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.