Milli Vanilli: Blame It On The Rain

WRITERS: Diane Warren
PRODUCER: Frank Farian
TIME: 4:09
Arista AS1-9904

WRITERS: F. Farian, P.G. Wilder, M. Newman, J. Collins
PRODUCER: Frank Farian
TIME: 3:12

Debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 on October 7, 1989 and peaked at #1 on November 25, 1989.

Here is the complete chart run on the Hot 100: 65, 46, 29, 20, 12, 4, 2, 1, 1, 3, 6, 13, 13, 21, 21, 34, 42, 51, 57, 61, 71, 78, 90

British single (Cooltempo COOL 180) debuted on the UK pop charts on July 22, 1989 and peaked at #53. RAIN was rereleased after GIRL I'M GONNA MISS YOU and debuted on December 2, 1989 and peaked at #52.

German single entered the charts on July 13, 1989 and peaked at #3, spending 13 weeks in the top 20.

The complete entry in Fred Bronson's The Billboard Book Of Number One Hits (1997, Billboard Books):

For the seventh time in the rock era, a songwriter had back-to-back number one hits when "Blame It on the Rain" succeeded "When I See You Smile" at number one. The Milli Vanilli single was the fourth chart-topper for composer Diane Warren, following Starship's "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now," Chicago's "Look Away" and Bad English's "When I See You Smile."

"Blame It On The Rain" was not written for the dreadlocked duo of Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan. "I submitted it to the Jets," says Diane, "and then at the last minute they decided not to do it, which I'm happy about now - I wasn't happy then." Undaunted, Diane took her song elsewhere. "I submitted it to Clive Davis. I played the song for him, not knowing he needed songs for Milli Vanilli, because I didn't even know who they were."

Davis wanted to replace four songs from the European version of Milli Vanilli's debut album, titled All or Nothing on the Continent. For the American edition, he had producer Frank Farian record a cover version of the Isley Brothers' "It's Your Thing" and Diane's "Blame It On The Rain."

Diane and Clive usually had different ideas about who should record her songs. "I (would) submit a song for somebody big, like Whitney Houston, and he'd say, 'I don't want it for Whitney, but I want it for Exposť' or 'I want it for Taylor Dayne.' And I'd say, 'No, no, I want somebody big, I want Whitney.' Then these new artists would sell, like, three million copies and have all these hits. I'd kick myself in the head. So when Clive said, 'Milli Vanilli,' I said, 'Yeah, I trust you.'"

Asked how she feels about the revelation that Rob and Fab did not really sing "Blame It on the Rain," Diane responds, "Whoever sang it did a good job. I'm really proud of the song. It's a good record. I had heard that they really didn't sing, but I didn't know for sure because I'd never been in the studio with them. As a songwriter, I just give my songs to people. And when I found out I said, 'I'm still proud of the song, I made my contribution.'"

Record buyers were not as magnanimous. Consumers initiated class-action lawsuits against the group and their record company. When the scandal broke, Rob and Fab insisted that Arista Records was aware that they did not sing on the album. Todd Headlee, who managed the group for Gallin Morey Associates, told the Los Angeles Times: "When I came on board, every record company official at Arista and BMG knew it. Everybody in the management company knew it. That's why most of their employees are forced to sign a confidential clause binding them to stay silent."

Roy Lott, an executive vice president at Arista, told the Times: "There is no way that anyone ever could have known whether they sang or not. We are merely a distributor of their records in the United States. No one from Arista was ever in the studio when they recorded it. Rob and Fab and Frank (Farian) assured us that they sang on the record."

In June, 1991, a federal judge in Philadelphia refused to certify two multi-million-dollar class-action suits against Arista. That left 20 other similar cases pending around the country. In August, a Chicago judge threw out a proposed settlement to one of the class-action suits that would have seen Arista and its German parent company, BMG, issue rebates good on future purchases to consumers who bought the Milli Vanilli album. The judge said the company would have to do more than offer rebates.

On November 30, 1991, Rob Pilatus took a 6:00 A.M. walk onto the balcony of his room at the Mondrian Hotel on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, and was dangling off the railing, nine stories up. He was heavily medicated, and had called the Los Angeles Times to tell them what he was doing. The newspaper alerted sheriff's deputies, who lured him back into his room.

Pilatus spent December in a drug rehabiliation center in Tucson, Arizona. In January of 1992, he confessed his embarrassment at the suicide attempt and stressed that it was not a publicity stunt. That same month, Rob and Fab finished recording a new album financed by Taj Records.

Picture sleeve front | Picture sleeve back | Label front | Label back

Here's a rather large picture of the full US CD with two promo CD singles.