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Born Cynthia Lauper in Queens, New York in 1953 Cindi Lauper is one of the most successful solo female recording artists of all time selling over 25 million singles and albums combined.
This 16 track album arguably contains all of her very best tracks. I would describe her style as a new wave quirky rock but in reality she is very unique so you can not pigeon hole her into any particular musical genre.
Some of the songs on this album are self penned but many are by other composers. The album sleeve gives details of all of the composers as well as full lyrics but unfortunately it's a shoddy poorly made poster that folds into eight and then slots in as a sleeve.
The album was first released when people were commonly paying up to £15 for a CD so it's a very poor show and smacks of laziness and greediness on the part of the makers in my opinion to have such a garbage album sleeve for such a good CD.
Back to the music.......
The best tracks by a light year are True Colours and All Through The Night both of which are moody, soulful ballads. The world wide smash hit Girls Just Wanna Have Fun will always be popular and the rest of the album is interesting and entertaining to listen to.
I wouldn't recommend paying big money to buy this album as it's not a classic but the two ballads I mentioned are worth having in your own playlist if you can pick it up for a reasonable price.
Full track listings:
1. I'm Gonna Be Strong
2. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
3. Money Changes Everything
4. Time After Time
5. She Bop
6. All Through The Night
7. Change Of Heart
8. True Colors
9. What's Going On
10. I Drove All Night
11. The World Is Stone
12. Who Let In The Rain
13. That's What I Think
14. Sally's Pigeons
15. Hey Now (Girls Just Wanna Have Fun)
16. Come On Home
This review is also posted on www.ciao.co.uk
under my user name bella6789
Twelve Deadly Cyns.....and then some - 1994
Cyndi Lauper, in my opinion never really got the recognition she deserved. Yep, she had a couple of big hits and they are on this 'best of' CD, but she also had some other songs that are included here that never really got the right exposure.
The CD (according to Wikipedia) has actually sold 6 million plus copies which sounds a lot, but in relation to other big selling artists, it isn't really, shame.
She has been incredibly politically active over the years, especially around gay rights, HIV/AIDS and abortion rights and maybe that has not helped her get airplay in the more conservative parts of America.
However, I digress, the music of this CD is what I am reviewing here so..........
1. I'm Gonna Be Strong
A song about a break up, ballad like and full of angst. I love the emotion she puts into this song, it is totally believable and resonates with anyone that has 'broken up'....not is a soft way, but in a 'tear your heart apart' kind of way. Her voice cuts right into you. The end is fantastic, full of electric guitars and drums, big drama and big voice. Then after the vocal we get an almost Celtic string ending, quite a surprise. Great opening track. 9/10.
2. Girls Just Want To Have Fun
What can one say about this track. Loved it when it first came out (1979, really!), it was/is quirky, has stood the test of time and yet is so early 80's it should not have stood the test. It was for me very typical of the post punk female singer, fun, loud, brash, and sexy in a dominant way, something that Madonna certainly saw and took on a little later. Great party song too. 9/10.
3. Money Changes Everything
Another strong, couldn't give a toss, female song, has more of a punk feel to it in terms of the drum and guitar work and yet has lyrics of a song that could have been a few years later (this was 1978). Her vocal is much 'punkier' here too, no bad thing. 7/10.
4. Time After Time
1983 was the first release of this song and I maintain it is one of the best songs of the 80's. It is not quite slow enough to be a ballad, not quite 'big' enough to be a rock number. The chorus is so catchy as to never be forgotten and the bassline kinda lingers at the base of your chest with a beautiful lead guitar riff that is instantly recognisable. The lyrics are dreamy, haunting, vocals controlled and clean. Lovely, just lovely. 9/10.
5. She Bop
The backing on this sounds like a Batman theme song or Bond theme, which is quite quirky. Her vocals are a little different, shrill in parts. The lyrics are just as quirky. The song reminds of the Stray Cats, I do like this, it is so different from her. 8/10.
6. All Through the Night
Such another 80's start, very reminiscent of 'Electric Dreams'. This is not my favourite track, very 'pop' and it is lyrical dross. Her vocals, as usual are great and very individual, but do not 'save' the song. 3/10.
7. Change Of Heart
Again, 80's pop all cymbals, drums and 'power' lead guitar, horrid. 0/10.
8. True Colors
Actually one of my favourite songs, ever. This song is one of those that has personal meaning to everyone that hears it. The lyrics are simple yet powerful. The vocal is soft yet at the same time strong. The music is not acoustic but sounds like it is. I challenge anyone to turn off the lights, listen to this on earphones/headphone, I mean 'really' listen to it, it always sounds like the first time. Even the bongo beat at the end is just perfect for the song. 10/10.
