♫ Brandy ♫ (Redux)

It is nigh on 4:00 a.m. and I just realized that I haven’t done a music post yet for today!  GASP!!!  So, a quick ‘n dirty search and … AHA … I haven’t played this one for a few years and it seemed to be well-liked when I did!  WHEW … I can go to bed now!

Released in 1972, this was the first hit for American pop rock band Looking Glass.  The song went to #1 in the U.S. and Canada, though only reached #51 in the UK.  It was written by Looking Glass lead guitarist and co-vocalist Elliot Lurie.

The four members of Looking Glass are alumni of Rutgers University, and the Spring 2009 Rutgers alumni magazine carried an article about this song and the band itself. The pertinent part reads:

“The band recorded the song seven times before they got it right. ‘Brandy’ – based on the name of (lead singer) Elliot Lurie’s high school sweetheart ‘Randy’ – tells the story of a musician torn between his love for a life at sea and his love for a barmaid. Released as the B-side of ‘Don’t It Make You Feel Good,’ the song was overlooked, as was the A-side, for that matter, until Harv Moore, a Washington DC disc jockey took it up as a personal cause. After years of playing covers and their originals at frat parties and bars in the New Brunswick area, Looking Glass was signed to Epic Records by the legendary Clive Davis.

The band, appearing on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand and at Carnegie Hall, never came close to matching ‘Brandy’s’ success. And by 1973, Lurie had left for a solo career. He was replaced, but the band soon fell apart. In 1995, Looking Glass reunited to perform ‘Brandy’ and ‘Jimmie loves Mary-Anne’ at a Madison Square Garden concert. in 2000, ‘Brandy’ was part of the sound track for the film Charlie’s Angels, for which band members and Peter Sweval’s estate each received a royalty check of $30K (Sweval died of AIDS in 1992).

The members of the band also receive the modest sum of $4K each year for the general use of the song. Says former drummer Jeff Grob, wistfully: ‘If only liquor commercials were allowed on TV.

Where the former band members are today: Larry Gonsky RC’70 (keyboards) teaches music in the Morristown school district; Jeff Grob CC’85 (drums) after playing with the hard-rock band Starz, returned to school and earned his landscape architecture degree. He works for Stantec, which contributed to the redesign of Route 18. He still plays locally with Richie Ranno’s All Stars; Elliot Lurie RC’70 (lead guitar) manages actors and recording artists, including Corbin Bleu of High School Musical fame, in Los Angeles. He worked as an independent music film supervisor and executive vice president of music at 20th Century Fox; Pieter Sweval RC’70 (bass) played with Starz and the disco band Skatt Bros before dying of AIDS in 192. Royalties are donated by Sweval’s family to AIDS research.”

This was not typical of the band’s sound, which caused a problem at concerts. While audiences expected pop songs like this one, the Looking Glass played rock, which left the crowds disappointed. The band broke up less than two years later.

Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl)
Looking Glass

There’s a port on a western bay
And it serves a hundred ships a day
Lonely sailors pass the time away
And talk about their homes

And there’s a girl in this harbor town
And she works layin’ whiskey down
They say, Brandy, fetch another round
She serves them whiskey and wine

The sailors say, “Brandy, you’re a fine girl” (you’re a fine girl)
“What a good wife you would be” (such a fine girl)
“Yeah, your eyes could steal a sailor from the sea”

Brandy wears a braided chain
Made of finest silver from the North of Spain
A locket that bears the name
Of the man that Brandy loved

He came on a summer’s day
Bringin’ gifts from far away
But he made it clear he couldn’t stay
No harbor was his home

The sailors say, “Brandy, you’re a fine girl” (you’re a fine girl)
“What a good wife you would be” (such a fine girl)
“But my life, my lover, my lady is the sea”

Yeah, Brandy used to watch his eyes
When he told his sailor stories
She could feel the ocean fall and rise
She saw its ragin’ glory
But he had always told the truth, Lord, he was an honest man
And Brandy does her best to understand

At night when the bars close down
Brandy walks through a silent town
And loves a man who’s not around
She still can hear him say

She hears him say, “Brandy, you’re a fine girl” (you’re a fine girl)
“What a good wife you would be” (such a fine girl)
“But my life, my lover, my lady is the sea”
It is, yes it is
He said, “Brandy, you’re a fine girl” (you’re a fine girl)
“What a good wife you would be” (such a fine girl)
“But my life, my lover, my lady is the sea”

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Elliot Lurie
Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl) lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

25 thoughts on “♫ Brandy ♫ (Redux)

  1. Pingback: ♫ Brandy ♫ (Redux) | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

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