One of the popular Italian balcony songs during the pandemic was Umberto Tozzi’s Gloria. This comes after renewed popularity in Laura Branigan’s cover of the Umberto Tozzi-Giancarlo Bigazzi song in the States when the hit became a rally song during the St. Louis Blues championship run last season. On display in the NHL Hall of a Fame is a 45 single of the song since the embrace of the song coincided with the Blues’ season turnaround.
Branigan, who died at age 52 with an undiagnosed brain anueryism, agreed to record the single in 1982 after some push from one of her first album producers, Greg Mathison, who worked keyboards on the original version. Branigan went on to cover 3 other Bigazzi singles. In 1983, “Mama,” also originally by Tozzi, was released with English lyrics by Diane Warren, who had her first songwriting hit with Branigan on “Solitaire” from the same album.
A year later, Branigan’s version of Tozzi’s “Ti Amo,” was released and while it had only minor success in the US, it hit the top 10 in both Australia and Canada, countries with a larger population of newer Italian immigration.
The other Bigazzi single was “Self Control, written with Raf, who also sang the song in English in the original version. In some parts of Europe, the two singles hit the charts simultaneously while Branigan’s version is the only one known outside of Europe.
Italy wasn’t the only European country Branigan plucked new singles from – “Solitaire” was initially a popular French single and “Deep in the Dark” was an English cover of the popular 80s German worldwide hit “Der Kommissar.”