Sunday, November 26, 2006

Number 715 - Cyndi Lauper

Number 715

Cyndi Lauper

"True Colors"

"The weird one" had to turn up in the charts sooner or later! To me she was a cross between "Boy George" and the now "Marilyn Manson" Just fricken scary. Today's Generation Y have Pink, so i guess not much has changed huh?
Cyndi Lauper was one of the biggest stars of the early MTV era, selling five million copies of her debut album, She's So Unusual, as well as scoring a string of four Top Ten hits from the record, including the major hits "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" and "Time After Time." Lauper's thin, girlish voice and gleefully ragtag appearance became one of the most distinctive images of the early '80s, which helped lead her not only to the top of the charts, but also to stardom. Throughout America, there were numbers of teenage girls dressing like Lauper and using "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" as an anthem, a call to arms for self-expression. At first, her music was a bright, colorful new wave fusion of a number of styles, including new wave, post-punk, reggae, pop, and funk. Both her music and her appearance helped popularize -- and just as importantly, sanitize --- the image of punk and new wave for America, making it an acceptable part of the pop landscape. Lauper didn't follow through on the success of She's So Unusual, choosing to turn toward middle-of-the-road balladry and mainstream pop, but her first album remains a benchmark of the early '80s. Whataroa
Born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in the neighboring borough of Queens, Lauper (born June 22, 1953) dropped out of high school in her late teens, choosing to sing in a number of local cover bands instead. Eventually, her voice was so strained she turned to voice lessons from Katherine Agresta, a well-known vocal teacher in New York. In 1977, Lauper began writing her own material with keyboardist John Turi. The duo formed Blue Angel that same year. Over the next few years, the group built up a solid following in New York, culminating in the release of an eponymous debut album on Polydor in 1980. The Blue Angel record flopped and shortly afterward, Lauper filed for bankruptcy, which led to the disbandment of Blue Angel.
With the success of She's So Unusual under her belt, Lauper was an official star, yet she wasn't able to maintain her popularity. During 1985 she worked on her follow-up album; her only release of the year was "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough," the theme song from the children's adventure film The Goonies. Her second album, True Colors, appeared in the fall of 1986, and while it was successful -- the title track went to number one, while the album peaked at number four and went platinum -- its softer, adult contemporary sound lost Lauper some fans. Lauper's career continued to lose momentum, as her feature film debut in 1988's comedy Vibes bombed. A Night to Remember, her third album, was released to weak reviews in 1989, and although it spawned the Top Ten hit "I Drove All Night," it suffered from disappointing sales, peaking at number 37. The next year, she severed her relationship with Wolff and married actor David Thornton.

After taking a few years off, Lauper returned in 1993 with Hat Full of Stars, an album where she co-produced and co-wrote all of the tracks. The record stiffed, peaking at 112. The following year, the hits compilation Twelve Deadly Cyns...and Then Some was released in the U.K.; the album reached number two, while a remixed "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" became a number one hit. Twelve Deadly Cyns was released in America the following career to less attention. Lauper released Sisters of Avalon, her first album of new material in four years, in the spring of 1997 to generally positive reviews, yet the record didn't chart. Merry Christmas...Have a Nice Life! followed in late 1998. After a long hiatus, Lauper returned to the studio in 2003 for At Last, a collection of pop standards that garnered favorable reviews and spawned a live DVD, Live...At Last. The Body Acoustic, collection of stripped-down reinvemtions of previous hits, followed in 2005 ~ [Stephen Thomas Erlewine]
What does Rolling Stone think about Cyndi Lauper
True Colors, Cyndi Lauper's second album, doesn't sound much like her megaplatinum She's So Unusual – and good for her. Lauper's out-of-nowhere 1983 solo debut was an eminently listenable, often brave, frankly subversive work that stood pop convèntion on its fat, stuffy head. When Lauper sang the celebratory "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" or the dark, stark plaint "Time After Time," she wore her individuality as both a badge of honor and a cross to bear.
Much was written about her eccentric dress and appearance, and likewise, much mush was disseminated about her witty take on sex roles. But both appraisals of her appeal were too narrow. "I don't fit in" is the true sentiment underlying every track on She's So Unusual. When she sang, "I want to be the one to walk in the sun," she sounded like someone who'd spent too much time in the darkness.
Lauper wasn't a corporate contrivance: she really was unusual.But Lauper knows that her persona is no longer as startling or novel as it once was. She couldn't very well title her long-awaited follow-up Hey, I'm Still Unusual! without its coming off as tired shtick. Like Madonna, a kindred artist whose similarly titled current album invites inevitable (though not inappropriate) comparisons, Lauper had to fine-tune the wacky elements of her presentation or be perceived as a limited performer, a rock & roll version of Leonard Nimoy ~[Source: Rolling Stone]
For Madonna see Number 478, #571 & MM Vol 1 #077
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (She's to unusual for us) and the Album ranked at Number (However ...Pink we lurve)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 67.7 out of 108 pts
Search Artist here:1-2-3-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z

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