Saturday, 1 September 2012

Who sang "Gloria" besides Laura Branigan?

When I first read this question on the answerbag site I chuckled to myself, not the notorious "LOL" that people always claim to be doing while sitting at their computers. I thought "You've got to be kidding?"  But as I read through the answers I realised once again that life always presents an opportunity for learning.  Here are some of the posts regarding that question. 

Who sang the song "GLORIA" besides Laura Branigan?

Perryman   -   Gloria is a rock song written by Van Morrison and originally recorded by Morrison's band Them in 1964.  It was covered later by the Doors, and even later by Patti Smith (She rewrote the lyrics).

Lady Fuschia   -   Hell yeah, gotta love Patti Smith.  I really appreciate how she wasn't afraid to 'Gender-bend' a little by doing a cover of it.

Mr. Meaulnes   -   She did this wonderful quote about it I wish I could remember - about how an artist should be beyond everything (including gender boundaries) but the responsibility to create something of worth.  Smith's version was a major reworking of Van Morrison's that basically only retained the chorus. Branigan's was a different song entirely; it had nothing to do with either.

Lady Fuchsia    -   I think Hendrix did it too.

Factotum   -   Gloria was also sung by the group "Enchantment" in the 1970's.

Galeanda   -   ALL the Glorias:  " is the title of many different songs, both in contemporary popular music as well as classical music of the sacred Christian genre.

Gloria in Excelsis Deo is the liturgical theme; Handel, Haydn, and Mendelssohn are among the composers who wrote the most popular and enduring interpretations of it during the classical era.

Songs titled Gloria include:

* Gloria (Van Morrison song), the most often-cited song of this title composed in the rock era, written by Van Morrison and originally recorded by Them in 1964. Many covers of this song have been performed and recorded by various artists.

* Gloria, the Jazz version, recorded by The Manhattan Transfer on their debut album The Manhattan Transfer in 1975.

* Gloria, by the Italian composer and musician Umberto Tozzi, in 1979.

* Gloria (Laura Branigan song), a cover of Tozzi's song with a different lyric and the most successful single recording of a song with the title "Gloria", released by Laura Branigan in 1982.

* Gloria (U2 song), by U2, from their 1981 album October, that incorporated some of Gloria in Excelsis Deo.

* Gloria (doo-wop song), a famous doo-wop song written by Leon René in the 1940s and later revised by Esther Navarro.

* Gloria, by indie/emo band Mineral, from their first album, The Power Of Failing.
Merfish   -   There also seems to be a German metal band Disillusion with a song also called Gloria.
Ed the Jetpacking Headbanger   -   U2 had a song titled Gloria from 1981.
jbrown8116   -   An Italian singer Umberto Tozzi has an excellent version of the song.
superbird   -   I don't know about the Van Morrison comment, but in the 60's "Gloria" G-L-O-R-I-A was recorded by The Shadows of Knight, a local band from Arlington Heights IL.
Wserratore   -   Umberto Tozzi recorded it in 1979 in Italy.
rdini   -   The Cadillacs sang the Doo Wop Gloria.
65gradgiate   -   The original popular big rock hit song was out in the mid-sixties, and it was by The Shadows of Knight - a really great dance song. Or was it by Emilio Palatso?

Tom Fuhl-Ray   -   I'd think the original poster was asking for other versions of the same Gloria that Laura Branigan sang but there's only been one mentioned - the original Italian version by Umberto Tozzi. The first recording in English was by Jonathan King (the lyrics aren't related to the Branigan version). Following Branigan's success with the song French singer Sheila B remade the song with French lyrics. It's also reported that Umberto Tozzi re-recorded his song with the English lyrics from the Branigan hit. For years the only other version of Gloria with the lyrics as recorded by Branigan would seem to be a virtual replication by English vocalist Elkie Brooks probably recorded at the time the Branigan version hit the US charts (1982) with the intent of giving Brooks a UK hit (as had happened with Brooks' cover of Melissa Manchester's US hit Don't Cry Out Loud).
Perhaps the expediency of the release of Branigan's Gloria in the UK - it reached no#6 there in early '83 - killed the release of Brooks' version which was unreleased until 1986 ironically on the Very Best of Elkie Brooks album. In 2006 the group Young Divas which comprises four female Australian Idol finalists remade the Laura Branigan hit Gloria for their self-titled album which is virtually all remakes of high energy classics.


  1. Elkie Brooks did NOT release this as a single. Therefore it was never intended to aim for chart success. Althought Brooks does a great version.

  2. Elkie Brooks version of this Italian song . Is so much stronger than the Branigan cover.
    The very best on albums does not always mean those song that had chart success.