Robert Hazard ‘Girls just wanna have fun’ owned by Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper is not just a musical icon because she broke all our hearts with her beautiful song “Time after time”, no, she’s also one of THE best cover artists I’ve ever seen, heard and build a shrine made out of petticoats for.

Case in point: I still find out that certain songs she made her own actually were originally by another artist. Her cover of “When you were mine” is iconic because Cyndi did not change the gender of the Prince-song and therefore made it a favourite among the LGBTQ-community. Then she picked up “I drove all night” and turned this Roy Orbison classic into a cool and a lot sexier 80s hymn. And then she miraculously turned the somewhat offbeat “All through the night” by Jules Shear into a longing ballad that has to be heard through a car radio. Her touch is truly magical.

And still, I did not know that one of her biggest hits was a cover song. True Color me surprised!

Edit: I got corrected in the comments that it wasn’t really a cover because Hazard only recorded it as a demo and didn’t officially release it before Lauper got her hands on it. So, thanks to the commenter for the info but shame on the commenter for doing it as condescending as possible (sorry, not sorry).

Robert Hazard (born as the less dangerous Robert Rimato) was a musician who mainly played and wrote country songs but also tried out electro-pop, folk and for whatever reason (it was the 80s!) reggae.

His original song has a great sound but his intentions were a little – well – sleazy. The song originally was about the kind of fun men imagine “girls” are having in the bedroom (men included) and looking back at it now with Cyndi’s all-encompassing version stuck in my head, it’s nearly impossible to imagine this song as a weird pulpy dream by a dude.

(also, the first comment on this YouTube video is by Clive Preston who – apparently – played the guitar on this song. For all the horror that lurks in YouTube comments, there are very rare gems hidden)

Edit: As you can see in the comments, there’s a plot-thickening change in the Clive Preston-story. Was he one of those people who comment untrue stories on the internet? 

So, what did Cyndi do? Initially, she wanted to skip the song. Having experiences with awful men herself, she shuddered at the thought of singing something like that but her manager believed that she could turn the meaning around and make the song her own. And so she did with the help of some much needed changes of the lyrics (in this case, the changing of the gender DID improve the song mightily).

That’s how effing great Cyndi is, who else can basically midas-touch a creepy sex-song into a feminist anthem? She also doubled down with the video which is all petticoats, wild hair and introducing “not giving a shit”-dancing to the world.

8 thoughts on “Robert Hazard ‘Girls just wanna have fun’ owned by Cyndi Lauper

    1. It’s not anymore! I have this theory that since music criticism has been taken from anti-social “High Fidelity”-types who think that The Velvet Underground is peak music and consider pop music bad in general, the threshold to become a guilty pleasure has shifted as well. Which is nice. I would say that a lot of 80s Classic Rock still is as guilty as a pleasure can be, if you try to find something new.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I remember this uh whatsitcalled microdisk player I got as an advertising present in the 90s, and Time after Time was one of my songs on that disk. Those were the days.
        By the way: What do you think of Nik Kershaw? I consider him vastly underrated.

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  1. This is not a “cover”. Hazard’s version was a (then) unreleased demo that he forgot about.

    This makes it no different than someone recording a guide vocal track and shopping it around to other artists. Cyndi’s is the “original” version of the song Hazard wrote and that is how it should be viewed.

    This is hardly the same as UB40 recording a version of Neal Diamond’s “Red, Red Wine”

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  2. Dont know who clive preston is but I never heard of him, I was in Roberts band when this song was written and I have proof. Cindy Laupers version was arranged by her producer Rick Chertoff and Eric and Rob from the Philly band the Hooters who played on her album. Rob also wrote time after time for that album

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