Gloria (Umberto Tozzi song)
Artwork for some releases, including Italian release
|Single by Umberto Tozzi|
|from the album Gloria|
|B-side||"Aria di lei"|
"Gloria" (Italian pronunciation: [ˈɡlɔːrja]) is a 1979 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. A 1982 cover version by American singer Laura Branigan sold over one million singles in the United States alone.
- 1 Umberto Tozzi version
- 2 Laura Branigan version
- 3 Other versions and inclusions
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Umberto Tozzi version
Umberto Tozzi first recorded "Gloria" in 1979; that summer the song stayed on the Italian Top-10 chart for sixteen weeks, six of them at number 2. The song stayed four weeks at number 1 in both, Switzerland and – in a translated version – Spain. That same year saw Tozzi's "Gloria" achieve hit status in Austria at number 4, Belgium at number 3, the Netherlands at number 21, France at number 3, and Germany where the track reached number 8.
Tozzi's "Gloria" is a love song, as is the first English rendering of the song, recorded by its original English-language lyricist, Jonathan King, in November 1979; Tozzi later recorded and performed King's translated version of "Gloria". He also re-recorded the song with Trevor Veitch's and Laura Branigan's English lyrics; this version appears on his 2002 release, The Best of Umberto Tozzi.
In his song of Jonathan King's translated lyrics, 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.
- Umberto Tozzi - vocals, chorus
- Greg Mathieson - conductor, piano, keyboards
- Barry Morgan - drums
- Mats Björklund - guitar
- Les Hurdle - bass
- Filarmonica Di Monaco - strings
- Euro Cristiani - chorus
Laura Branigan version
Side-A label of the US 12-inch vinyl release, which was housed in a generic Atlantic sleeve and had no original cover art
|Single by Laura Branigan|
|from the album Branigan|
|Laura Branigan singles chronology|
|Alternative cover art|
Artwork for UK vinyl releases, zoomed-in from the cover art of the parent album, which was also variously used for most non-US single releases
Atlantic Records' managing director Doug Morris suggested that Laura Branigan work with producer Jack White, who suggested that she record an English version of Tozzi's hit "Gloria". Branigan recalled that on hearing the Tozzi track, "We gave it the American kick and rewrote the lyrics and off she went." 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 her 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; while Branigan also did her part in co-writing of the cover song's lyrics.
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."
Branigan later released a Hi-NRG re-recording of the song just a few months before her death. "Gloria 2004" was released with several remixes on April 26, 2004.
"Gloria" attained its highest profile via a re-working featured on the 1982 album Branigan, the first released album by Branigan. Although another selection, "All Night with Me", was chosen as the album's lead-off single, Branigan also performed the cover song during her promotional TV appearances at the time of the album's release in early 1982, 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 reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 27, behind Lionel Richie's "Truly", and remained there in the following two weeks, through December 11—when Richie had been supplanted by Toni Basil's "Mickey".
"Gloria" earned Branigan a nomination for the Best Pop Vocal Performance Female Grammy Award for the year 1982. The song 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, breaking the previous record mark. Cashbox magazine's Top 100 ranked "Gloria" at number 1. Certified platinum for sales of one million in the United States alone, "Gloria" was also an international success, most notably in Australia where it held the number 1 position for seven consecutive weeks, from February 7 to March 21, 1983. "Gloria" also took Branigan to the Top-10 charts in Canada at number 1, the United Kingdom at number 6, Ireland at number 4, South Africa at number 9, New Zealand at number 6, and number 36 in Italy.
Branigan's cover of "Gloria" appeared in the musical drama Flashdance in 1983, though it wasn't included in the film's soundtrack. 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."
Branigan's "Gloria" was featured in the 2006 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories on the in-game pop radio station "Flash FM".
The song appears as a cassette tape in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, both prequels set in the early 1980s.
The cover song was also incorporated into the score of Flashdance the Musical in a scene where the character named Gloria performs a pole dance routine; 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.
At the end of the trailer for the post-apocalyptic comedy series The Last Man on Earth, Phil Tandy, who at the time happens to be the last person alive, sings "Gloria" on a megaphone as a desperate call for contact with a woman.
In the Scorpion episode Sci Hard, Agent Cabe Gallo's lemon car had a cassette tape with this version of the song stuck in the car's player. As a result, the song played whenever Cabe used his car in the episode, with Cabe singing it to himself at one point. At the end of the episode, Gloria plays during the climatic chase scene which ends with the bad guys' motorcycles crashing into Cabe's car, resulting in the tape ejecting and the song ending.
In 2017, the first episode of the BBC/Netflix series White Gold began with the song.
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|Canada (Music Canada)||Platinum||100,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||1,000,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
Other versions and inclusions
A Czech rendering of "Gloria", titled "Dívka Gloria", was a local success for Vítězslav Vávra in 1980; as well as for the Estonian rendering of "Gloria" recorded by Mait Maltis in the same year. In 1982, Sylvie Vartan recorded "Gloria" with Branigan's song lyrics, while Lena Valaitis had a single release of "Gloria" with new German lyrics written by Michael Kunze, and production by Jack White. In 1983, Carola Häggkvist recorded a Swedish rendering of "Gloria" – lyrics by Ingela Forsman – for her album Främling; while Mona Carita recorded a Finnish rendering of the song for her album Mikä Fiilis!
"Gloria" has been used internationally in TV commercials for products as diverse as beer and flour; while another version of the song, amended into an advertising jingle with lyrics to suit the product, and soundalike vocalist to Branigan, was used in an Australian TV commercial for the 1984 Mitsubishi Cordia.
Prior to Branigan's version repeating its U.S. success in the U.K., British singer Elkie Brooks recorded her version of "Gloria", which was unreleased prior to inclusion in the 1986 album The Very Best of Elkie Brooks. Australian singer Julie Anthony also recorded "Gloria" for her 1983 covers album What a Feeling.
Broadcast in November 23, 2000, Debbie Reynolds sings a snippet of "Gloria" in the "Lows in the Mid-Eighties" episode of the NBC sitcom Will & Grace, where she performs the song as the character "Bobbi Adler" in a sequence set in 1985. Australian Young Divas included "Gloria" on their self-titled album in 2006. In 2010, South Korean actress Bae Doona headlined a television series named "Gloria", where 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 album A ritmo de clasicos in 2011, the same year that Sergio Dalma recorded another Spanish version of "Gloria" on his album Via Dalma II; the album lasted five weeks at number 1 in Spain, and earned quadruple-platinum status. Airing in December 2011, Sergio Dalma also performed the song on an RTVE special called Via Dalma, where Tozzi was also among the guests.
Jo Vally recorded a Flemish rendering of "Gloria" for his 2012 album Zingt zuiderse klassiekers; the track reached number 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.
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|url=(help). Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
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- "Zpívající bubeník Víťa Vávra: Jsem máma v domácnosti". TN.cz. January 4, 2012.
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- "Sergio Dalma - Via Dalma, Especiales de Navidad". RTVE. December 24, 2011.