9. What's Going On
A cover of Marvin Gaye is always going to be a big thing to do. Whilst she does a great job vocally, and the arrangement is good, it really does not have the power of the original to make one sit up and think. It is just not strong enough. The best thing about this song with Cyndi is that she gets to stretch vocally. 6/10.
10. I Drove All Night
A love song of sorts, with an 80's power ballad feel. Could be Hazel O Connor (maybe), could be Foreigner, basically it could be anyone. 2/10.
11. The World Is Stone
Very strange offering this. Lyrically it is nonsensical, musically it defies genre. When I looked up who wrote it on the CD sleeve, I saw that it was co written by Time Rice, now it makes sense...a show tune. 3/10.
12. Who Let In The Rain
A much more mature offering, one of her later songs (to this CD). Great lyrics, nice bass line; "When love gets strong people get weak" is a great line. This is so much not my sort of song and yet I do like it and I really am not sure why, maybe because it is simple and that is sometimes very useful.
13. That's What I Think
Back to some punk roots lyrically, politically vocal, yet contemporary (for early 90's) scratching and a hip hop beat that becomes almost a disjointed indie beat. Interesting use of instruments and electronica. Bit wacky, like that. 7/10.
14. Sally's Pigeons
Fantastic song, the beginning is what I would call 'Celtic Acoustic'. Her voice is crystal clear and she has a haunting lilt which tells the story brilliantly. A song all about (her) childhood and the innocence of growing up, then her friend leaves. A very moving song and absolutely unexpected from Lauper. Stunning. 9/10.
15. Hey Now (Girls Just Want To Have Fun)
A more up to date version of her classic, to a reggae/club beat. It is good but it does not carry the strength and innovativeness of the original and it is just a little too polished. 5/10.
16. Come On Home
We get more of a reggae/steel band/ ska feel to this song, following on from the last track. There is no doubt a Blondie influence her, of that I'm sure. This is okay, but not great. 5/10.
I always like CD inserts/booklets that have the lyrics.....probably the writer in me; I like to see the meaning in songs if there is any. So I was pleased that this CD has a 'fold out' sheet that includes the lyrics. I also quite like the cover, very stark, almost pop art in use of colours.
So is it worth buying? That depends on whether you are a fan, if not then just a get the tracks you like from a music website (legally of course), if you are a fan go buy from Amazon or a similar site quite cheaply now.
I think the listener that is relatively unknowing of Cyndi might be pleasantly surprised and there are a few 'non obvious' gems, tracks 1 and 9 in particular.
Cyndi Lauper was one of the more flamboyant pop stars of the 1980's with her eccentricity, bizarre taste in clothes and of course, her ability to pen a catchy tune or two. The New Yorker, who managed to beat Madonna in claiming the Best Newcomer award at the 1984 Grammys, has had a number of massive hits throughout the world, and the best of those can be heard on her 1994 compilation '12 Deadly Cyns... And Then Some'. Abandoning the tendency to tracklist a greatest hits package chronologically, the album kicks of with 'I'm Gonna Be Strong', one of her hits from the mid 1990's. Much slower and sedate than most hits you'd associate with Lauper, it is an unorthodox mixture of Celtic and Country and Western stylings. However, the song itself seems too delicate for Lauper's loud and unusual vocal technique and the song perhaps loses its impact in her delivery of it. However, she does manage an octave-shattering screech towards the end, which is truly remarkable if not particularly easy on the ears. In an uneasy contradiction, 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' comes up next. The original song reached the top of the charts in America, whilst only just missing the top in the UK thanks to Frankie Goes To Hollywood's epic 'Relax'. However, despite playing a young girl trapped at home in the video, Lauper was 30 when the 5 year old song became a hit! Whilst perhaps overplayed nowadays, it's perfect pop and still sounds like one of the most fun records ever made. 'Money Changes Everything' wasn't a song I was familiar with before I'd heard the album. A Bangles-esque ditty, it doesn't stand out as being remarkable, and does sound quite dated now. However, this leads nicely in to 'Time After Time'. This track shocked a lot of people upon it's release as it marked a complete change in direction from 'Girls Just Wanna...'. A sensitive ballad in which L
