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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"True Colors"

Cyndi Lauper - "True Colors" (1986)

The name of Lauper's advocacy group to fight homelessness and promote acceptance and tolerance and promote gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered issues is the True Colors Fund.

Lauper's final huge pop hit has been covered by dozens of artists, used in an iconic series of commercials and has become associated with tolerance around the world, particularly as it applies to the Gay Community. The song is built around the lyrics and Lauper's delivery. Her voice is pleasant and appealing, but has occasional slips into a strained tone which gives her a sense of being a real person singing her real opinion without sounding like an amateur. 

If the song was faster it would probably be New Wave. Most of the instrumentation is keyboard and predominantly synthesizers at that. The percussion is open frame drums and hand drums with bells or perhaps even a tambourine. The whole instrumentation is kind of background music style, almost meant to be forgotten as soon as it is heard. Cyndi Lauper planed it that way. Original song writers Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg brought the song to her with the idea of it being a big production song, with the whole thing rising to a gospel choir style ending. Lauper stripped it all down to bare bones and had herself a big hit with this emotional ballad.
Kelly and Steinberg were recently inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Most of their big hits came in the 80s, and almost all of them were for female performers. The wrote for Madonna, The Bangles, The Pretenders, The Divinyls and Whitney Houston. They met and started working together when each of them contributed a song to a Pat Benatar album

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