Time After Time

Album: She's So Unusual (1983)
Charted: 3 1
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  • Lauper wrote this song with Rob Hyman, who also sang backup. Hyman was in a Philadelphia band with Eric Bazilian and Rick Chertoff. When Rick took a job as a staff producer at Columbia Records, he kept in touch with Rob and Eric, who formed The Hooters. Chertoff was assigned to produce Lauper, a then-unknown artist. Lauper's band, Blue Angel, had broken up, so she needed musicians. Rick suggested Rob and Eric, then brought her to see The Hooters at a club called The Bottom Line.

    Hyman told Songfacts: "It was the first time we met her. We talked and right from the jump she was so unusual. She was definitely different and striking and creative. One thing led to another - she saw our band, we got a chance to hear one of her demos. She came down to Philadelphia and was staying with a friend. She worked with us in our rehearsal studio and did a bunch of demos, so it was really a tryout period - we also tried out some drummers and bass players, but it ended up being Eric and myself doing most of the guitars and keyboards, and Rick producing. We became her band for that album."
  • In our interview with Rob Hyman, he explained: "With 'Time After Time,' we wrote that very quickly. We were recording Cyndi's debut album. We had all the songs chosen, and quite simply the producer, Rick Chertoff, suggested to all of us that the album could use 'One more song.' We had 'Girls Just Want To Have Fun,' we had 'She Bop,' we had 'All Through The Night,' we had what would end up being really strong songs.

    It felt good to us, but for Rick, he's been known to say that on every album - you could always have 'One more song,' but in this case, he absolutely was right and in this case we delivered. We had most of the album recorded and we were close to mixing the record when he suggested this fateful 'One more song.' Cyndi and I sat at the piano one night and after the sessions we would just stay in the studio. It was over several days. We would start after the session, we would just stay. This was at the Record Plant studios in New York, and we would just sit at the piano and throw these ideas around into a cassette machine."
  • Lauper came up with the title when she saw it in the magazine TV Guide. Time After Time is the name of a 1979 science fiction movie starring Malcolm McDowell as H.G. Wells, whose time machine is stolen by Jack The Ripper, who uses it to travel from 1893 to 1979. Wells follows him into the future and goes on a quest to stop him from killing. Rob Hyman said: "When she saw Time After Time, something clicked - she said, 'I think I have a title.'

    I was sitting at the piano and just started banging out what would eventually be the chorus, hook, and the way we sing it. It almost had like a reggae feel, it was a little bouncier and a little more upbeat. We started getting off on that chorus, then the verse melodies started to appear.

    It's a deceptively simple song. The verses are just a little repeating three-note motif - almost like a nursery rhyme, a very simple song. Then we started to realize we were on to something. The mood of the lyrics came from both of us. I think Cyndi came in and really started the lyric flow, then all of the sudden we realized it wasn't such a bouncy song, but it was a little more bittersweet and a little deeper in its feeling and a little more poignant, so the music started to change. We wrote a little bridge section and I think the last thing we really wrote was the chorus. We had 'Time After Time,' we just had to get the words that would surround it."
  • "A lot of things happened in that song," Rob Hyman said. "It was the first song we ever wrote together. We had just finished recording her first album together - this was going to be a big debut for her. We all felt there was something special in the works, but it was still very fresh to us. We were really just getting to know each other in a way. At this point, we were both going through some personal relationships and some personal things that were both meaningful and deep for us, and somehow the lyrics just started to come out.

    It's almost one of those things where you can open up to a stranger or a more casual acquaintance than a deep friend or family member. Sometimes you meet someone at a party and you start saying things about yourself that you might not say to your closest friend. I think with the things we were both going through - for me it was a relationship that was just breaking up and for Cyndi with her manager, which was also a personal relationship - I think the song reflected that mood."
  • Explaining how they brought the song to the finish line, Hyman said: "We never did a demo of the song. We just kind of bashed it out on the piano over a couple of days, maybe a week or two period. It really did happen pretty quickly, and we needed to because the album was being finished. I'd say in two or three sessions the song was pretty much done. Didn't do a demo, we went right to the 24-track machine. The demo was what you hear. That was literally the first real recording besides some little cassette ideas.

