Top Ten from the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest

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One of the things I heard more than once when I did last Friday’s playlist (featuring the top five songs from this year’s Eurovision Song Contest) was that ABBA rose to international fame by winning the contest with their 1974 hit “Waterloo.” I thought it might be fun to revisit the 1974 contest, held in Brighton, England on April 6, 1974, and see who the top ten winners were that year.

ESC_1974_logo
Source: Wikipedia, uploaded by AxG, under fair use

The BBC agreed to host the contest in 1974 because Luxembourg, who had won the contest the two previous years, didn’t have the money to host the contest a second year. Seventeen nations participated in the contest, including Greece for the first time (their entry, “Krasi, thálassa, ke t’ agóri mou” (“Wine, Sea, and My Boyfriend”) by Marinella, finished eleventh, just out of the money). France withdrew from the contest, as French President Georges Pompidou had just died and the contest was held the same day as his funeral.

The musical conductor for the broadcast was Ronnie Hazlehurst, who composed the theme songs for many BBC sitcoms (including Are You Being Served? and The Rise And Fall Of Reginald Perrin). Sandie Shaw, a recent contestant in one of my Battles of the Bands, who had won in 1967 with “Puppet on a String,” was in the audience for the contest, as was Dani, who was to have sung the French entry (“La vie à vingt-cinq ans”) before France’s withdrawal.

Anyway, on to the tunes…

Place Song Performer Country Language
9 (tie) Fleur de Liberté
(Flower of Liberty)
Jacques Hustin Belgium French
9 (tie) Canta y sé Feliz
(Sing and Be Happy)
Peret Spain Spanish
7 (tie) Cross Your Heart Tina Reynolds Ireland English
7 (tie) Natali La Khayay
(I Gave Her My Heart)
Kaveret as “Poogy” Israel Hebrew
4 (tie) Celui qui Reste et Celui qui S’en Va
(The One Who Stays and The One Who Goes)
Romuald Monaco French
4 (tie) Bye Bye, I Love You Ireen Sheer Luxembourg French
4 (tie) Long Live Love Olivia Newton-John UK English
3 I See A Star Mouth and MacNeal Netherlands English
2 Si
(Yes)
Gigliola Cinquetti Italy Italian
1 Waterloo ABBA Sweden English

A couple more points of interest:

  • Olivia Newton-John apparently wasn’t all that fond of “Long Live Love” and wanted to do something else, but it was chosen by a public postal vote, so she was kind of stuck with it. She might have done better with a song she liked better. Just sayin’.
  • Mouth and MacNeal’s first hit, “How Do You Do?”, reached #8 on the Hot 100 and was a #1 hit throughout much of Europe in 1972. I knew I had heard of them before…

So there’s your Thursday Ten for November 19, 2015.

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