Laura Branigan

COVER vs ORIGINAL: ‘Gloria’

The song, “Gloria”, was originally recorded by Umberto Tozzi in 1979

Disco anthem “Gloria” was written by Giancarlo Bigazzi (1940-2012), British producer and DJ Jonathan King (b.1944) and Italian singer Umberto Tozzi (b.1952), who recorded and released the song as his fourth single in June 1979. It tells of an imaginary woman called Gloria and Umberto’s obsession with her. He took the song to number one in Spain and Switzerland and top ten in many countries across mainland Europe, though not in his native home country. The song reached No.46 in Australia and No.65 in the UK.

As strange as it seems, American singer Laura Branigan (1952-2004) was to offer, perhaps the best known version of the song, not as an obsession for another female, but as a “character study of a girl that’s running too fast for her own steps”. In order to do this, Canadian songwriter Trevor Veitch (b.1946) was drafted in to re-write many of the words to reflect this new stance. “Gloria” was released in June 1982 and peaked at No.1 in Australia and Canada, No.2 in America and No.6 in the UK, while charting in all territoties Tozzi’s original had not.

But whose version is the best? UMBERTO’s original or LAURA’s cover?

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