‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’ claims this song is ‘Earth’s finest composition’
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is going to keep movie fans talking all summer, but it’s also likely to inspire plenty of chatter from ’70s music nerds.
The soundtrack is jammed with classics from groups like Electric Light Orchestra and Fleetwood Mac, but the most prominently featured is the 1972 Billboard chart-topper “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” by Jersey one-hit-wonders Looking Glass. Ego, Kurt Russell’s character, even goes so far as to describe it as “possibly Earth’s finest composition.”
“Far from it,” laughs songwriter and Looking Glass singer Elliot Lurie. “I would say that is probably ‘Desperado’ by the Eagles!”
Lurie, 68, explains that it was “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” director James Gunn who pushed for the song, which is featured almost in its entirety during the opening scene. “When he explained how he planned to use it, I was thrilled,” says Lurie. “I loved the first movie so much — I was actually a little disappointed about “Brandy” not being on that soundtrack.”
It’s not the first time the song has cropped up on the big screen. It was featured in 2000’s “Charlie’s Angels” movie and was also used in an episode of “The Simpsons.” Lurie (who worked as a music supervisor for many years, and now is semi-retired from the business) admits the sporadic injections of cash have been helpful. “The income isn’t something you can live on completely, but it makes the good times better, and the hard times a little easier.”
It also makes up a little for the band’s decision to turn down an offer for $25,000 from Pepsi at the height of their fame to use “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” in a commercial. “When we signed our record deal to Epic, our advance was $10,000 to be split between all of us,” says Lurie. “But we thought doing a commercial was selling out!”
Formed at Rutgers University in New Jersey in 1969, Looking Glass (whose classic line up was completed by drummer Jeff Grob, piano player Larry Gonsky, and now-deceased bassist Pieter Sweval) never enjoyed a repeat of the song’s success. Even at the peak of their careers, they were reminded of the realities of the music business when they played at Steel Pier in Atlantic City, NJ, with the Pier’s famous diving horse as an opening act.
“We asked the promoter when should start playing,” says Lurie. “He was right out of ‘The Sopranos,’ and he said, ‘You see that horse over there — when you hear that splash, that’s when you start playing.’ That put it all in perspective for us!”