Release Date: Sept 94
Chart Position: 4
‘Hey now, hey now, what’s the matter with you?’, many things but at this particular time it’s this song’s inclusion in the Neggae blog that’s currently twisting my testicles.
A few weeks after the censorship furore it seemed things were back to more peaceful, democratic times in the Republic of Neggae then this song crops up to remind us that the Republic of Neggae is ruled by a Synanist dictatorship. How the f*ck has this snuck into the hot 90? I don’t remember this being in the original list, I’m starting to think so North Korean style revisionism is going on. Undoubtedly this will be justified by some fatuous reasoning along the lines of ‘Well Jim Carver from the Bill was on the modcast and he said it was neggae’ or ‘Well it’s on Wikipedia’, here’s a list of 15 other Wikipedia ‘facts’.
Anyway, rant over, I’ll now review the song. The lyrics are a young woman’s plea to her father to treat her as a grown up, she’s no longer his little girl. In a nutshell it’s ‘Cheers for looking after me for all those years Dad but leave me alone now because I’m at the age where I just want to be getting ragged up all over the shop.’ A pretty ungrateful sentiment, those stripy tights didn’t buy themselves. The production is basically like a Lilt advert, they’ve got a song and stuck a cheap neggaeish beat behind it. It would be more suited to the backdrop of a Diet Lilt advert showing various women enjoying an active island life whilst imbibing the drink, because tropical taste doesn’t always have to mean a high calorie count and means you can still be 100% mint condition, am I right sisters?
The video is a budget version of the Moulin Rouge inspired ‘Lady Marmalade’ video with Cyndi and a bevy of attractive women, shit, hold on, look at the adam’s apple on that load of cross dressers, because that’s the joke right, they’re not actually girls, get it? How deliciously ironic, what sharp wit, did Russ Abbott direct this? This manages to make Ace of Base seem like Steel Pulse.
Score: 1/10 – Prefer her work with Wildlife, any chance of some neggae next week Vincent Synan?
OK, so somehow Lauper ends up on the Neggae Hot 90. I’m not quite sure how or why to be honest, this is more Ace of Base than Chaka Demus and Pliers. With that said, I went into this with an open mind and tried my hardest to compose a semi-thoughtful review.
I received the link from Vince, and when I clicked it, I got this:
A little disconcerting, and I had to do some surfing around Youtube to find ‘la Lauper’. Her original 80s hairband stuff that was offered up at Cinderellas every Monday back in the day was what I found and, in Neggae terms, it was a letdown to say the least. I then look around the room, and, in some sort of Neggae wilderness and come across this little fella, a Neggae banana that the kids won at Busch Gardens.
This gives me hope. After catching a glimpse of Mr Neg, I am now inspired to go on and search for the correct tune. In my mind I have Shaggy, Bitty and even Shabba while I scoure the interweb (over 3 clicks is scouring by the way). Lo and behold, I find Lauper’s offering.
I’m presented with some quite awkward nightclub moments with men dressing as women. For me there isn’t much in this song/video that gets me headbobbing, foot tapping and Malibu sipping with Mr Neg. In fact this reminds me of a rather eye-opening experience I had in a night club in London that encouraged this sort of activity. I won’t mention the bathrooms.. Anyway, let’s move on to some proper neggae and not a retread of pish thank you very much.
Score: Put me down for 0/10 – go away Lauper, you are not welcome here!
I am sure I will be forgiven for not over-analysing this entry from Cyndi Lauper and trying to make it out to be something it is not. I’m simply going to sum it up for what it is.
Bottom line is that her first effort at ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ was the first major hit for Cyndi and arguably the one that made her famous and she enjoyed all the benefits that brought her through the later stages of the 80s. After a string of failed singles through the early 90s I assume her and her management team needed to get her back in the game. As we have seen a few times already they fell into the lazy trap of: ‘I’ve got it!! Commercial Reggae is big at the moment, let’s get in on the act!’.
Cyndi I can only imagine then went off and spent hours researching the genre and building a plan to make an authentic reggae tune that was in keeping with modern trends. The result of such hard work was to take her first big hit, change the name slightly to add “’Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)”, (the use of brackets in song titles was also hot around that time) slow it right down and overlay it to a video of trannies walking around in some ‘trannies only’ hostel/brothel, with some dancing nuns thrown in for good measure.
