Girls Just Want to Have Fun

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"Girls Just Want to Have Fun"
Cyndi lauper girls just want to have fun.jpg
Single by Cyndi Lauper
from the album She's So Unusual
B-side"Right Track Wrong Train"
ReleasedSeptember 6, 1983 (1983-09-06)
RecordedJune 1983
StudioRecord Plant (New York City, New York)
GenreDance-pop
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 written, recorded and performed by American musician Robert Hazard, who released it as a single in 1979. It is best known for the version of American singer Cyndi Lauper, who covered the song in 1983.[1] It was the first major single released by Lauper 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 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 number two 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 "Rolling Stone & MTV: '100 Greatest Pop Songs': 1-50", "Rolling Stone: "The 100 Top Music Videos"" and the "VH1: 100 Greatest Videos" lists ranked the song at No. 22, No. 39 and No. 45, respectively.[2][3][4] 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.[5]

Background[edit]

The song was written by Robert Hazard, who recorded a demo of it in 1979. Hazard wrote the song from a male point of view. Lauper's version appeared on her 1983 debut solo record She's So Unusual. Lauper changed some of the lyrics at the suggestion of her producer and she also had her own suggestions about how her version should sound.[6] 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.[7] 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."[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."[9]

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".[10][11] 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.[12] In Ireland, the song entered the chart on January 29, 1984. It peaked at number one for two weeks and was on the chart for a total of seven weeks.[13] 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 number one on March 26, 1984. It topped the chart for two weeks and then remained at number two 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.[14] In Belgium, the song debut at No. 38 on February 18, 1984, and peaked at No. 4 on April 7, 1984.[15] In the Netherlands, the song entered the chart at No. 38 on February 25, 1984, and peaked at No. 4 on March 31, 1984.[16]

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.[17] In Switzerland, the song entered the chart at No. 15 on April 1, 1984, and peaked at No. 6 on April 29, 1984.[18] 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.[19] In Austria, the single entered at No. 3 on May 1, 1984, which was its peak position.[20]

Music video[edit]

The release of the single was accompanied by a quirky music video. It cost less than $35,000 (equivalent to $95,000 in 2021), 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 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.[21]

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.[22] 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.[23]

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"[24] 10
1993 Rolling Stone The 100 Top Music Videos[3] 22
1999 MTV 100 Greatest Videos Ever Made[25] 58
2001 VH1 100 Greatest Videos[4] 45
2006 100 Greatest Songs of the 80's[26] 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)[27]
  • 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[28]
  • 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". The ringle, as well as all other issued ringles, were recalled by Sony Music due to issues with the ringtone not working correctly. They have yet to be reissued.

  1. "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"
  2. "Right Track Wrong Train"
  3. Computer media
  • Official versions
  1. Album Version – 3:51
  2. Video Version – 4:19
  3. Extended version – 6:08
  4. Fun with V. Knutsn (Instrumental) – 7:10
  5. Xtra Fun – 5:05
  6. Remix (released in 1993, mixed by Junior Vasquez) – 6:30[29]
  7. Radio remix (released in 1993, mixed by Junior Vasquez) – 3:39[29]
  8. The Body Acoustic version featuring Puffy AmiYumi – 2:59
  9. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun X Set Your Heart – 3:52[30]
  10. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun X Set Your Heart Long Version – 5:55[30]
  • Official versions (Hey Now version)
  1. Factory Dub version – 6:50
  2. Junior Vasquez remix "Dancehall Main" – 5:46
  3. Junior Vasquez remix "Harder Dancehall" – 5:46
  4. Junior Vasquez remix "Lounge Dub" – 6:00
  5. Junior Vasquez remix "Lounge Mix" – 6:12
  6. Junior Vasquez remix "Pop Goes the Dancehall" – 4:58
  7. Junior Vasquez Soundfactory mix – 7:40
  8. Mikey Bennett's "Carnival" version – 6:04
  9. Mikey Bennett's "Carnival" version edited – 4:09
  10. Single edit – 3:39
  11. Sly & Robbie's "Home Grown" version – 4:16
  12. Sly & Robbie's "Home Grown" version – 6:15
  13. Straight Up Pass version – 7:13
  14. Techno dub – 3:55
  15. Techno Main mix – 8:23

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)[67] 3× Platinum 180,000double-dagger
Canada (Music Canada)[68] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[69] Platinum 90,000double-dagger
France (SNEP)[70] Gold 500,000*
Italy (FIMI)[71] Platinum 70,000double-dagger
Portugal (AFP)[72] Gold 20,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[73] Platinum 600,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[74] Platinum 1,000,000^
Digital sales
Japan (RIAJ)[75] Gold 100,000*
United States (RIAA)[76] Gold 500,000*
Mastertone sales
United States (RIAA)[77] Platinum 1,000,000*

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

Parodies[edit]

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

"Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)"
HeyNow(GJWtHF).jpg
Single by Cyndi Lauper
from the album Twelve Deadly Cyns...and Then Some
B-side"Hat Full of Stars"
ReleasedJuly 25, 1994
Recorded1994
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 the first single from Cyndi Lauper's Twelve Deadly Cyns...and Then Some hits collection from 1994, and her first charting single on the Billboard Hot 100 since "My First Night Without You" in 1989.

This song is a new reggae-tinged arrangement of Lauper's own "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" standard, with a musical tip of the hat to Redbone's "Come and Get Your Love". The 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 big comeback hit for Lauper, landing in the top 10 and top 40 in several countries. It was also a big dance hit in the United States. It peaked at No. 4 in the UK and New Zealand, its highest position.

Critical reception[edit]

Steve Baltin from Cash Box noted that "this 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."[79] Music writer James Masterton said in his weekly UK chart commentary, "The new version slows the track down to turn it into a far slinkier dance groove to quite inspired effect".[80] 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."[81]

Music video[edit]

A music video was produced to promote the new version, directed by Cyndi Lauper herself[82] and later published on YouTube in September 2010.[83] It has amassed more than 3,6 million views as of September 2021.

Track listing[edit]

  • European CD Single / UK Cassette Single[84][85]
  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[89]
  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[90]
  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[91]
  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)[110] 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
Producer(s)Rick Chertoff, William Wittman

In 2010, Cancer Research UK arranged for a charity record for their Race for Life campaign. It features 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.[111] 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.[112][113] The digital edition was released on iTunes.[113] The sales were to be used for cancer research.[112] This version would chart at No.107.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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