Girls Just Want to Have Fun

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"Girls Just Want to Have Fun"
Single by Cyndi Lauper
from the album She's So Unusual
B-side"Right Track Wrong Train"
ReleasedOctober 17, 1983 (US)[1]
December 30, 1983 (UK)[2]
StudioRecord Plant (New York City)
Genre
Length3:58
LabelPortrait
Songwriter(s)Robert Hazard
Producer(s)
Cyndi Lauper singles chronology
"Girls Just Want to Have Fun"
(1983)
"Time After Time"
(1984)
Music video
"Girls Just Want to Have Fun" on YouTube

"Girls Just Want to Have Fun" is a song made famous by American singer-songwriter Cyndi Lauper four years after it was written by Robert Hazard.[7] It was released by Portrait Records as Lauper's first major single as a solo artist and the lead single from her debut studio album, She's So Unusual (1983). Lauper's version gained recognition as a feminist anthem[8] and was promoted by a Grammy-winning music video. It has been covered, either as a studio recording or in a live performance, by over 30 other artists.

The single was Lauper's breakthrough hit, reaching No. 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and becoming a worldwide hit throughout late 1983 and early 1984. It is considered one of Lauper's signature songs and was a widely popular song during the 1980s. The lists "Rolling Stone and MTV: '100 Greatest Pop Songs': 1–50", "Rolling Stone: The 100 Top Music Videos" and "VH1: 100 Greatest Videos" ranked the song at No. 22, No. 39 and No. 45, respectively.[9][10][11] The song received Grammy Award nominations for Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. In 2013, the song was remixed by Yolanda Be Cool, taken from the 30th anniversary reissue of She's So Unusual.[12]

Background[edit]

The song was written by Robert Hazard, who recorded a demo of it in 1979. Hazard wrote the song from the male perspective about women in the bedroom. Lauper "flipped the script" and made it carry a feminist attitude by subtly changing some of the lyrics at the suggestion of her producer, and she also had her own suggestions about how her version should sound.[13] This appeared on her 1983 debut solo record She's So Unusual. The track is a synthesizer-backed anthem, from a feminist perspective, conveying the point that all women really want is to have the same experiences that men can have.[14] Gillian G. Gaar, author of She's a Rebel: The History of Women in Rock & Roll (2002), described the single and corresponding video as a "strong feminist statement", an "anthem of female solidarity" and a "playful romp celebrating female camaraderie. The song is in the key of F# major.[8]

Reception[edit]

Cash Box said that "Robert Hazard's original male point of view is transformed into a cheerleader-like sing-along for party girls, and the Toni Basil–like beat is augmented by a hooky, ringing guitar."[15]

Chart performance[edit]

The song was released in late 1983, but much of its success on the charts came during the first half of 1984. The single reached the Top 10 in over 25 countries and reached No. 1 in ten of those countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, and Norway. It also reached No. 2 in both the United Kingdom and the United States.

In the United States, the song entered the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 80 on December 17, 1983. It ultimately peaked at No. 2 on March 10, 1984, where it stayed for two weeks, behind Van Halen's "Jump".[16][17] In the United Kingdom, the song entered the chart at No. 50 on January 14, 1984, and peaked at No. 2 on February 4, 1984, where it stayed for one week.[18] In Ireland, the song entered the chart on January 29, 1984. It peaked at No. 1 for two weeks and was on the chart for a total of seven weeks.[19] In Australia, the song debuted on the Kent Music Report Top 100 on February 27, 1984. It entered the Top 10 in only its third week on the chart and reached No. 1 on March 26, 1984. It topped the chart for two weeks and then remained at No. 2 for four weeks behind Nena's "99 Luftballons". It stayed on the chart for 21 weeks and was the 9th biggest-selling single of the year.[20] In Belgium, the song debut at No. 38 on February 18, 1984, and peaked at No. 4 on April 7, 1984.[21] In the Netherlands, the song entered the chart at No. 38 on February 25, 1984, and peaked at No. 4 on March 31, 1984.[22]