auper sings reservedly rather than outlandishly, it features a beautiful chorus and is arguably the finest moment of her career. This track became her second US number one, and after a slow start, also went top 3 in the UK. It has been covered on a number of occasions in the past, although her original version is still head and shoulders above those of her imitators. Another peculiar juxtaposition on the album is sandwiching her best ballad with a rocky track about masturbation. 'She Bop' actually sounds quite good these days still with its dirty synth-driven European rhythms although its subject content is easily missed unless you listen quite carefully to the lyrics... 'All Throught The Night' wasn't a big hit in the UK, and despite its Bucks Fizz production qualities meaning that you can picture Cheryl Baker ripping her skirt off to it in slow-motion, it still shows off Cyndi's unusual sound can transform any song and make it her own. One best glossed over is 'Change of Heart' who's drums make it sound like the soundtrack to a Pepsi advert featuring 20-something lycra-clad dancer exhaustingly reaching for the fizzy brown stuff before wiping the sweat of her forehead and looking smugly satisfied in the knowledge that hours of lung-busting aerobics have neutralised those calories... Anyway, I digress... 'True Colours' is widely regarded as one of her best songs, and was her third US chart-topper. Another slower ballad, the impact of the song's strong message about acceptance is now completely neutralised thanks to its use in a car adverts, so instead of equality and love, the song only evokes images of exhausts and catalytic converters. The first cover version pops in Track 9. 'What's Goin' On' is one of those songs that's best not touched... The much covered Marvin Gaye song is reworked in an unusual style by Lauper, and whilst she gives a passionate pe
rformance that other mimickers often fail to reach, it still isn't one of the better examples of her work. A much more effective cover is her interpretation of Roy Orbison's 'I Drove All Night', her 1989 comeback single. Unusual from a gender reversal point of view, I actually prefer her version of the track to the Big O's, with its energy and vibrancy. Despite being a bit of a risk to release the track after a commercial absence, it thrust her back in the limelight for a brief moment before another couple of flops erased her from memory once again. Yet another comeback followed three years later. Now 39, she returned with a more mature sound and the understated gorgeousness of 'World Of Stone'. One of her best works, it is as good as the likes of 'True Colours', with its singable lighters-in-the-air chorus. A bit sad and reflective, it also has some un-Cyndi like orchestra portions and is arguably her classiest song yet. Running along the same vein is 'Who Let In The Rain', although this perhaps lacks the instant appeal of the previous song. It also does hark back a little bit to 'Time After Time' with its structure, but doesn't quite manage to pull of something special. 'That's What I Think' is a peculiar Irish-sounding but beat-influenced track that reminds me of 'Walking Down Madison' by Kirsty MacColl. Another one of her best songs that was criminally underrated when it only reached 31 in the UK pop charts, it's a put the fun back into her music after the slightly more toned-down approach of her previous offerings. 'Sally's Pigeons' was unrealeased in this country, but is included on the album anyhow. A sad song about remembrance, it sounds like the outro tune to a depressing film, and sits somewhat uncomfortably here. However, the tempo's soon right back up again with the 'Hey Now' remix of 'Girls Just Wan
na Have Fun'. A reggae-influenced reworking, it was her biggest hit in 10 years upon its 1994 release to promote this album. Featuring an assembly of drag-queens in the video, it showed that she still had a sense of fun. The album is nicely rounded off with 'Come On Home' a self-penned tune that carries on in the reggae-stylings of the previous track. Despite being a commercial flop, and some slightly odd lyrics ('remember the rain even comes down in Shangri-La' anyone?), it's still instantly likeable and is rounds off the album nicely. Although she perhaps didn't quite ascend to the heights that many people expected her to at the start of her career, this Greatest Hits collection represents great value for money and carries some great tracks. Dated in places and with a few weaker links, it's well packaged and even has a complete set of lyrics. Definitely a good buy for even the most casual fan!
