Laura Branigan/The Best Of Laura Branigan

Laura Branigan was a Grammy nominated American Singer/Songwriter. Branigan is best known for her 80’s smash Gloria which rode the Billboard Hot 100 for 36 straight weeks. Branigan had many other hits in the US, but maintained a HUGE fan base in Europe and the Scandinavian Countries. This compilation features two new cover songs….Show Me Heaven and Dim All The Lights. Branigan died in 2004 of a brain aneurism.

Solitaire—-Almost as big a hit in the ‘community’ as Gloria, this was a great lead off single for the second release of Branigan. The song has all the classic fun electronic sounds of the 80’s, the beat that will fill a dance floor and a vocal that is strong it is still astounding. Branigan had a vocal pitch that was limited, but always perfect. This is a nice trip down memory lane.

Show Me Heaven—-One of the newly recorded singles for this at the time of its release, this is a cover version…sorry I did not research the origin….it is simply, despite never hearing the original, a masterpiece of a song. The level of intensity that is laid out on the song will rip you and become a permanent part of your ‘feeling really bad’ soundtrack. This is great…..emotional and a damn strong vocal.

Ti Amo—-Throughout her career, Branigan dabbled a lot in the music of her ancestery…Latin and Italian….this is a great example. The song is freakin’ brilliant….the vocal is that perfect Alto that is so comfortable and pleasing. This is wrenching…a true Diva, Branigan inspired many a Drag Queen!!!

Spanish Eddie—-With a huge dance floor groove, the energy of the song makes you instantly happy. Even if the story is more West Side Story than dance floor fodder. This is fantastic…the beats are Morodor style beats, the synths swirl in a classic sound…the vocal is perfect. A+

The Power Of Love—-Recorded 10 years before Celine, this original was a huge hit for original composer Jennifer Rush, this was a top 40 hit for Branigan and a worldwide smash for Dion. Branigan delivers a mid-tempo rendition that allows just as much emotion with the purity f her voice…the histrionics are not necessary. Branigan does deliver a vocal that is far higher than her comfort level…the result is perfection.

Is There Anybody Here But Me?—-From the beginning strains of the horns, the song has a nice laid back bar blues feel to it. The vocal is relaxed and has a nice smoky quality. The beats are manufactured with a slight island feel…this is remarkable…some great double tracked vocals give the song a larger feel. Nice.

Dim All The Lights—-A respectable cover of Summer’s classic song, this has never been a favorite Branigan track for me. you just can’t tt to cover the Queen…right???? Come on you know I’m right. The vocals are nice, but don’t come close to the original and it is a letdown….next.

How Am I Supposed To Live Without You—-Written by Michael Bolton, and later recorded by him resulting in huge, worldwide success, this track did  well for Branigan also. The song is basically true to the original vision, the ballad feel of mass appeal is written all over the pop mentality of the track. The vocal is pained and hurtful as you would expect. A great endeavor in songwriting.

Over You—-One of my favorite Branigan songs EVER…this is a somber and devastating song that any human being can relate to. The voice is brilliant…the emotion is almost too much to bear, you almost feel as if you are intruding. This is literal genius…why was this not huge!!!??? So full of emotion I cry even if I don’t want or need to!!!

Lucky One—-From the first notes of the song, it reminds me of the late Peter Cetera era Chicago. The syrupy sweet ballad does not last though, as the song erupts into a dance romp with some freakin’ incredible vocals. This is classic Branigan. I could not ask for more…the energy is contagious, the beats are really bass heavy and the vocal reaches to great effect.

How Can I Help You Say Goodbye?—-Piano laden from the onset, the song is a really poignant tale as Branigan explores her own feelings of loss and the pain it brings. She eventually lost her husband to Colon Cancer. This is laden with sadness and though provoking tales…masterful!!!

Self Control—-Layered in the textures of 80’s Dance Floors, Branigan delivered an anthem that was almost as powerful as Gloria! The perfect recipe is intact as she delivers her vocal overlayed over a synth line that reeks of every 80’s cliche’ there is. This is wonderful, magnificent and a glorious piece of decadent history…trust me!!!

Gloria—-What can I say about this song…it was pivotal in my development…very current upon my explorations and discovery. I remember hearing it played at midnight 1983 in Traxx in Cleveland and having champagne poured on my head. It is a memory, a part of my history, and a really great song.

**** out of 5


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