A Breath of Fresh Air Mar 21

Written by on 03/21/2023

A Breath of Fresh Air With Sandy Kaye
Tuesdays 1pm EST
and Fridays 8pm EST

No-one expected the ’70s song “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” to endure. Least of all, ELLIOT LURIE who was the lead singer and main songwriter for the band Looking Glass, the group behind the hit song. The song has been on constant radio rotation since 1972 and has been featured in movies, TV shows and the Simpsons. Elliot is surprised by the song’s staying power and admits it has certainly helped him build a career.
He started playing guitar in high school bands and then in college he formed Looking Glass with two other guys. The band has had various drummers over the years but he and his bandmates decided to pursue music after college, renting a farmhouse in rural New Jersey to make demos. They drove their demos to New York City, eventually getting a manager and a record deal. After graduating college, Elliot told his parents that he and his bandmates were going to take one full year to see if they could make something out of their music. It was at that farmhouse that he wrote the song and he came up with the lyrics by playing around with a chord progression and singing the name of an old high school girlfriend, Randy. The singer then changed Randy’s name to Brandy to make it more fitting for the story he wanted to tell. He explains that he had difficulty writing the chorus and had to run back and forth between the piano and his guitar to get it right. Elliot says the song’s story came completely from his imagination and, contrary to urban legend, he had no prior background in the navy or sailing. He also confirms that his ex-girlfriend, Randy knew the song was written for her but had not been aware of this until it became a hit. Elliot revealed that the song had been recorded multiple times, first in a house, then again in a demo studio, and then with Steve Cropper in Memphis. When Clive Davis heard the song, he wanted studio musicians to help finish it, but Looking Glass insisted on playing their own instruments.
“It doesn’t surprise me as much that it was a number one hit record at the time as it does how well it has endured. I mean, it’s endured better than a lot of records that were bigger hits at the time.” -Elliot Lurie Elliot Lurie has enjoyed a successful music career spanning well over 50 years. He’s not only been a singer/songwriter but has spent many years as a music director on several film scores. During the course of this interview he tells us all about his career path but keeps coming back to the fact that without Brandy, his musical career may never have gotten off the ground. As he puts it ” it was luck and fate that led to the song becoming a hit.” He does add, however, that many people may not know that Looking Glass definitely wasn’t a ‘one hit wonder’ – they did score another Top 40 hit. Do you know which one that was?
Find out this week on A Breath of Fresh Air.



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