"Laughter In The Rain" is a stunning adult contemporary pop performance and a wonderful way for sixties legend Neil Sedaka to reinvent himself. Where 10 C.C. co-produced seven of the tracks from the original Sedaka's Back disc released in 1974, the other five were produced by Sedaka and engineer Robert Appere. Appere was also the engineer/producer of veteran L.A. session players The Section, and that is the hip bunch who provide exquisite instrumentation on the beautifully syrupy two minutes and fifty seconds which make up Rocket Records single #40313. Imagine, if you will, Traffic going ultra-pop with a superstar of the Brill Building and you get the historical importance of this fun recording. Sedaka's first #1 since "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" a dozen years before was the key element of the comback prior to Captain & Tennille solidifying it with "Love Will Keep Us Together" a few months later. Remember, the sixties and the seventies, divided by the break-up of The Beatles, seemed like they were actually four decades apart - the changes in radio so stark that a return to the charts like this was highly improbable. Though Russ Kunkel is credited only with drums there is essential percussion work which, when followed by the saxophones of Jim Horn, the man who performed on records by Phil Spector, Duane Eddy, Carpenters, Kenny Rogers and a host of others, bring to light what a modern and valuable session this was. If an arrogant format like AAA radio had any sense "Laughter In The Rain" would play alongside discs from Dave Matthews and Sheryl Crow, though the thought of something so pleasant to bring in good ratings. is an anathema to programmers three decades after the singer/songwriter re-conquered the charts. Informing and pleasing radio audiences is a lost art and this brilliant composition gets moved to the "oldies" category instead of reaching new ears who can appreciate the craftsmanship.
Co-written by Phil Cody who, although he didn't amass the same amount of hits the Howie Greenfield/Neil Sedaka combo did, managed to get two #1s with Neil starting with this and followed by "Bad Blood" a year later. Piano and strings open up a mellow song that grooves along quicker than its medium tempo might have you feel. It's the same sentiment Ronnie Spector gave us when she was "Walking In The Rain" - note above how Jim Horn brought the Phil Spector legacy to this modernization of a Brill Building great. Abigale Haness, Brenda Gordon, Brian Russell and organist William Smith create almost Mamas & The Papas style harmonies on the chorus while acoustic guitar from Dean Parks is the frosting on the cake. Electric guitar from Danny "Kootch" Kortchmar and the bass of Russ Kunkel round out the band. Covers of this classic range from The Weather Girls to Earl Klugh as well as the world of Patti Page, Jim Nabors, Johnny Mathis, and others. Extremely diverse genres giving proof that these words and this melody are a cut above the usual.