True Colors (Cyndi Lauper album)

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True Colors
File:Cyndi Lauper - True Colors.jpg
Studio album by Cyndi Lauper
Released September 15, 1986
Recorded November 22, 1985 –
May 31, 1986
Studio The Power Station, The Hit Factory
(New York City, New York)[1]
Genre Pop
Length 37:57
Label Portrait
Producer Cyndi Lauper, Lennie Petze
Cyndi Lauper chronology
She's So Unusual
(1983)She's So Unusual1983
True Colors
A Night to Remember
(1989)A Night to Remember1989
Singles from True Colors
  1. "True Colors"
    Released: July 25, 1986
  2. "Change of Heart"
    Released: November 11, 1986
  3. "What's Going On"
    Released: January 16, 1987
  4. "Boy Blue"
    Released: March 9, 1987
  5. "Maybe He'll Know"
    Released: May 12, 1987
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau B–[3]

True Colors is the second album by American pop singer Cyndi Lauper, released on September 15, 1986. The album produced several hits as "True Colors", "Change of Heart", and "What's Going On" reached the top twenty of the Billboard Hot 100, with the first two becoming top 5 hits.

Upon its release, the album received generally positive reviews from music critics. The album earned Lauper several awards and accolades, including two nominations at the 29th Grammy Awards. True Colors peaked at number four on the Billboard 200 chart, staying on the chart for 14 weeks.

Album information

In the United States, True Colors has been certified double platinum by the RIAA[4] and peaked at number four on the Billboard 200 albums chart. It topped the Australian chart for four weeks and, in Japan, outsold She's So Unusual, although that was not the case in most countries.

The album produced the singles "True Colors" (No. 1 Billboard Hot 100), "Change of Heart" (No. 3), "What's Going On" (No. 12), and "Boy Blue" (No. 71). Each single had a music video although the video for "Boy Blue" was just a live performance from her Zenith concert in Paris.

True Colors was re-issued in a Japanese exclusive limited edition box set 11-track digitally remastered CD album.

The title song, written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, has been covered by many other artists, and was used as the theme song for the 1988 Summer Olympics, the 2003 Rugby World Cup and for Kodak cameras and film. In 2010, the song was also featured on the soundtrack of Sex and the City 2.

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Publisher Length
1. "Change of Heart"   Cyndi Lauper, Essra Mohawk Stone & Muffin Music Corp., Rella Music 4:22
2. "Maybe He'll Know"   Lauper, John Turi Rella Music, Turi Music 4:25
3. "Boy Blue"   Lauper, Jeff Bova, Stephen Broughton Lunt Rella Music, Perfect Punch Music, Liquid Crystal Music 4:46
4. "True Colors"   Tom Kelly, Billy Steinberg Denise Barry Music, Billy Steinberg Music 3:46
5. "Calm Inside the Storm"   Lauper, Rick Derringer Scratch & Shift Music; Rella Music 3:54
6. "What's Going On"   Renaldo Benson, Alfred Cleveland, Marvin Gaye Jobete Music Corp., Stone Agate Music Division 4:39
7. "Iko Iko"   Rosa Lee Hawkins, Barbara Anne Hawkins, Joan Marie Johnson, Sharon Jones, Marilyn Jones, Boogaloo Joe Jones, Jesse Thomas Arc Music Corp., Melder Publishing Company, Trio Music Co., Warner-Tamerlane Publishing 2:08
8. "The Faraway Nearby"   Lauper, Tom Gray Rella Music, Gray Matter Publishing 3:00
9. "911"   Lauper, Lunt Rella Music, Perfect Punch Music 3:16
10. "One Track Mind"   Lauper, Bova, Jimmy Bralower, Lennie Petze Rella Music, Fancy Footwork Music, Liquid Crystal Music, Red Sox Music 3:41
Total length:
  • "Summer Sonic 07" live track recorded at Japan Summer Sonic Festival, either Osaka (11 August 2007) or Tokyo (12 August 2007).[5]
  • Track 11 is a bonus track on the 2008 Japan remastered Mini-LP version[6] (and 2013 re-issue of same).
  • In 2013, the 2008 Japan remaster was reissued on BSCD2 format with the same 2008 tracklisting.[7]
  • Unreleased tracks:
    • "Heading for the Moon" (Lauper, Lunt, Arthur Stead) appeared as the B-side of "True Colors".
    • "Heartbeats" appeared on the 12" single of "Change of Heart" but is not a new song, rather a bass and drums mix of the title track.
    • Lauper recorded the theme for "Pee-wee's Playhouse" (2:29) 1986 US television series


