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Wanna Have Fun: Cyndi Lauper’s “She’s So Unusual” Revisited for 30th Anniversary

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Cyndi Lauper - She's So Unusual

She’s So Unusual!  On October 14, 1983, the world discovered that of Cyndi Lauper, catapulting the artist’s debut album to Top 5 status.  The native New Yorker picked up two Grammy Awards for She’s So Unusual, and over the years has remained in the limelight as a recording star, club favorite, Broadway composer, fashion icon and LGBT rights activist.  On April 1, Legacy Recordings will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Lauper’s first album with a reissue available in 1-CD, 2-CD and 1-LP formats.  The centerpiece of the campaign is the 2-CD edition, which will feature never-before-released demos, rehearsals, live performances and more.  All three editions will also boast three new remixes, hardly an unusual move for an artist whose music still reverberates on the dancefloor.  Lauper’s “Sex is in the Heel,” from her Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots, was a Top 10 Dance hit in the U.S. even before the show opened on Broadway.

She’s So Unusual marked Lauper’s creative freedom following the break-up of her band Blue Angel.  In addition to four tracks co-written by Lauper including “Time After Time,” the LP repertoire included tracks by Prince (“When You Were Mine”), Robert Hazard (“Girls Just Want to Have Fun”), Jules Shear (“All Through the Night” and Lauper co-write “I’ll Kiss You”), former Hollies member Mikael Rickfors (“Yeah, Yeah”) and even the late Al Sherman, father of Disney Legends Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman (the brief title track, written as “He’s So Unusual” in the 1920s!).

Five singles were released from the Portrait Records album, and all five reached the Billboard Hot 100’s Top 30 – “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” “Time After Time,” “She Bop,” “All Through the Night” and “Money Changes Everything.”  The first four all shot to the Top 5, with “Time After Time” reaching the coveted No. 1 spot and “Girls” not far behind at No. 2.  Produced by Rick Chertoff and featuring Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian of the band The Hooters as well as Brill Building legend Ellie Greenwich on background vocals, She’s So Unusual made Lauper the first female artist to have four Top 10 singles on a debut album. It went on to sell over 16 million copies worldwide and netted Grammys for Best Album Package as well as for Lauper as Best New Artist.  Her unique fashion sense and bold, colorful personality also made her a natural for the nascent music video form, and she picked up an MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video for “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”

All formats of She’s So Unusual include three new remixes of album tracks – the Yolanda Be Cool remix of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and Nervo and Bent Collective remixes of “Time After Time.”  (On the LP, these remixes will be included on a download card.)  The 2-CD edition includes a nine-track second disc, with demos of “Girls” (two different versions) and “Money Changes Everything” plus rehearsal recordings of “Rules and Regulations” and “All Through the Night,” a 1984 live performance from Boston of “Witness,” Arthur Baker’s remix of “She-Bop,” a rough mix of “Time After Time,” and the non-LP B-side “Right Train, Wrong Track,” co-written by Lauper, Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Kent.

In addition to these additional recordings, the physical deluxe edition includes a rather unusual surprise from the team at Legacy. It includes a reusable sticker set, including vinyl cut outs of Lauper’s cutting-edge outfits and accessories that can be arranged in different combinations on a 3-D fold-out backdrop of the bedroom featured in her “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” music video.   Author Jancee Dunn, who worked with Lauper on her 2012 autobiography A Memoir, penned the new liner notes.  The upcoming releases do not carry over the live bonus tracks (“All Through the Night,” “Money Changes Everything” and “She Bop”) appended to the 2000 reissue.

There’s more on She’s So Unusual after the jump, including the full track listing and pre-order links!

“I’m always looking forward, trying to do something that’s new and different,” states Lauper in connection with the upcoming reissue. “But every once in a while it’s good to look back and celebrate. I’ve always been proud of this album, with the statement we made and, most importantly, what it has meant to my fans, I want to thank them for all the years of support,” said Lauper.

The anniversary celebration continues later this spring with a performance by Lauper on the public television music performance series Front and Center (formerly Front Row Center). Recorded at New York’s Highline Ballroom on December 9th, 2013, Lauper performed the album in its entirety.  Cyndi will also be front and center at this Sunday’s Grammy Awards, where the Original Broadway Cast Recording of Kinky Boots is nominated for Best Musical Theater Album.

You can pre-order the various editions of She’s So Unusual below!  They’re all due from Legacy Recordings on April 1 – no fooling!

