Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Cyndi Lauper

Money Changes Everything

Written (by Tom Gray) and first recorded by The Brains (1978).
Re-recorded by The Brains (1980).
Hit version by Cyndi Lauper (US #27 1984).

From the wiki: “‘Money Changes Everything’ was written by Tom Gray, frontman of The Brains, and was the band’s only underground hit – released in 1978 as a 45 RPM single on Gray Matter Records. The initial underground success of the song led to The Brains being signed by Mercury Records. The group rerecorded the song under the guidance of producer Steve Lillywhite for their 1980 debut album, The Brains.

“Critic Greil Marcus, listing ‘Money Changes Everything’ at #10 of his Real-Life Rock Top Ten 1979, wrote: ‘Singer Tom Gray told his story in a strangled voice, as if he were trying to explain, but instead he laid a curse. This damned single ranks higher than I’ve placed it, but if it were anywhere else I couldn’t end with it, and there’s no other way the decade could end.’ Marcus would later write of the song, ‘It was hard, it hurt, and Cyndi Lauper’s version makes the original sound compromised. She makes you wonder if Brains composer and singer Tom Gray even knew what he was talking about.'”

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.

All Through the Night

Written and first recorded by Jules Shear (1983).
Also recorded (but unreleased) by The Cars (1983).
Hit version by Cyndi Lauper (US #5/UK #64/CAN #7/AUS #17 1983).

From the wiki: “‘All Through the Night’ was written as a mid-tempo folk-rock song by Jules Shear for his album Watch Dog. After The Cars recorded their own version, and then decided they did not want to use the song on any forthcoming album, Cyndi Lauper decided to cover it for her debut album, She’s So Unusual, (with Shears on background vocals). Although Lauper initially intended to do a straight cover of Shear’s version, she instead turned it into a Pop ballad instead. The song was Lauper’s only single released worldwide not accompanied by a music video.”