Review: Laura Branigan – Self Control (Expanded Edition) (Cherry Red Records)

Some 16 years after her passing, the name of Laura Branigan, still conjures up excitement and memories of the video-age coming into its own with the dawn of MTV. The singer/songwriter’s anthemic hits remain timeless as does the energy and vocal’s that project them.

Cherry Red’s expanded 2 disc reissue of the 1984  certified US platinum album, Self Control is the definitive deal, capturing Branigan at her peak of success and featuring no less than four singles including, The Lucky One, Satisfaction, Ti Amo and the million selling title track.

The period for female power vocalists was entering a new phase as Self Control entered the charts and the title track was a bolt from the blue musically from its Harold Faltemeyer synthesiser introduction to the sturdy accompaniment provided by John Robinson on drums Michael Landau & Paul Jackson Jr on guitars with Nathan East on bass.

Laura Branigan – Self Control

The Self Control album is not awash with AOR anthems. It’s clear however, that the magnificent success of the title track possibly eclipsed the attention and reception people gave to further single releases from this album (particularly the UK record buying public who were succumbing to the attentions of Madonna’s Like A Virgin at that time!)

Branigan shows many sides to her role as a singer/songwriter on Self Control, but it’s probably the synth-pop orientated Breaking Out and Hot Night (originally featured on the Ghostbusters soundtrack) that will scratch the itch of fans of her earlier hit, Gloria.

However, it is surprisingly a passionate and beautiful cover of Carole King’s Will You Love Me Tomorrow? that remains a highlight on the album and a good reason to revisit the magic of Laura Branigan’s Self Control via this definitive expanded reissue.

Andy Howells