Sunday, November 30, 2014

"Gloria" by Laura Branigan

Top 10 Alert!
Platinum Record Alert!
Rated 10 Alert!
Song#:  1095
Date:  07/10/1982
Debut:  84
Peak:  2
Weeks:  36
Genre:  Europop, Dance

Pop Bits:  Branigan's self-titled debut got off to a mediocre start with its first single, "All Night with Me," only making a #69 showing. However, this second single turned things around in a big way. It took a little time to get there, but the single finally made it to #2 and stayed there for three weeks. In doing so, it became her biggest hit and signature song. The longevity of the song (36 weeks) set a record at the time for a female artist. The song also got her a Grammy nod for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female. The hit would get her album to reach gold status.

ReduxReview:  An 80s classic that owes a lot to the Euro disco sound and artists like ABBA. Not a lot of Europop translates to the US, but this one hit it out of the park. I think what really sells the song is Branigan's vocals. She just wails on it to the point of becoming unhinged. It also helps that she has an interesting and unique voice that stands out. I think this single paved the way for a lot of Europop that would hit over the next few years.


Trivia:  This song was originally an Italian hit in 1979 for Umberto Tozzi. Tozzi, who co-wrote the song, took it to #2 on the Italian chart and Top 10 on other European charts. The first English version of the song was by UK artist Jonathan King. He wrote his own English lyrics and his single reached #65 on the UK chart. Tozzi actually did a cover King's English version, but it failed to chart. Branigan's producer, Jack White (not the White Stripes one...), is the one who suggested she cover the song and after a failed attempt at a love-song version called "Mario," session musician Trevor Veitch came up with the new English lyrics. Branigan's version was a hit in many countries (#1 in Canada and Australia), but in Italy it only reached #36.


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