On this day in music history: October 14, 1983 - “She’s So Unusual”, the debut album by Cyndi Lauper is released. Produced by Rick Chertoff, William Wittman and Cyndi Lauper, it is recorded at the Record Plant in New York City from December 1, 1982 - June 30, 1983. Having spent nearly a decade of singing in various cover bands, Lauper suffers numerous hard knocks and career setbacks, including damaged vocal chords, the break up of her band Blue Angel after the failure of their lone album, and personal bankruptcy. Her luck turns around in 1981 when she meets David Wolff while singing in a local bar in New York City. Wolff becomes her manager, helping her to secure a record deal with CBS/Epic subsidiary Portrait Records in 1982. Paired with producer Rick Chertoff, he brings in his friends Rob Hyman (keyboards, synthesizers, backing vocals), and Eric Bazilian (bass, guitar, backing vocals) (of The Hooters), drummer Anton Fig, bassist Neil Jason, singer/songwriter Jules Shear and Ellie Greenwich (backing vocals) to play on the album. Initially getting off to a slow start, things pick up steam rapidly when the music video for the first single “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” (#2 Pop) goes into heavy rotation on MTV, and other video outlets at the end of the year. The album launches the Queens, NY born vocalist into pop superstardom, with Lauper becoming the first female artist in history to spin off four top five singles from one album, including “Time After Time” (#1 Pop), “She Bop” (#3 Pop), and “All Through The Night” (#5 Pop). “Unusual” spends 65 weeks in the top 40 alone (77 weeks total on the Top 200), winning Cyndi the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1985. It also wins a second Grammy (for art director Janet Perr) for Best Album Package. The memorable front and back cover photos were taken by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz at Coney Island in New York City. The album is first remastered and reissued on CD in 2000 with four additional bonus tracks. It is remastered and reissued again in 2014 for its thirtieth anniversary on CD and clear vinyl with remixes of “Girls” and “Time After Time”. A special two CD boxed edition is also released with the bonus disc containing non LP B-sides, demos, live recordings and studio outtakes. The box unfolds into a 3D diorama mock up of Cyndi’s bedroom from the “Girls” video. It also comes with a paper cut out of the singer, and sheet of vinyl colorforms with various outfits to dress the doll with. The Japanese edition includes “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough” as a bonus track, and a DVD with an hour long documentary on the making of “She’s So Unusual”. The boxed edition also comes with a twenty four page full color booklet, fully annotated and featuring dozens of rare and previously unpublished photos from the album’s cover photo shoot. “She’s So Unusual” peaks at number four on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 6x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
In the studio: Stretch/ Bobb/ Sear/ Lord Finesse/ KRS One/ Supernatural/ Mic Geronimo/ DJ Riz/ Mr Mayhem/ Djinji Brown/ Porno King DJ Riz/ Daddy Reef/ Vinyl Reanimators [DJ Shame & Sean C].
Jay-Z – Greatest MC [Demo] Ill Biskits – God Bless Ya Life Young Zee – Milk Fat Joe -Success [Premier Remix] The Fab 5 – Leflaur Leflah Kool G Rap – 456 Mobb Deep – Temperature’s Rising J-Live – Braggin Writes Cella Dwellas – Good Dwellas Omniscence – Amazin’ Double XX Posse – Stop That Playin [Remix] Instrumental Talk Break - KRS/ Lord Finesse KRS One/ Lord Finesse Freestyle over LF beat created from Marvin Gaye - Lets Get It On KRS One/ Lord Finesse Freestyle over LF beat created from Joe Tex – Papa Was Too Group Home - Livin’ Proof Instrumental GZA, U-God, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah – Investigative Reports Q Ball & Curt Cazal – My Kinda Moves Redman [& Roz Noble] – I Get Down Like That Real Live – Real Live Shit Rakim – Remember That Mic Geronimo - Train of Thought Lord Finesse – Brainstorm feat KRS One & O.C. Supernatural – Buddah Blessed It Talk Break - Mr Mayhem [WNYU], Porno King DJ Riz, Daddy Reef, Vinyl Reanimators [DJ Shame & Sean C]. Supernatural – Freestyle Supernatural – Freestyle over topics Exits & Talk Break Greg Nice - Set It Off Smif-N-Wessun - Nuthin’ Move But Da Money M.O.P. - Raise Hell [Original Version] Real Live - Crime is Money Kool G Rap - Ghetto Knows Mobb Deep - Still Shinin' Kool G Rap & Nas - Fast Life [Vinyl Reanimators Remix] Mic Geronimo - The Natural Mic Geronimo & Royal Flush – Freestyle Talk Break Mic Geronimo [Feat O.C. & Royal Flush] – Men V. Many KRS One – Out For Fame LL Cool J - I Shot Ya Mobb Deep – Temperature’s Rising [Original Version] Fat Joe – Dedication AZ feat. Nas – Mo Money Mo Murder GZA – Liquid Swords La The Darkman Feat Raekwon – As The World Turns Das EFX - Can’t Have Nuttin’ ?? Camp Lo - Coolie High Fat Joe Feat KRS One – Bronx Tale Shyheim Feat D.V., Rubbabandz, Smoothe Da Hustler & Trigger Tha Gambler - What Makes The World Go Round KRS One - Rappaz R. N. Dainja Instrumental Stretch & Lord Sear Talk Break & Exits.