Cover Versions

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

Song: Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
Artist: Sacha Distel
Original artist: BJ Thomas


I was writing yesterday about the rivalry that developed between Dionne Warwick and
Cilla Black over a couple of Bacharach and David songs.
It gave me the chance to say a little about one of my all-time favourite films, Alfie. So, to
keep the theme going, I’m looking at another Bacharach and David composition that
features in a favourite film – Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head from the 1969 movie
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.



Raindrops is a lovely song – a classic. But were you to play it to someone of the
younger generation and ask: What type of film do you think this is from? I wonder how
many would say it’s from a Western? Rom-com? Maybe. But, Western? I don’t think so.
Even one of the film’s stars, Robert Redford (Sundance), agreed. He said: “When the
film was released, I was highly critical: How did the song fit with the film? There was no
rain. At the time, it seemed like a dumb idea. How wrong I was, as it turned out to be a
giant hit.”


Let’s look at two hit versions of the song that came out fairly close together.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WE-XAnKU1o

BJ Thomas’s version is the one heard in the movie. BJ, unfortunate initials, I think, was
(in my eyes at least) a comparative unknown when he got the chance to record the
song. He did rather well with it, reaching No 1 in the United States, Canada and
Norway, and hitting No 38 in the UK. Then there is this not inconsiderable matter of it
receiving the Oscar for Best Original Song.
In terms of being a known quantity the French singer Sasha Distel was popular with UK
audiences. He was a regular on UK TV and even had his own show. Distel’s cover of
Raindrops would do better than BJ’s, reaching No 10.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Kikh-IzmLg
Below is one of my favourite scenes from the film. Two of my favourite actors in a
special on-screen moment. Be sure to turn on the sound.


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