GLORIAM (Laura Branigan)

Laura Branigan version 1982

June 1982 (US)
December 1982 (UK)
7″ 12″ CD

1981 Los Angeles

Synthpop Italo disco
Length 4:50
Label Atlantic

Umberto Tozzi Giancarlo Bigazzi Trevor Veitch
Jack White Greg Mathieson

Atlantic Records’ managing director Doug Morris suggested that Laura Branigan work with producer Jack White, who suggested that she record an English version of Tozzi’s hit “Gloria”. Branigan recalled that on hearing the Tozzi track, “We gave it the American kick and rewrote the lyrics and off she went.” Branigan’s remake of “Gloria” was co-produced by White with Greg Mathieson, who had been the arranger of, and the keyboardist on Tozzi’s original song, while also being the primary keyboardist on the Branigan album.

Branigan told People Weekly Magazine that she and her producers had at first attempted an English version of Tozzi’s “Gloria” in the romantic mode of the original, changing the title to “Mario”, but that this seemed ineffective. Ultimately, Branigan recorded an English re-invention of “Gloria” as a character study of, in her words, “a girl that’s running too fast for her own steps”, the cover lyrics of which were written by Trevor Veitch, the contractor for the Branigan album, to which he also contributed guitar work; while Branigan also did her part in co-writing of the cover song’s lyrics.

In 2003, Branigan characterized “Gloria” as “Certainly my signature song. And I always get the same reaction wherever I go, and whenever I perform it … I have to end every show with that song, and people just go crazy.”

Branigan later released a Hi-NRG re-recording of the song just a few months before her death. “Gloria 2004” was released with several remixes on April 26, 2004.