In the Fall of 1986, Ronald Reagan had just signed the Goldwater-Nichols Act into law, making official the largest reorganization of the United States Department of Defense since the Air Force was made a separate branch of service in 1947. The music scene was dominated by Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, and Madonna. But the hottest female singer of 1984, Cyndi Lauper, was about to make her return.
“True Colors” was released to radio stations in late summer of 1986 and it took some time for the song to take off. By the end of October of that year, Cyndi Lauper would score yet another number one single on Billboard’s Top 100. This would be her last number one single, but definitely not her last great recording. The song has gone on to be remade several times and has been featured in different commercials.
“True Colors” was written by the songwriting team of Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, who also wrote Madonna's "Like A Virgin," Heart's "Alone," and Lauper's "I Drove All Night." The song is about looking below the surface to see what a person is really like. It has a slow, magical beat with incredible vocals. Cyndi sings, “But I see your true colors shining through / I see your true colors and that’s why I love you / So don’t be afraid to let them show /” This single reminded the public why they fell in love with Cyndi in the first place: her girlish (but beautiful) voice.
The “True Colors” video, unfortunately, features the same clichés as Cyndi’s other videos: elementary special effects (then again, this is the '80s); outrageous hair; her mom; her boyfriend (now husband), etc. But don’t let that take away from the brilliance of this song. Download (but by all means, please pay!) the song, turn the lights off, close your eyes, and let this magical number take you to Dreamland.