Crying in the rain | The tears that saved Mario Pelchat

In 1992, despite the resounding success of his two most recent albums, Mario Pelchat had little faith in the future. A bankruptcy that occurred a year earlier and a legal soap opera pitting him against his former agents undermined his morale.

Posted at 7:00 a.m.

Dominique Tardif

Dominique Tardif
The Press

“I trusted them blindly and I should never have,” he recalls. Tested by the media hype caused by these events, the singer doubts that his career can one day recover.

His new agents, Rocky and Suzanne Colello, nevertheless contact Sony Music. “And contrary to my apprehensions, Sony thought, ‘After such a tough ordeal, this guy can just bounce back. If he has the right songs, it should work”. »

A single song will be enough, the proof that it happens to us when we believe in it, but also, sometimes, when we don’t really believe in it anymore. With Crying in the rainMario Pelchat revealed in March 1993 a chorus from which he could never escape again, 5 minutes and 47 seconds of noises of downpour, mist of tears, thundering drums and sweet vocal embellishments.

But before appearing in French on his album Pelchat in an adaptation by Eddy Marnay, the powerful ballad was recorded in 1989 in its original version, tears in the rainby American Robin Beck. The Earworm is among the rare collaborations of two chart-topping subscribers: Desmond Child (I was made to love you, live on a prayer, Living the crazy life) and Diane Warren (Nothing will stop us now, Because you loved me, I do not wanna Miss a Thing).


The Scrapbook Pelchatpublished in 1993

On the occasion of the tour celebrating his 40 years of music, Mario Pelchat recounts the strange fate of his flagship song, with songwriters Desmond Child and Diane Warren, director Aldo Nova, the former artistic director of Sony Vito Luprano and backing vocalist Alain Couture.

La tension essentielle

Mario Pelchat : « Durant cette période-là où tout allait mal, je me souviens d’avoir rencontré René Angélil. Céline était à Dolbeau pour un spectacle et je m’y trouvais pour l’été. René m’avait dit : “N’oublie jamais que ce sont les chansons qui font les carrières.” »

Desmond Child : « Je vous jure qu’avant que vous m’appeliez, je n’avais aucune idée qu’il existait une version française de Tears in the Rain. Mais je suis enchanté. J’ai toujours cru en cette chanson. Ce n’est pas pour rien que je l’ai enregistrée avec Robin Beck, puis avec Jennifer Rush [en 1995]. »


Desmond Child

Mario Pelchat “He didn’t know there was a French version? Oh come on ! »

Desmond Child “When I heard the song don’t lose sleep [de John Waite, en 1987]I immediately asked: who wrote that? I have to meet her, we are kindred spirits. It was Diane Warren. I called and called her and she still ignored my calls. When You give love a bad name [de Bon Jovi, que Desmond Child a cosignée] reached number one, the same day, she called me: “I’m sorry I didn’t answer your calls earlier. Welcome to the number 1 club.” We immediately had a great chemistry. »

Diane Warren “You know, it’s been more than 30 years, all that. I can’t remember what I did two weeks ago, so I certainly can’t remember when this song was written. What I remember is that I adored him. It should have been a bigger hit. »


Diane Warren

Desmond Child “I don’t remember exactly who came up with the title, but hey, let’s say it was me! [Rires] My mentor, Bob Crewe [qui a pondu plusieurs tubes pour The Four Seasons] always told me: “A good song contains irony.” That’s what I did with You give love a bad name, I hate myself for loving you, Heaven is on fire, Tears in the rain. It is necessary to create a tension by opposing opposites: the tears, which flow one by one, and the rain, which is infinite. This tension is essential to any art form. »

Diane Warren “It’s quite possible that it was Desmond who found the title. If he says so, I believe him. We brought out the best in each other. I’m happy to hear that it was a success somewhere in the world. »

The good song

Aldo Nova “Maybe I shouldn’t say that, but Mario, before this album, he was making songs for aunts. Vito wanted to change the sound of Mario, so that he would reach more people. »


