Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)
|"Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)"|
|Single by Looking Glass|
|from the album Looking Glass|
|B-side||"One by One"|
|Released||May 18, 1972|
|Length||2:55 (Single remix/edit)|
3:10 (Album mix version)
|Producer(s)||Mike Gershman, Bob Liftin and the Looking Glass|
|Looking Glass singles chronology|
"Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)" is a 1972 song by the American pop rock band Looking Glass, from their debut album, Looking Glass. It was written by Looking Glass lead guitarist and co-vocalist Elliot Lurie.
The single reached number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Cash Box Top 100 charts, remaining in the top position for one week. It reached number two on the former chart for four weeks, behind Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Alone Again (Naturally)", before reaching number one, only to be dethroned by "Alone Again (Naturally)" the week after. Billboard ranked it as the No. 12 song for 1972.
The lyrics tell of Brandy, a barmaid in a busy seaport harbor town which serves "a hundred ships a day." Though lonely sailors flirt with her, she pines for one who has long since left her because he claimed his life, his love, and his lady, was “the sea.”
In February 1972, Robert Mandel was the Epic Records Promotion Manager in Washington, D.C. He received a test pressing of an album by Looking Glass, then a new group. He took the test pressing around to every radio station in the Washington/Baltimore region. At the time, WPGC AM/FM was one of the leading Top 40 stations in the country and was the number one radio station in DC. Harv Moore was the Program Director. He put the song into a one-hour rotation for two days and as Moore 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 15 years in radio. Based on the airplay at WPGC and all the other Top 40 stations that 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. A year later when Moore celebrated his 10th Anniversary at WPGC, Looking Glass returned the favor and played at the bash the station held in his honor.
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, 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.
Barry Manilow's 1974 "Mandy" was a cover of a song originally titled "Brandy", released in February 1972 by Scott English; however, Manilow changed the title following the success of the Looking Glass single, so as not to get the two songs confused.
The 2005 song "Same Old 45" by Sarah Borges, from the album Silver City, retells the story of Brandy from her point of view.
In popular culture
- This song was used in the films Lords of Dogtown, Say Anything..., Charlie's Angels, A Very Brady Sequel, Lymelife, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and the 2018 Spike Lee film BlacKkKlansman. It was also used in an episode of the 2009 television show Harper's Island, and it can be heard in the background in a scene set in the longshoremen's bar in Season 2 of The Wire. 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.
- 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. In TV series companion book The Simpsons Uncensored Family Album, Marge wrote that her paternal grandmother once told her that the song "Brandy" was based on Marge's paternal grandfather's life.
- Doug Heffernan (Kevin James) sings the song at a karaoke bar in the episode "G'night Stalker" on the TV program The King of Queens.
- The song appears in a 2019 TV commercial for the Ford F150 pickup truck.
- In the Ozark episode “The Gold Coast,” Cade Langmore (Trevor Long) sings along to the song as it plays on the radio in his truck.
- In Critical Role (Campaign 2, Episode 20), Matthew Mercer sings the chorus while acting in character.
- Ray Conniff and His Singers covered the song on the 1972 album Alone Again (Naturally).
- 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 the original.
- Mick Thomas and The Sure Thing covered the song in 1999 on the album Dead Set Certainty: Twelve Songs That Wouldn't Go Away...
- Red Hot Chili Peppers performed a cover version of the song on their Red Hot Chili Peppers Live in Hyde Park album and during their 2004 tour. They again performed it in May 2017 for the first time in twelve years.
- Kenny Chesney performed a cover version for the Target Bonus Tracks on his 2005 album The Road and the Radio.
- Gonzalez performed a cover of this song released as a single on the EMI label. 
- Raymond Coats (West Coast Groove Band) performs a cover to be released as a single through CDBaby in February 2020.
- Big Head Todd and the Monsters released a cover on YouTube as part of their Monster's Monthly Music series.
- Local H included a cover of the song as part of their Awesome Quarantine Mixtape #3. "
- Elliot Lurie—Guitars, vocals
- Larry Gonsky—Keyboards, vocals - Following the break-up of Looking Glass, Gonsky was hired as a middle-school music teacher by the Morris School district in Morristown, N.J.
- Peter Sweval—Bass, vocals, cowbell
- Jeff Grob—Drum kit
- Larry Fallon—Horns arrangements
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine (April 28, 1998). "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl) [Sony] - Looking Glass | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
- "Mary Ellis Grave". weirdnj.com. Retrieved April 15, 2012.
- "The urban legends of 'Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)'". tennessean.com.
- "Popular Baby Names". Ssa.gov. August 26, 2009. Retrieved April 15, 2012.
- Huey, Steve. "Mandy". Allmusic. Retrieved June 25, 2009.
- Alvarez, Rafael (2004). The Wire:Truth Be Told. Pocket Books. p. 240. ISBN 9781439184523.
- "Gonzalez - Brandy (You're A Fine Girl) / White Lightning". Discogs.com. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
- "Big Head Todd and the Monsters - Brandy (You're A Fine Girl)". youtube.com. Retrieved May 2, 2021.
- "Local H Roar Through Yacht Rock Classic "Brandy"".
- Steffen Hung. "Forum - 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian-charts.com. Archived from the original on June 2, 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-06.
- "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on October 22, 2014. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
- "flavour of new zealand - search listener". www.flavourofnz.co.nz.
- SA Charts 1965 - 1989. Songs A-B. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
- Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 143.
- CASH BOX Top 100 Singles 2 September 1972. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 14, 2012. Retrieved October 27, 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)