Billboard #1 Hits: #479: ‘Escape [ The Pina Colada Song]- Rupert Holmes. December 22, 1979. #1 for 2 weeks in the Billboard Hot 100.
- Single: ‘Escape [ The Pina Colada Song]- Rupert Jones
- Record Company- Infinity Records
- Genre: Soft Rock
- Written by Rupert Holmes
- Time: 3:50
- B-side:’Drop It’
- Album- Partners In Crime
- Grade: D
- Peaked at #1 2 weeks in Billboard Hot 100. #23 in UK Singles Chart, #1 in Canada.
The 1970’s final #1 hit. This was Rupert Holmes first hit- he would have 2 more Top 40 hits from his Partners In Crime album- ‘Him’ #6 and ‘Answering Machine” #32 and that would be it. This song still gets a lot of airplay- one of the worst #1 hits of the decade.” If you like Humphrey Bogart and getting caught in the rain.”…is how the original lyrics went- but was changed at the last minute.
As I was getting on mic I thought to myself, I’ve done so many movie references to Bogart and wide-screen cinema on my earlier albums, maybe I shouldn’t do one here.
I thought, What can I substitute? Well, this woman wants an escape, like she wants to go on vacation to the islands. When you go on vacation to the islands, when you sit on the beach and someone asks you if you’d like a drink, you never order a Budweiser, you don’t have a beer. You’re on vacation, you want a drink in a hollowed-out pineapple with the flags of all nations and a parasol. If the drink is blue you’d be very happy. And a long straw. I thought, What are those escape drinks? Let’s see, there’s daiquiri, mai tai, piña colada… I wonder what a piña colada tastes like? I’ve never even had one.
I thought that instead of singing, “If you like Humphrey Bogart,” with the emphasis on like, I could start it a syllable earlier and go, “If you like piña-a coladas.”— Rupert Holmes