The song was the only collaboration between successful songwriters Greenfield (lyrics) and King (music), both of whom worked for Aldon Music at the time of the song's composition. On a whim, two Aldon songwriting partnerships decided to switch partners for a day -- Gerry Goffin (who normally worked with King) partnered with Greenfield's frequent writing partner Jack Keller, leaving King and Greenfield to pair up for the day. Despite the commercial success of their collaboration, King and Greenfield never wrote another song together.
In 1990, the Norwegian pop band a-ha covered the song. Following its success, a-ha became closer to the Everly Brothers, who had originally recorded the song. The band members were presented a set of guitars by the Everly Brothers that a-ha continues to use.
This is one of the few commercially available songs which a-ha have covered, the only others being "Velvet", first released by Savoy, and "Dragonfly", first released by Magne Furuholmen.
The video was directed by Steve Barron. The theme of the video is a robbery gone wrong. It is actually the second version of this video, the first version did not feature any of the scenes of Morten Harket singing alone. The video was filmed entirely with a specific technique of mobile cameras and was filmed in Big Timber, Montana.
Though often given the misnomer of "one-hit wonder" in the U.S., a-ha has actually had a number of singles appear on various charts there, though none anywhere near as big a hit as their debut, "Take On Me". "Crying in the Rain" was a-ha's last single to go top 40 on a Billboard chart in the U.S. to date, peaking at #26 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart during the week ending April 6, 1991. It was more popular internationally, topping the charts in the band's native Norway, and peaking at #13 in the UK Singles Chart, where the band had found previous success as well. It was the 32nd most successful song of the year 2010 in Romanian Top 100, although it peaked outside the top 20.
"Crying in the Rain" was covered by many other artists. Country singer Tammy Wynette covered the song in 1981, bringing it to the top 20 of the US country singles charts and #11 in the Canadian RPM Country 50 Singles. In 1989 it was covered by Blessings in Disguise, a band composed of Dave Hill and Noddy Holder of British hard rock band, Slade. The song was released as a single, backed with the Dave Hill written track, "Wild Nites". The song was also covered by Crystal Gayle on her 1981 album Hollywood, Tennessee and by the British duo Peter and Gordon. Singer Art Garfunkel, of Simon and Garfunkel fame, covered the song in his album Up 'til Now (1993) in a duet with James Taylor. Released in 2010 on Micky Dolenz King For a Day album. The song was also covered by the Eurovision Song Contest winner Johnny Logan. German band Gregorian covered the song on their album Masters of Chant Chapter VI. Urban Symphony, an Estonian group, sing this song for a gala. Also covered by Jan and Dean on 1968's "save for a rainy day" The song was covered my Marty Kristian of the New Seekers in 1973 "Crying In The Rain"/"A Woman Grows" (Polydor 2058 394)