Girls Just Want to Have Fun
Writer(s): Robert Hazard (see lyrics here)
Released: November 6, 1983
First Charted: December 17, 1983
Peak: 2 US, 12 CB, 2 GR, 2 RR, 80 RB, 16 AR, 2 UK, 12 CN, 12 AU, 2 DF (Click for codes to charts.)
Sales (in millions): 2.5 US, 0.6 UK, 4.09 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 860.7 video, 808.86 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
Not since Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” in 1967 had there been such a sing-along tune of women’s empowerment. Like that song, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” was originally written and sung by a man. In the case of Aretha, Otis Redding originally penned and recorded the tune, but in Aretha’s hands it became an iconic #1 song.
In Lauper’s case, the original song was written and recorded in 1979 by Robert Hazard, a new wave singer in the vein of Nick Lowe or Graham Parker. In his hands, it comes across as misogynistic as he appears to regard women as no more than playthings. However, with some lyrical tweaks by Lauper, it became “an ebullient, unapologetic piece of smiley-face feminism.” AMG In her book She’s a Rebel: The History of Women in Rock & Roll, Gillian G. Gaar described it as “a playful romp celebrating female camaraderie.” WK
The song, which reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 behind Van Halen’s “Jump,” was her first single as a solo artist, although she had recorded an album in 1981 with the group Blue Angel. SF While she would go on to hit the top of the charts with “Time After Time” and “True Colors,” this was her signature hit, capturing her quirky personality perfectly. Her colorful style were a hit on MTV where kids could see a woman with weird hair and weird clothes who celebrated who she was.
The video cost less than $35,000 to make, largely due to her friends, family, and business associates serving as a volunteer cast. WK It became one of the most successful of all time, ranking in top 100 lists by VH1 and MTV. It won the latter network’s first award for Best Female Video. The song was nominated for two Grammys – Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
First posted 11/26/2020; last updated 2/3/2023.
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