I can only imagine the faces of those around her when she unveiled the fruits of her efforts, I am not entirely sure this is what they had in mind! It peaked at no 4 in the UK and reached the dizzy heights of 87 in the US. Pretty sure it did nothing for her getting back in the game, she might have done better getting on the game?
Score: A totally embarrassing 1/10
There’s nothing I like to do more with my spare time than watch washed up popstars rehashing their own back catalogues in order to make a fast buck. This isn’t going to take long, its a dreadful song with a god awful video.
The song itself is lazy. Reduced bpm and “Reggaefied” drums being the only real difference from an original which I never really liked anyway. Cyndi Lauper is Cyndi Lauper, the silly faces may have changed but its the same old screechy vocals she’s been repeating for twenty years, no real range or light and shade.
The video its an absolute crock of bum juice.
For some reason I thought the Goonies were in the original video. This got me to thinking how good a Neggae remake of the Goonies could have been. Chaka Demus doing the truffle shuffle to amuse Shabba Ranks and Johnny Gill’s Frattelli brothers whilst they get a good old whack from their mother (Dawn Penn). But upon looking it up I realized that ‘Good Enough’ was featured in the Goonies. Disappointing, he giveth, then he taketh away.
The original video to GJWHF sees Lauper mooching around her house playing up like a teenager. It all looks dated these days but she can be excused for the idea behind it. Shes a girl, she just wants to have fun etc etc.
I can only assume the thinking behind this one came from some overpaid Media Buzz group.
“Hey I got it!, as we’re going all rastafarian with the video, why don’t we do something crazy, like make all the girls boys?” Terrible idea. Terrible video.
A cross dressing ode to Sister Act on stage with Cyndi Lauper as ring leader.
For the song I’m tempted to give a zero. I’m actually looking for bonus points so lets see what we can do :
Dancing & Coreography : Cyndi Lapuer moves like a drunk show off butch Nan at a wedding. Constantly flexing her muscles. Nil points.
Style : Moon burnt complexion. Bright Orange curtains and a red bowler hat. She actually dresses like a half eaten Sherbet Dipper. Nil Points.
There is nothing good about this song. The best thing Cyndi Lauper ever did was manage to get name dropped on Mylo’s Destroy Rock n Roll. Rank.
Score: 0 From me.
I’ve come in for a fair bit of stick by adding this to the Neggae blog, but it’s OK, I’ve got broad shoulders. Nothing worth doing properly is ever easy, and if having 2 or 3 so-called friends whinging on Facebook is what it takes to ensure a correct historical docment is recorded then I can take it. The point is, this record clearly indicates the moment where Neggae had well and truly:
Depending on your perspective. As with most movements, the early adopters had done their hard work and by late 94 the money-men were moving in, cynically churning out product to mass appeal.
That said, in 1994 Cyndi still had a fine set of pipes on her, and the hammond organ flourishes are not without charm. But the beats – Ugh. so obvious. As for the video, well it clearly aimed at the homosexual market isn’t it? Cyndi Lauper has a big gay following who I assume lapped this up and ensured it reached the lofty heights of number 4.
On the subject of homosexuals (and the fear of them) in Jamaican culture, I once spoke to a chap of Jamaican descent who steadfastly refused to acknowledge the existence of Gay Jamaicans. Said they don’t exist. Like aliens or the Woking Lion. Well they do my non-believer friend. And they are supergays. Check out Gabriel here – he basically shut down Kingston for half an hour by stripping down and flouncing around like David McAlmont for a bit. Be nice to the gays now, or they’ll come and get you…
Anyway, the song’s a pile of pony, but raised some important points and- HOLD ON! HAVE YOU HEARD THE TUNE CYNDI COVERED FOR THE “HEY NOW! HEY NOW” BIT?
SHIT THE BED!
IT’S FUCKING BRILLIANT!
AND WHAT’S THAT? WITHOUT INVESTIGATING THIS SONG WE MIGHT NEVER HAVE HEARD IT YOU SAY? THAT’S GOT TO BE WORTH A FEW POINTS HASN’T IT?
Score: Yes, yes it does. Four points out of ten to be exact.
NEGGAE SCORE: 1.2