Ballad of Cleo and Joe

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"Ballad of Cleo and Joe"
Ballad of Cleo & Joe.jpg
Single by Cyndi Lauper
from the album Sisters of Avalon
Released September 16, 1997[1]
Format CD single
Recorded 1996
Genre Indietronica
Length 3:59
Label Epic
Writer(s) Cyndi Lauper, Jan Pulsford
Producer(s) Cyndi Lauper, Mark Saunders, Jan Pulsford
Cyndi Lauper singles chronology
"Sisters of Avalon"
"Ballad of Cleo and Joe"
"Early Christmas Morning"

"Ballad of Cleo and Joe" is a song by American singer-songwriter Cyndi Lauper, taken from her fifth studio album, Sisters of Avalon (1996). The song was written and Cyndi Lauper, Jan Pulsford while it was produced by Pulsford, Mark Saunders and Lauper.[2] The song was released as the third single from the album on September 16, 1997 by Epic Records.[3] Lyrically, the song describes the double life of a drag queen, the titular 'Joe' (by day) and 'Cleo' (by night).

The song received positive reviews from music critics.[4] "Ballad of Cleo and Joe" did not enter the Billboard Hot 100 but debuted at number 24 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.


In early 1996, Cyndi Lauper began working on what would be her next studio album, Sisters of Avalon. Thematically the album expounded on the issue of complacency and ignorance in popular culture and the discrimination of minorities, gays, and women. "Ballad of Cleo and Joe" is a song about the double life of a cross dresser. The song is about the double life of a drag queen, the titular 'Joe' (by day) and 'Cleo' (by night). This song was one of the many songs on the Sisters of Avalon album that was about a taboo subject.

Music video[edit]

A music video was released featuring a pregnant Lauper rotating on a platform with her stomach decorated to look like a disco ball.[5] The video received play primarily in clubs.

Track listing[edit]

US CD single[6][7]
  1. "Ballad of Cleo and Joe"(Soul Solution Radio Edit) – 3:54
  2. "Ballad of Cleo and Joe"(Soul Solution Vocal Dub) – 8:46
  3. "Ballad of Cleo and Joe"(Soul Solution Tribal Dub) – 3:35
  4. "Ballad of Cleo and Joe"(Soul Solution Instrumental) – 8:51
  5. "Ballad of Cleo and Joe" – 3:59

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1997) Peak
U.S. Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles[8] 24
U.S. Hot Dance Club Play[9] 36


External links[edit]