I Love this CD! When I first saw Cyndi in the 80's with her contagious grin, her wild hair & clothes, and her tenacious optimism, I Never would have guessed that she packs a voice that can wallop you! The cover art is striking and totally Cyndi. Red, lots of that crimson color of cyn to contrast with her pure white face, bold yellow hair, eyes and black lashes. With the Title perched on the brim of her bowler, her scarlet smile welcomes you in... First let me say that I LOVE that the lyrics are included as well as a long thank you list from the songstress herself that includes the "people who fed me and took care of me", as well as "All the foot soldiers who made this album fly, & anybody I forgot who I'll remember after I turn this in." Secondly, I have to say that lyrics often play a most important role in how a musician's work touches me. While the music itself, as well as the artist's voice, are important, words and the images they conjure hold more power for me. After all, communication is one of the most important tools available to us. Words can harm or heal, evoke sorrow or joy, bring peace or cause war. Alright, enough rambling. Here's the line-up... I'll Be Strong: Like a ballad, this song is a tale from beginning to end. Touching, the music supports the lyrics with soft bell like tones that conjure images of a rainy day. Her voice alternately whispers, throbs, and echoes as she tells us this story. “I'm gonna be strong and stand as tall as I can I'm gonna be strong and let you go along and take it like a man.” The electric violin between this and the next song is the final brushstroke on this masterpiece. Girls Just Want To Have Fun: Irreverent lyrics with bounce and beat, what teenager couldn't relate? Yet she still manages to make it a message. The lyrics tell us she still loves & respects her pare
nts even though she was as rebellious as any other teen, and even comments on what I call the Rapunzel syndrome. “Some boys take a beautiful girl and hide her away from the rest of the world I want to be the one to walk in the sun!” Man, can she hold a note! Money Changes Everything: Drums, keyboards, and guitar keep the beat going as she weaves her words around them. A Cynical view, but oh so true! “They shake your hand and they smile and they buy you a drink they say we'll be your friends we'll stick with you till the end ah but everybody's only looking out themselves” When it comes down to it, you have to believe in and trust yourself. Everyone has encountered the "sometimes" friend, those that flatter you, but don't really care about you. Sometimes people are just there to see what they can get from you, and having a sudden increase in wealth will not only attract these people, sometimes you loose a friend because they think it has changed you. Time After Time: I've always loved this one. Circular in style, it is like the thoughts that run around your head, whether you want them to or not... “If you're lost you can look- and you will find me time after time If you fall I will catch you - I'll be waiting time after time…” Ultimately, this reminds us to be there unconditionally for those we love. I really believe that. My friends are my family, and I treat them as such. She Bop: Well, we all know what this song was about, or do you? “Do I wanna go out with a lion's roar huh, yea, I wanna go south n get me some more Hey, they say a stitch in time saves nine they say I better stop-or I'll go blind…” With the nonchalant whistles in the back ground, and her bubbling laugh punctuating the
song countless people have danced along never knowing the words! That alone is worth a few chuckles. All Through the Night: The music ripples and sparkles behind her lyrics as she calls up yet more images for us. “Stray cat is crying so stray cat sings back all through the night they have forgotten what by day they lack oh under those white street lamps there is a little chance they may see…” I'm not really sure if she is referring to prostitution with references like-"and once we start the meter clicks..." as well as the stray cats under a street light image. I think of it being more like when you find someone who touches your life, and you aren't sure how long it will last. It may only be that one night you had together, and you want to remember it, make the most of the memory. "Oh the sleep in your eyes is enough let me be there let me stay there awhile.." Change Of Heart: This sond captures moments of anticipation in another musical tale, with more strong drums for her to brace herself against. She makes you wonder if that change of heart ever happened. “Here I am just like I said I would be... Waiting for your change of heart it just takes a beat to turn it around... Blind leading blind never hear the laughter search through time nothing reveals the answer…” Most people, at some point have known someone who just wanted to be friends, while you were wishing it could be more. True Colors: This is another old favorite of mine. The lyrics always speak to me: “But I see your true colors shining through I see your true colors and that's why I love you so don't be afraid to let them show like a rainbow…” It makes me think of all the people I love, and yet is still a healthy reminder for me! W
