B.J. Thomas

Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head [JVC]

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B.J. Thomas had hits before “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” -- big ones, too, like “Hooked on a Feeling” -- but that 1969 single made his career, establishing him as a first-class adult contemporary singer. Naturally, “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”’s prominent position in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was instrumental in this breakthrough -- its blockbuster status guaranteeing Thomas a bump -- but the LP Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head followed through on the single, abandoning any lingering Texas soul influences remaining in Thomas and focusing firmly on pop. Burt Bacharach and Hal David are heard on the title track and “This Guy’s in Love with You,” Jimmy Webb has two songs (“If You Must Leave My Life,” “Do What You Gotta Do”), Mark James, author of “Hooked on a Feeling,” has two cuts, including “Suspicious Minds,” and Bobby Russell’s ‘60s standard “Little Green Apples” gets an airing. What’s most revealing is Thomas' choice of “The Greatest Love” from Joe South — it’s one of South’s poppiest numbers, and B.J. gives it an appropriately soft and symphonic treatment. This orchestrated, yet not dramatic, arrangement is the sound of Raindrops and it’s the sound of mainstream crossover pop of the late ‘60s, the sound that Thomas made his own starting with this very record. Song for song, it’s not quite as interesting as Young and in Love, but it holds together as well as that album, and offered a better indication of B.J.’s career path. [Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head was reissued on JVC Japan in 2010, including the bonus track "Long Ago and Tomorrow."]

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