B*Witched’s lament at the local weather forecast – and their final Number 1 single – is the latest song to be crowned a Pop Gem.
In keeping with the recent weather in the UK, this week’s theme was Rain. Whether it’s a tropical downpour, a turbulent storm or just faint drizzle on the roof of a shopping centre, we wanted all your wet weather-based tracks that need some extra recognition.
There was a flood of nominations (sorry) and as we waded through them (again, sorry), we had our usual fierce debate over who to pick. Once we’d been pulled apart by Security, we narrowed it down to a shortlist of 10 contenders. They were:
Five Star – Rain Or Shine (No. 2 in 1986)
Oran ‘Juice’ Jones – The Rain (No. 4 in 1986)
Blue Pearl – Naked In The Rain (No. 4 in 1990)
Belinda Carlisle – Summer Rain (No. 23 in 1990)
Blind Melon – No Rain (No. 17 in 1993)
East 17 – Let (No. 7 in 1994)
Billie Myers – Kiss The Rain (No. 4 in 1998)
B*Witched – Blame It On The Weatherman (No.1 in 1999)
Mariah Carey – Through The Rain (No. 8 in 2002)
Mika – Rain (No. 72 in 2009)
We thought about it a lot. And we really, really thought about it. But after much deliberation, we chose a song that we thought needed more recognition – even though it did originally get to Number 1. And quite a lot of you backed it. B*Witched, the prize belongs to you.
Watch the video for Blame It On The Weatherman before we explain why it had to Edele, Keavy, Sinead and Lindsay’s moment in the sun.
1999's Blame It On The Weatherman was the fourth consecutive Number 1 for Irish girlband B*Witched, and came only nine months after their debut hit, the more well-remembered C’est La Vie, went straight in at the top of the Official Singles Chart. It had been a whirlwind for twins Keavy and Edele Lynch and their bandmates Lindsay Armaou and Sinead O’Carroll – a hurricane of chart hits, children’s TV and, of course, double denim.
Blame It On The Weatherman was a midtempo coming straight after a ballad To You I Belong, a pretty rare occurrence in the late ‘90s. It’s probably the most heartfelt of all B*Witched’s singles, almost Abba-esque in its depiction of melancholy. From the tearkerking “standing on the shore, calling out your name”, which then leads in the dramatic chorus with its sweeping harmonies, before you’re plonked into the rueful middle-eight, no emotion goes unchecked.
While there are plenty of songs about being happy (or naked!) in the rain, let’s face it: getting drenched is a pretty miserable experience, and sitting indoors waiting for the rain to stop is almost as bad. Blame It On The Weatherman, with its video featuring the band adrift in a post-apocalyptic flood, sums it up perfectly. We’ve all felt a bit like that soggy old dog at 02:16, haven’t we? The girls rescue it in the end, though, don't worry.
Blame It On The Weatherman was a Number 1, but the last for B*Witched – as bittersweet a fact as the song.
So it’s time for the sun to come out for the B*Witched ladies and for Blame It On The Weatherman to step out of the shadows of the three Number 1s that came before it and claim its status as a very worthy Pop Gem. Now where did we put our umbrella?
Check out all 10 contenders in our Rain Playlist.
Not one duff track among them.
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