Aldo Nova

Vito Luprano : “I wanted to really break into the Quebec market and I needed a good song. The good song was Crying in the rain. »

Mario Pelchat “Me, at that time, I had no idea that it existed in English. Not at all. Céline was starting her English-speaking career. There were plenty of songwriters creating for her that Vito had access to. When he said to me, “I have a song written for you”, why would I doubt that? »

Vito Luprano “Just because a song has already been released doesn’t mean it can’t have a new life. I’ve always had an ear for that. Diane had sent me several songs for Céline and I didn’t think that one was good for her, but it was perfect for Mario. »


Vito Luprano

Mario Pelchat: “I listened to the song and thought it was wonderful. At that time, I was just breaking up, it had just happened. Nathalie, in my head, was the woman of my life. I found it very, very difficult. “It’s a rainy evening, we’re parting”, that was what I was going through. »

A paid hiding place

Aldo Nova : “I had studied Mario a lot to try to remove his accentuated vibrato. It was hard. I didn’t remove the Mario in Mario, but made it more modern. This album sounds world class. »

Mario Pelchat “Aldo was very reassuring, but he didn’t go out of his way to ask me what he wanted. It was sometimes a little hard, but it allowed me to move forward. But when he talks about vibrato, he talks about sustained notes. He’s not talking about the Wo, Ouh, Oh that people do when they imitate me. That’s frills. Celine made so many beautiful flourishes that everyone wanted to do them. It was then. »

Alain Couture : “Aldo is very intense. He made me work, it made no sense. It was supper time, I had been in a small cubicle piling up voices for six hours and he wouldn’t let me out. When he had an idea in his head, he sometimes worked without sleeping for two or three days. »


Alain Couture (right), with his colleague from the Mercedez Band, Réjean Lachance, in 2006

Aldo Nova “People think we hear rain at the beginning because the song is called Crying in the rainbut that’s because there’s an electric buzz in my vocoder. I liked the take I had recorded, so I said to myself: I’m going to put on some rain, it’s going to cover the buzz. »

Mario Pelchat “Years later, I’m at the Francos, the song was a big hit. I give an interview to a Lebanese journalist and he asks me: “Why did you choose to cover the song tears in the rain of Robin Beck?” And there, I quickly make the link, it doesn’t take Papineau’s head to translate. I said yes, I really liked the song, but inside I was fuming. »

Vito Luprano “I didn’t tell Mario that there was another version, because if you tell an artist that someone has already recorded the song and it didn’t work, right away he going to get it into his head that it won’t work for him either. »

Mario Pelchat “I have to acknowledge the flair that Vito had, but I wish I hadn’t learned it from someone else. This album is almost entirely covers, but I was told that they were songs written for me. It’s a little velvet to think that Diane Warren, Desmond Child or Michael Bolton, who came to see me perform not long before, wrote for you. In fact, they had no idea that I was singing their songs at all. »

Vito Luprano “On the one hand, it’s flat that I didn’t tell him, but imagine if he had missed a hit like that. »

The correct constellation

Mario Pelchat “At one point, I got tired of Crying in the rain. I was taking a liking to writing and there was more of me in my new songs. I had no choice but to put it aside. Now, when I do it, it’s obvious that it makes people happy, as soon as the song starts. There is a whole generation that was a child when she came out. I often see videos on Facebook of young people partying and singing Crying in the rain. It’s pretty screwed up. »


Mario Pelchat on stage in 2019

Alain Couture : “There is a richness in Mario’s voice: he has a nice bass, but at the same time, he is able to go high. But above all, he has a lot of emotion. That’s what I say when I give lessons: you can sing perfectly, if you don’t show emotion, the world won’t like you. You have to go get them. It’s not easy for everyone. Mario, he has that. »

Desmond Child “A success is like a constellation. You have to have the right artist, the right song, the right director, the record company has to do enough promotion. There is also the timing of the release, the invitations to TV. There are so many elements that need to line up. And when it lines up, you look up in the sky and you don’t see every star. You only see one big light trail. »

Mario Pelchat must resume his tour on April 15 and 16 at the Théâtre St-Denis.

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