Monday, June 8, 2020

"Boy Blue" by Cyndi Lauper

Song#:  3158
Date:  06/13/1987
Debut:  82
Peak:  71
Weeks:  4
Genre:   Pop

Pop Bits:  Lauper's second album, True Colors, was doing well. It had matched the #4 peak of her debut LP She's So Unusual and sales were good thanks to a pair of Top 10 hits. But then the third single, a remake of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On," stopped shy of the Top 10 and interest in the album started to wane. Lauper needed a solid hit to get things back on track and she attempted to do that with this fourth single. Unfortunately, it wasn't what pop radio or listeners were looking for from her and the song stalled low on the chart and disappeared after a month. The result halted momentum on the album and sales would top out at the double-platinum level, which was only a third of what her debut sold. Certainly not a bad outcome, but overall it didn't meet expectations. This song would be the final single released from the album. It was also Lauper's first to not crack the Pop Top 40.

ReduxReview:  I really liked this song and the sentiment behind it (see below). Lauper's vocal was impassioned and impressive. You could tell that she put her all into the tune. Although the track is a highlight from the album, it wasn't necessarily the best one to release for a single. The chorus is memorable, but the tune as a whole wasn't as commercially viable as her previous quirky or sentimental singles. Because of that, folks basically ignored the song and therefore missed out on its meaning and background. It would have been nice if it had at least cracked the Top 40, but it just didn't have enough radio-ready appeal to break through.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  This song was written by Lauper along with Stephen Broughton Lunt and Jeff Bova. Lauper wrote it for her friend Gregory Natal. Natal hadn't had the easiest life. He was kicked out of his house when he was 12 and also spent time living on the streets. His life started to come together in his mid-20s, but then he was diagnosed with AIDS. Around the time that Lauper shot the video for "She Bop," in which Natal and his partner Carl can be seen as a robotic customers at a fast food joint, Natal told Lauper of his condition. During his last days in the hospital, Natal told Lauper that he'd love for her to write a song for him that would be in the tradition of something like "That's What Friends Are For." Of course that Burt Bacharach style of songwriting wasn't in Lauper's wheelhouse, so after Natal's passing at the age of 27, she just decided to write what she felt in her heart and soul and came up with "Boy Blue" (apparently Natal's deep blue eyes got him nicknamed "Blue"). Proceeds from the single went to help various AIDS organizations.


No comments:

Post a Comment