Sunday, February 17, 2008

Underappreciated ’80s: Eddie Rabbitt

When you’re young, you’re exposed to a lot of music you don’t necessarily like.

For example, my mother listened hour after hour to crap ranging from Barry Manilow to ABBA to the Oak Ridge Boys. Years of therapy and multiple lobotomies have thankfully removed most of these emotional scars.

I’m not too upset, however, about one easy listening singer who has stuck with me: the late Eddie Rabbitt.

Rabbitt supposedly had dozens of country hits and was a major force in that genre in the late 1970s and 1980s. I don’t care about that, though. I remember Eddie Rabbitt, who died too young of lung cancer in 1998, for two underappreciated ’80s songs:

I Love a Rainy Night: This tune was catchy because of both its uplifting lyrics and its alternating hand claps/finger snaps. The message of the song combines the two, telling people who bitch and moan about the rain to just snap out of it!

Well I love a rainy night, I love a rainy night
I love to hear the thunder, watch the lightning
When it lights up the sky
You know it makes me feel good

Rain, Mr. Rabbitt tells us, isn’t something to be dreaded. Don’t let it get you down, he says, because rain cleanses the soul just as it cleanses the earth:

Showers wash all my cares away
I wake up to a sunny day

And Alvin and the Chipmunks remade the song. Doesn’t that alone qualify it as an ’80s treasure?

Step by Step: Although a Top Five hit on the pop charts and a #1 country smash, this song eludes most people’s memories. But it provided me all the guidance I needed for my first dates.

In the ‘80s, these lyrics defined “Dating: The Eddie Rabbitt Way:”

First step: Ask her out and treat her like a lady

OK, I’m with you so far.

Second step: Tell her she's the one you're dreaming of

Maybe a little overbearing … but this could be sweet. I’m willing to give this a shot.

Third step: Take her in your arms and never let her go

We’re into creepy territory here. This is more like “Dating: The Restraining Order Way.”

Hmmm. Maybe there’s a good reason why this song isn’t better remembered.


At February 17, 2008 11:54 PM, Blogger Barbara replied to my musings ...

Glad you've overcome your childhood exposure to your mom's music. I imagine my son will have to have therapy due to overhearing U2 all these years.

I will never listen to an Eddie Rabbit song the same way again. Thanks a lot.

At February 18, 2008 6:47 PM, Blogger Phats replied to my musings ...

Good post for sure. I was thinking of NKOTB when you said Step by Step hahaha.

I think everyone's mom listened to Barry Manilow that's how he sold Albums, now he's passing the torch to his lover Clay Aiken

At February 18, 2008 9:55 PM, Blogger The Misanthrope replied to my musings ...

My daughter learned an appreciation of the Rolling Stones. She has even been to three of their concerts, which made a serious dent to her college fund ;)

I didn't realize that Eddie Rabbit had died.

At February 18, 2008 11:39 PM, Blogger TheBullRDR replied to my musings ...

You missed his other song about rain.
"Those windshield wipers
Slappin' at a tempo
Keepin perfect rythm with the song on the radio, you know it makes me feel good"
The oldier country and western singers were the good ones. Now we have to endure the likes of Shania, Jo Dee, and Tracy Lawrence. How far we've fallen. I'm going back to my Skynard and CCR now.

At February 19, 2008 6:55 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Barbara: Better he hears U2 than UB40.

Phats: NKOTB will never be featured in Underappreciated '80s. Never.

Misanthrope: Think of it as an "education fund" instead, and you'll realize that the money was well spent. I only learned he'd died when I looked him up to be sure I was spelling his odd name correctly.

Bull Dr.: I almost added "Driving My Life Away," but my memories of it weren't as strong as for these two.

At February 19, 2008 10:07 AM, Blogger cube replied to my musings ...

I can only remember him as that silly wabbit. Sorry.

At February 19, 2008 11:26 AM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

I Love a Rainy Night is very catchy and it's a classic. Don't know that I've ever heard Step By Step.

My parents were of an older generation so they exposed me to the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bobby Darin, Bobby Vinton, Brian Hyland, Perry Como, and singers of that ilk.

At February 19, 2008 12:29 PM, Blogger Phats replied to my musings ...

haha not a new kids fan? I had heard they were trying to get back together like the spice girls. For everyone's sake lets hope not!

At February 19, 2008 4:25 PM, Blogger BeckEye replied to my musings ...

Funny...I was just at a karaoke bar the other night contemplating "I Love a Rainy Night." I ended up going with the Bay City Rollers instead.

I remember that my sister and one of my brothers got into a really stupid argument once about whether or not your lips were considered part of your face and his argument that they weren't was backed up by the lyric in this song that goes, "I love to feel the rain on my face, taste the rain on my lips." For some reason, that proved that the lips were a free-standing entity.

At February 19, 2008 4:40 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Cube: Eddie Wabbit. Sounds like a cartoon show about his life.

Perplexio: Step by Step doesn't stand out except for its stalker lyrics.

Phats: I don't mind if they get back together ... I just won't be there when they do.

Beckeye: Maybe you sent me a psychic message about that song. Or maybe I'm just lucky. And I see your brother's argument there: If the lips are part of the face, that line could be seen as a bit redundant.

At February 19, 2008 4:59 PM, Blogger Jim replied to my musings ...

you based what you did on your first date on a Eddie Rabbitt song! be thankful your mother didn't listen to the Weather Girls ("It's Raining Men! Hallelujah!") :) Jim

dpkugqm <-- the new president of Kosovo

At February 21, 2008 6:39 AM, Blogger DaBich replied to my musings ...

I never really liked Eddie, but RIP, Eddie.

Sorry, I was and still am a Fanilow!

At February 21, 2008 7:16 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Jim: Thankfully, I can take artistic license with my own past as I write. Nice word verification, by the way--it makes me think of something one coughs up.

DaBich: "Fanilow?" I've never heard the term.

At February 21, 2008 12:44 PM, Blogger DaBich replied to my musings ...

LOL, it's an old term...old like me ;)

At February 21, 2008 3:35 PM, Blogger Mike replied to my musings ...

I guess I was lucky. I grew up with The Beatles, Beach Boys, Mamas and Papas. Also, there was a bit of Neil Dimond, but you know, it was the 70's. Oh, the memories of those 8-tracks... Being the youngest of three, I had to endure my older brother's fascination with stuff like, well, god, it was the early 80's, need I say more?
As for NKOTB reunion, Hangin's Tough...

At February 25, 2008 9:20 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

DaBich: All the best terms are old.

Mike: Ahhh, memories of 8-tracks. I still remember the clicking noise they'd make between tracks ...

At February 29, 2008 2:09 PM, Blogger An80sNut replied to my musings ...

"Step By Step" is definitely a classic. I just think the instructions are supposed to be taken very very slowly. Of all my 'best of' collections, he is missing for one main reason... they all miss either this song or something else ("Driving My Life Away" or "You And I".) I think too many idiots run these record companies.

At March 20, 2008 10:44 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Martin: Good point. There's nothing saying the three steps must be in the same date. "Driving My Life Away" is up there with "I Love a Rainy Night" as my favorite Rabbitt tunes.


Post a Comment

<< Home