Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)

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"Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)"
Single by Looking Glass
from the album Looking Glass
B-side "One by One"
Released May 1972
Format 7"
Recorded 1972
Genre Jersey Shore sound, soft rock[1]
Length 2:55 (Single remix/edit)
3:10 (Album mix version)
Label Epic Records
Writer(s) Elliot Lurie
Looking Glass singles chronology
"Golden Rainbow"
(1972)
"Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)"
(1972)
"Jimmy Loves Mary-Anne"
(1973)

"Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)" is a 1972 pop song written and composed by Elliot Lurie and recorded by Lurie's band, Looking Glass, on their debut album Looking Glass. The single reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, remaining in the top position for one week. Horns and strings were arranged by Larry Fallon.

Song info[edit]

Synopsis[edit]

The lyrics tell of Brandy, a barmaid in a port town. She falls in love with a sailor who gives her a locket that bears his name. In the end, Brandy is left in love with "a man who's not around." Brandy may have been based on a real person.[2]

Before and after[edit]

In February 1972, Robert Mandel was the Epic Records Promotion Manager in Washington, DC.  He received a test pressing of an album by a new group named "Looking Glass". He took the test pressing around to every radio station in the Washington/Baltimore region. At the time, WPGC AM was one of the leading Top 40 AM stations in the country and was the number one radio station in DC. Harv Moore was the programme director. He decided to play the test pressing at night and as Harv related at the time, “the switchboard lit up like a Christmas tree”. He said that he had never received a response like that on a record in his 20 years in radio. Based on the airplay at WPGC and as all the other Top 40 stations followed, Epic rush-released the single of “Brandy". Based on requests alone, two weeks later, when the single finally hit the stores, "Brandy" was the number one record in DC without a single copy yet sold. Other stations around the country started playing it and it ended up being a number one million seller.

Barry Manilow's, "Mandy"[edit]

Barry Manilow's 1974 "Mandy" was originally titled "Brandy". However, Manilow changed it following the success of the Looking Glass single, so as not to get the two songs confused.[3]

Usages[edit]

This song was used in the films Lords of Dogtown, Charlie's Angels, and Lymelife. It was also used in an episode of the 2009 television show Harper's Island.

Doug Heffernan (Kevin James) sings this song at karaoke in an episode of The King of Queens.

This song can also be heard in the background in one of the scenes in the longshoremen's bar in Season 2 of The Wire, a very appropriate venue considering the lyrics.

The song also appears in the computer game "Tropico 2" which takes place in a user-created seaside pirate town. One of the citizens' thoughts is "Brandy, you're a good girl. You'll do fine!"

This song can also be heard in the background in the movie A Very Brady Sequel on the car radio when the kids come home from a rec center.

In The Simpsons episode "Principal Charming", Selma sings the song (using a slower, mournful tempo and tone) to Lisa as she is putting her to bed.

On the album Silver City by Sarah Borges the song "Same Old 45" retells the story of Brandy from her point of view.

A Beautiful Music instrumental version can be heard in the background when Chris Knight is touring his potential future employer in the film Real Genius.

Fantasy author Alex Bledsoe used Brandy's name and the song's story for his novel Wake of the Bloody Angel.

Name popularity effect[edit]

Following the song's release in 1972, "Brandy" increased in popularity as a girl's name in the United States. According to data from the Social Security Administration,[4] drawn from "Social Security card applications for births that occurred in the United States," Brandy was the 353rd most popular name in 1971, 140th in 1972, and, in 1973 (the first full year after the song's popularity), 82nd.

Cover versions[edit]

  • Washboard Jungle often performs this song as an encore, and recorded it on their 1994 album "The Wash Cycle". They play it considerably faster than either the original or the Chili Peppers version.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine (1998-04-28). "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl) [Sony] - Looking Glass | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-02-10. 
  2. ^ "Mary Ellis Grave". weirdnj.com. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 
  3. ^ Huey, Steve. "Mandy". Allmusic. Retrieved June 25, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Popular Baby Names". Ssa.gov. August 26, 2009. Retrieved April 15, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Alone Again (Naturally)" by Gilbert O'Sullivan
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
August 26, 1972 (one week)
Succeeded by
"Alone Again (Naturally)" by Gilbert O'Sullivan