Saturday, April 23, 2011
As I have mentioned here on the blog before, Cyndi Lauper is coming to Iceland to give a concert in Reykjavik on June 12th. I have been a huge fan ever since 1983 and was quick to secure front row tickets to see her live in concert for the first time.
To celebrate, the galaxy will be posting several blogs over the coming weeks, taking a look at the career (so far) of a singer that has above all followed the beat of her own drum, wherever it has taken her (and often at the cost of commercial success). Throughout highs and lows, she remains a much loved singer all over the world - not only for her classic songs from the 80s but also for her later work. Not to mention all the amazing work she has done for the gay community throughout the years.
So, let's take a look at the strange girl from Queens that became a worldwide superstar: Miss Cyndi Lauper.
Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper was born on June 22nd in 1953. She had a difficult childhood (she was abused by her stepfather for years). She escaped into music, listening to the likes of Billie Holiday, Judy Garland and Ella Fitzgerald. She had a great love for art and music and tried to find different ways to express herself. At the age of twelve, Lauper learned how to play an acoustic guitar (which her sister had given to her), and she started to write her own lyrics. Even at this early age, Lauper started dyeing her hair different colors and wearing radical fashions. At the age of seventeen, she left home, planning to study art. Her journey would take her to Canada, where she spent two weeks in the woods with her dog, trying to find herself. She eventually wound up in Vermont where she took art classes, and supported herself by working at various odd jobs.
By the mid 1970s, Lauper was back in NY , performing as a vocalist with various cover bands. Even though she was now performing on stage, she was not happy singing cover songs - she wanted to perform her own material. In 1977, Lauper damaged her vocal cords and took a year off. She was told by several doctors that she would never sing again. Cyndi turned to a vocal coach, who helped her regain her voice by teaching her proper vocal exercises.
In 1978, after Lauper regained her voice, she met saxophone player John Turi through her manager Ted Rosenblatt. Turi and Lauper became writing partners and formed a band called Blue Angel. They decided to put everything they had into making an album of original material. A few demos were recorded and shopped around to various record labels. The response was usually the same: the labels wanted to sign Cyndi as a solo artist. Lauper held out, wanting the band to be included in any deal she made. The group eventually signed with Polydor Records.
In 1980, the group released their selftitled debut album. Despite critical acclaim, the album sold poorly (or "went lead", as Lauper says) and the band broke up. Polydor had a regime change, and the label would not let the band back into the studio unless they had a hit. The group had a falling out with their manager and fired him. He later filed an $80,000 suit against them, which forced Cyndi into bankruptcy.
Cyndi started working in retail stores to make ends meet, and she still sang in local clubs. In 1981, while singing in a local New York bar, Lauper met David Wolff, who took over as her manager and became her boyfriend. He got her signed with Portrait Records (a subsidiary of Epic). Cyndi, now a solo act, started to work on her debut album.
She knew she could write songs, but the record company already had a lot of material they wanted her to record. So she would alter a lot of the songs that were given to her, often changing the lyrics to suit her. Eventually, Cyndi did manage to get a couple of her own songs onto the finished album. Two of them would become massive hit singles...
On October 14, 1983 "She's So Unusal" was released. The album peaked at #4 in the US and went on to become a worldwide hit - helped along greatly by the albums first single.
That was a song that has now become one of the ultimate anthems of the wonderful decade that was the 80s. "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" exploded onto radio in late 1983 and peaked at #2 in the US and the UK and topped various charts all over the world. Today it is regarded by many as one of the ultimate feminist anthems. The music video (which starred her real life family and friends - and even her dog, Sparky, who had been her only companion in Canada!) became one of the most popular on MTV at the time, launching Cyndi into superstardom overnight.
The album's second single was "Time After Time". Lauper co-wrote the track with Rob Hyman when her producer, Rick Chertoff, suggested that the album could use one more song. And while the record label did not have much faith in Lauper as a songwriter, they gave her the chance to prove herself. "Time After Time" went #1 in the US (#3 in the UK) and was one of the biggest hits of 1984. Since then the track has been covered by more than 100 artists. It remains one of her biggest hits, and a stunning highlight at her concerts.
The beautiful music video became another huge hit on MTV. It starred again her own family, and her boyfriend who she was in fact breaking up with at the time (the tear at the end of the video was very real).
One of the most beautiful live performances I have heard in my life:
The controversial "She Bop" was the album's third single release. It reached #3 in the US (but only managed to peak at #46 in the UK). The lyrics (about masturbation, of all things) were disguised well enough so that kids wouldnt really get what the song was about - and the amusing video that went with it only offered more double meanings.
The albums fourth single was the beautiful "All Through The Night". It was released without a music video and would not be met with as much success as her previous singles, except in the States where it peaked at #5. It has however grown to become one of the biggest fan favourites of her career (it is certainly one of my faves) and she usually performs the track at her concerts.
