Saturday, July 30, 2022

"I Drove All Night" by Cyndi Lauper

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3890
Date:  05/06/1989
Debut:  60
Peak:  6
Weeks:  15
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  By this point in time, Lauper had two multi-platinum albums to her credit along with seven Pop Top 10 hits. Everyone was waiting to hear what the mistress of quirk would do with her next album and in the spring of '89 Lauper gave them A Night to Remember. This first single kicked things off and it would go on to become her eighth Pop Top 10. It also made a brief appearance at AC getting to #43. While the song would prove to be a memorable hit for her, it didn't really do the job in promoting sales of the album. A week before this song would make the Top 10, the album would hit its peak of #37. It was also not approaching the gold level sales mark, which was a big disappointment coming off of two albums that quickly went gold and eventually multi-platinum.Unfortunately, this single would end up being Lauper's last to reach the Pop Top 40. On the bright side, the song would earn Lauper a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female.

ReduxReview:  I loved this song when it came out. I thought it was a more mature song for Lauper and it fit her well. The arrangement and production were great and the build up bridge to the chorus was so good (and very Orbison-like, which was intended - see below). I also like Lauper's vocal delivery. It showcased her voice in a new way and she gave a more restrained performance that really fit the tune. It was a song that was perfect for a windows rolled down night time summer country drive. It really should have made it to #1. A Night to Remember was maligned by critics and it wasn't a favorite of Lauper's either as she later dubbed it A Night to Forget. However, I was one who really like it. I thought the majority of the tracks were quite strong and it helped move Lauper away from some of the goofiness found on her previous effort. The album got a little sluggish in the last few tracks, but I still count it as one of my favorite Lauper works. It deserved a better fate.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) While Lauper was the first artist to release this song, she was not the first to record it. Written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, the tune was originally pegged for Roy Orbison. When Orbison began working with ELO leader Jeff Lynne in 1987, this song was one they recorded for a new Orbison solo LP. However, work on the album got interrupted when The Traveling Wilburys project suddenly came up. Lynn and Orbison would finally finish the album Mystery Girl late in '88, but "I Drove All Night" was not included. Whether or not that was due to Lauper picking up the tune is unknown, but it seems likely. Orbison would unexpectedly pass away near the end of '88 and Mystery Girl would receive a posthumous release (#5, platinum). Orbison's version of "I Drove All Night" would first get released on a 1991 compilation titled Nintendo: White Knuckle Scorin'. Then in '92, an album of demos and other recordings by Orbison was put together and titled King of Hearts. "I Drove All Night" would be included on the LP and would be issued out as a single. It wouldn't chart, but King of Hearts would get to a minor #179. A decade later, Celine Dion would cover the tune for her 2003 album One Heart. It would be released as a single and get to #45 Pop/#7 AC/#2 Dance. Dion recorded the tune for a Chrysler car ad campaign and she also appeared in a commercial. However, with the song not doing well on the Pop chart and the ad not seeming to spur sales, Chrysler put a halt to the campaign.  2) A Night to Remember was actually Lauper's second attempt at a third album. Originally, she had prepared an album titled Kindred Spirit. It featured ten tracks including "Hole in My Heart (All the Way to China)," which was done for Lauper's 1988 film Vibes and released as a single. However, after that single tanked (#54) and the film became a box office bomb, Kindred Spirits was put on hold. It would then be reworked into A Night to Remember. Eight tracks from Kindred would be remixed for the new album with two songs being dropped including "Hole in My Heart." Three new tracks would then get added. The finished LP would get released nearly a year after Lauper's unfortunate misstep with Vibes.


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