All Through the Night (Cyndi Lauper song)
|"All Through the Night"|
|Single by Cyndi Lauper|
|from the album She's So Unusual|
|Released||September 3, 1984|
|Recorded||June 1983 at The Record Plant|
(New York City)
|Cyndi Lauper singles chronology|
"All Through the Night" is a song written and originally recorded in 1983 by American singer-songwriter Jules Shear, though it is best known for the hit single version recorded by Cyndi Lauper later that same year. It is included on Lauper's debut album She's So Unusual. Shear wrote "All Through The Night" as a mid-tempo folk-rock song for his 1983 album Watch Dog. After the Cars recorded their own version, which they did not use on any of their albums, Lauper decided to cover it. Although she initially intended to do a straight cover of Shear's version, she turned it into a pop ballad instead.
"All Through The Night" was the only single released worldwide by Lauper that did not have a music video. It peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Lauper's fourth top five single in the U.S. The song was mostly positively received by critics. An acoustic version was sung by Lauper on her 2005 album, The Body Acoustic. In this version, Shaggy provided backing vocals.
The song is featured in two episodes of the third season of Supergirl. Lauper's version plays over a pivotal scene in the fifth episode and is performed by Chyler Leigh as her character Alex Danvers during a karaoke scene in episode 14.
Writing and development
The song was originally written by Jules Shear, and included on his 1983 debut solo album, Watch Dog. Shear later recalled in an interview, "[it's] like a big bonus really. Cyndi Lauper does a song ('All Through the Night') that's on a solo record of mine. I just thought, 'No one's really going to hear this.' Then she does it, and it becomes a Top 5 song." "I'm just glad people know the songs, really. I think they're really good. The only problem is with people who don't know I wrote them. I do them and they think, 'God, he's doing that Cyndi Lauper song,'" Shear said.
Before Lauper covered the song, the band The Cars produced an early version of it that was not released. Shear's version was originally a folk rock song, but Lauper instead turned it into a pop ballad for her album, with a heavy emphasis on a synthesizer. According to Lauper, she wanted it to be just like Shear's version, with a bit more of an acoustic sound. However, she changed her mind, saying that she wanted to sing it like herself. Unlike her other singles from the album, this one did not have a music video released with it.
A 30 second sample from the song, which addresses the concept of love.
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Music and lyrics
Shear's original version of "All Through the Night" is set in the key of F major, and proceeds at a tempo of approximately 96 beats per minute. For her cover version, Lauper transposed the key up a minor third to A-flat major, and kept the tempo at the same 96 beats per minute as the original. The song is set in common time. Lauper's voice spans an octave and a fourth between G3 and D♭5. Jules Shear himself makes a guest appearance on Lauper's version, singing a wordless falsetto melody near the end, as well as the lower harmony in the choruses. The chorus was unintentionally altered by Lauper from the Shear version when she heard the upper harmony vocal and thought it was the lead vocal. Lyrically, "All Through the Night" addresses the same concept of love and its tug at heart-strings as was emphasized by Lauper's previous single, "Time After Time."
Reception for the song was mostly positive. Don McLeese of the Chicago Sun-Times said that the song was the one that "showed her impressive range to best advantage." The Philadelphia Inquirer said that she had a "strong voice" in the song. However, another Philadelphia Inquirer review said that the song was "a not terribly good version of Jules Shear's terribly good [song]." Richard Harrington of The Washington Post believed that it was her most reflective song. Kevin East of Sensible Sound said that the song was "a heavy, melancholy tune." Leslie Gray Streeter of the Palm Beach Post said that the song was "lovely" and "delicate." Even Shear himself was a fan of Lauper's version, saying "The Cyndi Lauper thing where she did 'All Through the Night,' that was great because she did it so differently than the way I did. I liked that, too." However, the St. Petersburg Times did not like the song, saying that it was a "pedestrian filler number" on the album.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic said that the song was a part of the side that he calls the very best of the album. He also says that the side is "so strong that it makes the remaining tracks — all enjoyable, but rather pedestrian — charming by their association with songs so brilliantly alive", and that it was "astonishing in its consistency." Kurt Loder of Rolling Stone said that Lauper "does an almost tasteful reading" of the song. Sal Cinquemani of Slant magazine said that the song emerged as one of "the greatest pop masterpieces of the '80s."
The song was later re-recorded by Lauper, for her album The Body Acoustic, an album in which she recorded acoustic versions of her favorite songs. This version included vocals by Shaggy. Charles Andrews of Audio/Video Revolution said of this version, "Acoustic guitar strumming continues into "All Through the Night" and then – whoa! – who's that toaster? It's Shaggy, ducking in and out with his own rapid-fire lyric take, an inspired bit of casting that turns the romantic ballad on its head." The song is also one of her more popular songs that she performs in live concerts.
"All Through The Night" was released in the United States in September 1984. It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 49, and reached a peak position of five in its 10th week, becoming Lauper's fourth consecutive top five in the U.S. The song achieved some crossover success, peaking at number four on the Adult Contemporary chart for three weeks, and reaching a peak position of 38 on the Mainstream Rock Chart. "All Through the Night" made Lauper the first female singer to generate four top 10 hits in the Hot 100 from a debut album. The week ending January 19, 1985, while it was moving down the Hot 100, it was the biggest free-faller, falling from #33 to #64. In Canada, the single peaked at number seven on the RPM singles chart in December 1984, and was certified gold by the Music Canada in January 1985.
In the United Kingdom, the song did not perform as well as Lauper's previous releases. It debuted at number 82 on the UK Singles Chart in November 1984, peaking at number 64, staying only six weeks on the chart. The single performed similarly throughout the rest of Europe, peaking at number 16 in Switzerland, and at number 35 in Germany. It was more successful in Austria, where it peaked at number five, becoming her fourth consecutive top five in the country.
- "All Through the Night" – 4:33
- "Witness" – 3:40
Credits and personnel
- Cyndi Lauper – lead vocals
- Jules Shear – backing vocals
- Rick Chertoff – producer
- Anton Fig – drums
- Rob Hyman – keyboards, synthesizers
- Lennie Petze – executive producer
- Janet Perr – design, cover art concept
Credits adapted from the album liner notes.
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