Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Girls Just Want to Have Fun

Written and first recorded by Robert Hazard (1979).
Hit version by Cyndi Lauper (US #2/UK #2/CAN #1/AUS #1/NZ #1/IRE #1/JPN #1 1983).

From the wiki: “The song was written by Robert Hazard, who first recorded it in 1979, writing it from a male point of view. Hazard was the son of an opera singer. He was profiled in a 1981 Rolling Stone magazine article by Kurt Loder. In the piece, Loder describes Hazard’s musical history as a musician ‘… who started out as a Dylan-era folkie, then spent eight years singing country & western. ‘I just love country music,’ he explains — which of course explains nothing, least of all the two years he subsequently spent with a reggae band … or his current electro-pop approach, which owes little to any of the above.’ Hazard also composed the 1980s New Wave and MTV hits ‘Escalator of Life’ and ‘Change Reaction’ which he performed with his band, Robert Hazard and the Heroes, popular in the Philadelphia club scene during the 1980s.

“Cyndi Lauper changed the lyrics slightly for her recording, to allow it to be performed by a female and Hazard approved the minor changes. Lauper’s version appeared on her 1983 debut solo record, She’s So Unusual. It was the first major single released by Lauper as a solo artist, promoted by an award-winning video, and gained recognition as a feminist anthem. ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ has been covered on either an album or in live concert by over 30 other artists. Lauper’s single was released in late 1983 but much of the its success on the charts came during the first half of 1984.

“The release of Lauper’s single was accompanied by a quirky music video. It cost less than $35,000 to produce, largely due to a volunteer cast and the free loan of the most sophisticated video equipment available at the time. The cast included professional wrestling manager ‘Captain’ Lou Albano in the role of Lauper’s father while Lauper’s real mother, Catrine, played herself.”

Cyndi Lauper, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” (1983):

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