The last single from the album was "Money Changes Everything", which reached number 27 on the US charts. In some countries, her cover of "When You Were Mine" (originally by Prince) was released as the albums final single.
Cyndi spent 1984 touring and promoting She's So Unusual. By the end of the year, she was the first female to have four consecutive Top Five hits from one album at the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The LP itself stayed in the Top 200 charts for almost 70 weeks and has since sold 16 million copies worldwide. Cyndi was on the cover of Rolling Stone, People, Time, Newsweek - she had arrived!
In 1985, Lauper won a Grammy award for Best New Artist. Around the same time Steven Spielberg asked Lauper to be record a song for his upcoming movie "The Goonies".
"The Goonies 'R' Good Enough" was released as a single in the summer of 1985. For years the song was considered a rarity among fans, having never appeared on any of Lauper's albums or her 1994 Greatest Hits compilation. Lauper admitted in an interview she hated the song, which was why she had chosen not to include it on her first compilation. In another interview, Lauper was quoted as saying that she had long despised the song because of Richard Donner's insistence on everything being perfect for the video shoot. In behind-the-scenes footage of the video, you can see Lauper physically exhausted from the work on the video.
The video was split up into two acts, making Lauper the very first artist to have a two-part video. The first part premiered on MTV before the film was released in theaters, and the second part came after the movie had opened. The song reached #10 on Billboards Hot 100 chart in 1985.
Cyndi stopped performing "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough", in concert after her 1987 world tour. She would not perform it in full again until 2006.
TO BE CONTINUED...
Labels: Cyndi Lauper
Friday, April 22, 2011
An unreleased Madonna song called "Run" has just leaked on-line. The song was written and produced with William Orbit for the "Music" album, but never used or released. An instrumental version was released on William Orbit's official Streamcast site, with the track retitled "Forbidden Planet".
Swedish girl group Sahara Hotnights recorded a cover of "Run" that remains unreleased. On 11 January 2011, William Orbit commented on "Run" on his Twitter account, stating that he would not release the song, after receiving multiple requests from fans to leak the song in full. Somehow, however, the track is now available :)
So, here is the link (also includes "Broken" (Accoustic Demo Version) and "Holiday" (Sticky & Sweet Tour – Take 2 – Live Vocals).
Here are some tracks that I adore at the moment (especially the first one - amazing track and a fabulous video - BTW, am I the only one who thinks that the "girl" in the video looks a lot like Britney Spears) ;)
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Lady GaGa has branded an interviewer's suggestion that her single "Born This Way" is similar Madonna's 1989 hit "Express Yourself" as "retarded".
In an interview with NME, she was asked about the simularities between the songs (which pretty much everyone seems to hear - except Gaga, apperantly. And then of course there is the "Vogue" rap as well...). She responded my having a melt down, breaking into tears and cursing like a crazy lady (which she does througout the whole interview).
A bit of it does sound quite a lot like ‘Express Yourself’, though, doesn’t it?
“I don’t think… I swear to you. I am not stupid enough to put out a record and be that moronic.”
The reference seemed so obvious that it had to be intentional because, as you say, you’re not stupid…
“No. Listen to me. Why the fuck…? I’m a songwriter. I’ve written loads of music. Why would I try to put out a song and think I’m getting one over on everybody? That’s retarded. What a completely ridiculous thing to even question me about. I will look you in your eyes and tell you that I am not dumb enough or moronic enough to think that you are dumb enough or moronic enough not to see that I would have stolen a melody. If you put the songs next to each other, side by side, the only similarities are the chord progression. It’s the same one that’s been in disco music for the last 50 years. Just because I’m the first fucking artist in 25 years to think of putting it on Top 40 radio, it doesn’t mean I’m a plagiarist, it means that I’m fucking smart. Sorry.”
The criticism did seem to take the wind out of the song’s sails.The star went on to profess that "Born This Way" was divinely inspired, remarking: "I feel like, honestly, God sent me those lyrics and that melody... There's no way for something that pure to be wrong."
“There’s a lot of people who want to see me fail. The minute they see something to shoot at, they shoot, and the bigger I become the bigger target I am. Nobody in this room at any point looked around and said ‘Oh my God, it’s ‘Express Yourself’. ‘ Not once. Listen. I swear to you. I can only be honest with you about it.”
Well, if she wants to call Madonna "god", then who am I to disagree???
"I am the hugest fan (of Madonna) personally and professionally, and the good news is I got an email from her people and her sending me love and complete support," GaGa claimed right after the song was released. Madonna´s spokeperson said she was "unaware" that any e-mails from either Madonna or any of her staff been sent to Gaga at the time... I think girlfriend has comepletly gone off the deep end. Maybe less alchohol and drugs are in order? Seriously, she has become waaaaaay too full of herself! For the sake of her health, she needs to take some serious time off!
