This song was recorded for the 1985 film The Goonies, which came from the Steven Spielberg camp and was directed by Richard Donner. Lauper had a quirky sound that fit well with the film, a campy adventure starring teenaged Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, and Corey Feldman. Lauper's look was also a good fit for the movie, and when this song appears, it's in the guise of a video the boys are watching on at TV screen, with Lauper in the frame.
The word "Goonies" is never uttered in the lyric. Ray Parker, Jr. was able to fit "ghostbusters
" into a song a year earlier, but getting "goonies" into a hook proved impossible. The song was given the awkward title "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough" to get the movie in there as well as the chorus lyric. Most people know it as "The Goonies Song."
The song is very ambiguous in meaning and with the mention of "old-fashioned superstitions" only hints at the movie's plot. But it has a huge chorus that shows up Lauper's striking voice.
Lauper's boyfriend/manager convinced her to get involved with pro wrestling, as he thought it would help promote her career. There was a two-part video that was shot for this song which featured many popular pro wrestlers of the day, including Andre the Giant, Captain Lou Albanno, and the Iron Shiek. The videos also feature Steven Spielberg, part of The Goonies cast, and a swashbuckling Bangles, who appear on the pirate ship. The Bangles had released one album and were unknown outside of the Los Angeles Paisley Underground scene, but they had served as Lauper's opening act and Cyndi suggested them for the soundtrack. They contributed a song called "I Got Nothing." The Bangles had their breakout soon after with their 1986 album Different Light.
When she did this song, Lauper had released just one solo album, but it was a big one. She's So Unusual, issued in 1983, made her a sensation and spawned four Top 5 US singles. "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough" wasn't released until the summer of 1985, so there was lots of demand for a new Cyndi Lauper song. Her second album, True Colors, was released the following year.
This was a Top 10 hit, but it did not appear on one of Lauper's albums until the 2003 compilation The Essential Cyndi Lauper. It was conspicuously absent from her 1995 compilation Twelve Deadly Cyns... and Then Some.
Lauper admitted in an interview with Matthew Rettenmund for his 1996 book Totally Awesome 80s: A Lexicon of the Music, Videos, Movies, TV Shows, Stars, and Trends of that Decadent Decade, that she hated the song, which was why she had chosen not to include it in Twelve Deadly Cyns.
Lauper wrote this with Stephen Broughton Lunt, who was one of the "She Bop
" co-writers, and the keyboard player Arthur Stead. Broughton Lunt and Stead also wrote Brenda K. Starr's "What You See Is What You Get."
The single's B-side was "What a Thrill," which got Lauper nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance - Female in 1986.
Sean Astin, who was in The Goonies, spoke about the song in the commentary on the DVD release. He said they all loved the song, but appeared tired during the video shoot. He gave a sincere apology to Lauper. Part 1 of the video is available on the DVD.
Lauper stopped playing the song live in 1987. It returned to her setlists in 2004 and remained one of her concert staples from that point on.