Only Happy When It Rains: Wikis


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"Only Happy When It Rains"
Single by Garbage
from the album Garbage
B-side "Girl Don't Come" (UK & US)
"Sleep" (UK & US)
"Driving Lesson" (OZ & EU)
Released September 18, 1995 (UK)
January 20, 1996 (US)
May, 1996 (US re-issue)
May 28, 1996 (OZ & EU)
Format 7", CD maxi, cassette single
Recorded 1994 - 1995
Smart Studios,
Madison, Wisconsin
Genre Post-grunge, alternative rock
Length 3:56
Label Mushroom Records (UK)
Almo Sounds (North America)
Mushroom/BMG (Worldwide)
Writer(s) Garbage
Producer Garbage
Garbage singles chronology
"Only Happy When It Rains"

"Only Happy When It Rains" was a single released from Garbage's 1995 self-titled debut album. It became Garbage's breakthrough single in the United Kingdom, where it became the first Garbage single to chart in the Top 40.

In 1996, "Only Happy When It Rains" was released worldwide. In the U.S. it charted strongly in the Billboard Hot 100, and propelled its parent album into the Top 100 of the Billboard 200 for the first time since it's August, 1995 release.

"Only Happy When It Rains" was remastered in 2007 for Garbage's greatest hits album Absolute Garbage. [1]

Shirley is a playable character with the song "Only Happy When It Rains" by Garbage in Guitar Hero 5 which was released on September 1, 2009.[2]


Song profile

"Only Happy When It Rains" was written and recorded between March, 1994 and May, 1995 during sessions between band members Duke Erikson, Shirley Manson, Steve Marker and Butch Vig in either Marker's basement recording studio or at their own Smart Studios in Wisconsin university town Madison. [3]

Bass on "Only Happy When It Rains" was played by Mike Kashou, and additional percussion by Pauli Ryan. [4]

Manson explains: "[The song] is a dig at ourselves because we like records that don't make us feel very happy, and at this so-called 'alternative' scene of 'we're so weird and more wonderful than everybody else'." [5]

Single release

Initially, Mushroom Records had scheduled "Queer" as the lead single for the U.K. release of Garbage. This was changed following the release of "Subhuman", from to "Only Happy When It Rains". [5]

"Only Happy When It Rains" limited edition 7".

Continuing their theme of collectible 7" vinyl releases, Mushroom packaged the 7" format for "Only Happy When It Rains" in a "Prismaboard" (rain-effect) die-cut card sleeve, with a hologram logo sticker on the inner jacket. The b-side of the vinyl is double-grooved, so that the record plays either "Girl Don't Come" or "Sleep" depending on where the stylus lands. This pressing was limited to 5,000 copies. "Only Happy When It Rains" would also be issued on CD and cassette. [5]

The original design for the vinyl was for the sleeve to made from wood, or corrugated cardboard, with wing-nuts in each corner like a flower-press. The nuts would have to be unscrewed and the record would be found inside between ten layers of different types of cardboard. [5]

"Only Happy When It Rains" was quickly picked up by radio, C-listed by Radio One [6] and commercially released on September 18. The following Sunday the song debuted at #29. [6] This top 40 position let Garbage perform the single on Top of The Pops, the band's first ever televised performance, providing enough momentum for Garbage to debut on the album chart at #12. [7]

"Only Happy When It Rains" was released in U.S. on January 20. MTV announced that its music video was certified a "Buzz clip", guaranteeing heavy rotation on its network from February 13. [8]


  • UK CDS Mushroom D1199
  • UK 7" vinyl Mushroom SX1199
  • UK cassette Mushroom C1199
  • US CD-maxi Almo Sounds AMSDS-89002
  • US cassette Almo Sounds AMSCS-89002
  1. "Only Happy When it Rains" - 3:58
  2. "Girl Don't Come" - 2:33
  3. "Sleep" - 2:11
  • European CDS Pt. 1 Mushroom 74321 38349 2
  1. Only Happy When It Rains - 3:58
  2. Dog New Tricks (The Pal Mix) - 4:03
  3. Stupid Girl (Red Snapper Mix) - 7:37
  4. Queer (Danny Saber Mix) - 5:40
  • European CDS Pt. 2 Mushroom 74321 40355 2
  1. Only Happy When It Rains - 3:58
  2. Dog New Tricks (The Pal Mix) - 4:03
  • Australian CDS White/Mushroom D1199
  1. Only Happy When it Rains - 3:58
  2. Driving Lesson - 3:47
  3. Dog New Tricks (The Pal Mi) - 4:05

Music video

left to right, Steve Marker, Shirley Manson, Duke Erikson and Butch Vig, in the "Only Happy When It Rains" video.

