Song of the Day #435: ‘Only Happy When it Rains (Live on MTV Awards)’ – Garbage

shirleyMy final installment in this week’s ‘sexy series’ is the only one who’s part of a group. But, like her friend and contemporary Gwen Stefani, Shirley Manson so dominates the men surrounding her that they may as well be session musicians.

I’m sorry, that’s not fair to Bruce Vig and the rest of Garbage, who co-write all of the songs, play instruments and work magic in the studio. Garbage is so successful because of the way that musicianship and production wizardry blends with such a charismatic lead singer. Shirley Manson could no doubt embark on a solo career but I doubt she’d be as effective as she is when taming the mechanical bull of a band that plays behind her.

I remember the clip below very well. It was the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards… in a more innocent time, when nobody knew who Kanye West was. I’d recently gotten Garbage’s self-titled debut and considered myself a fan, but the images of Manson on the inside sleeve were more scary than sexy. Seeing her live in that tight white dress, though, served as something of a religious conversion. And I won’t even mention the occasional glimpse of those black panties (ok, I’ll mention it that once).

Manson is another example (see: Lily Allen) of a drop-dead sexy accent, though it’s mostly hidden in her singing voice. You hear it in a cute snippet at the end of this video. There’s just something about a woman with a Scottish accent.

I’m only happy when it rains
I’m only happy when it’s complicated
And though I know you can’t appreciate it
I’m only happy when it rains
You know I love it when the news is bad
And why it feels so good to feel so sad
I’m only happy when it rains

Pour your misery down, pour your misery down on me

I’m only happy when it rains
I feel good when things are going wrong
I only listen to the sad sad songs
I’m only happy when it rains

I only smile in the dark
My only comfort is the night gone black
I didn’t accidentally tell you that
I’m only happy when it rains
You’ll get the message by the time I’m through
When I complain about me and you
I’m only happy when it rains

Pour your misery down,
(pour your misery down on me)
You can keep me company as long as you don’t care

I’m only happy when it rains
You wanna hear about my new obsession
I’m riding high upon a deep depression
I’m only happy when it rains

(Pour some misery down on me)
I’m only happy when it rains

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #435: ‘Only Happy When it Rains (Live on MTV Awards)’ – Garbage

  1. Dana says:

    Sorry, just not into garbage.

  2. Clay says:

    No need to apologize. 🙂

  3. Amy says:

    Okay – this is the first of your selections this week that I completely “get.” This performance is incredibly sexy. Her confidence is palpable as she sings those provocative and taunting lyrics. And yes, the short, tight dress certainly adds to the overt sexuality of the whole number. I’m ready to create a list of girlfriends after one viewing, so well done you 😉

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