Top 10 Mirror Songs
The Looking Glass’s contribution to pop culture began in 1969 when Brooklyn’s Elliott Lurie met Larry Gonsky, then recruited Jeff Grob and Pieter Sweval while students at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. At first, the Looking Glass performed at frat nights and local clubs before briefly breaking up after graduation. Later, the band members would reunite again as a hard rock band sporting what became part of Jersey Sound.
The beginnings of the mirror
After Looking Glass signed with Epic Records, the band’s self-titled debut album was released on June 6, 1972. It was the recording that would produce the band’s one and only number one single, “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl ).” It was an unintended hit as the song was on the B-side of a vinyl record which had “Don’t It Make You Feel Good”. Originally the single went unnoticed until it was released. released by a disc jockey in Washington, D.C. Since then, it has become the big breakthrough the Looking Glass needed to gain a national following.The song’s popularity has also won a fan base in Canada and the United Kingdom .
In 1973, Looking Glass released Subway Serenade as their second studio album. From there, three singles were released but none of them managed to repeat the same level of success as “Brandy”. In 1974, Brendan Harkin joined the band, shortly before Elliott Lurie left to pursue a solo career. Lurie was replaced by Michael Lee Smith and the band’s name changed from Looking Glass to Fallen Angels.
When Richie Ranno joined the band as second guitarist in 1975, Larry Gonsky left. Then in 1975, the group underwent another name change, this time to Starz. The musical style also changed when Starz ventured into the genre of heavy metal music. Even though Starz didn’t achieve much commercial success as a band, he served as a key influence that spawned bands such as Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Poison, and Twisted Sister. Starz was best known for the hit single “Cherry Baby.” Unfortunately, Looking Glass and Starz would permanently lose Pieter Sweval on January 23, 1990, when he died of AIDS.
look through the mirror
For Elliott Lurie, his solo career began with the release of his self-titled album and single, “Disco (Where You Wanna Go)”. After failing to make an impression on the US Billboard Hot 100, he left Epic Records in favor of Arista Records. He has also worked as a songwriter for Chappell Music and Screen Gems Music.
In 1984 he moved to Los Angeles, California, then became the head of the music department at 20th Century Fox in 1985. Since then he has played a vital role in the musical production of 1985’s Perfect, 1992’s Alien 3 , 1998’s A Night at the Roxbury, Riding in Cars with Boys from 2001 and Spanglish from 2004. It wasn’t until 2003 that Elliott Lurie breathed new life into Looking Glass. Although no new material was released, the group performed at various venues.
On 10 Looking Glass Songs
#10 – One by one
“One by One” began as an acoustic ballad as Elliott Lurie talked about waking up in the morning and praying. It was a painful song that forced the singer to face the reality of a breakup that was hitting him hard. The style of music that defined Looking Glass offered a mix of blues, country, jazz, pop and heavy rock. “One by One” showed the softer side of a band that demonstrated how talented they were as songwriters.
All of the material that made up the track listing for the band’s debut album was written by Elliott Lurie or Pieter Sweval. “One by One” was a Sweval gem that served as the closing track to an album that may not have been a favorite among music critics, but was certainly an inspirational favorite among the Mid-Century fan base. Atlantic who could identify with the material. Pieter Sweval fans will remember him as the founder of Starz after Elliott Lucas took it upon himself to embark on a solo career.
#9 – Stanton Station
What made Looking Glass appealing was how they could bring country instrumentation across the musical spectrum. “Stanton Station” was a song that revolved around the New Jersey railroad that left the narrator unemployed due to circumstances beyond his control. It was a shameless song about the lifestyle of a person who chose to look at life with a positive rather than a negative attitude.
#8 – Dealing with the Devil
From the album, Looking Glass, “Dealin’ With the Devil” had a piano arrangement performed by Larry Gonsky which made this song an easy favorite. It was a fantastic song where the narrator found himself at odds with the very thing his mother had warned him about as he tried to make the most of his own life. It was an enjoyable track that many fans could easily relate to with their own experiences. “Dealin’ With the Devil” was a song that became a regional favorite among fans shortly after its first release in 1972.
