Last week one of the Daily Prompt topics was “Time after Time.” It was meant to be about rituals, but when I read it, I immediately heard the words to Cyndi Lauper’s song in my head. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to sit down and write that day. But the song has been in my head since then, so I decided to write a post about it.
Cyndi Lauper at The Metro, Boston in the 1980s
I went to see Cyndi at the Metro in Boston back in the 80′s. As you can tell by the photo, I managed to watch the show from close to the stage. The song “Time after Time” was an extremely popular one; it was nominated for a Grammy award as Song of the Year in 1985. In case you haven’t heard it in a while, you can listen below:
This lead me to “All Through the Night,” another of Cyndi’s hits, that was actually written by one of my favorite songwriters, Jules Shear. As I prepared this post, I rediscovered Jules and decided to take you along on my little journey.
Below you will find Cindi’s version of the song and the original version recorded by Jules (and produced by Todd Rundgren!). The discussion following Jules’ version on YouTube is an interesting one. Some people HATE it, they compare it to a polka, and call it smaltzy. What do you think? Before you respond, play the final live version of Jules singing the song just last year in someone’s living room at the bottom of the post. Shows you the work done by a producer, don’t you think?
The other day I had a conversation with an acquaintance who LOVES country music; she goes to festivals and knows every up-and-coming star before they hit the big-time. We talked about songwriters vs performers (this posts shows you can add producers to that list as well). I have always loved and respected great songwriters. If they can perform as well as write…THEN, they get my hero-worship.
As a baby boomer, I think some of the most amazing musician/songwriters were in my generation: from Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell, to Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen…the list goes on and on for me. But everyone knows those people. When I was following music in the 80s and 90s (the way my friend follows music now), I delighted in finding brilliant but less famous songwriters: Difford and Tilbrook from Squeeze, the Finn Brothers from Crowded House, Andy Partridge from XTC, Robert Smith from The Cure, and Robert Forster and Grant McLennan from the Go-Betweens are just a few of my favorites. Jules Shear is in that category for me. His voice is an acquired taste to be sure, but I think he can pull it off.
Somewhere I have his autograph on a slip of paper; here’s my story. Back when I was working at the Orpheum, Elvis Costello (speaking of brilliant songwriters!) was doing a tour with a “spin-the-wheel” element. His songs were listed on a giant game show wheel on the stage, and the song list was different every night based on people spinning the wheel. On this particular night, special guests were performing that function. It so happened Aimee Mann and Jules Shear were a couple at that time and they were in the house to spin the wheel. My later-to-be-husband spied them sitting in the audience, and knowing my admiration for Jules, bothered him for an autograph for me. I’m actually a big fan of Mann’s now too, but he didn’t ask her at that time. It certainly was a nice surprise when he gave it to me. It would be more precious to me now if I had actually spoken to him and gotten it myself.
So here’s a recent version of Jules’ singing “All Through the Night.” A good song is just a good song, right?