Friday, July 30, 2010

Scott English Brandy/Mandy

Well, let’s just get this out there in the open: 1. I am not a Barry Manilow fan, and 2. I am not a Scott English fan either. Now that I got this off my chest, the purpose of including these two artists on Friday Firsts is because one song that they both recorded under different titles has its place musical history. This is a unique situation and I am not certain how often something like this has occurred – if ever. It also shows that I can be objective as well as subjective when it comes to music.

In 1971, Scott English recorded a song that he and Richard Kerr had penned. “Brandy” did well in the UK charting at #12, but was a stateside flop. The single was release in North America on the Janus label and It was the original recording of a song Barry Manilow would take to #1 in 1974 as “Mandy.”

Too much Brandy

A year after English’s dismal American chart action, another group named the Looking Glass released their #1 hit wonder – “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl). While the song only shared the name of the female lead in the song, it would have implications for English & Kerr’s composition.

Brandy is distilled into Mandy

In 1974, Arista Records owner Clive Davis suggested to Barry Manilow that he record the Kerr/English composition. Manilow agreed; however, feeling that the title was too similar to the 1972 hit by the Looking Glass, he changed the title to “Mandy.” The song became his first number one record as well as his first gold single. While he had originally recorded a version that was similar to Scott English’s release, he and producer Ron Dante thought that it would be better to be recorded as a ballad – and the rest as they say is history.

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