Year Recipient/Nominated work Award Result
1987 "True Colors" Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Nominated
"911" Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance Nominated
"True Colors" MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video Nominated
"What's Going On" MTV Video Music Award for Best Cinematography Nominated



Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[25] 2× Platinum 200,000
France (SNEP)[26] Gold 136,100[27]
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[28] Gold 7,500
Japan (Oricon Charts) 404,000[13]
United Kingdom (BPI)[29] Silver 60,000
United States (RIAA)[4] 2× Platinum 2,000,000

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone



  • Producers: Cyndi Lauper, Lennie Petze
  • Executive producer: David Wolff
  • Engineer: Brian McGee
  • Assistant engineers: Jon Goldberger, Tim Kramer, Dave O'Donnell
  • Mixing: Jason Corsaro, Brian McGee
  • Mastering: George Marino
  • Arrangers: Cyndi Lauper, Adrian Belew, Jeff Bova, Jimmy Bralower, Stephen Broughton Lunt, Lennie Petze, Peter Wood
  • Art direction: Cyndi Lauper, Holland MacDonald
  • Design: Holland MacDonald
  • Photography: Annie Leibovitz


  1. Cyndi Lauper – True Colors at Discogs
  2. Chadbourne, Eugene. "Cyndi Lauper: True Colors > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  3. Christgau, Robert (October 28, 1986). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved June 26, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "American album certifications – Cyndi Lauper – True Colors". Recording Industry Association of America.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "United_StatesCyndi_LauperTrue_ColorsalbumCertRef" defined multiple times with different content
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Cyndi Lauper – True Colors" (in German). Retrieved 10 October 2011. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "RPM 100 Albums". RPM. archived at Library and Archives Canada (Volume 45, No. 6). 1 November 1986. Retrieved 10 October 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Cyndi Lauper – True Colors" (in Dutch). Retrieved 10 October 2011. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Tous les Albums classés par Artiste" (in French). Retrieved 11 August 2011. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Select Cyndi LAUPER and click OK.
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Yamachan Land (Archives of the Japanese record charts) – Albums Chart Daijiten – Cyndi Lauper" (in Japanese). 30 December 2007. Retrieved 8 July 2011. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Cyndi Lauper – True Colors". Retrieved 10 October 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Cyndi Lauper – True Colors". Retrieved 10 October 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Cyndi Lauper – True Colors" (in German). Retrieved 10 October 2011. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "True Colors". Archived from the original on 2012-07-21. Retrieved 10 October 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "true-colors". Retrieved 2011-22-10. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Album Search: Cyndi Lauper – A Night to Remember" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2012-01-11. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1986". RPM. Retrieved 2011-11-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "Japanese Year-End Albums Chart 1986" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 27 November 2010. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "Top 100 Albums of '87". RPM. 1987-12-26. Retrieved 2011-11-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "Les Albums (CD) de 1987 par InfoDisc" (PHP) (in French). Retrieved 2012-01-29. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. "Billboard.BIZ  – Year-end Charts – Billboard 200 – 1987". Retrieved 2011-11-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "Canadian album certifications – Cyndi Lauper – True Colors". Music Canada. Retrieved 2012-02-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "French album certifications – Lauper C. – True Colors" (in French). InfoDisc. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Select LAUPER C. and click OK
  27. "Les Albums Or". (in French). SNEP. Retrieved 2012-02-28. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. "IFPIHK Gold Disc Award − 1988". IFPI Hong Kong.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. "British album certifications – Cyndi Lauper – True Colors". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2012-02-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Enter True Colors in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search

External links

Preceded by
1986 Just for Kicks by Various artists
Australian Kent Music Report number-one album
September 29 – October 26, 1986
Succeeded by
Graceland by Paul Simon