Sunday, August 4, 2019

"True Colors" by Cyndi Lauper

#1 Alert!
Song#:  2850
Date:  08/30/1986
Debut:  63
Peak:  1 (2 weeks)
Weeks:  20
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  You're debut album went multi-platinum. It spawned four Top 10 hits. You were nominated for six Grammys and won one for Best New Artist. What do you do for a follow-up? That was Cyndi Lauper's dilemma following the massive success of her 1983 debut album She's So Unusual. Her next move would be highly anticipated and three years later she was ready to unleash her second album, True Colors. The first single to be released from the LP was this title track ballad. Although it had a modest debut on the chart, it quickly caught fire and climbed straight to the top becoming her second #1 hit. It would also get to #5 at AC. Lauper would receive her seventh Grammy nomination for the song in the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance category. The hit helped Lauper beat the sophomore slump, but the album would prove to be less popular than her debut. It would peak at #4 and eventually go double-platinum, which was far less than the six-million mark of She's So Unusual. Still, it was a solid result for the star.

ReduxReview:  Releasing this song first from the album was quite an unusual move. More often than not, a first single is something more upbeat that will grab attention, especially when it is highly anticipated. Yet releasing this sparsely arranged ballad proved to be the perfect choice. The song was excellent to begin with but it was really the arrangement and Lauper's delivery that sold the tune. It wasn't typical pop radio fare and it stood out. It was a brilliant move by Lauper and the song remains one of her most popular catalog entries.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Triple Shot!  1) For True Colors, Lauper took a bigger songwriting role and co-wrote seven of the LP's ten tracks. Two that she did not write were remakes while the last one not penned by her was this #1 song. It was written by Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg. The pair were becoming go-to songwriters thanks in part to their first #1 hit, Madonna's "Like a Virgin." This song would be their second chart topper and they would compose three more #1's within the decade.  2) This song would be picked up for commercial use by Kodak. Kelly and Steinberg were reluctant at first to grant the rights to use the song, but after seeing what Kodak had in mind for the ads, they got on board. Kodak's promotional campaign containing the song proved to be successful and continued to shine a light on the song for quite a while. 3) Phil Collins would do a remake of this song for his 1998 compilation ...Hits. It would be released as a single to help promote the collection. While the tune would end up missing the Pop chart (bubbling under at #112), it would be a hit at AC where it reached #2. The cast of the hit TV show Glee would also record the song and it would get to #66 on the Pop chart. But like nearly all their entries, it only lasted for a week on the chart.


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