Sisters of Avalon

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Sisters of Avalon
Studio album by Cyndi Lauper
Released October 15, 1996 (Japan)
April 1, 1997 (Worldwide)
Recorded April 29–June 1, 1996
Genre Pop rock, alternative rock, electronica
Length 51:13
56:20 (Japanese edition)
Label Epic
Producer Cyndi Lauper, Mark Saunders, and Jan Pulsford
Cyndi Lauper chronology
Wanna Have Fun
Sisters of Avalon
Merry Christmas ... Have a Nice Life
Singles from Sisters of Avalon
  1. "Sisters of Avalon"
    Released: January 29, 1997
  2. "You Don't Know"
    Released: April 15, 1997
  3. "Ballad of Cleo and Joe"
    Released: September 16, 1997
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]

Sisters of Avalon is the fifth studio album by American singer Cyndi Lauper. It was released in Japan on October 15, 1996, by Sony Music Entertainment, Japan Inc.. Thematically the album expounded on the issue of complacency and ignorance in popular culture and the discrimination of minorities, gays, and women. Songs like "Love to Hate" and "You Don't Know" address the entertainment industry and media and their corruption. "Ballad of Cleo and Joe" is a song about the double life of a cross dresser. "Say a Prayer" is about the AIDS epidemic.

The record takes a deviation from previous projects, incorporating a blend of electronica production with a variety of traditional instruments such as the guitar, zither, Appalachian dulcimer, and slide dulcimer, as well as an omnichord. There is a permeating pagan theme highlighted by the track "Mother," an ode to Gaea.

The album was released in 1996 in Japan and in 1997 in other parts of the world. The Japanese version features a bonus track, "Early Christmas Morning". The track "Lollygagging" is a hidden track which is nothing more than Lauper and her musicians attempting to record the song "Hot Gets a Little Cold" but making a musical mistake and laughing about it.

The album was heavily praised by multiple music critics due to Lauper's creative growth and eclectic themes.[2] However, due to ongoing friction between Lauper and her record label, the album's release was delayed and due to low promotion sold only 56,000 copies only in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.[3] Since its release, the album has been met with continued praise including the Songwriters' Hall of Fame noting the title track as one of Lauper's key songs in her catalog.[4]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Cyndi Lauper and Jan Pulsford unless otherwise noted.

  1. "Sisters of Avalon" – 4:20
  2. "Ballad of Cleo and Joe" – 4:00
  3. "Fall Into Your Dreams" – 4:45
  4. "You Don't Know" – 5:14
  5. "Love to Hate" – 3:25
  6. "Hot Gets a Little Cold" (Cyndi Lauper, Catherine Russel) – 3:37
  7. "Unhook the Stars" – 3:56
  8. "Searching" – 4:35
  9. "Say a Prayer" – 4:53
  10. "Mother" – 4:44
  11. "Fearless" (Cyndi Lauper) – 3:38
  12. "Brimstone and Fire" – 3:35
  13. "Early Christmas Morning" (Japan only) – 5:07
  14. "Lollygagging" (instrumental) – 0:23

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1996–97) Peak
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[5] 45
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[6] 15
UK Albums (OCC)[7] 59
US Billboard 200[8] 188


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Japan (RIAJ)[9] Gold 100,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


Singles - Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1997 "You Don't Know" Billboard Hot 100 111
1997 "You Don't Know" Hot Dance Music/Club Play 16
1997 "You Don't Know" Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales 16
1997 "You Don't Know" Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles 11
1997 "Ballad of Cleo & Joe" Billboard Hot 100 125
1997 "Ballad of Cleo & Joe" Hot Dance Music/Club Play 36
1997 "Ballad of Cleo & Joe" Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles 25
1998 "Sisters of Avalon"
1997 "You Don't Know" UK Singles Chart 27