- Released: March 14, 2006
- Originally Released: 1996
- Label: Collectables Records
Description by OLDIES.com:
Brandy may have been a fine girl, but she was also a number one smash for Looking Glass in 1972. This collection features fourteen cuts from this Rock quartet whose "Brandy (You're A Fine Girl)" is still one of the most fondly remembered and requested songs from the early '70s.
- 2.Brandy (You're A Fine Girl)
- 3.Catherine Street
- 4.Don't It Make You Feel Good
- 5.Golden Rainbow
- 6.Dealin' With The Devil
- 7.From Stanton Station
- 8.One By One
- 9.Jimmy Loves Mary-Anne
- 10.Rainbow Man
- 11.Sweet Somethin'
- 12.Wooly Eyes
- 13.Who's Gonna Sing My Rock 'N' Roll Song
- 14.Rock This Town
Looking Glass: Elliot Lurie (vocals, guitar); Larry Gonsky (piano); Pieter Sweval (bass); Jeffrey Grob (drums).
Personnel: Elliot Lurie (vocals, guitar); Larry Gonsky (piano).
Anyone expecting a CD of tracks sounding like "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)," this band's number one national hit, will be sorely disappointed by the other 13 songs on Golden Classics. On the other hand, the rest of the stuff rocks so hard and enjoyably that it may pleasantly surprise those fans of the song. "Jenny-Lynne," which opens the collection, is representative of the group's real sound, a hard-rocking piece of good-time music, like a high-energy Creedence Clearwater Revival cut, without a horn section in sight. One can easily understand the frustrations of the band and concertgoers alike -- Looking Glass was playing some of the best rock & roll to come out of New Jersey in the years before the emergence of Bruce Springsteen, but fans only wanted to hear more songs like "Brandy." (The song was, indeed, an original by the group's co-founder, Elliot Lurie, so it did represent one small side of the band.)
"Catherine Street" has a memorable melody, impeccable electric guitar and piano parts, and a reasonably charismatic performance by Lurie. The rest of the CD follows that same pattern, with boogie-woogie piano in the foreground and the kind of extended guitar breaks that any would-be top attraction band engaged in, broken up by the occasional folk-country inspired number ("Golden Rainbow"), always on the catchy side. "Dealin' With the Devil" is as close as the band's sound likely ever got to "Brandy," and everything here is much heavier than the playing on the hit. What's more, all of it is enjoyable -- before Springsteen came along to add a big dash of Roy Orbison-style angst to the mixture and classical/operatic import to the sound, this is what good rock & roll sounded like in New Jersey and the northeast. Some of the material, such as "From Stanton Station," eerily parallels Springsteen's working class anthems of a half-decade later, telling a tale of family generations on a downslide economically and spiritually; the difference is mostly that Looking Glass's work in this vein is a bit more directly country-oriented. (One can just imagine the impatience, however, of fans of "Brandy" -- which had a working class ambience to be sure, but also neat choruses -- sitting through "From Stanton Station" in one of the band's sets, waiting for another catchy pop tune.)
The sound is good throughout this collection, no revelation but very clean, and the annotation is a fascinating story of enormous success coupled with shattering frustration. ~ Bruce Eder