In Sweden, the song entered at No. 13 on March 6, 1984, and peaked at No. 5 on April 3, 1984, charting for six weeks.[23] In Switzerland, the song entered the chart at No. 15 on April 1, 1984, and peaked at No. 6 on April 29, 1984.[24] In New Zealand, the song debuted at No. 21 on April 1, 1984, and peaked at No. 1 on May 6, 1984, where it stayed for three weeks.[25] In Austria, the single entered at No. 3 on May 1, 1984, which was its peak position.[26] In Netherland and New Zealand "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" made the year end charts for the Top 100 of 1984. On the ARC (American Radio Chart), "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" reached #1 and made the Top 40 songs of the year for 1984. In Mexico "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" stayed in the Top 5 for five months, and reached #1 on October 1, 1984, the song remained number one for six weeks.

Music video[edit]

The release of the single was accompanied by a quirky music video. It cost less than US$35,000 (equivalent to $107,000 in 2023), largely due to a volunteer cast and the free loan of the most sophisticated video equipment available at the time. The cast included Lauper's close friend, professional wrestler/manager "Captain" Lou Albano in the role of Lauper's father while her real mother, Catrine, played herself. Lauper later appeared in World Wrestling Federation storylines opposite Albano and guest-starred in an episode of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, in which Albano portrayed Mario (Albano also played himself in the episode). This collaboration was the catalyst for the "Rock 'n' Wrestling" connection that lasted for the following two years. Lauper's attorney, Elliot Hoffman, appeared as her uptight dancing partner. Also in the cast were Lauper's manager, David Wolf, her brother, Butch Lauper, fellow musician Steve Forbert, and a bevy of secretaries borrowed from Portrait/CBS, Lauper's record label. A clip of The Hunchback of Notre Dame is featured as Lauper watches it on television.

Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels, another of Hoffman's clients, agreed to give Lauper free run of his brand new million-dollar digital editing equipment, with which she and her producer created several first-time-ever computer-generated images of Lauper dancing with her buttoned-up lawyer, leading the entire cast in a snake-dance through New York streets and ending up in Lauper's bedroom in her home. The bedroom scene is an homage to the famous stateroom scene in the Marx Brothers' film A Night at the Opera.

"The year 1983 makes a watershed in the history of female-address video. It is the year that certain issues and representations began to gain saliency and the textual strategies of female address began to coalesce." In the video, Lauper wanted to show in a more fun and light-hearted manner that girls want the same equality and recognition boys had in society.[27]

Before the song starts, the beginning of her version of "He's So Unusual" plays.

The music video was directed by Edd Griles. The producer was Ken Walz while the cinematographer was Francis Kenny. The treatment for the video was co-written by Griles, Walz, and Lauper. The video was shot in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in summer 1983 and premiered on television in December 1983.[28] The choreography was by a New York dance and music troupe called XXY featuring Mary Ellen Strom, Cyndi Lee and Pierce Turner.

The music video officially crossed one billion views on YouTube in January 2022.[29]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Accolades[edit]

Year By List Work Ranked
1985 The Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics' poll of 1984 "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"[30] 10
1993 Rolling Stone The 100 Top Music Videos[10] 22
1999 MTV 100 Greatest Videos Ever Made[31] 58
2001 VH1 100 Greatest Videos[11] 45
2006 100 Greatest Songs of the 80's[32] 23

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1983 "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" American Video Awards for Best Female Performance Won
1984 MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year Nominated
MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist Nominated
MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video Won
MTV Video Music Award for Best Concept Video Nominated
MTV Video Music Award – Viewer's Choice Nominated
MTV Video Music Award for Best Overall Performance Nominated
1985 Grammy Award for Record of the Year Nominated
Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Nominated

Track listings[edit]

  • 7-inch single
A. "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" – 3:55 (R. Hazard)
B. "Right Track Wrong Train" – 4:40 (C. Lauper, E. Greenwich, J. Kent)[33]
  • 12-inch single
A. "Girls Just Want to Have Fun (Extended Version)" – 6:08
B1. "Fun With V. Knutsn (Instrumental)" – 7:10
B2. "Xtra Fun" – 5:05[34]
  • Single