Cyndi Lauper, She’s So Unusual: A 30th Anniversary Celebration (Epic/Legacy 88883 70635-2, 2014)

Amazon U.S.: 1CD2CD / LP
Amazon U.K.: 2CD

CD 1: Original LP (released as Portrait FR 38930, 1983) and new remixes

  1. Money Changes Everything
  2. Girls Just Want to Have Fun
  3. When You Were Mine
  4. Time After Time
  5. She Bop
  6. All Through the Night
  7. Witness
  8. I’ll Kiss You
  9. He’s So Unusual
  10. Yeah Yeah
  11. Girls Just Want to Have Fun (Yolanda Be Cool Remix)
  12. Time After Time (NERVO Back in Time Remix)
  13. Time After Time (Bent Collective Remix)

CD 2: Bonus material (previously unreleased except where noted)

  1. Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1983 Early Guitar Demo)
  2. All Through the Night (1983 Rehearsal with Studio Dialog)
  3. Rules and Regulations (1983 Rehearsal)
  4. Money Changes Everything (Demo)
  5. Girls Just Want to Have Fun (Demo)
  6. Right Track, Wrong Train (B-side to “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” – Portrait 37-04120, 1983)
  7. Witness (Live @ The Metro, Boston – 5/2/1984)
  8. She Bop (Special Dance Mix by Arthur Baker) (12″ A-side – Portrait 4R9 05011, 1984)
  9. Time After Time (Work in Progress Rough Mix)

Written by Joe Marchese

January 23, 2014 at 10:28

13 Responses

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  1. The deluxe edition looks great but I hope that $50 price tag is an April Fool’s joke!


    January 23, 2014 at 21:21

  2. It’s a shame they didn’t find room for more of the official remixes and b-sides of the era. There was an Arthur Baker remix of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” and a live version of “Money Changes Everything,” just off the top of my head.

    Randall Paske

    January 24, 2014 at 10:30

    • I totally agree. I was browsing Wikipedia yesterday and saw some of the great stuff they could’ve included. Is it too late to add a “Super Deluxe” version to the schedule?


      January 24, 2014 at 10:31

  3. Once again, Epic sucks! Where are all the single versions?!?! They need to add those. What a waste of space. Does Legacy read this site?

    Still waiting for the single version of When You Were Mine (and all the other singles).


    January 24, 2014 at 14:12

  4. OK, so here are the tracks that are missing:

    Girls Just Want To Have Fun (Extended Version) 6:08
    Girls Just Want To Have Fun (Fun With V. Knutsn – Instrumental) 7:10
    Girls Just Want To Have Fun (Extra Fun) 5:05

    Time After Time (Single Version) 3:52

    She Bop (Single Version) 3:38
    She Bop (Special Dance Mix) 6:18
    She Bop (Instrumental) 5:20

    All Through The Night (Single Version) 4:29

    Intro 0:19 / Money Changes Everything (That Version) 6:04
    Intro 0:19 / Money Changes Everything (This Version) 5:29
    Money Changes Everything (Live Single Version) 4:13
    Money Changes Everything (Studio Single Version) 3:59

    I’ll Kiss You ?:??

    When You Were Mine (Single Version) 4:00

    There was a promo vinyl single of “I’ll Kiss You”, but I don’t know if it was edited for the vinyl single release.


    January 24, 2014 at 15:28

  5. Legacy Recordings FB page:

    Let’s all complain!


    January 25, 2014 at 14:47

  6. I have no idea, but it cost nothing to try, no? The Legacy Recordings FB page does not let you post new comments, you can only reply to existing posts. There wasn’t one for Cyndi, so I posted my comment on the latest thread, one of Bob Dylan’s. Epic Records does let you post new comments, so I also posted there.


    January 25, 2014 at 15:02

  7. You can send private messages to Legacy Recordings though… but whether they read them and reply to them…


    January 25, 2014 at 15:04

    • I don’t really think Epic has anything to do with it – other than having their logo on the packaging – but I could be wrong. I’m sure Legacy handles everything related to this. I guess it couldn’t hurt? At least we could hope for a “Super Deluxe” version to hit digital retailers?


      January 25, 2014 at 18:50

  8. It’s pretty funny that they went to the trouble and expense of commissioning new mixes when they have vintage single mixes available in the vaults.And I’m not sure, but seem to recall there may have been some video mixes that differed from the album versions as well.
    If the deluxe edition drops to $25-30 I will pick it up. I understand they are charging more for the extra packaging, but $50 is too much.

    Jason Michael

    January 25, 2014 at 21:43

  9. I picked this up today and must add to the comments here that the sound is great. The bonus material is pretty good, but lacking. The original ten songs should remain by themselves on the first disc. Adding the new mixes of Time After Time and Girls… to the end of the original album sequence just exposes the lack of skill current studio crafters have with good songs. These would have been more at home on the bonus material disc. With a mere nine tracks there was plenty of room, if they had to be included at all. I do agree with those of you here who say that more of the archived material could have mined for inclusion. Being such an anthem, the original 12″ of Girls… not being included simply seems neglectful. I would have easily sacrifced the cute package (which seems more like marketing gimmickry that anything artful) for more behind the scenes footage and wouldn’t have thought twice about the $30 I dropped on this. Having said all this, there’s nothing that can really detract from She’s So Unusual being the indisputable classic it is.


    April 3, 2014 at 01:28

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