Neil Sedaka – Laughter in the Rain

First Hit #1: February 1, 1975

While the end of the ’70s brought with it a highly publicized and dramatic disco backlash, I think people might have been attacking the wrong genre. It’s soft rock that needed to see some records smashed, because soft rock artists needed a shock to the system and a massive slash on their production budgets. I say this as someone who often enjoys an old soft rock hit, but songs like Neil Sedaka’s Laughter in the Rain shows how the genre went off the deep end and got self indulgent. Cheesy lyrics, sure, but then you get Sedaka’s cloying vocal, the strings, a saxophone player that shows up out of nowhere for the sake of having a saxophone player, and it adds up to a song that encompasses every soft rock cliche known to man. Soft rock, as a genre, works best when you strip it bare, because cheese curdles under a spotlight. That forces the singers and songwriters to put their best foot forward and avoid the silliness inherent in the genre. By adding all this other cheese, you get this indistinct mass of crap that ages poorly.

I recognize that my metaphors got a little mixed and tortured. That’s what listening to Laughter in the Rain does to me.

This entry was posted in 1975, A regrettable tune and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Neil Sedaka – Laughter in the Rain

  1. BlueFox94 says:

    I actually this song is quite tender and nice to listen to. We bash the soft rock genre so often that we oftentimes forget its good moments. For as much as you accuse it of being “cliched”, the concept of a man regarding rain—something most would regard as sad, dreary, depressing, ugh…—as something that makes him happy because it reminds him of his woman laughing as they endure a storm together is actually quite nice and provides for a sensible contrast. Furthermore, those lead-ins lines to the chorus—”warmth of her hand” and “under stormy skies”—help solidify that connection for the listener.

    What I find amazing about this song is that it somehow makes you forget about the “kissing in the rain” cliche by stripping the romantic element down to simply having each other’s presence—just because she’s there, her hand is tight and warm in his hand, and the sound she makes is that of laughter, that makes rain not just tolerable, but pleasant for him. The kiss would just be a bonus after that. It’s no longer a prerequisite for their romance to endure even the most violent storm. As for that saxophone, its presence makes it clear that even rain can’t dampen the sexiness of that instrument.

    It’s a damn shame that you consider this song a regrettable tune.

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