Laura Branigan – Gloria
Italo Disco survived the 80s and became peculiar for a decisive feeling for whatever sounded like foreign, both in lyrics (mostly written in English, some in Spanish) and in the names of the artists. Then sometimes it happened that foreign artists chose an Italo Disco hit to cover it in their own language and in their own country.
This honor fell to Italian singer Umberto Tozzi and his Gloria, a song written in 1979 that was revived in June 1982 as a single by unlucky Laura Branigan and that remained on the Billboard 100 for 36 weeks. Gloria‘s choice was inspired by Laura’s producer, Greg Mathieson, who had written the music for the keyboards in the original version.
The Italian version speaks of the passion for a woman, in the English version Gloria is a girl on the verge of madness for a boy. Weirdly, this song also was also covered in French by great singer Sheila, who in the early 80s topped the European charts with hits like Love me baby and Spacer. And even this third version has a completely different meaning in lyrics.
It’s fun to know that both the US and the French version reached higher positions in the charts than the original Italian version. It seems by the way that Laura was not so enthusiast to cover this song, but she agreed to when she read the English text.
After less than two years Laura tried to cover another Italian hit, this time already in English, reaching number 4 in the American hit parade; it is a 80’s manifesto song, which still lay the charge in all of us Dinosaurs: Self Control by Raf.
Laura Branigan, who died in 2004 at the age of fifty-two, had a curious destiny: her main hits were often covers (like Ti Amo, again by Umberto Tozzi, or Deep In The Dark, a personal cover of Falco’s Der Kommissar, or even Alphaville’s Forever Young), but her beautiful voice and absolutely gritty style made her famous in the United States, and for several artists were absolutely pleased to learn that Laura Branigan had made a cover of their song. Being covered by Laura Branigan became an absolute a point of merit.
Laura Branigan on Wikipedia