#7 – Catherine Street
“Catherine Street” was a harmonic beauty song that initially sounded like it would be a sweet country hit. This easy listening gem featured Elliott Lucas at his vocal best and it was a shame this song didn’t get more attention when the Mirror The first album was released in 1972. Although the group may not have achieved the commercial success they hoped for at the time, they gained a strong fan base who preferred their brand of music to what the favored radio stations at the time.
#6 – Are you feeling unwell
Released on the A-side of the same record that produced the hit single “Brandy”, “Don’t It Make You Feel Good” was a jazzy track that first opened with a piano solo. As a song addressing a love interest, it matched “Brandy” perfectly. Unfortunately, this song was largely ignored by commercial radio, and The Looking Glass failed to achieve the same level of commercial success as with “Brandy”.
Discerning fans found “Don’t It Make You Feel Good” a soulful favorite that sparked a wave of recording artists to launch into Jersey Sound and its international influence. This song was a local favorite among a fanbase that recognized the Looking Glass as more than a one-hit wonder.
#5 – Jenny-Lynne
“Jenny-Lynne” was a fast pop track that best defined who the Looking Glass was as a band. It was the title track of the band’s debut album, Mirror, and was among the band’s few songs that shared the same style of performance as a recording as they did live. The lyrical story of a love was at the heart of a song that Elliott Lurie referred to as someone he wanted to spend more time with.
#4 – Rainbow Man
1973’s “Rainbow Man” was a The Looking Glass single released from the album, Subway Serenade. As the narrator sang about moving on as someone here today and then gone tomorrow, this song kind of served as a sign of things to come when it comes to the fate of the band.
Less than a year after “Rainbow Man” only hit number ninety-four on the US Cash Box chart and failed to break into the top hundred on the US Billboard Hot 100, Elliott Lurie left without his bandmates. “Rainbow Man” was a gem of a track that had many fans in tune who didn’t get the recognition it deserved at the time.
#3 – Golden Rainbow
“Golden Rainbow” reached number thirty-seven on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and number seventy-five on the US Cash Box chart. It served as the follow-up single behind “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” but failed to make as big of an impression. In the song, the narrator addressed his love, she was the reason why life began to seek him.
#2 – Jimmy likes Mary-Anne
On the US Billboard Hot 100, “Jimmy Loves Mary-Anne” became a number thirty-three hit after its release as a single in 1973. It was also a number sixteen hit on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary Songs chart and a number twenty . -a hit on the Canadian RPM Singles chart.
Taken from The Looking Glass’s second and final studio album, Subway Serenade, “Jimmy Loves Mary-Anne” was a recording that shared the story of the love couple’s desire to escape the harsh inner-city living conditions. This song inspired Mark Williams to perform his own version in 1975, but instead spelled it as “Jimmy Loves Marianne”. Josie Cotton did the same in 1984. Her version peaked at number eighty-two on the US Billboard Hot 100. The popularity of the original Looking Glass was immense in Chicago as it received a huge airplay on its WLS radio station.
#1 – Brandy (you are a beautiful girl)
“Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” was released as the record’s B-side along with “Don’t It Make You Feel Good”. At first, the song received very little attention until a Washington D.C. jockey named Harv Moore gained enough attention for the rest of the country’s radio stations to hear. It became a number one hit on the US Billboard Hot 100, US Cash Box chart and Canadian RPM Singles chart. On the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, “Brandy” peaked at number seven. In the UK it peaked at number fifty-five and went certified gold with its British Phonographic Industry. It was also certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.
The song was about a waitress named Brandy who lost the love of her life in the sea. Although the sailors tried to convince her, their efforts were in vain. As for fans, after “Brandy” was released in 1972, it became a popular name choice for newborn girls. The song gained popularity again when it was used in one of the opening scenes of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. It was also recently sung by Saul Goodman on Better Call Saul on the karaoke stage with was incredibly grumpy. It’s the type of song that will continue to find new audiences over the years because it’s such a classic recording.
Article Top 10 Songs From The Looking Glass published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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