Wednesday, November 30, 2016

"Self Control" by Laura Branigan

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  1866
Date:  04/14/1984
Debut:  63
Peak:  4
Weeks:  25
Genre:  Europop, Dance

Pop Bits:  For her third album, Branigan dipped into the Europop well once again and brought up this song. It would serve as both the title track and the first single from the LP. It would become her third (and final) Pop Top 10 while going to #2 Dance and #5 AC. The song would also be Branigan's biggest international hit going to #1 in at least nine countries. The success of the song made the album her best US effort reaching #23 and going platinum.

ReduxReview:  I was immediately hooked on this song when that little synth opening broke open into that huge guitar lick. It just kicked ass and was so different from Branigan's other more bubbly Eurodance hits. It fit her perfectly and it helped that she had that creepy, erotic video to go with it. "Gloria" will always be her signature tune, but this is the one that came along at the peak of her career and made her an even bigger star.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This is actually a cover version of a song originally done by the Italian artist Raf. Co-written by Raf with Giancarlo Bigazzi (who also co-wrote "Gloria") and Steve Piccolo, the song would be a #1 hit for Raf in Italy. Both Branigan and Raf would record the song around the same time and their singles would actually compete against each other in several countries, particularly in Switzerland where both versions topped the chart, but Branigan's held the spot longer and ended up being the #1 song there for 1984. Of course in Italy, Branigan's version paled in comparison's to Raf's and stalled at #29. The song was Raf's debut single. He would become a major star in Italy grabbing thirteen Top 10 singles there.  2) The video for this song got some additional attention thanks to its director William Friedkin. Friedkin was best known for two huge film hits - The French Connection, which won him an Oscar, and The Exorcist. This song was Friedkin's first music video. The erotic video was initially deemed to sexy for MTV and it was only played in the evenings. MTV wanted cuts so they could play it whenever, but Branigan didn't want it edited. Eventually, she relented, but by the time it was ready to air the song was past its prime.



  1. Ha, this came up in my mp3s today. I like how crisp and bright it sounds, lots of dynamic range too. It seems a little dated, but it dates to a time with so much great music that I don't hold that against it.

    1. Agreed. '84 was certainly a favorite music year for me - probably my favorite.