Peter Gabriel - Red Rain

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The official Red Rain video.

Directed by Matt Mahurin. 

"Red Rain" is the first track on Peter Gabriel's 1986 solo album So. In the USA, it was the second single from the album and reached Number 3 on Billboard magazine's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in the fall of 1986, receiving strong radio airplay and MTV rotation; in the rest of the world it was released until 1987 and received minor airplay and poor sales. Stewart Copeland from The Police played the hi-hat for the rain-like background sound; the rest of the drumming was handled by Jerry Marotta. A live version also charted in the US and the UK in 1994.

The song is a combination of several inspirations. The lyrics directly reference a recurring dream Gabriel was having where he swam in his backyard pool drinking cold red wine. Another version of the dream had bottles falling from a cliff, and the bottles were in the shape of people. When they were smashed on impact with the ground, the people-shaped bottles had red liquid coming out, and then it began to rain the same red liquid.

Earlier in his solo career, Gabriel had an idea for a movie, Mozo. In it, villagers were punished for their sins with a blood-red rain. "Red Rain" was to be the theme song. This idea was eventually scrapped, although there was a mention of Mozo in the song "On the Air" in Peter Gabriel (II). "Down The Dolce Vita", "Here Comes The Flood", and "Exposure" also reference the Mozo story, as well. 

According to the sleeve notes from the remastered version of So, it is also a reference to acid rain. Based on one interpretation of some of the lyrics it is also thought to refer to nuclear fallout. And there were intimations, early in the song's career, that lines like the following refer to his failing relationship with actress Rosanna Arquette: 'I come to you / defenses down / with the trust of a child'.


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Artist: Peter Gabriel
Video title: Red Rain
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Category: Rock & Alternative
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