Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Songoftheday 8/17/16 - Had to escape the city was sticky and cruel, maybe I should've called you first but I was dying to get to you...


"I Drove All Night" - Cyndi Lauper
from the album A Night To Remember (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #6 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 10

Today's song of the day is by quirky and lovable pop singer/songwriter Cyndi Lauper, whose sophomore album True Colors had landed her a trio of top-40 pop hits in 1986-87 with a cover of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On", the upbeat "Change Of Heart", and the #1 inspirational ballad "True Colors". (A fourth single, the AIDS benefit "Boy Blue", stopped at #71.) She was relatively quiet on the radio in 1988, instead appearing in the movie rom-com-bomb Vibes with Richard Goldblum. A song from the film, "Hole In My Heart (All The Way To China)", was a top-ten hit in Australia and New Zealand, but fell way short in America at #54, where it may have been a bit too, well, ethnically ambiguous even in those times. Going back to recording her third solo album, Cyndi recorded a song originally done but not released in pop great Roy Orbison's final recording sessions. "I Drove All Night", written by Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg (who also wrote her "True Colors"), the song finally got a radio release in 1989 when Epic released it as the first single from her A Night To Remember album. Like "True Colors", it showed a much more controlled and nuanced vocal from Cyndi, proving she's much more than a novelty...


"I Drove All Night" became Cyndi's eighth and so-far last top-ten pop hit in the U.S. in July of 1989. The song also crossed over to Billboard's Adult Contemporary radio chart at #43. Internationally, the single reached the top ten in Italy (#2), the UK (#7), Canada (#8), France (#10), and New Zealand (#10). She was nominated for a Grammy for "I Drove All Night" for Best Rock Female Vocal, losing to Bonnie Raitt's Nick Of Time album.

The next single from the Night To Remember album, the retro-style break-up song "My First Night Without You", was also written by Steinberg and Kelly (along with Cyndi), but it stalled down at #62 on the pop chart. It would be four years before Cyndi released another studio set; but with Hat Full Of Stars, besides a moderate dance hit with "That's What I Think" (#14) and a minor adult contemporary single with "Who Let In The Rain" (#33), the underrated album got little attention. Her label released a greatest hits collection in 1994, and a reworked version of her breakthrough single, retitled "Hey Now (Girls Just Wanna Have Fun)", returned her to the top-10 in Britain and France, and slipped into the American Hot 100 at #87 (her most recent appearance). Because of her long-standing relationship with the LGBT community, the dance clubs continued to support her, with a series of hits on the dance club play chart including a Grammy-nominated cover of the Saturday Night Fever classic "Disco Inferno" (from the movie A Night At The Roxbury) that reached #8. She gave thanks by recording a glorious dance-pop album in 2008, Bring Ya To The Brink, which scored her a pair of #1 club hits in "Same Ol' Story" and "Into The Nightlife". Lauper also recorded rock, blues, and acoustic albums as well, with the latter landing her back on Adult Contemporary radio with a redo of "Time After Time" with Sarah McLachlan (#14, 2006). But she proved her creative talent hasn't waned at all in age with her turn to the theater, composing for the musical appropriation of the movie Kinky Boots in 2013. With that work she won both a Tony Award (the show won six) and a Grammy. She also recorded a dance version of that show's "Sex Is In The Heel", which climbed to #6 on the Billboard club chart. Most recently Cyndi released a country album, Detour, with covers of greats like Dolly Parton, and reached the top-30 on the albums chart in the US.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)

With the success of Cyndi's version of "I Drove All Night", Roy Orbison's original version finally saw the light of day in 1992, and reached #7 in the UK, and #6 in Ireland...


In 2002, the country band Pinmonkey released a cover of the song, and went to #36 (their second and last top-40 country hit)...


A year later, Celine Dion would also tackle the track, and while she just missed the top-40 at #45, but the dance-rock rework went to #2 on the Dance chart while the unremixed version made it to #7 on the Adult Contemporary list, #23 on the Adult Pop, and #23 on the pop radio chart...


Finally, we return to Cyndi, and her appearance on the Dave Letterman show promoting the single...


... and lastly, on VH1's Decades Of Rock special...


Up tomorrow: A southern accented rocker stands his ground. 




No comments: