True Colors (Cyndi Lauper song)

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"True Colors"
CyndiLTruecolor.jpg
Single by Cyndi Lauper
from the album True Colors
B-side"Heading for the Moon"
ReleasedAugust 28, 1986
RecordedMarch 3, 1986
Genre
Length3:46
LabelEpic
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Cyndi Lauper
  • Lennie Petze
Cyndi Lauper singles chronology
"The Goonies 'R' Good Enough"
(1985)
"True Colors"
(1986)
"Change of Heart"
(1986)
Music video
"True Colors" on YouTube

"True Colors" is a song written by American songwriters Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly. It was both the title track and the first single released from American singer Cyndi Lauper's second album. It was the only original song on the album that Lauper did not help to write.[1] Released late in the summer of 1986, the song would become a major hit for Lauper, spending two weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming her last single to occupy the top of the U.S. chart. It received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

Composition[edit]

Billy Steinberg originally wrote "True Colors" about his own mother. Tom Kelly altered the first verse and the duo originally submitted the song to Anne Murray, who passed on recording it, and then to Cyndi Lauper.[2] Their demo was in the form of a piano-based gospel ballad like "Bridge over Troubled Water". Steinberg told Songfacts that "Cyndi completely dismantled that sort of traditional arrangement and came up with something that was breathtaking and stark."[1] Other songs they wrote for Lauper include "I Drove All Night" and "Unconditional Love", the former of which went on to be covered by Roy Orbison and Celine Dion, the latter by Susanna Hoffs.

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song, which received heavy rotation on MTV, was directed by American choreographer Patricia Birch. In the video, Lauper sings on a dark soundstage, sitting beside a drum, while a young girl (Catrine Dominique) explores a beach and ends up seeing two women drinking tea on a boat. Lauper appears on the beach in an elaborate jeweled headdress with a shell in her hand. She is then seen lying on a white sheet, which a long haired man (David Wolff) proceeds to pull. They eventually share a kiss. Lauper is then seen walking on the beach with a skirt made of newspaper while she walks past a class of schoolchildren. At the end of the video, she leans over a pool of water, in a scene reminiscent of the album photo cover. The video ends as it began, with Lauper beating on the drum four times, in time with the music.

Reception and legacy[edit]

The single reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on October 25, 1986, beating Tina Turner's "Typical Male" to the top spot. It also peaked at number three in Australia and New Zealand, and number 12 on the UK Singles Chart.

"True Colors" also became a standard in the gay community. In various interviews, Lauper elaborated that the song had resonated with her because of the recent death of her friend, Gregory Natal, from HIV/AIDS.[3] Years later, Lauper co-founded the True Colors Fund,[4] a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating LGBT youth homelessness.

The single was also featured in a 1999 promo for PBS Kids.[5]

Tours[edit]

Lauper embarked on a True Colors Tour in 2007 with several other acts, including Deborah Harry and Erasure. The tour was for the Human Rights Campaign to promote LGBT rights in the U.S. and beyond. A second True Colors Tour occurred in 2008.

Track listings[edit]

7-inch single[6]

  1. "True Colors" – 3:45
  2. "Heading for the Moon" – 3:17

European 12-inch single[7]

  1. "True Colors" – 3:45
  2. "Heading for the Moon" – 3:17
  3. "Money Changes Everything" (Live) – 6:04

Credits and Personnel[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Phil Collins version[edit]

"True Colors"
True Colors Phil Collins.jpg
Single by Phil Collins
from the album ...Hits
B-side
ReleasedOctober 26, 1998 (1998-10-26)[36]
Length4:34
LabelVirgin, Face Value, Atlantic, WEA
Songwriter(s)Tom Kelly, Billy Steinberg
Producer(s)Babyface
Phil Collins singles chronology
"The Same Moon"
(1997)
"True Colors"
(1998)
"You'll Be in My Heart"
(1999)

In 1998, the song was recorded by Phil Collins for his compilation album ...Hits. R&B singer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds produced and provided backing vocals. The track peaked at number 12 on the U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100, number two on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and number 26 on the UK Singles Chart. It reached the top 40 in Austria, Canada, France, Germany, and Hungary.

In 2004, a live rehearsal version was released on Collins' Love Songs: A Compilation... Old and New album.

Personnel and credits[edit]

Credits adapted from the US promo CD liner notes.[37]

Charts[edit]

Kasey Chambers version[edit]

"True Colours"
True Colours by Kasey Chambers.jpg
Single by Kasey Chambers
ReleasedApril 2003
Genre
LabelEMI Music
Songwriter(s)Tom Kelly, Billy Steinberg
Producer(s)Nash Chambers
Kasey Chambers singles chronology
"If I Were You"
(2002)
"True Colours"
(2003)
"Hollywood"
(2004)

In 2003, Australian singer-songwriter Kasey Chambers' recording of "True Colors" became the theme song for the 2003 Rugby World Cup.[55] The song peaked at number four, was certified gold and went on to be the 76th best-selling single in Australia that year[56]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "True Colours"
  2. "If I Could" (Live)
  3. "Lonely"

Charts[edit]

Chart (2003) Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart (ARIA)[57] 4

Other versions[edit]

The song has been recorded by many artists.

In 2001, "True Colors" was recorded by Sarina Paris and included on her self-titled debut album. Released on May 22, the album was composed of songs co-written by Paris, with the exception of this cover. The album reached number 167 on the Billboard 200 in the U.S.

In 2009, Jenna Ushkowitz performed it on the television program Glee, and it was released as a single, billed as "True Colors (Glee Cast Version)". This version was included on the compilation album Glee: The Music, Volume 2, released on December 4, 2009. The single charted on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. and reached number 15 in Ireland, number 35 in the United Kingdom,[58] number 38 in Canada[59][60] and number 47 in Australia.

In 2012, Artists Against Bullying (often styled as "Artists Against"), an agglomeration of seven Canadian musicians, re-recorded the song and released it during Bullying Awareness Week.[61] The project was inspired by the increase in teen bullying and cyberbullying, especially the Amanda Todd case,[62] with proceeds being donated to Kids Help Phone, a Canadian counseling service for children and youth.[62] The artists involved in the recording were Lights, Pierre Bouvier (from Simple Plan), Jacob Hoggard (from Hedley), Fefe Dobson, Kardinal Offishall, Alyssa Reid and Walk Off the Earth. The song entered the Canadian Singles Top 100 chart at number 10[63] the week it was released.

In 2014, Shane Filan of Westlife released it as a promotional single for his debut album You and Me.

In 2016, Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick performed a new version of the song for the animated film Trolls and its accompanying soundtrack. Park Hyung-sik and Lee Sung-kyung sang the Korean version for the Korean dubbed version of the film.

In 2020, Peter Gallagher performed "True Colors" in the first-season finale of NBC's Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist.[64]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "True Colors by Cyndi Lauper". Interview with Billy Steinberg about "True Colors". Songfacts. Retrieved April 9, 2009.
  2. ^ "Cyndi Lauper". October 26, 2011.
  3. ^ Burnett, Richard (April 4, 2014). "The true colours of Cyndi Lauper". CurtainsUP. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  4. ^ "Mission Statement". True Colors Fund. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
  5. ^ PBS Kids - True Colors (Full) (2010 Wfwa Dt2), retrieved September 30, 2021
  6. ^ "Cyndi Lauper – True Colors (1986, Pitman Pressing, Vinyl)". Discogs.com. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  7. ^ "Cyndi Lauper – True Colors (1986, Vinyl)". Discogs.com. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  8. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 173. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. N.B. The Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA between 1983 and June 12, 1988.
  9. ^ "Cyndi Lauper – True Colors" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  10. ^ "Cyndi Lauper – True Colors" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  11. ^ RPM Adult Contemporary, Bac-lac.gc.ca, November 8, 1986.
  12. ^ RPM 100 Singles, Bac-lac.gc.ca, November 8, 1986.
  13. ^ a b "Cyndi Lauper - True Colors". November 28, 2003. Archived from the original on November 28, 2003. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  14. ^ "Cyndi Lauper – True Colors" (in French). Les classement single.
  15. ^ "Chart Track: Week 48, 1986". Irish Singles Chart.
  16. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 44, 1986" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved September 27, 2021.
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  20. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  21. ^ "Cyndi Lauper – True Colors". Swiss Singles Chart.
  22. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  23. ^ a b "Cyndi Lauper - Chart history". Billboard.
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  25. ^ Kimberley, Christopher. Zimbabwe Singles Chart Book: 1965-1996.
  26. ^ "Cyndi Lauper". Billboard.com. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
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  28. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1986". Ultratop. Retrieved September 27, 2021.
  29. ^ "RPM Weekly - Top Singles of 1986". Library and Archives Canada. December 26, 2017. Archived from the original on November 23, 2015. Retrieved December 26, 2016.
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  33. ^ Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles Archived December 26, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, December 27, 1986.
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  35. ^ "US Certification". Archived from the original on June 26, 2007. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  36. ^ "New Releases: Singles" (PDF). Music Week. October 24, 1998. p. 43. Retrieved July 6, 2021.
  37. ^ True Colors (US promo CD liner notes). Phil Collins. Atlantic Records, Face Value Records. 1998. PRCD 8686.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  38. ^ "Phil Collins – True Colors" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
  39. ^ "Phil Collins – True Colors" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
  40. ^ "RPM 100 Hit Tracks – February 22, 1999" (PDF). RPM. Vol. 68 no. 18. February 22, 1999. p. 2. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
  41. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 6993." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
  42. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 15 no. 46. November 14, 1998. p. 10. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  43. ^ "Phil Collins – True Colors" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
  44. ^ "Phil Collins – True Colors" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
  45. ^ "Top National Sellers" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 15 no. 48. November 28, 1998. p. 15. Retrieved March 6, 2020. See LW column.
  46. ^ "Phil Collins – True Colors" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
  47. ^ "Major Market Airplay: Poland" (PDF). Music & Media. October 3, 1998. p. 27. Retrieved July 23, 2021.
  48. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
  49. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
  50. ^ "Phil Collins Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
  51. ^ "Phil Collins Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
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  53. ^ "RPM 1999 Top 100 Adult Contemporary". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
  54. ^ "1999 The Year in Music". Billboard. Vol. 111 no. 52. December 25, 1999. p. YE-99. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  55. ^ "Various – True Colours: Official Album Of Rugby World Cup 2003". Discogs. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  56. ^ "ARIA Charts - End of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 2003". ARIA Charts. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  57. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Kasey Chambers - True Colors". australian charts.
  58. ^ "The Official Charts Company – Glee Cast". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 25, 2010.
  59. ^ "Glee Cast Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved February 25, 2010.
  60. ^ "Glee Cast". acharts.us. Retrieved February 25, 2010.
  61. ^ "November 12, 2012 Archives". Chymfm.com. Archived from the original on July 16, 2015.
  62. ^ a b 12, News Desk More from News Desk Published on: November; 12, 2012 | Last Updated: November; Est, 2012 5:48 Pm (November 12, 2012). "Artists Against remake True Colors".CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  63. ^ "True Colors by Artists Against Bullying - Music Charts". Acharts.co. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  64. ^ "Peter Gallagher on that tear-jerker 'Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist' finale".

External links[edit]