When they both hit the Top 40 in 1983, it was a common debate: Who was better, Madonna or Cyndi Lauper?

While Madonna had the sex appeal, looks and dance moves down, it was the general consensus that Cyndi had True Talent. After all, she helped co-write some of her own songs and she had that voice – that wonderful, squeaky, cutesy-poo, then suddenly dead serious belting voice. Lauper had control and nuance Madonna could only dream of. Unfortunately, as Madonna’s image matured, Cyndi seemed to become even more infantile, getting involved with wrestling, contributing the theme song for “The Goonies” and filming video after madcap, wacky video. And when Madonna went into films, someone decided Cyndi had to follow.

And we were presented with “Vibes,” co-starring Jeff Goldblum. I’m not going to pretend I’ve ever seen this flick or can comment knowledgeably about it, because I haven’t and I can’t. But judging solely on the clips featured in the video for the theme song, boy, did it look stinky.

“Hole In My Heart (All The Way To China)”, wasn’t bad by any stretch, it was perhaps just a little too familiar. It has the corporate stink of someone at the movie studio ordering up “a Cyndi Lauper-type song”, only this time they got the real thing. The single didn’t do well at all, especially in comparison to her string of hits previous. It’s never shown up on any domestic Lauper compilation – I happen to have an old 3″ CD single from when Sony was trying that format out.

Tellingly, this was the last “wacky” Lauper song – her next album showcased a new, more mature look and sound and it was rewarded with a return to the Top 10 with “I Drove All Night”.

And that Madonna? She did okay.

”Hole In My Heart (All The Way To China)” peaked at #54 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1988.

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Cyndi Lauper

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