Every Friday, I flashback to the 1980s, which was and is still my favorite decade of music. I feature at least three of my favorite songs from those years by many different artists. However, when Donna Summer died earlier this summer, I devoted all three picks to her. And, this week, I’m honoring Laura Branigan, who died this week in 2004.
Laura Branigan was from New York and in the early-1970s, she was in a band called Meadow, but they never charted.
As a solo artist, Laura’s first four releases didn’t make an impact at radio or on the charts. The biggest of those, “All Night With Me”, which was the first release from her debut album, “Branigan”, peaked at #69 in 1982.
However, everything changed with the second single from that album!
“Gloria” — Laura Branigan
Not only did “Gloria” reach #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, it earned Laura a Grammy Award nomination for “Best Pop Vocal Performance – Female”. However, she lost to Melissa Manchester’s “You Should Hear How She Talks About You.”
The follow-up album, “Branigan 2”, came out in the spring of 1983. The first single, “Solitaire” hit #7 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Solitaire” — Laura Branigan
The second single, “How Am I Supposed To Live Without You”, made it to #12.
In the spring of 1984, Laura released her third album and the title track, “Self Control”, is still my favorite Laura Branigan song to this date. It made it all the way up to #4.
“Self Control” — Laura Branigan
That album was Laura’s best-selling album and it did produce another hit, “The Lucky One” that stalled at #20.
Laura Branigan would go on to release a total of seven studio albums. Six compilation albums were also released. She was part of the Grammy Award-nominated soundtrack to “Flashdance”. Her contribution was the song, “Imagination” and throughout her career, her music appeared on a total of 11 soundtrack albums.
In 1995, Laura released the last music video of her career for the album, “The Best of Branigan”. It was for the remake of the Donna Summer classic, “Dim All The Lights”, in which she was partying it up with a group of drag queens. It reached #36 on the Billboard Dance chart.
She withdrew from the music business in 1994 to care for her husband, Larry Kruteck, who had colon cancer. He would die in the summer of 1996.
Laura Branigan died in her sleep on August 26, 2004, of an undiagnosed cerebral aneurysm. Her ashes were scattered over Long Island Sound.
Even today, her four-octave range voice still brings back wonderful memories.