Gloria (Umberto Tozzi song)

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For other songs of the same name, see Gloria.
Single by Umberto Tozzi
B-side "Aria di lei"
Released 1979
Format 7", 45rpm
Recorded 1979
Genre Pop, dance, disco
Length 5:04
Label CBS Records
Writer(s) Umberto Tozzi and Giancarlo Bigazzi (Italian lyrics)
Jonathan King (English translation)
Producer(s) Umberto Tozzi

"Gloria" is a love song that became an international hit. The song was originally written and composed in Italian by Umberto Tozzi and Giancarlo Bigazzi, and afterwards translated to English by Jonathan King. With the English cover version of the song written by Trevor Veitch and performed by Laura Branigan, "Gloria" sold over two million singles in the United States alone.

Umberto Tozzi song[edit]


Umberto Tozzi recorded the first version of "Gloria" in 1979;[1] that summer Tozzi's recording entered the Italian Top Ten for a stay of sixteen weeks, six of them at #2. It spent four weeks at #1 in both Switzerland and – in a translated version – Spain. That same year saw Tozzi's "Gloria" achieve hit status in Austria at #4, Belgium at #3 on the French chart, the Netherlands at #21, France at #3, and Germany where the track reached #8.[2]

The original Umberto Tozzi's "Gloria" is a love song,[1][3] as is the first English rendering of the song,[4] recorded by its original English-language lyricist, Jonathan King, in November 1979;[5] Umberto Tozzi later recorderd and performed King's translated version of "Gloria".[6] He also re-recorded the song with Trevor Veitch's English-language lyrics; this version appears on his 2002 release, The Best of Umberto Tozzi.

In 2013, Tozzi's original version of "Gloria" was a soundtrack selection for two distinct films, The Wolf of Wall Street[7] and the 2013 film Gloria.[8]

Summary of English lyrics[edit]

In his song of Jonathan King's translated lyrics, Umberto Tozzi, who takes the role of the song's main character, tells that he is dreaming about an imaginary woman named Gloria. He describes his living days as misery, but when he dreams of Gloria, he says his nights are liberty. The protagonist describes Gloria as his queen imagination that comes from his fascination, not from any kind of fantasy. He further elaborates that he has always set Gloria free from him, just as he has set freedom from reality. He then tells that his friends think he is crazy, but he argues his point that they have never met Gloria (so far, he has no proof of her actual existence); but one day when he finds her, he says his friends will talk about Gloria's beauty and her loyalty. To accomplish the goal of realizing his dreams despite everyone else's protests, the protagonist sets all his life to search for Gloria until he meets her in reality, and then promises to hold her, to touch her, and to keep her because he loves Gloria.[4]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1979) Peak
Australian Singles Chart 46
Austrian Singles Chart[9] 4
Belgian Singles Chart 3
Dutch Top 40 21
French Singles Chart[9] 12
German Singles Chart[9] 8
Italian Singles Chart 2
Spanish Singles Chart 1
Swiss Singles Chart[9] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1979) Peak
Swiss Singles Chart 4
Italian Singles Chart 14
Austrian Top 40 17
Belgian Singles Chart 39
German Media Control Charts 50

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
France 367,000[10]
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[11] Gold 50,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Laura Branigan cover[edit]

U.K. edition
Single by Laura Branigan
from the album Branigan
B-side "Living a Lie"
Released June 1982 (US)
December 1982 (UK)
Format 7", 45rpm (Single)
12", 33rpm (Disco version)
Recorded 1981 in Los Angeles
Genre Synthpop, euro disco
Length 4:50
Label Atlantic Records (ATL 11759)
Writer(s) Umberto Tozzi and Giancarlo Bigazzi (original lyrics)
Trevor Veitch (cover lyrics)
Producer(s) Jack White, Greg Mathieson
Laura Branigan singles chronology
"All Night With Me"
Music sample


"Gloria" attained its highest profile via a re-working featured on the 1982 album release Branigan, the first released album by Laura Branigan. After Atlantic Records shelved Branigan's planned debut album, the label's managing director Doug Morris suggested that Branigan work with producer Jack White, who suggested that Branigan records an English version of the Umberto Tozzi hit "Gloria." Branigan recalled that on hearing the Tozzi track, "We gave it the American kick and rewrote the lyrics and off she went."[12] Branigan's remake of "Gloria" was co-produced by White with Greg Mathieson, who had been the arranger of, and the keyboardist on Tozzi's original song, while also being the primary keyboardist on the Branigan album.

