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)
CD 1: Original LP (released as Portrait FR 38930, 1983) and new remixes
- Money Changes Everything
- Girls Just Want to Have Fun
- When You Were Mine
- Time After Time
- She Bop
- All Through the Night
- I'll Kiss You
- He's So Unusual
- Yeah Yeah
- Girls Just Want to Have Fun (Yolanda Be Cool Remix)
- Time After Time (NERVO Back in Time Remix)
- Time After Time (Bent Collective Remix)
CD 2: Bonus material (previously unreleased except where noted)
- Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1983 Early Guitar Demo)
- All Through the Night (1983 Rehearsal with Studio Dialog)
- Rules and Regulations (1983 Rehearsal)
- Money Changes Everything (Demo)
- Girls Just Want to Have Fun (Demo)
- Right Track, Wrong Train (B-side to "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" - Portrait 37-04120, 1983)
- Witness (Live @ The Metro, Boston - 5/2/1984)
- She Bop (Special Dance Mix by Arthur Baker) (12" A-side - Portrait 4R9 05011, 1984)
- Time After Time (Work in Progress Rough Mix)