Laura Branigan

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Bio

Laura Ann Branigan (July 3, 1952 – August 26, 2004) was an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Her signature song, the platinum-certified 1982 single "Gloria", stayed on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for 36 weeks, then a record for a female artist, peaking at No. 2. It also reached number one in Australia and Canada. In 1984, she reached number one in Canada and Germany with the U.S. No. 4 hit "Self Control". She also had success in the United Kingdom with both "Gloria" and "Self Control" making the Top 10 in the UK Singles Chart.

Seeing her greatest level of success in the 1980s, Branigan's other singles included the Top 10 hit "Solitaire" (1983), the U.S. AC chart number one "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" (1983), the Australian No. 2 hit "Ti amo" (1984), her return to the top 40 "The Power of Love" (1987), the top hit 15 dance "Shattered Glass.

"Shattered Glass" was one of two tracks Branigan cut with the Stock Aitken Waterman team. Originally the Touch album was to totally be a collaboration with producer David Kershenbaum but after completing her recording with Kershenbaum, Branigan, who was especially interested in scoring a strong hit single as her previous album release Hold Me had only produced a mild hit in "Spanish Eddie" (#40), made an overnight foray to the UK to record at the PWL Studios in London with Stock Aitken Waterman, at the time enjoying massive chart success with releases by such acts as Rick AstleyBananaramaand Dead or Alive. Besides "Shattered Glass", the PWL session produced Branigan's recording of "Whatever I Do" a Stock Aitken Waterman original previously recorded in 1984 by Hazell Dean.

"Shattered Glass" was issued as a single in the US in June 1987 with "Statue in the Rain", a track recorded for Touch with David Kershenbaum and omitted from the album to accommodate the inclusion of the Stock Aitken Waterman tracks, serving as the B-side; the 12" single version of the track was remixed by Pete Hammond. A music video was made to promote "Shattered Glass", featuring Afa Anoa'i, a wrestler known, with his brother, as one of The Wild Samoans.

 

A performance by Branigan on the 9/5/1987 broadcast of American Bandstand gave "Shattered Glass" the distinction of being the final track to be promoted by a guest star on the major network edition of American Bandstand but by the time of Branigan's American Bandstand appearance the failure of "Shattered Glass" as a comeback vehicle for Branigan was evident, the single having stalled at #48 on the Billboard Hot 100 that August.

Billboard did afford "Shattered Glass" hit status on its dance charts: #13 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart and #15 on the Hot Dance Singles Sales, and also on the Hot Adult Contemporary chart (#27). "Shattered Glass" was also the last Laura Branigan single to register in several international markets, although it only attained significant chart impact in Switzerland at #26 and Denmark at #6, the last-named being the final evident Top Ten placing by Branigan on a national chart.

Bryan Buss of AllMusic would later write that, from an album that contained "so many...successfully evocative cuts...lead single 'Shattered Glass'...stand(s) out; you can hardly hold back from caroling along" - "[Branigan's] big, boomy voice...has never sounded better".

"Shattered Glass" appears on the 2007 re-release of Touch on Wounded Bird Records and on the collections The Essentials: Laura Branigan and The Platinum Collection.

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Shattered Glass
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