Our Top 10 Laura Branigan Songs list takes a look at one of music’s popular adult contemporary/rock singers from the 80s. Laura Branigan hit it big with her two singles “Gloria” and “Self-Control.” They were very successful songs for the artist. They were hits in America as well as other countries. She had other hits throughout her career even though the two hit songs overshadowed them. Unfortunately, her career was short-lived because she retired in the 90s for personal reasons. She sold more than 10 million album during her career.
Laura Branigan was born Laura Ann Branigan on July 3, 1952 .She passed away on August 26, 2004. She released her first album Branigan in 1982. The album peaked at number 34 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “All Night with Me” and “Gloria.” The single “Gloria” helped catapult her career. It was responsible for the album’s success. The album went on to sell over 500,000 copies during its run.
Fresh off the success of her first album, she released Branigan 2 in 1983. The album peaked at number 29 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Solitaire,” “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You,” “Deep in the Dark,” The Who’s “Squeeze Box” and “Mama.” This album performed just as well as its predecessor. It sold over 500,000 albums.
Branigan released Self-Control in 1984. The album peaked at number 23 on the Billboard 200 charts. The album features the singles “Self-Control,” “The Lucky One,” “Ti Amo,” “Satisfaction,” “With Every Beat of My Heart” and “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.” This album was even more successful than the other two albums. It sold over one million copies.
She released her next album Hold Me in 1985. It peaked at number 71 on the Billboard 200 charts. The album performed better in other countries. It features the singles “Spanish Eddie,” “Hold Me,” “Maybe Tonight,” “I Found Someone,” “Foolish Lullaby” and “Forever Young.” Branigan released Touch in 1987. The album peaked at 87 on the Billboard 200 charts. The album features the singles “Shattered Glass,” “Power of Love,” “Spirit of Love,” “Cry Wolf” and “Name Game.”
She released her self-titled album in 1990. The album peaked at 133 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Moonlight on Water,” “Never in a Million Years,” “Turn the Beat Around,” “Bad Attitude,” “Let Me In” and “Unison.” Her last album Over My Heart was released in 1993. The album didn’t chart in the United States. It features the singles “Didn’t We Almost Win It All,” “It’s Been Hard Enough Getting Over You,” “How Can I Help You to Say Goodbye,” “The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye,” “Mujer Contra Mujer” and “Mangwane (The Wedding Song).”
Laura Branigan’s life may have been cut short, but she managed to make her mark in the music industry. She was competing with the likes of Stevie Nicks, Cher, Madonna, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston as well as others, but she managed to make an impact. She may not have become a big star like the other artists, but she did carve her notch in music. This Top 10 Laura Branigan Songs list will feature her best songs.
# 10 – Cry Wolf
The first song on our Top 10 Laura Branigan Songs list is “Cry Wolf” from the Touch album. It has a pop and rock sound to it. This drama filled song is about a woman who is tired of a man playing games with her. She doesn’t want him to keep coming to her for no reason. The ballad has a somber and haunting sound. The melody is breathtaking. The piano and guitar really set off the music. The strings are powerful. The guitar makes the song have its rock edge. Branigan’s husky voice is perfect for the music. Her vocals were haunting which were a perfect fit for the somber music. She sells the song and makes the listener feel the pain she’s going through in the song. She turned her pain into art. Her career was waning at this point, but she proved she could still belt out a great song.
# 9 – Never in a Million Years
The next song on our Top 10 Laura Branigan Songs list is “Never in a Million Years” from the Laura Branigan album. The song has a pop sound. The tearjerker ballad is about wanting a chance to be with someone she loves. It could have a different meaning to it. It could also be about losing someone in your life and wanting to be with them again. The song is relatable to anyone who has loved someone and wanted to be with them. It’s also relatable to anyone who has lost someone and would give anything to be with the person again. It’s the perfect song to listen to if you are feeling down and depressed. It will lift your spirits up.
