"Brandy" was a hit in 1971 for Scott English in the UK and in 1972 for Bunny Walters in New Zealand, but achieved greater success when covered in 1974 by Barry Manilow in the US, with the title changed to from "Brandy" to "Mandy" to avoid confusion with Looking Glass's "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)". His version reached the top of the US Hot 100 Singles Chart. Later on, it was recorded by many other artists. The song was a UK #1 hit in 2003 for Irish boyband Westlife.
Under the title Brandy, the selection's original title, the song charted in 1971 for Scott English, one of its co-composers, whose version of it reached #12 in the UK Singles Charts. It was also released in the United States, where it was a minor hit, remaining in the lower portion of the Hot 100.
The suggestion that Scott English wrote the song about a favorite dog is apparently an urban legend. English has said that a reporter called him early one morning asking who "Brandy" was, and an irritated English made up the dog story to get the reporter off his back. In a 2013 interview, he said the idea for the song title came from the off-colour expression "Brandy goes down fine after dinner, doesn't she". He said he hated the Manilow version because he took out part of a verse and made it a bridge, but he later loved it because it bought him houses. The song was inspired by his life, he said, the face in the window being his father.
In the three years between English's and Manilow's recordings, Looking Glass's "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)" had hit #1 in 1972. When Clive Davis suggested that Manilow record the selection, the singer changed the title to "Mandy" to avoid confusion. Joe Renzetti arranged the record.
In the Manilow version, the first two lines from the fourth verse, following the instrumental section, were omitted. They were:
"Riding on a country bus/
No one even noticed us."
"Mandy" was covered by Irish boyband Westlife in 2003 and was released as the second single from their fourth studio album, Turnaround. The single peaked at #1 on the UK Singles Chart to become the band's twelfth #1 single on the chart. The single sold over 190,000 copies in the UK. The single was released on Monday, November 17, 2003.