Neil Sedaka

Laughter in the Rain

Composed by Neil Sedaka / Phil Cody

Song Review by

"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.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Solitaire 1972 Pazzazz 3:21
Sedaka's Back 1975 Varèse Vintage / Varèse Sarabande
No Image 1976
Various Artists
Ronco Silver
No Image 1977 Rocket Group Pty LTD 2:50
No Image 1986 Polydor 2:50
Greatest Hits Live [K-Tel] 1992 K-Tel Distribution 3:20
Sounds of the Seventies: AM Pop Classics, Vol. 2 1993
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:48
Laughter in the Rain: The Best of Neil Sedaka, 1974-1980 1994 Varèse Vintage / Varèse Sarabande 2:50
Rhythm of the Rain [Varese Sarabande] 1994
Various Artists
Varèse Sarabande 2:52
Do You Believe in Love [Newsound] 1994
Various Artists
Newsound 2:44
Only Love 1975-1979 1995
Various Artists
Rhino / JCI Associated Labels 2:44
Hits from the 70's [Fat Boy] 1995
Various Artists
Fat Boy 3:26
Entspanne! 1996
Various Artists
The Immaculate 1997 Prism Platinum 3:26
Billboard Top Soft Rock Hits: 1974 1997
Various Artists
Rhino 2:51
WCBS FM 101.1 25th Anniversary, Vol. 3: The 70's - Silver Anniversary Edition 1997
Various Artists
Collectables 2:47
Love Rocks, Vol. 4: Songs of Love 1998
Various Artists
Simitar Distribution 2:50
No Image 1998 Bcd
Billboard Top Soft Rock Hits: 1970-1974 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 3:08
The Very Best of Neil Sedaka [Universal #1] 1999 Universal Distribution 2:47
Best of the Best: 70's Pop & Rock, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
Primary Colors 2:45
It's the '70s Again, Vol. 4 2000
Various Artists
Legacy 3:22
Magic Collection: Neil Sedaka 2000 The Magic Collection 3:24
Laughter & Tears 2000 Spectrum Music 2:49
No Image 2000
Various Artists
Warner Bros. 2:46
Timeless Classics Live 2001 Legacy 3:22
The Very Best of Neil Sedaka [RCA] 2001 PolyGram 2:49
Singers and Songwriters: The Classics 2001
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
Best of Neil Sedaka [Castle Pulse] 2002 Castle Pulse 3:25
Oh Carol: In Concert 2002 Unlimited Media
Laughter in the Rain [Disky] 2002 Disky
Anthology: 40 Years of Hits and More 2004 BMG International
No Image 2004 Forever Gold / Weton 3:22
Love Songs, Vol. 3 [Ouver] 2005
Various Artists
Guilty Pleasures Rides Again 2005
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 2:45
Naughty But Nice 2005
Various Artists
Family Recordings 2:45
Best 1200 2005 Universal Distribution
The Show Goes On: The Very Best of Neil Sedaka 2006 Universal / Universal International 2:47
Sensational 70's [Weton] 2006
Various Artists
Weton 3:21
The Show Goes On: Live at the Royal Albert Hall 2006 Eagle Vision
Let Your Love Flow: 70s Soft Rock 2006
Various Artists
Compass Productions
Laughter in the Rain [Pazzazz] 2007 Pazzazz 3:21
The Definitive Collection 2007 Razor & Tie 2:50
Oh! Carol [LT Series] 2007 Lt Series 3:24
Romancing the 70s: You Needed Me 2008
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:54
Waking Up Is Hard to Do 2009 Razor & Tie 3:06
Purely Hits of the 70s 2009
Various Artists
Delta Distribution / Purely 3:20
Hits of the 70s [Delta] 2009
Various Artists
Delta Music Group 3:21
The Music of My Life 2010 Universal Distribution 2:46
Laughter in the Rain 2010 Universal
School of "Rock 'n' Roll": 70s 2010
Various Artists
Collectables 2:49
Soft Rock 70s 2010
Various Artists
Reflection / Reflections 2:50
Jackie: Love Songs [2010] 2010
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution / UMTV 2:46
The  Show Goes On: Live at the Royal Albert Hall 2012 Eagle Records / Eagle Rock 3:07
The Real Neil 2012 Music Infinity 2:42
Romantically Yours: Truly 2012
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:47
The Essential Collection 2013 Metro
Marek Niedzwiecki: Radio California 2016
Various Artists
Easy Listening Classics/Time Life's Movie Classics
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:51
Everlasting Love [Sessions Disc 1]
Various Artists
Warner Music 2:50
Romantically Yours
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:47
No Image
Various Artists
WCBS FM 101.1: The Anniversary Album - The 70s
Various Artists
Collectables 2:49
blue highlight denotes editor's pick