A CD single was issued in 2007, known as a ringle, which included bonus interactive computer material as well as a code to download a free ringtone of the title track. It featured the title track and for the first time on CD, "Right Track Wrong Train".[citation needed] The ringle, as well as all other issued ringles, were recalled by Sony Music due to issues with the ringtone not working correctly.[citation needed]

  1. "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"
  2. "Right Track Wrong Train"
  3. Computer media

Credits and personnel[edit]

  1. Lyrics: Robert Hazard. Production: Rick Chertoff.
  2. Lyrics: Cyndi Lauper, Ellie Greenwich, Jeffrey B. Kent. Production: Rick Chertoff

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[73] 3× Platinum 180,000
Canada (Music Canada)[74] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[75] Platinum 90,000
France (SNEP)[76] Gold 500,000*
Germany (BVMI)[77] Gold 250,000
Italy (FIMI)[78] Platinum 70,000
Portugal (AFP)[79] Gold 20,000
United Kingdom (BPI)[80] 2× Platinum 1,200,000
United States (RIAA)[81] 6× Platinum 6,000,000
Digital sales
Japan (RIAJ)[82] Gold 100,000*
United States (RIAA)[83] Gold 500,000*
Mastertone sales
United States (RIAA)[84] Platinum 1,000,000*

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

"Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)"[edit]

"Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)"
Single by Cyndi Lauper
from the album Twelve Deadly Cyns...and Then Some
B-side"Hat Full of Stars"
ReleasedSeptember 5, 1994 (1994-09-05)[85]
GenreReggae fusion
Length
  • 3:54 (album version)
  • 3:39 (single edit)
LabelEpic
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Cyndi Lauper singles chronology
"Hat Full of Stars"
(1993)
"Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)"
(1994)
"I'm Gonna Be Strong"
(1994)
Music video
"Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" on YouTube

"Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" was released as the first single from Cyndi Lauper's first compilation album, Twelve Deadly Cyns...and Then Some (1994). The single was issued by Epic on September 5, 1994.

This song is a reggae-tinged arrangement of Lauper's own "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" with an interpolation of "Come and Get Your Love" by Redbone. The song's arrangement evolved as she experimented with the song's style over the course of the 1993–1994 Hat Full of Stars Tour.

The song was a commercial success, peaking within the top 10 in several countries. It peaked at number 4 in the UK, becoming her first top 10 hit in the country since 1989 with "I Drove All Night". It also peaked at number 4 in New Zealand. The single was not as successful in the United States, where it peaked at number 87 on the Billboard Hot 100. A new music video was produced for the song which was directed by Lauper.

Critical reception[edit]

Steve Baltin from Cash Box noted that the "reggae-flavored dance oriented remake" is being given a big boost from the film To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar. He added, "Lauper still sounds in fine form on the very easy going kick-back track. Particularly fun is the jammin' guitar solo bridge in the middle of the single."[86] In his weekly UK chart commentary, James Masterton said, "The new version slows the track down to turn it into a far slinkier dance groove to quite inspired effect".[87] Alan Jones from Music Week wrote, "Turning a familiar old favourite into a dance groove unusually required a drop in tempo here, reducing it to a slinky shuffle. The melody and Cyndi's excellent vocals are still its selling points, and the success of Cyndi's Twelve Deadly Cyns album suggests the timing could be right to make this a hit again."[88] Tommy Udo of NME considered it a "totally unnecessary reworking" and commented, "It just sounds like somebody's hamfisted and amateurish remix that would normally be hidden away as track 18 – you know, the Will This Do? Mix by DJ Krap – although oddly enough, Cyndi herself had a hand in it all." He concluded, "She could still be bigger than Madonna!"[89]

Music video[edit]

A music video was produced to promote the new version, directed by Cyndi Lauper herself[90] and later made available on YouTube in 2010.[91] It had generated more than 4.2 million views as of December 2022.

