Saturday, 30 March 2013

Cyndi Lauper 'Time After Time'

Chart Peak: 3


Though not as high-charting a single as 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun', and less of a staple of compilations nowadays, this apparently sold more copies here during the 80s (I'd imagine her first hit has overtaken again in the download era). It's the flipside of the youthful exuberance of that song, being a song full of uncertainty and people fumbling towards trusting each other. Although Lauper was thirty years old by the time the single was released, she captures what feels very like a a teenager's emotional confusion, presumably from memory, and sings with such conviction that you don't need to know or care how current the feelings are.

As a record, 'Time After Time' is notably subtle for the era, impressively reluctant to over-emphasise the genuinely strong chorus and lacking the gloss that we tend to associate with the 1980s. It's the faint strains and imperfections in her vocal performance that make it feel powerful and genuine, along with co-writer Rob Hyman's slightly odd backing vocal, which is in places quite divergent from the lead. That fits, and as she stumbles to the end of the song whispering the title, you feel like you're right there with her in whatever adventure is going on. It took me long time to realise just how good this was, and I think I might only really have got it when I happened to buy an 80s compilation that bucked the trend and did include this one.

Also appearing on: Now 2, 29
Available on: Time After Time: The Best Of

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