    We were in the studio, we figured, 'All right, we have no time to waste, let's just put it down.' The process with all the other songs was, we spent months and months in our rehearsal studio doing various arrangements and demos before we went in the studio. In this case, there was no pre-production. We went right to the tape, and what you hear is our first take on it, which I think added so much to the overall feel of that song, not just the impact as a composition, but the idea that we were capturing that spontaneous feel. That's always a great thing to do. In the studio you're always chasing that magic that you caught on your first demo. Her vocal was incredible. I think she was singing it and we were playing it for the first time. That's such a rare thing to happen, and I know that communicates to people."
  • Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian had several hits with The Hooters, including "And We Danced" and "Day By Day." They went on to write and produce for many artists, including Joan Osborne, Amanda Marshall, Ricky Martin and Jon Bon Jovi. At the time, they did not have a record deal. Rob explained how it came together: "We had an independent label that would put out 45s. When we finished Cyndi, and I think prior to when the album was released or around the same time, we put out an independent album called Amore. We were playing a lot in the Philly area, we were selling our records ourselves at shows. We got a local distributor eventually, but it was really a homemade project. It was a combination of constant playing in the Northeast area and also getting some airplay on radio stations that were bold enough to play us in those days. It's a lot harder now for local bands to get that, but we actually had some great radio support even from the bigger commercial stations, as well as college stations. We were creating a buzz, and by the time Cyndi hit, that independent buzz got big enough and it got to Columbia Records. The band was really ready to pop, and I think Cyndi was what really put it over the top."
  • This was Lauper's first #1 hit. She had another US #1 in 1986 with "True Colors."
  • Wrestler Captain Lou Albano, who appeared in the "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" video, played a cook at a diner in this one. Lauper's mom and boyfriend were also in the video, portraying her mom and boyfriend. The video was directed by Edd Griles, who had worked with Lauper since her days in the band Blue Angel. He also did her videos for "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" and "She Bop."
  • At the beginning of the video, Lauper is watching the 1936 film Garden of Allah. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jojo - Kuala Lumpur, GA
  • The tear that Lauper sheds at the end of the video is authentic. She rejected the director's suggestion to manually induce a tear because she was confident in her ability to cry when she wanted to. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Stephen - Cupertino, CA
  • Jazz great Miles Davis recorded an instrumental cover of this song in 1985. George Cole, author of The Last Miles: The Music of Miles Davis, 1980-1991, explains: "Miles had always played popular tunes - in the past, tunes such as 'My Funny Valentine' and 'If I Were A Bell' were part of his repertoire - and when Miles heard the Cyndi Lauper track, he just fell in love with the melody. In fact, Miles played this tune in almost all of his concerts from 1984 until just before his death in 1991. If you get a chance, try and hear a live version of it, which is superior to the album version."

    Lauper told The Sun July 25, 2008 that this is her favorite of all the many cover versions of this track. She added: "I mean it's Miles. Wow. Mindblowing!"
  • This was used in the 1997 movie Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion, where it plays in two scenes, the first when Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino's characters are at their prom and dance to it, the second toward the end when Kudrow and Sorvino are doing some odd dance with Scottish actor Alan Cumming. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Britney - Calabasas, CA
  • This appears at the end of the 2004 movie Napoleon Dynamite. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Christina - Houston, TX
  • Quietdrive recorded this on their 2007 album When All That's Left Is You. Their version, with a male lead singer, hit #33 in the US.
  • Other covers of this song that charted include INOJ's 1998 pop/R&B version, which peaked at #6 on the singles chart and The Voice contestant Javier Colon, whose R&B-tinged take also reached the Hot 100.
  • This song was used in a 2016 commercial for McDonald's titled, "A Better McNugget." In the spot, the screen is split with a boy from a generation earlier on the left passing items to a girl in modern times on the right. In the end, we learn that he is her father, and that McDonald's is no longer using artificial preservatives in their McNuggets. An acoustic cover version by a male singer was used, likely by Sam Beam, who records as Iron & Wine.
  • Chrissy Metz sings this at a nursing home in a moving scene during a 2016 episode of the TV series This Is Us.
  • This was prominently featured on the Stranger Things episode "The Gate" (2017) when Dustin can't find anyone to dance with and Nancy steps in to help.

Comments: 45

  • Johnson from Medford, Long Island NyThis song is my very best favorite from Cyndi Lauper!!! No matter who co-wrote the song, Cyndi sings it with such RAW emotion that I just wanna cry...
  • Left High Kick from Middle Class UsaGreat song, timeless piece. I think of my old girlfriend with this song and how things went for us.
    She was coming out of a bad marriage I needed someone who actually treats me with respect. I was coming out of a bad relationship myself and it destroyed and family.

    We were young, we were affectionate, we were so into each other, we were in love, and we were stupid to think it would last forever.

