Cyndi Lauper, ‘She’s So Unusual: A 30th Anniversary Celebration (Deluxe Edition)’ (Portrait/Epic/Legacy)
Cyndi Lauper’s debut solo album, originally released in October 1983, made her an overnight sensation, selling over six million copies, spinning off four Top 5 singles and kick-starting Lauper on her way to picking up her first Grammy award, for best new artist.
The most fascinating thing about this expanded reissue is being taken inside the creative process on the bonus disc, which features demos and rehearsals. There are two early versions of Lauper’s signature hit, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” which started out as a much harder rocking song before the beat morphed into a more celebratory reggae strut.
The heartfelt ballad “All Through the Night” proved there was another side to Lauper’s voice, far removed from her cartoonish Betty Boop-style affectations. A 1983 rehearsal take shows how hard she worked on the track.
The final versions pack the greatest punch, of course, on an album that also features such notable tracks as “Time After Time” and the cheeky “She Bop” (an ode to self-gratification). Lauper’s versatility is foremost on an album that’s stood the test of time.
Other new releases
Various Artists, “Looking Into You: A Tribute to Jackson Browne” (Music Road)
Nickel Creek, “A Dotted Line” (Nonesuch)
Leon Russell, “Life Journey” (UMe)