The promotional video for "Only Happy When It Rains" was filmed on January 16, 1996 in Los Angeles by director Samuel Bayer. The video for single "Stupid Girl" was shot at the same time. [9] The video for "Only Happy When It Rains" was given a higher budget than the video for "Stupid Girl", because Almo Sounds believed that the former would be a bigger hit than the latter. [10] The video debuted in the US on February 12, 1996.

The video begins a short prologue sequence with several children dressed in animal costumes playing in a field, before cutting to Garbage upon the commencement of the song. Garbage are located in a litter-strewn warehouse, where the male members of the band destroy vinyl records, videotape and musical instruments. The video ends with Manson joining the children on the field.

The "Only Happy When It Rains" video was first commercially released on VHS and Video-CD on 1996's Garbage Video. [11] A remastered version was later included on Garbage's 2007 greatest hits DVD Absolute Garbage. [1]

Credits and Personnel


Additional musicians


  • Written by Garbage
  • Copyright 1995 Vibecrusher Music / Irving Music, Inc (BMI) / Deadarm Music (ASCAP)


"Only Happy When It Rains (Live)"

  • Engineered by Tom Abraham
  • Bass by Daniel Shulman
  • Mastered by Scott Hull (Classic Sound)


Metallica covered this song on October 27th, 2007, during their acoustic performance at Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit show. [12]

Comedic lounge singer Richard Cheese covered the song on his 2000 album Lounge Against the Machine

Comprehensive charts

Year Chart Peak Position
1995 UK Singles Chart 29 [6]
1995 UK Airplay Chart 47 [6]
1996 Netherlands Singles Chart 36 [13]
1996 New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 38 [14]
1996 US Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks 16 [15]
1996 US Billboard Hot 100 Airplay 54 [16]
1996 US Billboard Hot 100 55 [17]
1996 US Billboard Hot 100 Singles Sales 61 [18]
1996 US Cash Box Top 100 Singles 44 [19]
1996 Australian ARIA Singles Chart 80[20]


  1. ^ a b ""New Best Of Album"". Retrieved 2008-02-05.  
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Q (issue 09/01/1996)" (Retrieved - 2008-02-05)
  4. ^ "Garbage sleeve notes (Retrieved 2008-02-05)
  5. ^ a b c d "Record Collector #209" (Retrieved - 2008-02-05)
  6. ^ a b c d "beautifulgarbage promotional history press release, Mushroom Records, July 2001" (Retrieved - 2008-02-05)
  7. ^ "Music Week issue 25/04/05" (Retrieved - 2008-02-05)
  8. ^ "NME, "The Filth Amendment", 03/15/1996". NME (reproduced @  
  9. ^ ""More Than A Woman", Spin, ...1996 issue (Retrieved 2008-02-05)
  10. ^ "Pop Up Video, ("Stupid Girl"), VH1 (Retrieved 2008-02-05)
  11. ^ ""The Screens Are Full of Garbage", Melody Maker, issue dated December 7, 1996" (Retrieved - 2008-02-05
  12. ^ YouTube - 03 - I'm Only Happy When it Rains
  13. ^ "Garbage - Only Happy When It Rains". Retrieved 2008-02-05.  
  14. ^ "Garbage - Only Happy When It Rains". Retrieved 2008-02-05.  
  15. ^ "Garbage "Only Happy When It Rains" Hot Modern Rock Tracks Listing For The Week of March 16, 1996". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-02-05.  
  16. ^ "Garbage "Only Happy When It Rains" Hot 100 Airplay Listing For The Week of April 6, 1996". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-02-05.  
  17. ^ "Garbage "Only Happy When It Rains" Listing Hot 100 For The Week of May 4, 1996". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-02-05.  
  18. ^ "Garbage "Only Happy When It Rains" Hot 100 Singles Sales Listing For The Week of May 4, 1996". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-02-05.  
  19. ^ ""CASH BOX TOP 100 SINGLES Week ending May 11, 1996"". Cash Box magazine (Reproduced). Retrieved 2008-02-06.  
  20. ^

External links



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