    She gave me the signs in the beginning. She said she wanted a future. She said she wanted someone to run away with, someone to put everything of her into. And I couldn’t give it to her. I told her I never want to be married. I never wanted any children and I can’t have children. I told her what I was willing to do in the beginning and things never changed on my end. We began fighting a lot.

    One time she told me towards the end, “if you were a real man you’d have let me go two years ago.” That hit home. It’s sunk in. I said OK, I step back and I’m gone.

    Then a virus hit and I can’t talk to her. I had to leave her alone because if I come back into her life in anyway, she will think it’s back to square one. And then I’ll be the bad guy for a strain on her long.

    I miss those times, the days of innocence, the days of yesteryear. I’ll never be that happy again. And I guess I was stupid to think that would last forever.

    Cindy has a good line in here:” suitcase of memories - time after time...”

    We has so many trips together. And there’s certain things that I bought with her, and certain clothing I used to wear with her that I won’t use anymore. I won’t touch anymore. I still keep them but I won’t wear them. I can’t bring myself to wear them. Because it reminds me of our time together. And I will never feel that way again in my life. She talked to me different. And that’s it. It’s been five months.

    Enjoy today, tomorrow is not guaranteed. Time is a valuable thing
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 17th 1984, Cyndi Lauper performed "Time After Time" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    The following month on April 8th, 1984 it entered the Top 100 at #53; eight weeks later on June 3rd, 1984 it peaked at #1 for two weeks...
    On the same 'Bandstand' show she also performed her debut Top 100 record, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun", and at the time it was its last day at #2, it had been at #2 for 2 weeks and that was also its peak position on the Top 100...
    Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper will celebrate her 62nd birthday in three months on June 22nd {2015}.
  • Mathews from Lusaka, Zambiai love this song and its alot to me. From Africa to the world
  • Megan from Stevenson, AlThis si such a classic! Amazing song, vocals, music, lyrics...EVERYTHING!!! Love it so much! :)
  • Emmymos from Kahama, TanzaniaMmmmmm!
    Your song it will remain forever and ever,couse no one will sing like that,when im listen that song im feeling so good,also im use to sing like that!bravooo! cylind louper for TIME AFTER TIME
  • Joseph from Lubbock, TxThis is an absolutely haunting song. A little spooky even. But it's also one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard.
  • Stormie from Lexington, Oki really loved time after time. if i were gay i would so go out with Cyndi Lauper. she is really pretty. she seems like a sweet person. she is my favorite.
  • Peter Steele from Medicine Hat Ab, AbThis is my number 2 favorite love song of all time and it sounds as good each time I hear it as it did the first time I heard it in the 1980's....it mesmerizes me with emotion and tears and sends shivers through my body....I LOVE THIS SONG and the guitar solo ranks up at the top of my list with Boston's Hitchin' A Ride and Led Zepplin's Comfortably Numb...thank you!
  • Carrie from Roanoke, VaAlthough I love the original, Matchbox 20 does a great cover version.
  • Rahul from Chennai, Indiabeautiful song..... must admit....
  • Theresa from Murfreesboro, TnI worship this song. Cyndi proved she was more than a wildchild. Brilliant!
  • Mugaiga from Kampala, UgandaYour song cyndi lauper will sell until the world turns down wards.I love it so much.Because when Ilisten to TIME AFTER TIME my mind rests.GOD bless you cyndi lauper.
  • Mugaiga from Kampala, UgandaNo one will sing afavourite song like Time after time.cyndi's singing was great but klinking noises came up but didnot give any effect to the tune.BEST of the BEST versions.keep it up.
  • Ron from Los Angeles, CaCyndi's version is definately the BEST version but you should also check out Miles Davis' too. If you like smooth jazz with a mind, you'll love it!
  • Donavan from Sacramento, CaThe version by R&B/bass group INOJ is also terrible. This version always has been and probably always will be the best.
  • Chryssie from Canberra, AustraliaThis song appears in the movie Strictly Ballroom, sung as a duet, with the girl part being sung by Tara Morrice (the actress that plays Fran. It is a really good version, and so beautifully fits the movie.
  • Esere from Nigeria, OtherThis is My best song, cyndi's original is the best version of the song.All the other versions are just wack, except the 'Body Acoustic' version by Cyndi and Sarah Mclachlan.
  • Brett from Greer, ScA friend of mine named Katie Cook recorded this song for the 2003 movie "A View From The Top". I love her version and Cyndi's version.

