Wednesday, July 1, 2020

"Shattered Glass" by Laura Branigan

Song#:  3181
Date:  07/04/1987
Debut:  91
Peak:  48
Weeks:  10
Genre:  Dance-Pop, Hi-NRG

Pop Bits:  Branigan's fourth LP, Hold Me, didn't perform as well as her previous platinum seller, 1984's Self Control. The album lacked a major hit with only "Spanish Eddie" making the Pop Top 40 (#40). Afterwards, Branigan decided to take more control of her career. She hired on new management and parted ways with her long-time producer Jack White. For her next album, Touch, Branigan worked with producer David Kershenbaum. When the tracks were finished, Branigan still thought it lacked a more powerful hit. To address this, she reached out to the Stock Aitken Waterman production team who had been doing well with artists like Bananarama and Dead or Alive. Branigan went to London to work with the team and came back home with two new recordings. This first single was one of those tracks. The song got her back near the Top 10 on the dance chart peaking at #13. It was also a minor entry at AC reaching #27. At Pop, the song would be her first lead single from an album to miss the Top 40. She would rebound a bit with her follow-up single, but it didn't do much to help sell the album, which became her lowest peaking to-date at #87.

ReduxReview:  Like Branigan, I thought this would be a hit. The SAW team put their stamp on a good pop tune with Branigan selling it to the hilt. It should have at least been a Top 20 entry. I'm even surprised it didn't make the Dance Top 10. It easily ranks right alongside Branigan's big hits. Why it didn't do better is a mystery. Maybe it wasn't promoted well enough or perhaps Branigan was just getting overlooked due to the advent of newer pop/dance divas taking over the scene like Madonna and Janet Jackson, both of whom were hitting with strong songs that they had a hand in writing. Whatever it was, listeners missed out on a very good dance-pop tune.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This song was written by Bob Mitchell and Steve Coe and was first recorded by singer Ellie Warren in 1980. Warren had been singing background vocals for other artists in the studio and on tours before seeking the limelight herself. She signed on with Precision Records and recorded "Shattered Glass." Despite positive responses from DJs and good airplay, the song didn't chart. Warren released several other singles for Precision and a couple of other labels, but nothing took. Apparently, Warren later married and moved to Zimbabwe where she still sings and performs.  2) Branigan performed this song on the last episode of American Bandstand that aired on ABC. The music show featuring host Dick Clark had been on the air since 1952 and on ABC since 1957. As the 80s wore on and MTV began taking over the musical airwaves, Bandstand's audience began to dwindle. In the fall of '86, ABC cut the length of the show to half an hour, but it still wasn't working. Clark then asked for the show to end its ABC run and on September 7, 1987, the last Bandstand featuring Laura Branigan aired on ABC. Clark moved the show to syndication and restored its hour run time, but it didn't last long. The last Bandstand show aired on October 7, 1989.


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