“Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” by Looking Glass was a number one hit in 1972 and went on to be number 12 for the year. Some say it was the Summer Song of ’72. It has been played in power rotations by oldies stations ever since, including B100.FM. (Looking Glass tried again the following summer with”Jimmy Loves Mary-Anne” which made the Top 40 and hung on for 4 months but never became nearly the smash as Brandy.)
In the song, Brandy was a barmaid in a port town who falls in love with a sailor but is left in love with “a man who’s not around,” Trivia: Barry Manilow’s 1974 “Mandy” was a totally different song originally titled “Brandy” but Manilow changed the title because of the success of the hit by Looking Glass.
Meanwhile, Brandy (NOT Mandy) has been used in everything fromSay Anything…, Charlie’s Angels, A Very Brady Sequel, The Wire. The Simpsons and The King of Queens to the computer game “Tropico 2.” But the big story in 2017 is its’ inclusion in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. It appears in the opening scene and again in a scene on Ego the Living Planet. Ego considers the song to be a metaphor for his time on earth with Peter Quill‘s mother and “one of Earth’s greatest musical compositions, perhaps the greatest.” We can thank JAMES GUNN, the writer/director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, for including these authentic (original hits by the original artists) and fondly remembered radio classics from the 1970s.
But wait, there’s more 70’s hits given surprisingly foreground exposure in the smash film. Mr. Blue Sky- Electric Light Orchestra; Fox on the Run- The Sweet; Southern Nights- Glen Campbell; The Chain- Fleetwood Mac; My Sweet Lord- George Harrison; Wham Bam Shang-A-Lang -Silver; Surrender- Cheap Trick; Father And Son- Cat Stevens and Flashlight –Parliament. Additional tunes came from the 60s: Come A Little Bit Closer- Jay and the Americans and Bring It On Home To Me- Sam Cooke. Thus introducing classic hits to a ginormous audience of younger generations. And Mr. Gunn was not even born until 1966.
If you’re wondering why the song was never used in a commercial, the story goes that Pepsi offered the band $25,000 when the song was first a hit. They turned it down because they didn’t want to sell out. My money is on the band changing their mind the next time someone comes with an offer. And it’ll be for a LOT more than 25 grand.
The sailors say “Brandy, you’re a fine girl” (you’re a fine girl) “What a good wife you would be” (such a fine girl) “Yeah your eyes could steal a sailor from the sea”