Thursday, April 17, 2014


In 1983 women in rock were still pretty marginalized. There were a few up-and-comers trying to break that mold, including Madonna (who was yet to hit big) but the first woman to change the game, take control and ignite some girl power on the charts was Cyndi Lauper with her debut solo album She's So Unusual. Although it was released at the tail end of 1983, She's So Unusual really took off in 1984, so Cyndi toured the album last year but just released She's So Unusual: A 30th Anniversary Celebration on April 1st. The set comes packed with demo versions of the songs on the album, a demo of a left out track and some special remixes and B-sides. It's a doozy! Of course, upon its original release, She's So Unusual was praised by critics for Cyndi's unique voice and persona as well as the maturity of the songwriting and vocal performance. It was the first album by a woman to have four top 5 singles on the Hot 100 from one album with Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (#2), Time After Time (#1), She Bop (#3) and All Through the Night (#5). She had one more hit with Money Changes Everything (#27) as well. What is most remarkable about the album is that there is not a single filler song on it. Cyndi's flexible voice covered Prince (When You Were Mine) and Jules Shear (All Through the Night) as well as taking musical influence from ska, reggae and even covered a Boop-style song from 1929! She even not-so-subtly addresses the joy of female masturbation in the song She Bop. WERQ! She's So Unusual was showered with accolades including six Grammy nominations, including album of the year, and ten MTV VMA nominations. Cyndi won Best New Artist at the Grammy awards and home the Moon Man for Best Female Video for Girls Just Wanna Have Fun at the VMAs. She's So Unusual pops up on most "Best of" charts in music magazines including Rolling Stone's 2003 "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" (#494) and Slant Magazine's "Best Albums of the 80s" (#22). The album is an absolute jewel and a time capsule of early/mid 80s music. I saw Cyndi perform the album live last year and, let me tell you, that bitch can still sing every note. She's the real deal. Enjoy the album's videos below and the tracks not released as well, in order as they appear on the album. Here is Cyndi Lauper's seminal girl-power album, She's So Unusual.

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