Released on: The Help Album, Go! Discs, 9 September 1995
Cover: originally by B.J. Thomas
After the shattering disappearance of Edwards and the band’s eventual decision to continue working, it made sense for them to ease their way back into recording. The invitation to take part in the recording of a charity compilation album provided the ideal opportunity to do this. Made to support the work of British charity War Child, The Help Album was inspired by John Lennon’s 1970 single ‘Instant Karma!’ which was recorded and released immediately, in an attempt to replicate the timely, up-to-date nature of newspapers. With that in mind, the entire album was recorded in just one day – on September 4th, 1995 – and rapidly released to stores just five days later. The album went on to raise around £1.25 million.
For their contribution, the Manics chose to record ‘Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head’, which had been a #1 single for American pop singer B.J. Thomas in 1969 and which had been written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David for the classic Western of that year, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The pair won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for the composition, and it has gone on to be covered by a huge range of artists. The Manics would make a major reference to the same film with their song ‘Sepia’, released as a B-side just over a year later.
The Manics version is a very faithful one, and its earnest accessibility, fairly upbeat feel and association with a major film made it feel like an unusual diversion within their discography at the time, especially appearing shortly after The Holy Bible. The most notable aspect of the recording is Moore’s trumpet solo, which draws on his long experience with and classical training in the instrument and represents the first of a small but fondly received series of trumpet contributions by him over the years.
This track was the only Manic Street Preachers release for the entirety of 1995.
Choice Lyric (Full Lyrics)
“the blues the send to meet me won’t defeat me”