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Cyndi Lauper - Time After Time (1984)

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  • 80's Score80's Score80's Score 80's score: 2.92
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"Time After Time" is a 1983 song by American singer-songwriter Cyndi Lauper, co-written with Rob Hyman. It was the second ...

"Time After Time" is a 1983 song by American singer-songwriter Cyndi Lauper, co-written with Rob Hyman. It was the second single released from her debut studio album, She's So Unusual (1983), with Hyman contributing backing vocals. The track was produced by Rick Chertoff and released as a single on January 27, 1984. The song became Lauper's first number 1 hit in the U.S. The song was written in the album's final stages, after "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun", "She Bop" and "All Through the Night" had been written. The writing began with the title, which Lauper had seen in TV Guide magazine, referring to the science fiction film Time After Time (1979).

Music critics gave the song positive reviews, with many commending the song for being a solid and memorable love song. The song has been selected as one of the Best Love Songs of All Time by many media outlets, including Rolling Stone, Nerve, MTV and many others. "Time After Time" was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Song of the Year at the 1985 edition. The song was a success on the charts, becoming her first number-one single on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart on June 9, 1984, and remaining there for two weeks. The song reached number three on the UK Singles Chart and number six on the ARIA Singles Chart.

Although "Time After Time" would eventually become one of Lauper's signature songs, it was one of the last songs on her debut album to be recorded. While Lauper was still writing material for She's So Unusual in the spring of 1983, her producer, Rick Chertoff introduced her to American musician Rob Hyman, a founding member of the Hooters. Lauper had by then already recorded the majority of the album, including the songs "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" and "She Bop," but Chertoff insisted that she and Hyman needed to record just "one more song". Therefore, she and Hyman sat at a piano and started working on "Time After Time".

The inspiration for the song came from the fact that both songwriters were going through similar challenges in their respective romantic relationships; Hyman was coming out of a relationship, while Lauper was having difficulties with her boyfriend/manager, David Wolff. One of the first lines Rob wrote was "suitcase of memories," which according to Lauper, "struck her," claiming it was a "wonderful line," while other lines came from Lauper's life experiences. The song's title was borrowed from a TV Guide listing for the 1979 movie Time After Time, which Lauper had intended to use only as a temporary placeholder during the writing process. Although she later tried to change the song's name, she said that she felt at some point that "Time After Time" had become so fundamental to the song that it would fall apart with a different title.

Initially, Epic Records wanted "Time After Time" as the album's lead single. However, Lauper felt that releasing a ballad as her debut solo single would have pigeonholed her stylistically as a balladeer, limiting her future work and thus potentially killing her career. Wolff felt that "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" could become a successful pop anthem and was a better choice; ultimately the label agreed and released it as the lead single instead. "Time After Time" became the album's second single, released on January 27, 1984.

The video for "Time After Time" was directed by Edd Griles, and its storyline is about a young woman leaving her lover behind when she becomes homesick and worried about her mother. Lauper's mother, brother, and then-boyfriend, David Wolff, appear in the video, and Lou Albano, who played her father in the "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" video, can be seen as a cook. Portions of the video were filmed at the now-demolished Tom's Diner in Roxbury Township, New Jersey, the intersection of Route 46 and Route 10 and at the Morristown train station. Portions of the video were also shot in front of Betty's Department Store in Wharton, New Jersey, which was a staple of the community in the 1970s. According to Lauper, "It was important to me that we were natural and human in the video. I wanted to convey somebody who walked her own path and did not always get along with everyone and did not always marry the guy." The video opens with Lauper watching the 1936 film The Garden of Allah and the final scene, where she gets on the train and waves goodbye to David, has Lauper crying for real.

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