Smashing Pumpkins, "Raindrops + Sunshowers"
Excuse this mediocre live version. The much better studio version (without unnecessary mid-chorus chatter from Billy) appears on The Pumpkins' 2000 album Machina/The Machines of God, a record that for the life of me I can't figure out why I like so much.
The Cougars, "I Wish It Would Rain"
Plenty of people have performed this song, but for my money, it doesn't get any better than The Cougars' excellent take on the song. The break that kicks in about the 1:56 mark is just tops.
Tom Waits, "Rain Dogs"
Most Tom Waits songs work well for dark and stormy days, but the title track from his 1985 album is one of the best, with killer guitarist Marc Ribot doing some especially killer Cuban-inspired guitar work.
Mayer Hawthorne, "I Wish It Would Rain"
The second song on this list titled "I Wish It Would Rain," Hawthorne's tune is entirely different than the first, though they share the same basic sentiment. Hawthorne takes on ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky," on his recently released free covers EP, which would serve as a nice soundtrack to the post rain clear skies.
With our memories all clouded by Chris Gaines style stupidity, it's easy to forget why Brooks was such a massive superstar in the '80s and '90s. Marrying country grit and pathos to gigantor arena-rock production, Brooks' big hit, "The Thunder Rolls," sounds appropriately massive for the kind of storm we need.
Missy Elliott, "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)"
With that super-hot Ann Peebles sample, "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" remains one of Missy Elliott's biggest and best tunes. I hadn't listend to it in quite some time, but it's truly a stunner of a track, and sounds nearly as inventive and fresh as it did in 1997.
Phil Collins, "The Roof Is Leaking"
Look, if we can all loose our collective shit over that new Bon Iver album (and seriously, I love it), then we can allow our eyes to a get a little misty over this Phill Collins song, one that illustrates why, despite his inherent cheesiness, Collins had a way with a melodramatic pop song. Bonus points for banjo player with a mustache, because, well, that's about as hip as you can get these days.
Metallica, "Ride the Lightning"
I know we've had plenty of lightning the past few nights, but this one still works, even if it's not about a storm but dying in the electric chair. Okay, so it doesn't work, but who needs a real excuse to rock out to this one? If anything on that upcoming Lou Reed/Metallica record is HALF as good as this song, we'll be in good shape. Not that I'm holding my breath.
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Prince, "Purple Rain"
What's better than rain? Purple rain, duh.
Milli Vanilli, "Blame it on the Rain"
With Vanilli making a go of it at music again, maybe it's time to re-evaluate the duo's catalog. No joking around, this tune is pretty great, and I would really love to blame not washing my car on the rain.