Track listings[edit]

  • European CD single / UK cassette single[92][93]
  1. "Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" (Single Edit) – 3:39
  2. "Hat Full of Stars" – 4:27
  1. "Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" (Single Edit) – 3:39
  2. "Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" (Mickey Bennett's Carnival Version featuring Patra) (Edit) – 4:09
  3. "Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" (Sly & Robbie's Home Grown Version featuring Snow) – 4:16
  4. "Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" (Vasquez Remix Pop Goes the Dancehall featuring Snow) – 5:04
  5. "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" (Original Version) – 3:54
  • Japanese CD single[97]
  1. "Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" (Single Edit) – 3:39
  2. "Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" (Mickey Bennett's Carnival Version featuring Patra) (Edit) – 4:09
  3. "Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" (Sly & Robbie's Home Grown Version featuring Snow) – 4:16
  4. "Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" (Vasquez Remix Pop Goes the Dancehall featuring Snow) – 5:04
  • Australian CD single[98]
  1. "Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" (Single Edit) – 3:39
  2. "Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" (Vasquez Remix Pop Goes the Dancehall featuring Snow) – 5:04
  3. "Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" (Vasquez Remix Dancehall Main featuring Snow) – 5:50
  4. "Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" (Vasquez Remix Harder Dancehall featuring Snow) – 5:49
  5. "Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" (Sly & Robbie's Home Grown Version featuring Snow) – 4:16
  6. "Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" (Vasquez Lounge Mix featuring Snow) – 6:12
  7. "Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" (Mickey Bennett's Carnival Version featuring Patra) (Edit) – 4:09
  • European 12-inch[99]
  1. "Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" (Vasquez Remix Pop Goes the Dancehall featuring Snow) – 5:04
  2. "Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" (Vasquez Remix Dancehall Main featuring Snow) – 5:50
  3. "Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" (Vasquez Remix Harder Dancehall featuring Snow) – 5:49
  4. "Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" (Sly & Robbie's Home Grown Version featuring Snow) – 4:16
  5. "Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" (Vasquez Lounge Mix featuring Snow) – 6:12
  6. "Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" (Vasquez Lounge Dub featuring Snow) – 6:00
  7. "Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" (Mickey Bennett's Carnival Version featuring Patra) – 6:00

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[120] Silver 200,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Race for Life version[edit]

"Girls Just Want to Have Fun"
Single by Race for Life
ReleasedApril 26, 2010
Recorded2010
GenrePop
Length3:22
LabelEpic, Portrait, CBS
Songwriter(s)Robert Hazard

In 2010, Cancer Research UK arranged for a charity record for their Race for Life campaign. It featured many celebrities such as EastEnders actress Nina Wadia, Coronation Street actress Kym Marsh, Life of Riley actress Caroline Quentin, glamour girl Danielle Lloyd, X Factor finalist Lucie Jones, singer Sonique (herself a breast cancer survivor), former EastEnders actress Lucy Benjamin, and Celebrity Big Brother's Nicola T.[121]

The single was released on April 26, 2010. The physical edition was exclusively distributed to over eight hundred stores run by Tesco, an official partner of the event series.[122][123] The digital edition was released on iTunes.[123] The sales were to be used for cancer research.[122] This version charted at No. 107.[citation needed]

Other versions[edit]

  • Hip house duo Happy Nation's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" samples the vocals from the 1990 song "Jammed in the USA" by Girls with Attitudes which itself interpolates vocals from "Girls Just Want to Have Fun". The single reached No. 77 on the UK Singles Chart in 1998.[124]
  • English singer Lolly released her version as a single in 2000 from her second album Pick 'n' Mix which reached No. 14 on the UK Singles Chart.[125]
  • Shaggy's 2012 song "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" featuring rapper Eve interpolates "Girls Just Want to Have Fun". It charted in several countries across Europe.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  4. ^ a b Billboard Staff (October 19, 2023). "The 500 Best Pop Songs: Staff List". Billboard. Retrieved February 24, 2024. ...take a minute to recall just how groundbreaking Cyndi Lauper's new wave-pop singalong was in late 1983.
  5. ^ Evans, Paul (2004). "Cyndi Lauper". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 476. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
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  11. ^ a b VH1 (1997–2012). "VH1: 100 Greatest Videos". Rock On The Net.com. Rock On The Net. Retrieved May 31, 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
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