Wanna feel old? Cyndi Lauper’s breakthrough debut, She’s So Unusual, the album that launched a career and a slew of hits that took over radio in the ‘80s (“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” “Time After Time,” “Money Changes Everything, “All Through the Night”…) came out 30 years ago!
In its honor, Legacy is putting out a two disc box set complete with demos, rehearsal takes, remixes and a live track. Likely surprising to many, is that the album’s stand out track and the song best associated with Lauper, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” was actually a cover of a 1979 song written and sung by a dude. Similarly “All Through the Night” was originally written and sung by a male performer. The still striking “Time After Time,” still one of pop radio’s strongest love songs, was co-written by Rob Hyman from The Hooters and the single “When You Were Mine” is a Prince cover.
Despite not having a firmer hand in writing all of the songs, with this record and her charmingly unique vocals, Lauper was able to carve out a strong enough niche and still remains relevant today, be it on Broadway or on her annual summer outings. And while not every song is a must-hear on the second disc of rarities, there are some really cool, little-heard tracks collected here, like the synth-stripped, guitar demo of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” an effect that makes the song a bit darker; and the non-LP B-Side “Right Track, Wrong Train,” a song that sounds as good as the others that made the proper album.