First Hit #1: November 25, 1989
Yesterday, I wrote that Diane Warren’s songwriting tends to take over and render bands somewhat indistinct. So it’s a surprise that Milli Vanilli, of all groups, can turn Warren into something their own. It’s still possible to recognize her voice in the song, but Frank Farian and crew chop it up with some distinct, vaguely tropical percussion and lead vocals that distort her propensity for big moments through a R&B lens. It’s different than what you expect it to sound like, and it’s almost a battle of wills between two distinct musical visions. Sometimes such battles result in a mess, but here it almost works. The problem is that it’s an extremely repetitive song, and the repeated line “Blame it on the Rain” isn’t sung with much variation, meaning it starts to grate after a while. Still, it makes me think Warren’s songs should be given to more people who aren’t rock bands in search of a ballad, including control-freak producers who front their bands with German models.