The song will touch your heart. The soft music makes the listener feel emotional. The music has excellent pacing and caters very well to her powerful voice. It also gives the listener a chance to focus on her vocals and not the music. Branigan shows versatility with her voice. She sounds similar to Bonnie Tyler without the raspiness in her voice. She takes vocals risks by belting and holding notes in the song. Here is some trivia about the song. Laura Branigan said this was her favorite song to record.
# 8 – Ti Amo
The break up song is from the Self-Control album. The track has a pop sound to it. This heartfelt song is about her wondering what she did wrong to lose the man she loved. She’s convinced she can’t go on with her life without him in it. The track is a cover song. Umberto Tozzi originally recorded the song. It’s overshadowed by the monster hit “Self-Control.” This powerful and beautiful song has everything it needs to be a great song. The music is simple and stripped. The musicians don’t overpower her with their instruments. They allow her to be the star of the song. The music is slow, but it does include a little tempo to keep it from being melancholy.
You can hear the pain in her voice as she wonders what she did to make her man leave her. She doesn’t sound desperate as she questions why he left her. She sounds heartbroken. She sounds great singing the high notes. She proved that she could be a balladeer. Branigan could have done more power notes and that would have taken the song to another stratosphere. It’s hard to believe the song is a cover song. She sings it as if it’s her own or was written especially for her.
# 7 – Solitaire
This neglectful song is from the Branigan 2 album. The song has a synth pop sound to it. This metaphoric song is about her going through being ignored by her lover. The song is a cover song. A French singer named Martine Clemencau originally performed it. The original version is about a man who hides away from the world while dealing with the Nuclear War. Branigan’s version was changed to fit her style. It seems like it’s more about a person who left her life. She turns the tables on the man by moving on with her life. The verses start off soft and low while the pre-chorus and chorus soared.
The melody of Branigan’s version is a sped up version of Donna Summer’s “MacArthur’s Park.” She sounds like Donna Summer in the song. She holds notes in all of the right places. The belting in the pre-chorus and chorus is dramatic and leads to a climactic ending. She holds an incredible note near the end of the song that is not to be missed. She almost made history with the longest note held by a female singer. She is right after Donna Summer for holding the longest note. She sings her heart out in this song and nails it.
# 6 – Didn’t We Almost Win it All
The emotional song is from the Over My Heart album. The song has a pop and rock beat to it. The heart rendering song is about a man saying and doing all of the right things, but breaking her heart at the same time. The arrangement is magnificent. It has big piano chords and subtle guitar riffs. The string arrangement is definitely fire. The melody of the song is slightly similar to Kenny Loggins’ “Forever” and Bryan Adams’ “Everything I Do (I Do For You).” The two tracks are fantastic so she picked the right melodies to use for the song.
Branigan sounds dramatic and theatrical while she sings the song. She pours her heart out and never misses a beat. She hit every note flawlessly. She holds a phenomenal note at the end of the song. It is definitely a showstopper. The background singers do a superb job supporting her. There aren’t too many rock songs that have choirs included in them. The beautiful song is bittersweet because it’s one of her last singles before she retired from the music industry. This song proved that she still had more fight in her to keep singing.
# 5 – Dim All the Lights
The next song on our Top 10 Laura Branigan Songs list is “Dim All the Lights” from the Shine On: The Ultimate Collection album. The song has a dance and pop beat to it. The sultry song is about her being ready to be intimate with her lover. This is a cover of Donna Summer’s hit song. Before you listen to it, there may be a couple of questions in your mind. Should Branigan have covered a hit song like this one? Did she have vocal chops to pull the song off? The answer to the first question is probably not. The answer to the second question is she surprisingly pulled it off. As most listeners know, Donna Summer’s version is a disco song. Laura Branigan’s version is a dance and pop version.
Branigan changes the melody a little. She phrases some of the lyrics a little differently from Summer’s version. She changes the bridge of the song. Other than those changes, her version isn’t that different from Donna Summer’s version. Donna Summer was Laura Branigan’s inspiration so it was wonderful tribute to her. Branigan did a good cover of the song. She held the note in the beginning, but she didn’t hold it as long as Donna Summer did. She gets an “A” for effort for trying to do it at all. Donna Summer’s version is the best version of the song, but Branigan does a great cover of it.
