perfect weather songs, that gets double points for Thunder and Rain, James Taylor had fire and rain but no thunder.
- “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head”, BJ Thomas (1969) – this one is sentimental and a tribute to Thomas, who died recently. Showcased in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, it’s the soft rock royalty.
- “No Rain”, Blind Melon (1992) – I know this is the newest song on the list. I like my oldies. Blind Melon’s first single was all about a Bee Girl. It would be on my soundtrack to the 90s and many other people’s as well.
Bonus: “Thunder Kiss 65”, White Zombie (1992) – Here is a hard song I can get into. Pure Rob Zombie, who I really enjoyed back in the 90s. I have no clue what it’s about, but just crank it up.
MG: Musical tastes are very subjective, but if you played me this list I’d be hoping for a thunderstorm to drown it out. Just kidding – there are a few tracks in there I enjoy: “So Central Rain”, Hendrix and Dylan. “Summer Breeze” and “Raindrops…” are just too blase/cliche for me. I am a Tim Finn fan, but that’s not a song of his I can get on board with. I’m a big fan of Blind Melon, but “No Rain” has always grated on me, including the iconic, for me annoying, bee-girl video. But you did end on a high note with your Bonus track by White Zombie – a great tune to play in the car with the windows down.