Branigan told People Weekly Magazine that she and her producers had at first attempted an English version of Tozzi's "Gloria" in the romantic mode of the original, changing the title to "Mario," but that this seemed ineffective. Ultimately, Branigan recorded an English re-invention of "Gloria" as a character study of, in Branigan's words, "a girl that's running too fast for her own steps," the cover lyrics of which were written by Trevor Veitch, the contractor for the Branigan album, to which he also contributed guitar work. In the Atlantic Records Radio Tribute Show, Branigan stated, "I was involved in it [the lyrics writing] but [Veitch] really wrote them."

Although another selection, "All Night With Me," was chosen as the Branigan album's lead-off single, Branigan also performed "Gloria" during her promotional TV appearances at the time of the album's release in early 1982,[13] and that track was released as a single in the summer, first becoming a disco favorite, and gradually accruing radio support to debut on the pop charts. The single debuted at #84 on the Hot 100 in Billboard magazine dated July 10, 1982, eventually reaching #2 on the Hot 100 for three weeks, ending November 27 through December 11.

"Gloria" remained in the Top 40 for 22 weeks, and its total Hot 100 residency of 36 weeks established a new record for a single by a solo female act,[14] breaking the previous record mark. Cashbox Magazine's Top 100 ranked "Gloria" at #1. Certified platinum for sales of two million in the US alone, "Gloria" was also an international success, most notably in Australia where it held the #1 position for seven consecutive weeks, from February 7 to March 21, 1983. "Gloria" also took Branigan to the Top Ten charts in Canada at #1, the U.K. at #6, Ireland at #4, South Africa at #9, New Zealand at #6, and #36 in Italy.

"Gloria" earned Branigan a nomination for the Best Pop Vocal Performance Female Grammy Award for the year 1982. The song appeared the following year in the musical drama Flashdance. In a nod to her hit, Branigan's rendition of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" performed on the Solid Gold Christmas special featured the background vocalists singing the name "Gloria," evoking both Branigan's signature song and the Latin refrain of the Christmas carol "Angels We Have Heard on High."

In 2003 Branigan characterized "Gloria" as "certainly my signature song. And I always get the same reaction wherever I go, and whenever I perform it ... I have to end every show with that song, and people just go crazy."[15]

Track listings[edit]

  • U.S. 7" single / digital 45
  1. "Gloria" – 4:50
  2. "Living a Lie" – 3:41
  • U.S. 12" single
  1. "Gloria" (Extended version) – 5:53
  2. "Living a Lie" – 3:41
  • UK 7" single
  1. "Gloria" – 4:50
  2. "I Wish We Could Be Alone" – 3:18

Charts and certifications[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1982/1983) Peak
Australia Singles Chart 1
Canadian Singles Chart 1
Ireland Singles Chart 4
South African Singles Chart 9
UK Singles Chart 6
U.S. Cash Box Top Singles 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 2

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[16] Platinum 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[17] Gold 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Chart succession[edit]

Preceded by
"The Look of Love" by ABC
Canadian RPM 100 number-one singles (Laura Branigan version)
November 20, 1982
Succeeded by
"Up Where We Belong" by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes
Preceded by
"Up Where We Belong" by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes
Cash Box Top 100 Singles number-one single (Laura Branigan version)
November 27, 1982
Succeeded by
"Truly" by Lionel Richie
Preceded by
"Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" by Culture Club
Australian Kent Music Report number-one single (Laura Branigan version)
February 7, 1983 – March 21, 1983
Succeeded by
"Up Where We Belong" by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes

2004 release[edit]

"Gloria 2004"
Single by Laura Branigan
Released April 26, 2004
Format MCD, 12"
Recorded 2003
Genre Dance, Hi-NRG
Label Dance Street
Writer(s) Umberto Tozzi, Giancarlo Bigazzi, Trevor Veitch
Laura Branigan singles chronology
"Self Control 2004"
"Gloria 2004"

Laura Branigan released a re-recording of "Gloria" in a Hi-NRG style a few months before her death in August of 2004. The track was released as "Gloria 2004."

Track listings[edit]

  • CD single
  1. "Gloria 2004" (Prodygee & Davis radio mix) – 3:23
  2. "Gloria 2004" (Alternative radio version) – 3:38
  3. "Gloria 2004" (S.A.D. radio mix) – 4:09
  4. "Gloria 2004" (Prodygee & Davis remix) – 6:16
  5. "Gloria 2004" (S.A.D. club mix) – 6:59
  6. "Gloria 2004" (Prodygee & Davis club mix) – 6:01
  • 12" single
  1. "Gloria 2004" (Discotronix remix) – 7:01
  2. "Gloria 2004" (Prodygee & Davis remix) – 6:16
  3. "Gloria 2004" (S.A.D. club mix) – 6:59
  4. "Gloria 2004" (Prodygee & Davis club mix) – 6:01

Other versions[edit]

  • Another version of "Gloria", amended into an advertising jingle with lyrics to suit the product, and complete with a soundalike vocalist to Laura Branigan, was used in an Australian TV commercial for the 1984 Mitsubishi Cordia.
  • Debbie Reynolds sings a snippet of "Gloria" in the "Lows in the Mid-Eighties" episode of the NBC sitcom Will & Grace, which was broadcast in November 23, 2000. Reynolds performs the song as the character "Bobbi Adler" in a sequence set in 1985.
  • "Gloria" was incorporated into the score of Flashdance the Musical in a scene where the character named Gloria performs a pole dance routine. The song was sung by Djalenja Scott and Carryl Thomas in Ruthie Stephens' 2008–09 national tour of the musical, and by Twinnie-Lee Moore and Hannah Levane in the 2010–11's play at West End theatre, where Charlotte Harwood assumed the role of Gloria.
  • In 2010, South Korean actress Bae Doona headlined a television series named "Gloria", named by the Laura Branigan song. In the series, Bae portrays an aspiring singer who gets her start and ascends to fame by singing a Korean cover of song "Gloria".
  • David Civera recorded a Spanish rendering of "Gloria" for his 2011 album A ritmo de clasicos. In the same year, Sergio Dalma recorded another Spanish version on his album Via Dalma II; the album lasted five weeks at #1 in Spain, and earned quadruple-platinum status. Dalma also performed the song on an RTVE special called Via Dalma, which aired in December 2011. Umberto Tozzi was among the guests, but Dalma sang the song as a solo.[19]
  • Jo Vally recorded a Flemish rendering of "Gloria" for his 2012 album Zingt zuiderse klassiekers; the track reached #15 on the Ultratop chart. Gloria Trevi performed "Gloria" as an opening number in concert, and recorded a studio version of Spanish lyrics completely different from the original, released in February 2012.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Video of Umberto Tozzi singing his original "Gloria" in Italian". YouTube. Retrieved April 1, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Song artist 746 - Umberto Tozzi". The World's Music Charts. Archived from the original on September 14, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Translation of "Gloria" by Umberto Tozzi from Italian to English". Lyrics Translate. Retrieved 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Video of Umberto Tozzi singing the original "Gloria" in English, translated by Jonathan King". YouTube. Retrieved July 8, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Chart Stats - Jonathan King - Gloria". Chart Stats. Archived from the original on August 13, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Umberto Tozzi - Gloria (English Version) / Aria Di Lei". 45cat. Retrieved June 25, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Martin Scorcese's Jackass or The Wolf of Wall Street". The Schleicher Spin. December 26, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Quiet & Unpretentious Gloria Realistically Captivates". Charleston City Paper. February 26, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c d ""Tu" in various singles charts". Austrian Charts. Retrieved January 8, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Les Meilleures Ventes Tout Temps de 45 T. / Singles" (in French). Info Disc. Retrieved August 21, 2013. 
  11. ^ Sólo Éxitos 1959-2002 Año A Año: Certificados 1979-1990 (in Spanish). Iberautor Promociones Culturales. ISBN 8480486392. 
  12. ^ "Branigan knows value of familiar material". Laura Branigan website. July 3, 2003. 
  13. ^ "Video of Laura Branigan singing "Gloria," written by Trevor Veitch". YouTube. Retrieved February 23, 2008. 
  14. ^ Joel Whitburn (1991). The Billboard Hot 100 Charts: The Eighties (July 10, 1982 - March 12, 1983). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research, Inc. ISBN 0-89820-079-2. 
  15. ^ ""Gloria" on Branigan's life". Laura Branigan website. August 20, 2003. 
  16. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Laura Branigan – Gloria". Music Canada. 
  17. ^ "American single certifications – Laura Branigan – Gloria". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  18. ^ "Zpívající bubeník Víťa Vávra: Jsem máma v domácnosti". January 4, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Sergio Dalma - Via Dalma, Especiales de Navidad". RTVE. December 24, 2011. 

External links[edit]