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Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Want To Have Fun (1983)

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  • 80's Score80's Score80's Score80's Score 80's score: 3.53
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“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” is a song written and first recorded in 1979 by American musician Robert Hazard. It ...

“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” is a song written and first recorded in 1979 by American musician Robert Hazard. It is better known as a single by American singer Cyndi Lauper, whose version was released in 1983. It was the first major single released by Lauper as a solo artist and the lead single from her debut studio album She’s So Unusual (1983). Lauper’s version gained recognition as a feminist anthem and was promoted by a Grammy-winning music video. It has been covered, either as a studio recording or in a live performance, by over 30 other artists.

The single was Lauper’s breakthrough hit, reaching number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and becoming a worldwide hit throughout late 1983 and early 1984. It remains one of Lauper’s signature songs and was a widely popular song during the era of its release, the 1980s. The “Rolling Stone & MTV: ‘100 Greatest Pop Songs’: 1-50”, “Rolling Stone: “The 100 Top Music Videos”” and the “VH1: 100 Greatest Videos” lists ranked the song at No. 22, No. 39 and No. 45, respectively. The song received Grammy Award nominations for Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. In 2013, the song was remixed by Yolanda Be Cool, taken from the 30th anniversary reissue of She’s So Unusual.

Music video

The release of the single was accompanied by a quirky music video. It cost less than $35,000, largely due to a volunteer cast and the free loan of the most sophisticated video equipment available at the time. The cast included Dan Aykroyd in character as Beldar Conehead, professional wrestling manager “Captain” Lou Albano in the role of Lauper’s father while her real mother, Catrine, played herself. Lauper would later appear in World Wrestling Federation storylines opposite Albano and guest-star in an episode of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, in which Albano portrayed Mario (Albano also played himself in the episode). This collaboration was the catalyst for the “Rock ‘n’ Wrestling” connection that would last the next two years. Lauper’s attorney, Elliot Hoffman, appeared as her uptight dancing partner. Also in the cast were Lauper’s manager, David Wolf, her brother, Butch Lauper, fellow musician Steve Forbert, and a bevy of secretaries borrowed from Portrait/CBS, Lauper’s record label. A clip of The Hunchback of Notre Dame is featured as Lauper watches it on television.

Lorne Michaels (Broadway Video, SNL), another of Hoffman’s clients, agreed to give Lauper free run of his brand new million-dollar digital editing equipment, with which she and her producer created several first-time-ever computer-generated images of Lauper dancing with her buttoned-up lawyer, leading the entire cast in a snake-dance through New York streets and ending up in Lauper’s bedroom in her home. The bedroom scene is an homage to the famous stateroom scene in the Marx Brothers’ film A Night at the Opera.

“The year 1983 makes a watershed in the history of female-address video. It is the year that certain issues and representations began to gain saliency and the textual strategies of female address began to coalesce.” In the video, Lauper wanted to show in a more fun and light-hearted manner that girls want the same equality and recognition boys had in society.

Before the song starts, the beginning of her version of “He’s So Unusual” plays.

The music video was directed by Edd Griles. The producer was Ken Walz while the cinematographer was Francis Kenny. The treatment for the video was co-written by Griles, Walz, and Cyndi Lauper. The video was shot in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in summer 1983 and premiered on television in December 1983. The choreography was by a New York dance and music troupe called XXY featuring Mary Ellen Strom, Cyndi Lee and Pierce Turner.

Chart performance

The song was released in late 1983 but much of its success on the charts came during the first half of 1984. The single reached the Top 10 in over 25 countries and reached No. 1 in ten of those countries including Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, and Norway. It also reached No. 2 in both the United Kingdom and the United States.

In the United States, the song entered the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 80 on December 17, 1983. It ultimately peaked at No. 2 on March 10, 1984 where it stayed for two weeks, behind Van Halen’s “Jump”. In the United Kingdom, the song entered the chart at No. 50 on January 14, 1984 and peaked at No. 2 on February 4, 1984 where it stayed for one week. In Ireland, the song entered the chart on January 29, 1984. It peaked at number one for two weeks and was on the chart for a total of seven weeks. In Australia, the song debuted on the Kent Music Report Top 100 on February 27, 1984. It entered the Top 10 in only its third week on the chart and reached number one on March 26, 1984. It topped the chart for two weeks and then remained at number two for four weeks behind Nena’s “99 Luftballons”. It stayed on the chart for 21 weeks and was the 9th biggest-selling single of the year. In Belgium, the song debut at No. 38 on February 18, 1984 and peaked at No. 4 on April 7, 1984. In the Netherlands, the song entered the chart at No. 38 on February 25, 1984 and peaked at No. 4 on March 31, 1984.

In Sweden, the song entered at No. 13 on March 6, 1984 and peaked at No. 5 on April 3, 1984, charting for six weeks. In Switzerland, the song entered the chart at No. 15 on April 1, 1984 and peaked at No. 6 on April 29, 1984. In New Zealand, the song debuted at No. 21 on April 1, 1984 and peaked at No. 1 on May 6, 1984 where it stayed for three weeks. In Austria, the single entered at No. 3 on May 1, 1984 which was its peak position.

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