Album: Here Lies Love (2010)

Songfacts®:

  • Here Lies Love is a concept album by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, about the life of the former First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos. The album features 22 guest vocalists and on this track American singer-songwriter Cyndi Lauper is the artist behind the mic. Byrne wrote on his blog journal on April 26, 2008 about her contribution: "She was about an hour and a half late to the session, so I fully expected to be in for some prime diva behavior. But, as I'd run overtime on the earlier brass sessions, it all worked out great, and Cyndi gave an amazingly fine-tuned performance. Not only is she a wonderful singer from a technical point of view, but she can tailor her attitude and performance to suit the character and the character's emotional state.
    This is exactly the skill set I need for this project. After giving Cyndi the back-story on a particular song and establishing the context of the lyrics, I would give directions like, 'Yes, she's a little angry, but also heartbroken and confused.' Cyndi would then incorporate these complex emotions into her performance with seeming ease. She'd ask, for example, 'You want more anger in this verse?' And sure enough, she'd dial a little more in. Very impressive."
  • The album was released in several formats, including a deluxe double-Compact Disc set with a DVD of music videos from the album and a 100-page book. Byrne explained in his introduction to the book: "The story I am interested in is about asking what drives a powerful person, what makes them tick? How do they make and then remake themselves?
    I thought to myself, wouldn't it be great if – as this piece would be principally composed of clubby dance music – one could experience it in a club setting? Could one bring a 'story' and a kind of theatre to the disco? Was that possible? If so, wouldn't that be amazing!"
  • Here Lies Love was later adapted into a Rock musical that premiered at The Public Theater in New York City in 2013.

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