Friday, April 11, 2014

Laura Branigan - Self Control

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of Self Control, the third studio album from Laura Branigan. This multi-platinum album went to number 48 in the Netherlands, number 38 in New Zealand, number 23 on the US Billboard Hot 100 (with forty-five weeks total on the chart), number 16 in Australia and the UK, number 13 in Canada, number 5 in Germany and Sweden, number 3 in Norway, and number 2 in Switzerland.

Side one opens with "The Lucky One". As the second single, it reached number 56 in the UK, number 48 in Australia, number 33 in Germany, number 29 in Ireland, number 20 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 13 in France and on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, and number 10 on the US Billboard Dance chart.

The synth driven title track is next. "Self Control" was the album's first single; it went to number 26 in New Zealand, number 5 in France and the UK, number 3 in Australia, number 2 in Ireland, and number 1 in Austria and Germany. Here in the US, it went to number 5 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, and number 2 on the Billboard Dance chart.

The third single was the love ballad "Ti Amo"; it reached number 100 in the UK, number 55 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 49 in New Zealand, number 22 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, and number 2 in Australia. Of the three chart-toppers that open this record with a bang, this track is my favorite. It is just a more personal song, and Branigan really sells the emotion with her vocal performance on it.

"Heart" is an up-tempo song about love, loss and hope.

"Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" was written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, first recorded by the Shirelles in 1960. Branigan performs a gentle, piano-driven version here. She projects such fragileness with her voice.

Side two starts with a bang courtesy of "Satisfaction". Released as the fourth single, it climbed to number 24 on the US Billboard Dance chart.

The B-side to the first single was "Silent Partners", a song about infidelity with a prim-and-proper musical element to it.

The rebellious "Breaking Out" is next.

With a great synth rhythm, "Take Me" is about a woman who yearns to be ravished by her boyfriend. It is easily my favorite track on side two.

The longing ballad "With Every Beat of My Heart" closes out the album.

I had the first three singles from Self Control thanks to a greatest hits CD I got in the 90's. But it wasn't until a number of years ago, when I was compiling my digital music library, that I picked up the rest of the tracks along with Laura Branigan's early catalog of albums. What I have always liked about her music is that she put a lot passion into every number; you can tell that she was not just going through the motions in the recording studio.

For her 1982 album Branigan, click here.

For her 1983 album Branigan 2, click here.

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