brandy_norwood_-_brandy_albumBrandy – “Baby” – (1994)

Brandy released her first album when she was only 15 and this Grammy-nominated song is probably the highlight of the album, and definitely the one that still gets the most radio airplay. It was a top five hit.

looking_glassf#12 – Looking Glass – “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” – (1972)

We can safely call the Looking Glass as a one-hit wonder as this Billboard #1 hit was far and away their largest hit. The song is about a female bartender in a Northeast port town who waits for her man to return from the sea. It’s soft rock perfected. 

Brandy & Monica – “The Boy is Mine” – (1998)

Here’s one of the greatest R&B songs of the 90s. Man I loved this song when it came out and have no idea how it wasn’t included in the top 50 in our 200 Best Songs of the 90s countdown. I messed that one up. The song was released on albums by both Brandy and Monica (Brandy first, hence her album over there at left). The song was a Hot 100 #1 for 13 weeks over the summer of 1998. It was everywhere. It won a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group and was nominated for Record of the Year. Awesome, awesome song.

Michael Jackson feat. The Notorious B.I.G. & Brandy – “Unbreakable” – (2001)

Invincible was Michael Jackson’s final studio album (strangely, as it came out in 2001). This was the lead track and it was never released as a single, although it’s pretty good and features a rap verse from The Notorious B.I.G. (who died in 1997). The rap verse was taken from a song by, who else, Shaquille O’Neal. Of course it was. (Brandy also contributed some background vocals). There’s nothing exceptional about this song except that its sound is very much definitive of Michael’s later work. I’m not sure how to explain this other than to dumbly say “you’ll know it when you hear it.” He makes a lot of popping sounds with his mouth, but other than that it’s just a feel thing. It’s a pretty sweet song, as were others on this album. It’s strange how they weren’t bigger. I think that has a lot to do with resistance for people to take it seriously as everyone figured he was “past his prime” which may have been true – but when you’re prime is Thriller, you have a very long way to fall before your work isn’t any good. Invincible isn’t Thriller – and doesn’t pretend to be. But it’s still good.