Laura Branigan - Self Control & Satisfaction (1984)
Laura Ann Branigan was born in 1957 in Brewster, NY, to Italo-Irish parents and began her musical career as early as 1973 in a band called Meadow. Following their break-up, she had several jobs, including being background singer to artists like Leonhard Cohen.
In 1979 she was signed to Atlantic Records, who gave her the chance to write and sing independently. The results were the tracks 'Looking Out For Number One' and an unreleased album called 'Silver Dreams' in 1981.
Her breakthrough came with the release of her self-titled album. 'Gloria' released in 1982, made her a household name in America and Austrlia. It remained in the US Billboard Charts for a whopping 39 weeks, which set a record at the time.
Her European fame came with her third album 'Self Control'. The release of the title track hit the continent like a bomb should also mark the height of her career. The song became her most popular international hit, topping the charts in several countries, most notably West Germany, where it spent seven weeks at DE#1! This is how I got to know her. Oddly enough Laura never really scored high in Italy.
By the time of Branigan's fourth album, 1985's Hold Me, 'Self Control' was a world-wide success. The hits continued with 'Spanish Eddie', 'Hold Me' and 'I Found Someone' (co-written by Michael Bolton, and later a hit for Cher). However, neither song was supported by a music video and stalled in the lower reaches of the Hot 100 chart.
Touch, which was released in 1987, marked a change in Branigan's career. Under new management and using different producers, Branigan took a more active role in her work and in the studio. Touch saw her return to dancefloors with the Stock/Aitken/Waterman-produced 'Shattered Glass'. The album also included a return to the Billboard Top 40 with her cover of Jennifer Rush's 'The Power of Love', which was one of the bestselling singles in the US.
During the height of her career, Branigan also made acting appearances, first in 1981 in An American Girl in Berlin for German television, and then after the success of 'Gloria', guest appearances on American TV series such as CHiPs and Knight Rider. She would later do independent films such as Mugsy's Girls (aka Delta Pi, 1985)and the Australian film Backstage.
Branigan also contributed songs to notable movie and television soundtracks, including the Grammy- and Academy Award-winning Flashdance soundtrack (1983), the Ghostbusters soundtrack (1984), and the Baywatch soundtrack (1994), as well as having songs featured in the popular Grand Theft Auto video game series.
Laura died all too early at her home on Long Island, NY, on August 26, 2004. Her death was attributed to a previously undiagnosed brain aneurysm. Her ashes were scattered over Long Island Sound.
Laura Branigan - Self Control (1984)
CAN#1, AT#1, DE#1, US#2, IRL#2, AUS#3, UK#5, FR#5
Laura Branigan - Satisfaction (1984)