Songwriters: Billy Steinberg, Tom Kelly
Original Release Date: August 25, 1986
Flashback to the 80s! Thanks to the overwhelming support for this cover on our Twitter feed, we decided to uncover the details of Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” this week, covered by idobi fan favorites, All Time Low.
“True Colors” is featured on Lauper’s second studio album of the same name. It was widely successful, spending a couple weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1986 and was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Interestingly enough, Lauper wasn’t part of the writing process for “True Colors.”
Nonetheless, Cyndi Lauper is an unforgettable vocalist. When this song comes on, you know it couldn’t be anyone else behind the mic. She is truly a distinct artist. Lauper sings quietly and with caution on her verses, but lets loose her resonant pipes on the chorus. The song really sinks its teeth in when Lauper’s unique rasp shines in her voice. This song is great because it is free of all complexity or complication. It connects well with listeners because it’s so easy to pick up and sing along. With her meaningful message embedded in the lyrics, it’s almost difficult to not relate to “True Colors.”
All Time Low’s Cover of “True Colors” was featured on the 2013 compilation Love is Hopeless, released by Hopeless Records. The comp featured a mix of Hopeless roster bands covering popular love songs and acoustic versions of original songs. The band give this song their signature spin by turning it into a pop-punk anthem. The electric guitar riff that opens their cover immediately casts away the softness Cyndi Lauper originally created, and opts instead something more fast paced and forceful. The band inject a shot of adrenaline into this delicate ballad, which makes for a surprisingly satisfying rock song. Additionally, the harmonies are where the vocals shine. Alex Gaskarth’s voice is perfectly complemented by a flawless harmony throughout the majority of the song, adding a richness and warmth that makes this track all the more addicting.
If you ever need a motivation boost, reach for All Time Low’s cover and crank the volume! This is a song that is sure to cheer you up instantly (and maybe even inspire a mini-dance party). In the wise words of Cyndi, don’t forget: Your true colors are beautiful like a rainbow.