“Blame It On The Rain” by Milli Vanilli (1989)/”Blame It On The Sun” by Stevie Wonder (1972)

Might as well contain some of the elements if the opportunity arises.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Diane Warren was inspired to write the former song after hearing Stevie Wonder’s 1972 classic.

Forget the “who’s singing” Milli Vanilli scandal. Not to say that Frank Farian and Clive Davis’s business practices* deserve applause or anything, but how much is the quality of “Blame It On The Rain” diminished as a song or even a vocal performance due to the fact that the dudes in the video are not the same dudes who sang the song in the studio? It’s worth mentioning that almost 42 year old Mike enjoys “Blame It…” arguably more than 13 year old Mike enjoyed it upon first release. It’s one of Diane Warren’s better songs, and I say that with the acknowledgement that she has sort of earned her reputation as a hack. Whether it’s Rob, Fab or some anonymous ex-G.I.’s singing the song; they sell the motherfucker and that’s all that matters.

Think I have shame? “Blame It On The Rain” isn’t the only Milli Vanilli song that will turn up on this list.

Now, there is absolutely no shame in loving anything from Stevie’s golden age, which began in earnest with Talking Book, the album “Blame It On The Sun” appears on. Everything Stevie became revered for is on full display here; a dreamy soundscape, a heart-rending lyric, and a passionate yet subdued lead vocal. It’s actually an underrated gem from the Wonder catalog (in my opinion, of course), but if we’re talking about an album that has “Superstition”, “You And I” and “I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever)”, some gems are gonna fly under the radar.

Huh. Ray Charles and George Michael covered “Blame It On The Sun”? I wasn’t aware. George should just have made an album of Stevie covers. Holy shit, this is good.

*-In his autobiography, Clive Davis (legendary record exec whose name will come up at least a few more times before I end this thing) claims that he was not made aware of the fact that Rob and Fab were mimes when Frank Farian brought him the Milli Vanilli record. Without having empirical proof that Clive is lying…common sense would dictate that he’s fibbing like a muhfucka.

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