“Time After Time” is a song by American singer-songwriter Cyndi Lauper. It was recorded by Lauper for her debut studio album, She’s So Unusual (1983), with Rob Hyman (co-writer and founding member of the rock band The Hooters) contributing backing vocals. The track was produced by Rick Chertoff and released as a single on January 27, 1984. It was the second single to be released from the album and became Lauper’s first #1 hit in the U.S. The song was written in the album’s final stages, after “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”, “She Bop” and “All Through the Night” had been written. The writing began with the title, which Lauper had seen in TV Guide magazine, referring to the 1979 science fiction film Time After Time.
“Time After Time” is composed of simple keyboard-synth chords, bright, jangly guitars, clock-ticking percussion, and elastic bassline, and lyrically is a love song of devotion. Most music critics gave the song positive reviews, with most commending the song for being a solid and memorable love song, as well as considering the track Lauper’s best song. The song has been selected as one of the Best Love Songs of All Time by many media outlets, including Rolling Stone, Nerve, MTV and many others. “Time After Time” was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Song of the Year at the 1985 edition. The song was a success on the charts, becoming her first number-one single on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart on June 9, 1984, and remaining there for two weeks. Worldwide, the song is her most commercially successful single, after “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”, and reached number three on the UK Singles Chart and number six on the ARIA Singles Chart. The song is also known for its numerous covers by a wide range of artists, including Miles Davis, who recorded an instrumental version for his 1985 album, You’re Under Arrest, and Eva Cassidy, whose cover of the song appears on her posthumous album of the same name. R&B singer Lil Mo also covered the song for her 2001 debut album Based on a True Story. An acoustic version was sung by Lauper with Sarah McLachlan on her 2005 album, The Body Acoustic. Lauper has performed the song live with Patti LaBelle twice in 1985 and 2004 and with Sarah McLachlan at the American Music Awards of 2005, as well as with rapper Lil’ Kim in 2009. The song has been featured numerous times in popular culture including the films Napoleon Dynamite, View From the Top, Strictly Ballroom, Up In the Air, John Tucker Must Die, Prom Night, Clockstoppers, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, Sunny, Paranoia, Good Deeds, Nebraska, Irresistible, This Is Where I Leave You, Brown Sugar, and Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion as well as the television shows Cold Case, Stars in Their Eyes, Smallville, Veronica Mars, The Simpsons, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Ugly Betty, EastEnders, Accused, Parks and Recreation, Atop the Fourth Wall, Psych, Defiance, Grey’s Anatomy, Glee and My Name is Earl.