Looking Glass was an American pop rock group of the early 1970s that was part of the Jersey Shore sound. Their 1972 song “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” was a #1 hit on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Cash Box Top 100 charts, remaining in the top position for one week.
The group was formed in 1969, at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The original version of the band broke up after college, with original members Elliot Lurie and Larry Gonsky recruiting two new members to form the classic Looking Glass lineup:
Elliot Lurie (lead guitar and vocals)
Jeff Grob (drums)
Larry Gonsky (piano)
Pieter Sweval (bass)
The group had the #1 hit single for the week of August 26, 1972 with “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)”, written by Lurie; and also a Top 40 hit “Jimmy Loves Mary-Anne” (1973), subsequently recorded by Josie Cotton. “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” was released in the US in June 1972. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 for one week and remained on the chart for 16 weeks. This disc, their only million seller, was certified gold by the RIAA on August 9, 1972.
Guitarist Brendan Harkin joined Looking Glass in early 1974, and Lurie left soon afterward to pursue a solo career, replaced by Michael Lee Smith, a singer from Georgia. Later that same year, the group changed its name to Fallen Angels. After Richie Ranno joined as second guitarist in September 1975, keyboardist Gonsky departed, and by late 1975, Fallen Angels’s name had changed once again to Starz. Lurie appeared as a solo artist with “Your Love Song,” an entry on Billboard’s “Easy Listening” chart in 1974.
Sweval died on January 23, 1990, having succumbed to the AIDS virus.
In 2003, Lurie reconstituted the group with new musicians.