Friday, October 14, 1983

Cyndi Lauper released She’s So Unusual

First posted 5/30/2008; updated 11/26/2020.

She’s So Unusual

Cyndi Lauper

Released: October 14, 1983

Charted: December 24, 1983

Peak: 4 US, 16 UK, 12 CN, 3 AU

Sales (in millions): 6.0 US, 0.1 UK, 16.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: pop


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Money Changes Everything (Tom Gray) [5:06] (7/20/84, 23a US, 37 AR)
  2. Girls Just Want to Have Fun (Robert Hazard) [3:58] (10/18/83, 2 US, 2 UK, 16 AR, 80 RB, sales: 1.0 m)
  3. When You Were Mine (Prince, Doctor Fink) [5:06]
  4. Time after Time (Cyndi Lauper, Rob Hyman) [4:01] (12/17/83, 1 US, 3 UK, 1 AC, 10 AR, sales: 0.5 m, airplay: 2.0 m)
  5. She Bop (Lauper, Rick Chertoff, Gary Corbett, Stephen Broughton Lunt) [3:47] (2/17/84, 3 US, 46 UK, 27 AR, sales: 0.5 m)
  6. All Through the Night (Jules Shear) [4:33] (5/28/84, 4a US, 64 UK, 4 AC, 38 AR)
  7. Witness (Lauper, John Turi) [3:40]
  8. I’ll Kiss You (Lauper, Shear) [4:12]
  9. He’s So Unusual (Al Sherman, Al Lewis, Abner Silver) [0:45]
  10. Yeah Yeah (Hasse Huss, Mikael Rickfors) [3:18]

Total Running Time: 38:42


4.114 out of 5.00 (average of 16 ratings)

Quotable: “One of the great new wave/early MTV records.” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“If Cyndi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual evokes memories dominated mostly by her cartoonish image, then try to get over it so you can pay attention to the music.” BB “The title of Lauper’s debut isn't self-deprecating or even self-parodying; it’s self-congratulatory. Listen to it again, and you'll find this pleasure to be far from guilty.” BB The album is “one of the great new wave/early MTV records,” STE “a giddy mix of self-confidence, effervescent popcraft, unabashed sentimentality, subversiveness, and clever humor. In short, it’s a multifaceted portrait of a multifaceted talent, an artist [who’s] far more clever than her thin, deliberately girly voice would indicate.” STE “Her vocals have an impish quality, but there’s also tremendous strength, articulation, and nuance.” BB

This album “captured her persona better than anyone could imagine.” STE It is especially impressive how much Lauper’s personality comes through when one realizes how many of these songs are covers, including All Through the Night (Jules Shear), Money Changes Everything (Bad Brains), When You Were Mine (Prince), and even a song from the 1929s, He’s So Unusual (Helen Kane). Most impressively, however, is how Lauper doesn’t just put her stamp on Robert Hazard’s Girls Just Want to Have Fun, but makes it her defining song.

“Lauper’s voice suits her musical persona, since its chirpiness adds depth, or reconfigures the songs whether it’s the call to arms of ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ or the tearjerking Time After Time.” STE The former went top 10 in 19 countries and hit #1 in 10 countries. WK while the latter hit the top ten in 15 countries. WK “Time” has been covered by everyone from Everything But the Girl to Miles Davis, “if you need further proof of her credibility.” BB

The front half of the album is dominated by the singles whether it be the “longing” BB “All Through the Night” or “intense” BB She Bop. Lauper became the first female singer to land four top 5 singles from one album on the Billboard Hot 100. WK

Unusual “is astonishing in its consistency, so strong that it makes the remaining tracks – all enjoyable, but rather pedestrian – charming by their association with songs so brilliantly alive.” STE “The instrumental arrangements are quite inventive and rich, and although the musicality is pointedly ‘80s, the album sounds more winsome than dated.” BB

The only problem is “when a debut captures a personality so well, let alone a personality so tied to its time, the successive work can’t help but pale in comparison. Still, when it’s captured as brightly and brilliantly as it is here, it does result in a debut that retains its potency, long after its production seems a little dated.” STE

Not surprisingly, Lauper won the Best New Artist Grammy. She also took home the prize for Best Recording Package and earned nominations for Album of the Year, Record of the Year (“Girls”), Song of the Year (“Time”), and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance (“Girls”). “Girls” was also named Best Female Video of the Year by MTV and was nominated for Video of the Year.

Notes: The 2000 reissue adds live versions of “Money Changes Everything,” “She Bop,” and “All Through the Night.”

Resources and Related Links:

No comments:

Post a Comment