Here are the songs that - erm - sound absolutely nothing alike:
Joanna Lumley has reportedly confirmed that she will film new episodes of Absolutely Fabulous later this year.
The actress was quoted as in Hello magazine saying that she will begin work on new instalments this summer.
"In late August I start filming on three episodes of Absolutely Fabulous, which we are all ecstatic about," she said.
However, Lumley said that she has no idea what will happen when the show returns, saying: "Miss [Jennifer] Saunders has been so busy writing Uptown Downstairs Abbey for Comic Relief and also Spice Girls: The Musical, I don't think she's started [the script]!"
This will be FABULOUS, I'm sure!!! This is one of my favourite TV shows ever!
Labels: Absolutely Fabulous
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Lady GaGa has asserted that she is not a manufactured popstar and has declared that she could still affect people with just a microphone and a piano (but without her clothes, I'm sure).
The star has hit out at critics who have claimed that she is a manufactured act due to her controversial videos and outfits.
"Let me tell you something. If you f**king rip my hairbow and my wig off my f**king head, my shoes, my bra, every single thing on my body, and you throw me on a piano with a microphone, I will f**king make you cry," she told NME magazine.
"I feel I have been probed endlessly about who the f**k I am. I have been quite open about it. And still nobody seems to have a clue."
The singer-songwriter also hit out at major producers who keep sending her demos of tracks.
"I'm not going to start churning out what you expect," she said. "If you want me to be a manufactured act, you can f**k off."
Gaga will premiere her new music video "Judas" this Easter (but of course - with all the scandals that is bound to involve). People in general seem to agree that the new single is a big improvement over the previous one - however, the same can not be said for the album cover, which I posted here a couple of days ago...
Labels: Lady Gaga
Monday, April 18, 2011
Who-hoo! Just got front row tickets to see Cyndi Lauper in concert in June! Can't wait!!! I have been a big fan since 1983 (when I was just 5 years old), and I have followed her career closely and bought all of her releases ever since.
A few days ago I was watching a DVD (only released in Brazil of all places) from her 1987 "True Colors" tour - excellent concert, although she has only improved as a live performer as she gets older.
The galaxy will be taking a close look at the career of Ms Lauper in the near future to celebrate her first ever concert in Iceland.
European Tour 2011
Reykjavik, IS - 12.06.11
Bergen, NO - 14.06.11
Oslo, NO - 15.06.11
Stockholm, SE - 16.06.11
Esbjerg, DK - 18.06.11
Manchester, UK - 20.06.11
Glasgow, UK - 23.06.11
Sheffield, UK - 24.06.11
Birmingham, UK - 26.06.11
Bristol, UK - 27.06.11
Brighton, UK - 28.06.11
London, UK - 30.06.11
Great Tew Park, UK - 01.07.11
Paris, FR - 03.07.11
Zürich, CH - 05.07.11
Basel, CH - 06.07.11
Vienne, FR - 08.07.11
Luxembourg, LU - 09.07.11
Rome, IT - 11.07.11
Istres, FR - 12.07.11
Milan, IT - 13.07.11
Hamburg, DE - 18.07.11
Berlin, DE - 19.07.11
Cartagena, ES - 22.07.11
San Sebastián, ES - 25.07.11
Labels: Cyndi Lauper
Sunday, April 17, 2011
The stunning new Kylie Minogue tour has been recorded for a future DVD release - and a TV broadcast!
The show will be aired on Sky3D on June 19th. Set those recorders...
For all your current Kylie needs, make sure to check out this fabulous blog:
Labels: Kylie Minogue
The cover for the upcoming Lady Gaga album. The photo above is said to be for the regular album (which has 14 tracks), while the one below will be used on the Special Edition (which will include 17 tracks + 5 remixes):
Her new single, "Judas", was released on Friday, a couple of days early since it leaked on-line.
The song reached the top ten in every country with an iTunes store in less than 24 hours. The RedOne-produced track has already topped the charts in 12 contries, including the US.
It has also been announced that Gaga has been nominatied for 12 awards at the 2011 Billboard Awards. And she is the cover girl on the lastest issue of Harper's Bazaar:
Labels: Lady Gaga
Friday, April 15, 2011
RuPaul is releasing a brand new album on April 25th. "Glamazon" comes out on the the same day as the finale of the third season of RuPaul's Drag Race. It's co-produced by RuPaul and Lucian Piane – the same team who produced the brilliant, chart-topping dance album "Champion". I am very much looking forward to this one!
My new album "GLAMAZON" is my personal mantra set to music. Be fabulous, feel great & above all…LOVE YOURSELF! Coming in April! - RuPaul