e all get caught up in worrying about how we appear to other people. We second guess ourselves, and out think ourselves far too often! You have to remember to relax and just be yourself sometimes, because if you don't you'll loose yourself. Wise Words! What's Going On: She pleads with humanity to stop warring with each other in a song that builds, and grows. She speaks to us all as family as if she knows us each by name and loves us. “Mother mother there's too many of you crying brother brother brother there's far too many of you dying... Father father we don't need to escalate war is not the answer…” This is one of my favorite anti-war songs. She expresses my own feelings so well here. I see all humanity dividing itself with imaginary boundaries, or judging each other for superficial appearances and reasons, and just don't understand it. I Drove All Night: This is the song for separated lovers, with her drawn out vocals and urgent, sincere longing. “I drove all night to get to you Is that all right? I drove all night crept into your room Woke you from your sleep to make love to you Is that all right? I drove all night…” I think of this song on those days when my husband is working late, or at the library doing research, and especially when he and our son are gone on a Scout trip! That's What I Think: I love the flute here, the beat and the use of horns. As usual, it is the lyrics that really grab my attention. “Sometimes I think things are overwhelming sometimes I think I don't know what I'll do but I forget the world and everything around me that's what I think when I think about you!” What better song to follow I Drove All Night?! I can't help but love this song. Alan & I have bee
n together since we met in 1986. We had a 6 month period where I was in California and he was here in Pennsylvania, and both of these songs make me think of that difficult time. That's What I Think tickles me with the thought of how I still get just as distracted from all my woes and tensions by merely thinking about him. That I can still get that giddy feeling after all these years makes me shake my head in wonder. That's ok though, he's just as bad. Sally's Pigeons: If you have never heard this song, you Must! It is one of my favorites. She uses an Irish singing style, yet it is her story completely. “When I was 8 I had a friend with a pirate smile... we were innocent and wild... hopped a fence and slammed the gate running down my alleyway in time to watch Sally's pigeons fly On the dresser sits a frame with a photograph two little girls in ponytails some 20 years back she left one night with just a nod... I can't remember when a pirate's smile hasn't made me cry I close my eyes and Sally's pigeons fly...” She tells us about her childhood, and the friend who disappeared after getting pregnant. A poignant tale that she has kept close to her heart, you can’t help being drawn in by the images she reveals. Followed by a grittier version of Girls Just Want to Have Fun, with back up singers, this really completes the tale. Come On Home: Has a reggae feel to it, so the album ends on an upbeat. “Remember the rain even comes down in Shangri-La Look up as it soaks into your skin and remember who you are... Come on home when the road that you've been walking gets too long Don't be scared in case the grass you thought was greener isn't there You can come home... When life isn't fair, don't go there.. You can come on home..."
A perfect ending to the album, and all the tales she has given us with this anthology. When a musician melds instruments, vocals, images, and meaningful lyrics, I call them a Bard. Cyndi Lauper is not the only Bard out there, but there are never enough of them! If you have never experienced Cyndi, this is a great album to start with!
I was given this album as a present, it's probably one of the most played tapes I've got!! I'm always abit sceptical about greatest hits albums as I think it's just another way to get more money out of the fans! But this is really good, I'd recommend this album to anyone, who wants to hear Cyndi Laupers, popular songs because they are all on here! I've got fond memories of Girls just wanna have fun! Many a dance floor was packed by me and my (drunken) mates singing along to this track! This track isnt the best on the album, pride of place (in my opinion) has to go to "True colors" but when I hear it I just cant help singing along and reminissing!! True colors, for me is the one Cyndi Lauper track, that is truely brilliant. Her vocals are just awesome! If you look at her with her (then) pink hair you really wouldnt think she'd be able to sing this wonderful song in such a soulfull way. Time after time is also another ballad which again Cyndi puts her heart into, the vocals are excellent and this is another excellent track on the album! In my opinion there isnt a "duff" track on this album, the range of songs and styles shows that she is a very versitaile singer, with a good range from the poppy to the very soulful! If you rember Cyndi Lauper I'd definetly recommend you bought this album its excellent!
Pick of the best from Cyndi Lauper, there are actually 16 tracks - as the subtitle "and then some" says, in its own way? there are12 tracks, plus some more. Most have been hit singles, and should be familiar to most people. They are presented in a sort of chronological order. First track, "I'm gonna be strong", was first recorded by Lauper in the days (early 80s) when she fronted a band called Blue Angel. This version is more recent, more polished, the vocal is a powerful portrayal of someone only just keeping things together, kind of paced hysterics - it makes me go 'whew!' everytime I hear it. Then comes the string of hits - all still sound great. "Change of heart" sounds a little bit dated nowadays, could be because of the drums. But gems like "Time after time", "True colors" and "I drove all night" have a special quality that makes them timeless. The lesser known songs are also well worth a listen, e.g. "Sally's pigeons", co-written by Mary Chapin Carpenter, a sensitive ballad, actually about backstreet abortion. There's also "The world is stone", from a Tim Rice musical ("Tycoon"), and not available on any of Lauper's other albums. "Come on home" is the other of the two 'unreleased' tracks. Both this and "Hey now (Girls just want to have fun)", the newest tracks, have a more dance / reggae feel. It's certainly not all kooky pop - plenty of variety on this CD.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 I'm Gonna Be Strong
2 Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
3 Money Changes Everything
4 Time After Time
5 She Bop
6 All Through The Night
7 Change Of Heart
8 True Colours
9 What's Going On
10 I Drove All Night
11 World Is Stone
12 Who Let In The Rain
13 That's What I Think
14 Sally's Pigeons
15 Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (2)
16 Come On Home