Should Have Been Bigger: Cyndi Lauper’s Epic “Into The Nightlife”
In this franchise, we look back on songs that deserved a little more love and attention.
Cyndi Lauper’s Bring Ya To The Brink sums up all that was great about late ’00s electro-pop — crisp synths, massive hooks and a complete sense of euphoria that had been missing from the genre since the 1980s. I love every track on the Grammy-nominated album, but “Into The Nightlife” just shines a little brighter than the rest. Co-written with a trio of Swedes (Max Martin, Peer Åström and Johan Bobäck) in early 2007, the dance anthem tapped into the club-centric sound sweeping Europe a couple of years before Lady Gaga and Kesha brought it to America.
“Got this endless itch to ride, into the night,” Cyndi begins the song with her unmistakeable drawl. “Fortune cookie says I’m right, kung Fu-like.” The highlight of Bring Ya To The Brink goes on to capture the release offered by the humble dance floor. “I’ll take ya ’til ya all spun up, pitter, patter, doesn’t matter what you got,” the pop icon belts over an avalanche of synths on the killer chorus. “I’ll take ya ’til ya all spun up and in love, into the nightlife.” Few tracks of this vintage still sound as fresh and ahead of the curve.
Of course, there was hope that Bring Ya To The Brink — and “Into The Nightlife,” specifically — would prompt a chart comeback à la Cher’s “Believe.” And in a just world, it would have. Instead, the track was roundly ignored by pop radio and failed to dent the Billboard Hot 100. Happily, “Into The Nightlife” was embraced by The Gays and reached #1 on the club charts. It also was heaped with blog love (back when that mattered) and gave Cyndi the momentum needed to dabble into everything from soul to country on subsequent albums. Revisit the glorious banger below.