Wednesday, October 24, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Looking Glass

Artist:Looking Glass
Song:Brandy (You're A Fine Girl)
Album:Romancing the 70s: Lovin' You

Brandy was a number one hit for Looking Glass in 1972. It is not to be confused with the Scott English hit Brandy that later became the Barry Manilow hit Mandy. Looking Glass had one other chart hit but they are perceived as one hit wonders by most fans. They only recorded two albums. Lead singer, guitarist and main songwriter Elliot Lurie, pianist Larry Gonsky and bassist Pieter Sweval formed Looking Glass in 1969 while they were students at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. They split up after graduation but then got back together and added drummer Jeff Grob. Columbia Records president Clive Davis saw them perform at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go in Los Angeles and signed them to Epic Records. After a couple of aborted recording attempts (including one with producer Steve Cropper in Memphis), Looking Glass produced their debut album with recording engineer Bob Liftin. Brandy was released on the B-side of the single Don't It Make You Feel Good. But Washington, DC DJ Harv Moore liked Brandy better and it caught on and topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972. Lurie based the song on the real life story of New Jersey barmaid Mary Ellis. The horn arrangement was by Larry Fallon. Brandy is considered a soft rock classic. But the band was unhappy that it was a hit because they preferred performing hard rock. They recorded a second album Subway Serenade in 1973 and Jimmy Loves Mary-Anne was a top 40 hit. Elliot Lurie left in 1974 to go solo. But the rest of the band stayed together and brought in guitarist Brendan Harkin and lead singer Michael Lee Smith (Rex Smith's brother). The band name was changed to Fallen Angels. After Gonsky was replaced by Richie Ranno, they became Starz and recorded several albums for Capitol. The music was more like the kind of hard rock Looking Glass wanted to do in the first place. You can get Brandy on this 2CD budget various artists Time Life comp. After unsuccessful albums for Epic and Arista, Elliot Lurie moved to Los Angeles in 1984 and became music department head at 20th Century Fox. He has been music supervisor for many films. He did briefly reform Looking Glass in 2003. A version of Starz still tours today. Here's Looking Glass performing Brandy (You're A Fine Girl) 1972.

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