12 May 2008

Why Madonna and not Cyndi Lauper?

They both have similar backgrounds, upbringings and tales of the early years... So where did Cyndi go wrong and where did Madonna go right? Anyone care to speculate?



I mean, don't get me wrong, Cyndi was a household name in the mid-eighties and remains a respected Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and an Emmy Award-winning film, television and theater actress... but why Madonna and not Cyndi Lauper? Was it because Madonna became a chameleon and changed with the times and Cyndi stayed the same?



Lauper was neck and neck with Madonna in terms of popularity and infectious pop anthems, and the fact that "Material Girl" and "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" came out in the same year made the ushering in of a new generation of pop stars and hits all too clear and simple. Trouble is, throughout her career Lauper has never even come close to the success of her debut, whereas 20 years on, Madonna continues to be, well, Madonna.

In 1983 Cyndi's "She's So Unusual" exploded and shot to #4 on the Billboard pop charts where it stayed in the top 40 for sixty-five weeks. All told it remained on the charts for 172 weeks and Cyndi became the first artist in history to have 4 top-five singles released from one album.



Lauper became popular with teenagers and critics, in part due to her hybrid punk image and with a series of quirky videos, Lauper dominated MTV for several months. Her bizarre fashion, consisting of multiple layers of thrift store clothing and dozens of accessories, influenced fashion for the last half of the 1980's. Hmmm...

I rummaged the web to find any mentions of Cyndi from Madonna and vice versa but didn't come up with much.

A Madonna fan site I stumbled upon said "I cannot think of any interview where Madonna mentions Cyndi Lauper. I'd guess Madonna doesn't really care about CL, she probably just views her as another artist that has disappeared. I have never seen a picture of them together. The only real reference I can think of them together is on Madonna's Who's That Girl tour. Madonna performed Dress You Up as a CL spoof where she wore an outfit very similar to something from the Girls just want to have fun video. I'm not sure if it was intended as humor or to be mocking."

Hmmm... indeed.

I also found this:


"Do you think Madonna's "dream" about Cyndi Lauper was just made up so people
would think less of Cyndi? she said in a book she did that she had a dream that a guy she's dating is sleeping with Cyndi. Here is part of the excerpt:".....And I see that he's fucking somebody and I'm horrified. It's this little blond chick. So I pull him off of her and I notice that it's Cyndi Lauper, So I pull him off and I said, "You disgusting pig! How could you f*ck somebody? And most of all, how could you f*ck Cyndi Lauper?"---Madonna

Do you think she just made that up because Cyndi is kind of like her rival or whatever, & people are always comparing & competing the 2, & she's just trying to make people see Cyndi as unattractive or whatever?

Another Madonna continues:


"They were never "rivals", it was the media who tried to pit them against each
other. Madonna never mentioned Cyndi, as far as I can remember and I don't know
of any photos they have together.

Here's an interesting article from back in the day about the two of them: http://www.cooldudesandhotbabes.com/musicwomen1985.html

There's also a question about her "rivalry" with Madonna in an interview with Cyndi
here: http://www.artistwd.com/joyzine/music/lauper/lauper.php

On Cyndi's 2002 EP "Shine", she released a song called "Madonna Whore". The term Madonna-whore complex refers to a psychological complex in Freudian psychoanalysis that is said to develop in men.

According to Freudian psychology, this complex often develops when the sufferer is raised by a cold and distant mother. Such a man will often court women with qualities of his mother, hoping to fulfill a need for intimacy unmet in childhood. Often, the wife begins to be seen as mother to the husband — a Madonna figure — and thus not a possible object of sexual attraction. For this reason, in the mind of the sufferer, love and sex cannot be mixed, and the man is reluctant to have sexual relations with his wife, for that, he thinks unconsciously, would be as incest. He will reserve sexuality for "bad" or "dirty" women, and will not develop "normal" feelings of love in these sexual relationships.

