Sisters of Avalon

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Sisters of Avalon
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 15, 1996 (Japan)
April 1, 1997 (Worldwide)
RecordedApril 29–June 1, 1996
56:20 (Japanese edition)
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

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. 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. Speaking to Billboard in 1997, Lauper commented: "To me, this album is a natural progression from the songs on Hat Full of Stars. I've never been more proud of a group of songs." Many of the album's tracks were written by Lauper and Jan Pulsford, who had joined Lauper's band as keyboardist for the tour promoting Hat Full of Stars (1993). Lauper told Billboard: "We were on a special journey that felt so right. Jan and I are extremely compatible collaborators".[2]

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.[3] 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 in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.[4] 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.[5]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[6]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[7]

Upon release, Larry Flick of Billboard wrote: "The album plays to Lauper's considerable strengths as a vocalist and her marked maturity as a songwriter, with broad stylistic leanings."[8] David Grad of Entertainment Weekly noted: "Lauper remains an intoxicating pop siren. Her sixth album is a wonderfully eclectic affair."[7]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic described the album as "varied and eclectic", adding: "While the results aren't always successful, the record is the most intriguing and rewarding album she made since True Colors."[6] People noted the album's variety and "cutting commentary", but felt "for all her bold experimentation, Lauper seems to be trying too hard".[9]

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
Chart (1996–97) Peak
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[10] 45
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[11] 15
South African Albums (RISA)[12] 93
UK Albums (OCC)[13] 59
US Billboard 200[14] 188


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Japan (RIAJ)[15] Gold 100,000^
United States 56,000[16]

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


  1. ^ Keefe, Jonathan. "Review: Cyndi Lauper, Bring Ya to the Brink". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  2. ^ Billboard magazine - Lauper's artistic aspect emphasized on Epic set - Larry Flick - March 1, 1997 - page 34
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-09-25. Retrieved 2014-09-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Barth, Keith. "Ask Billboard |". Retrieved January 8, 2012.
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine (1997-04-01). "Sisters of Avalon - Cyndi Lauper | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ Billboard magazine - Lauper's artistic aspect emphasized on Epic set - Larry Flick - March 1, 1997 - page 15
  9. ^
  10. ^ " – Cyndi Lauper – Sisters of Avalon" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  11. ^ シンディ・ローパーのアルバム売り上げランキング (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on October 24, 2012. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  12. ^ "South African Divas Albums". Geo Cities. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  13. ^ "Cyndi Lauper | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  14. ^ "Cyndi Lauper Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  15. ^ "Japanese album certifications – シンディ・ローパー – シスターズ・オブ・アヴァロン" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan.
  16. ^ "Ask Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved May 20, 2019.