A while back, I did a couple of posts that gave the top songs from the Eurovision Song Contest, both for 2015 (then the current year) and 1974 (the year ABBA placed first with “Waterloo”). This year’s contest ended last Saturday, with Portugal’s Salvador Sobral winning for his song “Amar Pelos Dois.” It was the first time Portugal won the contest, and the first time they placed in the top five in the 53 years they’ve participated. Congratulations to them.
#5: Robin Bengsston (Sweden), “I Can’t Go On”
#4: Blanche (Belgium), “City Lights”
#3: Sunstroke Project (Moldova), “Hey, Mamma!”
#2: Kristian Kostov (Bulgaria), “Beautiful Mess”
#1: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), “Amar Pelos Dois”
This year’s winners left me with that “meh” feeling. Most of the contestants were chosen from their home country’s Idol or The Voice program on TV, and almost all the songs in the final round were sung in English. I guess this is a byproduct of Europe becoming more or less one country, but I could be wrong.
Anyway, what did you think of the finalists, and of the competition in general? The full list of all the participating countries and how they placed is on Wikipedia, and all the songs are on YouTube.
That’s The Friday Five for May 19, 2017.
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.
, 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…
||Fleur de Liberté
(Flower of Liberty)
||Canta y sé Feliz
(Sing and Be Happy)
||Cross Your Heart
||Natali La Khayay
(I Gave Her My Heart)
|Kaveret as “Poogy”
||Celui qui Reste et Celui qui S’en Va
(The One Who Stays and The One Who Goes)
||Bye Bye, I Love You
||Long Live Love
||I See A Star
||Mouth and MacNeal
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.
It’s been a busy couple of days, and I’m just now getting to this. I know you’ve been waiting with bated breath for what today’s theme might be. I think you’ll enjoy this.
The Eurovision Song Contest is the longest-running annual TV song contest, with mostly member countries of the European Broadcasting Union participating. It started in 1956, as I did, and the one held this past May was the 60th running of it. This year’s contest was held in Vienna, Austria, where last year’s winner, Conchita Wurst, comes from. Entries came from 40 countries (39 from Europe, plus Australia). The rundown on this year’s contest is on the official site, including a full list of participants and the final results. I tried to figure out, if there were two rounds of semifinals and each round selected ten finalists, why there were 27 finalists, and it made my brain hurt. If someone can figure it out, let me know.
This playlist counts down the top 5, in reverse order, kind of like Casey Kasem and “American Top 40.”
- 5th Place: Guy Sebastian (Australia), “Tonight Again”
- 4th Place: Loïc Nottet (Belgium), “Rhythm Inside”
- 3rd Place: Il Volo (Italy), “Grande Amore” (the only song in the Top 5 not in English)
- 2nd Place: Polina Gagarina (Russia), “A Million Voices”
- 1st Place: Måns Zemerlöw (Sweden), “Heroes”
So, there’s your Friday Five for November 13, 2015, which also happens to be my brother Kip’s birthday. Happy birthday, Kippy!