Thirty years after its original release, Cyndi Lauper’s breakthrough debut album She’s So Unusual has been re-released with plenty of bonus material. As reviewer Jess Layt found out, the 1980s gem is just as much fun as the day it first hit shelves.
Listening to Cyndi Lauper's She's So Unusual is like taking a ride in a flux capacitor-enabled DeLorean and hitting 88 miles per hour. Listeners are immediately transported to the strange era of teased hair, outrageous leg warmers and Spielbergian aliens - the 1980s.
She's So Unusual: A 30th Anniversary Celebration is not a timeless album, but rather is joyfully like a three-decades-old time capsule; and a testament to the immense talent of a delightfully wacky New Yorker with bright hair and a Tweety Bird voice.
Disc one of the two-disc deluxe edition is a reissue of the original 1984 classic album, with three bonus remixes of hits Girls Just Want To Have Fun and Time After Time.
After blissfully listening to the kooky genius that is the Cyndi Lauper for 10 tracks, the remixes are an unwelcome jolt from one's time-travelling reverie - an unnecessary and, quite frankly, awful addition to the album.
It is disc two that really makes this double-album worthy of the deluxe treatment.
The second disc's first track is an early guitar demo of Girls Just Want To Have Fun. It's a much darker sound than the version listeners know and love, one that forces a greater attention to the lyrics, particularly: "some boys take a beautiful girl and hide her away from the rest of the world".
The guitar demo seems like an alternative universe version of the classic. If She's So Unusual was released a decade later, the guitar demo would almost certainly have been the incarnation of the song to reach the airwaves, fitting the grungy sensibilities of the '90s.
Possibly the highlight of the entire double album is the work-in-progress recording of Time After Time.
The musical much the same as the finished product, but the lyrics are either not yet completed or not yet memorised in this early version.
There are whole stretches of the song where Lauper merely hums the melody before launching into the chorus, which too sounds different from the eventual release.
She's So Unusual is a joyous release, with a bonus disc sure to delight Lauper fans.
It is out now through Sony Music.