    Brett, Greer, SC
  • Jason from Kirksville, Mowhen i was little i watched a christmas movie that had the song time after time in it and i can't remember the name of the movie and i wanted to know the name of the movie. for about the last 20 years if any one can help me out it would be much appreciated you can email me at kodatheone@yahoo.com "this song rocks"
    koda, kirksvile, mo
  • Alvaro from Montevideo, South AmericaLove this song (Cyndi's version), specially for being so simple... best songs are really simple, just because they're true and felt; very complex song are just a writing excercise, but feelings are simple, and so are good songs...
    Technically, i love the bassline... simple, but very effective.
  • Ben from Claremont, MnUhhh... I'm listening to the Eva Cassidy version right now... she's good, but she totally changed the whole feel of the song. Cyndi is definitely the way to go, although the Matchbox 20 version is nice, too.
  • Irwan from Delft, NetherlandsThis song appears as Randy's broken heart song (My name is Earl TV series 2006)... Earl even said to Randy in his own version:"if you fall I won't catch you and I won't be waiting" It was really a suitable song choice in my humble opinion....
  • Nicole from Kenosha, WiThis song really just inspires me, this has to be one of my favorite songs ever. Music is a big part of my life, and just the beat and the sound of her voice in this song gets to me every time.
  • Zach from Grand Rapids, MiI love Cyndi Lauper so much, I even dyed my hair the red color she had in the video. I listen to this song all the time, it's my favorite. Cyndi Rox!
  • Liliana from Mexico, MexicoI was on my way home from a job interview and this song was playing on the radio. It made me think of my daughter... the chorus is what I "tell" my daughter.... she move to another state to follow the boy she is in love with... If she ends up with a broken heart I'll be here if she feels lost, I'll be here to catch her.. Time After Time.
  • Jerry from Eatontown, NjI really like the way she sings it.It is a very pretty song and I think she has a great voice.I also like the unique clothes that she wears.She has a million dollar voice but a ten dollar clothes allowance timgins
  • Anonymous from Dixon , CaEva Cassidy does really good covers
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesEva Cassidy's version is OK, but no one sings "Time After Time" better than Cyndi Lauper
  • Alex from St-marthe, AlI just love this song, And eva's version is just TERRIBLE, it destructs your mind, all of it.
  • Heather from Leominster, MaThere's been a lot of covers of Time After Time, but one i recently discovered and love is a live and acoustic version by Matchbox 20. Check it out, it's great. :)
  • Jerry from Brooklyn, NySadly, I have just recently discovered Eva Cassidy. Her version is haunting. So sad we lost such an angelic voice too too soon!
  • Dee from Indianapolis, InAnother great hit from the year 1984. Maybe BIG BROTHER was a potential threat, but the music couldn't have been better. 1984-1985 is amoung the best of the best that the industry has to offer musically if you ask me.
  • Plwh888 from Singapore, SingaporeOthers who covered this song ;

    Time After Time - Novaspace (techno ver)
    Time After Time - Paul Parker (hi-nrg ver)
    Time After Time - Everything But The Girl (acoustic ver)
    Time After Time - The Boomtang Boys (metro ver)
    Time After Time - Distantz Sound (drum and bass ver)
  • Walter from Pretoria, South AfricaThe Eva Cassidy version of the song was used in the tv series of Smallville Season 1 right at the end of the episode 'Crush'.
  • Brian from Bakersfield, CaBeautiful song. Really special the way the backing vocal continues as the lead vocal solos near the end. Guitar work is just right . . . what ever happened to the flanger??
  • Adam from Poplar Bluff, MoListen to Eva Cassidy's cover, it is the most beautiful version of "time after time" i have ever heard.
  • Alf from New York, Nythis was on napoleon dynamite during the dance, right before pedro decides to run for president
  • Carl Craven from London, EnglandThis song for me is the most Sentimental song ever, I'm a guy and a hetrosexual male for that matter, but when I hear this song I feel emotional.
  • Josie from Colchester, Englandi think this song is great
  • Jme from Raleigh, NcThis song is used in the movie "Strictly Ballroom"
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesSeveral dance versions of "Time After Time" saw the song re-charting sporadically between 1997 and 2002, the best known being by an act called Distant Soundz.
  • Scott from Hampton, NjAbout "We Are the World"
    Cyndi's singing was great,
    but her jewelry was the problem:

    "While recording the song, Cyndi's vocals came up with klinking noises. It was recorded 3 times before discovering her mounds of beaded jewelry were causing the disturbances."

    You can see this on the "Making of" Video.
  • Per from Odense, DenmarkCindy Lauper sang on the "We are the World"-single. When recording the chorus part they had to do it over again and again,- Cindy's voice was too high pitched and strident.
  • Steph from San Antonio, TxThe tears Cyndi sheds at the end of the video are real.
see more comments

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