The Essential Cyndi Lauper

A greatest-hits collection that lives up to its title: lots of the fun mid-Eighties stuff, not much else back in 1984, most people handicapping downtown New York's new divas picked Madonna as the flash in the pan and Cyndi Lauper as the future superstar. Lauper, you may recall, was the one with the rainbow-hued hair, the big voice that sometimes sounded like it was mimicking a car alarm, the irresistible single about masturbation ("She Bop") and the six-time-platinum debut album (She's So Unusual). Then, for no apparent reason, Lauper decided she needed to become tasteful. In practice, this meant recording lots of pleasant but dull ballads, some of which even became big hits ("True Colors"). This well-assembled disc emphasizes the fun parts of Lauper's career: That means six of the fourteen tracks come from She's So Unusual; you'll also find her gloriously tacky soundtrack single "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough."

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