On Thanksgiving, the always wonderful Melissa Manchester released her latest single, a newly minted take on a timeless song she wrote with Carol Bayer Sager, “Come In From The Rain.” As expected, this rendition is gorgeous, with a minimalist yet poignant arrangement and that beautiful voice that millions adore, myself included. Read on for more details, Melissa’s thoughts, and the official music video.
“I have found that gratitude is a superpower!” exclaims GRAMMY® Award-winning, multi ACADEMY® Award-nominated singer/songwriter, Melissa Manchester about why she chose to release her new single for Thanksgiving 2021.
“Come In From The Rain” is a most special song that I wrote with my friend, the wonderful and deeply talented Carole Bayer Sager,” Manchester enthuses. “I am forever grateful for our years of collaboration, for the many wonderful songs we brought to life, and for this song in particular — as well as the many grand artists who’ve recorded it through the years.
In fact, of all of Manchester’s compositions, “Come In From The Rain” may be the one most covered by other recording artists, including The Captain & Tennille, Rosemary Clooney, Vic Damone, Eydie Gorme, Shirley Horn, Cleo Laine, Peggy Lee, Carmen McRae, Jane Olivor, Barbara Cook, Mel Torme, and Diana Ross.
Manchester, herself, has released “Come In From The Rain” twice before. The first iteration was on her 1976 Better Days & Happy Endings album. She later collaborated with legendary producer Arif Mardin (who also produced Manchester’s megahit “Through The Eyes Of Love,” the theme song for the movie Ice Castles) for a second recording that was included on her 1982 album Hey Ricky.
But Manchester felt a third re-visiting of the song was in order. In this new, introspective arrangement (with thanks to Peter Hume), Manchester reduced the former expansive orchestral renditions of the piece to a quieter, more intimate version with her vocal/piano performance accompanied only by a simple string trio and solo bassoonist.
Manchester has a soft spot for bassoons. Her father, the late David Manchester, performed as a bassoonist in New York’s Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for three decades — “at the old Met and the new Met!” Melissa recalls. The beautifully talented William Wood supplied the lyrical bassoon solo for this soulful new recording.
Manchester’s piano and lead vocals, along with the chamber ensemble, were recorded in the state-of-the-art Citrus College Studios in late 2019, before the campus was shut down due to the worldwide health crisis. When the lockdown was mandated, Manchester realized that she had most of the her 24th studio album, RE:VIEW, “in the can” — already recorded during the previous several months — so it might be possible to complete the collection remotely, with the aid of audio engineers Ebiut Cervantes and Bernie Grundman, and using an unconventional song-by-song album rollout. Even as live performances were paused, the new single “Just You And I” was released, followed by Manchester’s blockbusters “Midnight Blue,” “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” the GRAMMY® Award-winning “You Should Hear How She Talks About You,” and fan favorite “Fire In The Morning,” each with its own music video.
“Right now,” Manchester explains, “I don’t know what those other videos will look like, because we were so in the center of the pandemic earlier. She decided to release “Come In From The Rain” as an optimistic statement of gratitude: “When it’s breathed in, it makes room to see what is. It slows down and cancels out the inner chatter, and it makes more room to envision what could be.”
“I am grateful for so much in my life,” she continues. “My beautiful children (three now, with Nathan’s beloved Sara), my family, my village, my Fanchesters, my health, and my curiosity.”
The idea for Manchester’s new album project was sparked in 2019. “The whole point of RE:VIEW is that, in these times, as with many of my colleagues, the original record company owns all of my masters,” she explains. “The only way I can empower myself and own my masters is to re-record these old songs, with a little bit of a tweak, just to make it interesting.”
Manchester has been aided in the effort by video director/editor/videographer Paco Silva and director of photography/editor Daniel Henry-Smith who have created music videos in different styles for all six of the RE:VIEW singles to date. For “Come In From The Rain,” they embraced an elegant look, reminiscent of earlier days of classic tuxedos and black and white photography. As Manchester puts it, “I’m not so interested in being current. I’m more interested in being timeless.”
And timeless she is. In 1980, Melissa Manchester became the first recording artist in the history of the ACADEMY® Awards to have two nominated movie themes in a single year — “Through The Eyes Of Love” from Ice Castlesand “I’ll Never Say Goodbye” from The Promise — and to perform them both on the Oscar telecast. Manchester starred in the national tours of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Music Of The Night and Song And Dance, and she is currently climbing the radio charts with “You Can’t Hide The Light,” a smooth jazz duet with singer/songwriter Johnny Schaefer.
With nineteen Billboard® charted hits to choose from, it’s been a happy challenge to pick ten songs for the new RE:VIEW album. “Come In From The Rain” was a natural choice because the song has been beloved by so many great artists, most especially by Melissa herself.