# 4 – Power of Love
The love song is from the Touch album. It has a pop and soft rock beat to it. The romantic song is about her being in love. The song is very closely linked to Celine Dion even though she isn’t the original singer of it. Jennifer Rush is the singer who originally recorded the song. Celine Dion is a power diva so it’s hard to imagine anyone else singing a song that she covered. Laura Branigan proved she was up for the challenge. She turned the song into a power ballad too. She held flawless notes throughout the song. She sounds gorgeous while she’s singing the romantic lyrics.
Branigan’s version is similar to Dion’s version. She will make her listeners feel emotional while she takes them on this vocal roller coaster ride. This song could have been a vocal challenge for anyone who didn’t have the chops to sing the high notes. Branigan was definitely up for the challenge. Her vocal range is outstanding. She belts throughout the song and holds nothing back. She holds notes that are just as powerful as Dion’s version of the song. She made the song her own and it’s flawless. Everything about the song works.
# 3 – How Am I Supposed to Live Without You
This sincere song is from the Branigan 2 album. The song has a pop beat. The gorgeous song is self-explanatory. She’s singing about not being able to live without the love of her life. Here is some trivia about the song. The song was originally supposed to be recorded by Air Supply. Clyde Davis wanted to change the lyrics, but Michael Bolton didn’t want to change them. Davis eventually passed on the song and Laura Branigan recorded it. Air Supply might have tore the song up if they recorded it. Michael Bolton also recorded the song after Branigan.
With that said, Branigan did another perfect job with the song. She sings the song with real emotion. She’s singing it as if she really lost someone she loved. She sings the song in a higher octave than her other songs. She also doesn’t use her husky voice in the song. She sounds angelic on the track. She turns the song into a power ballad. Her version is similar to Bolton’s version of it. Bolton attempts to sing the song with a little more soul, but that doesn’t take away from how good her version is. In the end, Laura Brannigan’s version blew away Michael Boltons.
# 2 – Self-Control
This fantasy song is from the album of the same name. The song has a pop and rock sound. The unique song is about her stepping out into the nightlife. She wanted to be among the creatures of the night. This is a very creative song. It’s not known for its deep lyrics. The music and her singing are what grab you. You can get hooked as soon as you hear the keyboard and the drums as well as the thumping guitar riffs. The song has the perfect 80s beat. The synth and drums give the song tempo, which allows you to move around to it. The music sounds nostalgic without sounding dated. The music is perfect for the theme of the song.
She uses an echo while she’s singing. It’s a creative way to make her sound like she’s using a double. She has excellent control because she sings in time with the beat changes. She doesn’t do any power singing, but her vocals are strong. The song features a very catchy and memorable chorus. The lyrics may be a little hard to understand. You may need to look at the lyrics to understand what she’s saying. The theme might be a little confusing, but that doesn’t stop the song from being great. It’s a song that’s perfect for the 80s. It’s not a surprise that this song was a huge hit for her.
# 1 – Gloria
The number one song on our Top 10 Laura Branigan Songs list is “Gloria” from the Branigan album. The song has a synthpop and rock sound. This cautionary tale is about a woman advising another woman about her lifestyle. It’s hard to believe this is another cover song for Branigan. Umberto Tozzi originally recorded the song. The song was originally recorded in Italian. It’s her signature song so it’s impossible to imagine someone else singing it. You get immediately hooked as soon as you hear the synthesizer. The music is just excellent.
There’s no way to sit still listening to this gem of a track. She starts the song off softly and then vocally soars when she hits the pre-chorus. She sings in time with the beat and hits every note effortlessly. She handles all the high notes with such ease. Some singers might not be able to handle the notes she holds in the song. She sounds similar to Donna Summer and Melissa Manchester in the song. The song is flawless and everything about the song works. There is no way this song couldn’t be number one on our list. It may have been a predictable pick, but there’s no way that this song couldn’t have topped our list.
Laura Branigan’s Debut Album 1982
Branigan 2 – 1983
Self Control -1984
Hold Me -1985
Touch – 1987
Laura Branigan – 1990
Over My Heart – 1993
Top 10 Laura Branigan Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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