After what has already been a remarkably accomplished career spanning two decades of pop music, music videos, and television/film acting, the forty-something Grammy Award winning diva and new mother isn’t quitting or resting on her laurels. Instead, she’s turning up the heat with a club-savvy revamp of the ’70’s classic “Disco Inferno” and guest starring all summer on Cher’s much-hyped “Do You Believe?” stadium tour.
“It was actually my birthing song,” Lauper recalled in a recent phone interview from her Manhattan home, before leaving for three and a half months of non-stop touring. “David [Thornton, her husband] was in the film Last Days of Disco, and he brought home all the Studio 54 music, and I was attracted to that song. Then after Declyn [her baby was born], I knew why they say “Burn, Baby, Burn!”
Though the song appeared last year on the soundtrack for the film A Night At The Roxbury, nabbing Lauper a Grammy nomination for “Best Dance Recording,” it was never properly released as a single until just last month by indie dance label Jellybean Recordings. Re-tweaked by superstar production team Soul Solution (Bobby Guy and Ernie Lake), “Disco Inferno ’99” will also appear on the Jellybean compilation Cool Cuts II, due out in mid-July.
“I did the original version [for A Night at the Roxbury] in two days,” Lauper laughed, “and it was nominated for a Grammy, go figure! Then everybody started saying, ‘You’ve got to release this [as a single].’ But I wanted to redo the vocals, because I didn’t think it sounded that good. So I brought in a new microphone, and I redid the vocals. I was looking for a new character, because I didn’t want to sound like other people who’ve done the song.” The result is an energetic East-Coast vocal house track with all the markings of a commercial hit.
As for the future, aside from developing a new TV sitcom pilot based loosely on her Marianne Lagasso character from NBC’s Mad About You and starring in the upcoming independent film The Opportunists, opposite Christopher Walken, Lauper’s already begun writing material for a new album with her longtime collaborator Jan Pulsford, as well as other notable names like famed club DJ/producer Junior Vasquez. But she doesn’t want to rush into anything, especially with the current merger-frenzied atmosphere in the record industry.
“I want a minute to write, and formulate my thoughts,” she explained. “Eventually I’m going to go back [to recording], I have to, but I thought the tour was a nice little break.” The girl is just having fun.