Cyndi Lauper released “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” on September 6, 1983. It topped the U.K. Singles Charts, but only reached #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It was the first single from her debut solo album, She’s So Unusual, which was almost released as She’s So Wonderful. (Lauper had previously recorded a self-titled album with her band Blue Angel, but it didn’t sell well.)
The song was written and recorded in 1979 by Robert Hazard. Lauper felt the original lyrics, which were about pleasing a man, were misogynistic, and altered the words to become both a smash hit and a feminist anthem for the ‘80s.
Ellie Greenwich, who had written “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Chapel of Love,” and “Leader of the Pack,” sang backing vocals on “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”
There was no one in the mainstream like Lauper when she exploded on the music scene. She had a New York accent like a moll in an old gangster movie, she wore colorful, thrift store clothes, she had a ferocious way of dancing about on stage and in her music videos, and her quirkiness and cuteness was so different from the aloof, sexy sirens that normally sang back to us from the radio and T.V. Cyndi Lauper was absolutely refreshing!
“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” was nominated for Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 27th Grammy Awards. The music video won Best Female Video at the MTV Music Video Awards.
Girls Just Want to Have Fun [Album Version] 3’55
Girls Just Want to Have Fun [Extended Version] 6’08
Fun with V. Knutsn [Instrumental] 7’10
Xtra Fun 5’05
The music video for “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” is rumored to have cost less than $35,000 to make. It includes Lauper’s friends and family. Lauper’s mother, Catrine, plays her mother in the music video; wrestling promoter “Captain” Lou Albano plays her father. The music video is colorful and quirky, with Lauper dressed in thrift store fashions. The video ends with a conga line through the streets of Manhattan and back to Lauper’s bedroom.
I can remember the first time I heard “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” on the radio one evening as I was doing homework. I recall thinking it was infectious and catchy. However, as Lauper’s popularity grew, and Top 40 radio played the song over and over, I soon grew tired of it. Even now, I don’t play the song very often, although I enjoy dancing to it at parties or singing along with it in a group of friends.
My mother bought She’s So Unusual at Target on S. Hulen St. in Fort Worth. She liked “Time After Time” a lot. I remember playing “She Bop,” “All Through the Night,” “I’ll Kiss You” quite a bit.
I believe that Time or Newsweek put Cyndi Lauper on its cover in late 1984 or early 1985 that compared Lauper to Madonna. The consensus was that Madonna was just a flash in the pan and Lauper would remain relevant. Although Madonna was certainly not a flash in the pan, Lauper remained relevant in her own way.
What are your memories of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper?