“Brandy” was HUGE in 1972, and ended up being the No. 1 song on both the Billboard and Cashbox charts for the year … and deservedly so. It was written and composed by Elliot Lurie and recorded by Lurie’s band, Looking Glass, on their debut album also called Looking Glass. It’s an odd subject for a rock song; a barmaid from a bygone era whose heart belongs to a man who’d rather be out to sea than with her? How did a song from an unknown group blast to the top of the charts? Here’s more on the story from Wikipedia:
In February 1972, Robert Mandel was the Epic Records Promotion Manager in Washington, D.C. He received a test pressing of an album by a new group named “Looking Glass”. He took the test pressing around to every radio station in the Washington/Baltimore region. At the time, WPGC AM/FM was one of the leading Top 40 stations in the country and was the number one radio station in DC. Harv Moore was the Program Director. He put the song into a one-hour rotation for two days and as Harv related at the time, “the switchboard lit up like a Christmas tree”. He said that he had never received a response like that on a record in his 15 years in radio. Based on the airplay at WPGC and all the other Top 40 stations that followed, Epic rush-released the single of “Brandy”. Based on requests alone, two weeks later, when the single finally hit the stores, “Brandy” was the number one record in DC without a single copy yet sold. Other stations around the country started playing it and it ended up being a number one million seller. A year later when Harv celebrated his 10th Anniversary at WPGC, Looking Glass returned the favor and played at the bash the station held in his honor.
However it happened, this song is one of the true rock classics from the early 70s. “Brandy, you’re a fine girl, what a good wife you would be. But alas, my love and my lady is the sea!”
Here’s Elliot Lurie and the band Looking Glass with “Brandy” LVIE in 1972.