“All Cried Out” by Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam with Full Force featuring Bow Legged Lou & Paul Anthony (1985)

Free associative thoughts:

Perhaps the longest credit ever on a top 10 hit? Maybe if we eliminate DJ Khaled’s All-star extravaganzas.

“All Cried Out” might be the closest thing to a power ballad to infiltrate R&B radio. Lisa Lisa’s vocal is certainly as melodramatic as anything Jani Lane or Kip Winger ever put to tape. Caveat: Lisa sounds legit heartbroken while the average hair metal power balladeer sounded like he was faking sensitivity because he knew it would get him in your pants. Also melodramatic (and power balladish): the screaming guitar solo in the song’s bridge. And that echoing piano note at the end–so ANGSTY!!

In 5th & 6th grade (and the month or so I enjoyed of 7th grade before I moved from Michigan back to New York), our class would get sent to a vocal coach to sing the popular hits of the day (and a couple of golden oldies). “All Cried Out” was definitely one of our more popular selections. I bet this song slayed at talent shows throughout the ‘80s, too.

Mariah Carey proteges Allure and Puff Daddy proteges 112 combined forces for a late ‘90s remake of “All Cried Out” that was a huge hit despite being pretty god damn awful.

“All Cried Out” was LL&CJ’s pop brea…wait. How weird is it that Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam and LL Cool J broke through at the same time on the SAME LABEL?

Anyway, “All Cried Out” was LL&CJ’s pop breakthrough, hitting #8 on the Hot 100. It was the third single from their debut album, and was released as a single almost a year after the album was issued. Their next two singles hit #1, and for half a minute, it looked like Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam were going to be HUGE. And then they weren’t. Although one of the Cult Jammers went on to become a secret musical weapon of Timbaland’s. Y’all need to watch UnSung.

Also, this video? Telenovela realness right here.

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