Music News Of The World - September 1995
This article has been sent by Mauricio Junior.
Cyndi Lauper Still Unusual
by Dave Marsh
ATN columnist Dave Marsh writes: Great compilation albums are supposed to pull you back to your youth, I guess, but it's a new day in the life of an old rocker when the youth a reissue recalls belongs not to you but your children. That's how Cyndi Lauper's beautiful 12 Deadly Cyns...And Then Some works, though, at least for me. It grabbed me by opening with a so-good-it's-scary remake of Gene Pitney's "I'm Gonna Be Strong," but with the four songs that follow, from 1983's She's So Unusual, I was returned to the youth of my children. For my teenagers and for me, songs like "Girls," "Money Changes Everything" and (I actually don't remember the specific discussion but...) "She Bop" provided a chance to talk about what was really important--or maybe not HAVE to talk about it, but just the opportunity to drive around and agree about something for a change. Those who have never raised an adolescent can't have any idea how liberating that is--for the parent. Cyndi was a role model for my daughters and a blessing for me. I still think Lauper's debut album is one of the best ever, and although none of those that followed came close to it in overall quality, 12 Deadly Cynsreminds me that each had its gem or two, like her brave cover of "What's Going On" and the pre-AT&T "True Colors." So does this album. In addition to the dramatic power of "I'm Gonna Be Strong," there's "Sally's Pigeons," which Lauper wrote with Mary Chapin Carpenter. It's a haunting (and for me, haunted) tale about girlhood best friends, one of whom grows up to become the singer and the other of whom does not grow up but succumbs to a back alley abortion. It is everything that great rock 'n' roll ought to be: Simple, direct, passionate, a reminder of a past we might forget, a pledge to never ever forget those we love, and why we loved them, and the injustices that tear us apart. "I had a fool's confidence / that the world had no boundaries," the song says, "but instincts and common sense / come in different quantities," and as I hear her sing those words, I get the joke. It may have been somebody else's youth and innocence but looking over my shoulder, I can't deny that it was mine too.