Popularly, the term is used to describe an unsatisfiable desire by a man to have his wife or other female partner exhibit both of these mutually exclusive traits. This introduces a dilemma where men may feel unable to love any women that can satisfy them sexually and are unable to be sexually satisfied by any women that they can love. Alternatively, the term is to describe or attempt to justify the behavior of men who pursue multiple women as a way of fulfilling each of these needs.

Right but was Cyndi singing about some cryptic psychological complex in Freudian psychoanalysis or was she not-so-subtly calling out Madonna Louise Ciccone Ritchie? Either way and no matter what, depending on how depressed I am "Time After Time" can still make me cry to this day.

6 comments:

eddie said...

I think it's as simple as the fact that Madonna has always been more sexually attractive than CL. Guys want to bang her, therefore girls want to be like her. I remember when Brooklyn and the Staten Island mall were full of Madonna clones, but I don't remember too many bizzaro Lauper's.If Cindy sexed it up and pulled Madonna like transformations she'd have been much more successful.

BTW- If I ever need a female narrator, I'd pay anything for Lauper...her speaking voice is one of my favorites.

lisa said...

I wouldn't bang Madonna if you paid me. Personally, I found what Eddie said a little offensive - IF Cyndi had sexed it up and been an MTV slut, she would've been better?

No. That's what I like about her. Not only does she have integrity, she's got a voice to back it up. Two things Madonna could've sorely used when she decided she wanted to be a uh, "respectable" woman.

Cyndi DID change, and that's why she didn't stay on top: She ditched the colourful image after 1989, made more personal music, and that didn't go over well with some people. If she had stayed the same, people would be calling her out as being some pathetic retro-act. Damned if she does, damned if she doesn't.

Never thought Madonna Whore was about Madonna. When asked, Cyndi has generally had nothing but praise for her. Not too long ago, Madonna said she liked her and that she ripped off of Cyndi a little in the 80s (a little!). It's the media who likes to make everyone think they hate one another. Are they friends? Eh... Don't think so. But they could probably be safely together in the same room.

man of the rose said...

Why Madonna and not Cyndi Lauper? Music-wise, Madonna chose to be commercially successful while Cyndi followed her artistic & creative side. Acting-wise, Cyndi was nominated twice for an Emmy: one in 1994 and one in 1995 in which she won while Madonna finally received a Golden Globe trophy in 1996. Both are gay icons especially Cyndi being a human rights & GLBT advocate.

As for Madonna never mentioning Cyndi Lauper, here's a video that might help clear some of your questions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tjp8_ho4R40

Anonymous said...

Madonna was always a little ahead of Cyndi Lauper. Madonna's debut album came before Cyndi Lauper's. True Colors came out several months after True Blue and featured a monochromatic yellow photo of Cyndi Lauper in profile, similar to the True Blue cover featuring a monochrome blue image of Madonna in profile. They were marketed almost identically but Cyndi was always a little behind and maybe that's why Madonna was a bigger success. Also, Madonna's style evolved over time and she took bigger risks (The Sex Book and Erotica) so her impact on pop culture is much stronger.

Christopher said...

Madonna was always a little ahead of Cyndi Lauper. Madonna's debut album came before Cyndi Lauper's. True Colors came out several months after True Blue and featured a monochromatic yellow photo of Cyndi Lauper in profile, similar to the True Blue cover featuring a monochrome blue image of Madonna in profile. They were marketed almost identically but Cyndi was always a little behind and maybe that's why Madonna was a bigger success. Also, Madonna's style evolved over time and she took bigger risks (The Sex Book and Erotica) so her impact on pop culture is much stronger.

Anonymous said...

Madonna has mentioned Cyndi Lauper many times and even told ET in 2006 (you can probably find the video on youtube) that they came up together and she would love to work with Cyndi so I don't know where you are getting your info. About a month later Cyndi Lauper said in OUT magazine that she and Madonna were planning a duet. Even though it never happened both women clearly have respect for each other. The truth is Cyndi Lauper is the only real competition Madonna ever had. Cyndi had a much better singing voice but Madonna was much more innovative. Madonna was on a mission to rule the world. You have to remember that back in the 80's there was no such thing as artists reinventing themselves. Madonna invented this. So that's why she lasted and all the others faded out.