Garbage: "Only Happy When It Rains"

A timeless 1990s pop rock hit by the band Garbage. Look, listen, and learn about Jennifer Eklund's piano solo arrangement of "Only Happy When It Rains."

Garbage: "Only Happy When It Rains"

Looking for more great 90s piano sheet music?

🤩 This hit from the 90s was featured in the first season of Cruel Summer, a Hulu series that was loaded with nostalgic tunes from the best decade. We’ve got piano sheet music for Cruel Summer: Season 1 and Cruel Summer Season 2!


About Garbage:

Garbage is an alternative rock band formed in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1993. The band consists of Scottish singer Shirley Manson and American musicians Duke Erikson, Steve Marker, and Butch Vig. Shirley Manson, previously of the band Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie, joined forces with the trio, who had experience in production and engineering, to create Garbage.

Their self-titled debut album, “Garbage,” released in 1995, was a massive commercial success, propelled by hit singles like “Only Happy When It Rains” and “Stupid Girl.” The album’s blend of grunge, electronic, and pop elements garnered critical acclaim and established Garbage as a prominent force in alternative rock.

Throughout their career, Garbage has continued to release successful albums, including “Version 2.0” (1998), “Beautiful Garbage” (2001), “Bleed Like Me” (2005), “Not Your Kind of People” (2012), and “Strange Little Birds” (2016). Their music often explores themes of angst, sexuality, and societal issues, with Manson’s powerful vocals and the band’s innovative production contributing to their distinctive sound.

Garbage has received multiple Grammy Award nominations and has sold millions of records worldwide. They are known for their dynamic live performances and have toured extensively across the globe. Over the years, they have maintained a dedicated fan base and have influenced numerous artists in the alternative and rock genres.


About “Only Happy When It Rains”:

“Only Happy When It Rains” is a song by the alternative rock band Garbage, released as the lead single from their debut album, “Garbage,” in 1995. The song was written and produced by the band members Shirley Manson, Duke Erikson, Steve Marker, and Butch Vig.

“Only Happy When It Rains” is characterized by its gritty guitar riffs, pulsating rhythms, and Shirley Manson’s sultry and defiant vocals. The lyrics express a paradoxical sentiment of finding pleasure in misery, with Manson singing about feeling alive and invigorated during moments of darkness and despair.

The song’s music video, directed by Samuel Bayer, features the band performing in a dark and moody setting, interspersed with footage of stormy weather and urban landscapes. The visual aesthetic complements the song’s themes of emotional turbulence and inner conflict.

“Only Happy When It Rains” received widespread acclaim from critics and audiences alike, praised for its infectious energy, catchy hooks, and unapologetic attitude. It became one of Garbage’s signature songs and remains a staple of their live performances. The song’s success helped propel Garbage to international fame and solidified their reputation as one of the leading alternative rock acts of the 1990s.


“Only Happy When It Rains” Intermediate Piano Solo

Key features of the intermediate version:

  • This is the full album version of the song
  • 7 total pages
  • Run time is approximately 3:30

🧐 Sheet music sneak peek:


🎹 Pop Rock Favorites Songbook Series

Do you love pop rock and alternative rock from the 1990s? You’ll definitely want to explore the Pop Rock Favorites Songbook Series. As of this posting, there are 10 volumes available! Take a dive into the first few books:


🎹 Looking for more 1990s piano sheet music?


👋 Did I miss one of your favorites? I’m always open to requests so drop me a comment!


Jennifer Eklund
Written by Jennifer Eklund
Jennifer Eklund holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in music from California State University, Long Beach. She is an avid arranger, composer, and author of the Piano Pronto® method books series as well as a wide variety of supplemental songbooks. She is also a Signature Artist with Musicnotes.com with a large catalog of popular music titles for musicians of all levels.

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