“Girls Just Want To Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper (1983)

“Girls Just Want To Have Fun” is an anthem for feminists and those who love them. Interestingly, it was originally written from the male point of view. Yep, Cyndi Lauper’s breakout hit was a cover, written and originally performed by Robert Hazard in 1979. Hazard might lay claim to the first version of the song, but Cyndi gives the definitive reading and the song belongs to her the same as if she’d penned the lyrics herself.

When “Girls” was released in late 1983, it arrived on the radio and video airwaves like a tornado; a big-voiced, nasal, red-haired, thrift-store-shopping tornado. I don’t think the music world had ever seen anything like her before. I’d certainly never seen (or heard) anything like her before, and it certainly helped that, after missing the mark as a member of the band Blue Angel, she made her solo entrance with one of the greatest 1-2-3-4 punches of any artist in history.

While there are certainly many more serious-minded girl power anthems out there, “Girls” delivers on the fun delivered in its title. From Cyndi’s ebullient vocalizing to the goofy synth-solo in the bridge to the whacked-out video (complete with cameos from wrestler Captain Lou Albano and Cyndi’s actual mom), “Girls” feels carefree, lighthearted and inclusive in a way that made it perfect for one of pop music’s most artistically fertile period, one that featured barriers being broken almost daily. Without Cyndi, it’s unlikely there would be a Sia or a Kimbra or any other female artist that pushes the boundaries of pop music weirdness today.

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