Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl) by Looking Glass (Epic, 1972)

I’m not sure what memory this links to in my head, but every time I go into a seafood restaurant I expect to hear this song. This is definitely one of my favorites from the decade of me. It just feels like a perfect pop song, great production, great hook, interesting story, and the lead singer has kind of a spooky voice, as if he’s in a seaside bar with a hook for a hand, a corncob pipe in his mouth, retelling the story of a girl named Brandy.

The story is that they worked this one hard in the studio and did everything they could to make it a hit, even adding a brass section. But if you listen to this quartet’s two albums, you can hear that they were a very competent unit.

The song, when it’s broken down, is basically this. There’s a bar where lots of “lonely sailors pass the time away” and Brandy keeps them as happy as they can be, peddling “whiskey & wine”. Now, what sailor is drinking wine? As I survey this bar in my head, I imagine a bunch of crusty, barnacle-covered, sunburned seamen staring down at a worn wooden table full of shot glasses and there’s Frasier & Niles in the corner discussing what soupcon their Merlot reminds them of.

Poor old Brandy. All the sailors want you. I mean, what a good wife you would be! But alas her heart belongs to another, whose heart belongs to the sea. Ain’t love a bitch?

I’m also including this truncated version of the band playing live. Check these guys out: