Song / Shattered Glass
Laura Branigan / Shattered Glass
"Shattered Glass" is a song written by Bob Mitchell and Steve Coe which was originally recorded in 1980 by Ellie Warren. The song was recorded in 1987 by Laura Branigan with the Stock Aitken Waterman production team to serve as the first single released from Branigan's fifth album, the 1987 release Touch.
The song had originally been produced by Mitchell and Coe for Scottish singer Ellie Warren in 1980; Warren recalls "all the [radio] stations and media were totally behind ["Shattered Glass"], but the record wasn't serviced properly. When the radio was playing it to death, you couldn't buy it in the shops - a ludicrous situation."
"Shattered Glass" was one of two tracks Branigan cut with the Stock Aitken Waterman team. Originally the Touch album was to totally be a collaboration with producer David Kershenbaum but after completing her recording with Kershenbaum, Branigan, who was especially interested in scoring a strong hit single as her previous album release Hold Me had only produced a mild hit in "Spanish Eddie" (#40), made an overnight foray to the UK to record at the PWL Studios in London with Stock Aitken Waterman, at the time enjoying massive chart success with releases by such acts as Rick Astley, Bananaramaand Dead or Alive. Besides "Shattered Glass", the PWL session produced Branigan's recording of "Whatever I Do" a Stock Aitken Waterman original previously recorded in 1984 by Hazell Dean.
"Shattered Glass" was issued as a single in the US in June 1987 with "Statue in the Rain", a track recorded for Touch with David Kershenbaum and omitted from the album to accommodate the inclusion of the Stock Aitken Waterman tracks, serving as the B-side; the 12" single version of the track was remixed by Pete Hammond. A music video was made to promote "Shattered Glass", featuring Afa Anoa'i, a wrestler known, with his brother, as one of The Wild Samoans.
A performance by Branigan on the 9/5/1987 broadcast of American Bandstand gave "Shattered Glass" the distinction of being the final track to be promoted by a guest star on the major network edition of American Bandstand but by the time of Branigan's American Bandstand appearance the failure of "Shattered Glass" as a comeback vehicle for Branigan was evident, the single having stalled at #48 on the Billboard Hot 100 that August.
Billboard did afford "Shattered Glass" hit status on its dance charts: #13 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart and #15 on the Hot Dance Singles Sales, and also on the Hot Adult Contemporary chart (#27). "Shattered Glass" was also the last Laura Branigan single to register in several international markets, although it only attained significant chart impact in Switzerland at #26 and Denmark at #6, the last-named being the final evident Top Ten placing by Branigan on a national chart.
Bryan Buss of AllMusic would later write that, from an album that contained "so many...successfully evocative cuts...lead single 'Shattered Glass'...stand(s) out; you can hardly hold back from caroling along" - "[Branigan's] big, boomy voice...has never sounded better".