Saturday, May 3, 2014
Nobody's favourite but mine, part 2
It seems you good people didn't quite agree with me being the only one to like either of the songs in the first part of this series. Well, I guess I wouldn't be myself if I didn't push my luck and tried to challenge you with five more songs that I sometimes think I'm the only one in the world to care for. Am I?
Gemini - Dai li dou (Portugal 1978)
After a couple of years with serious songs with political undertones, Portugal suddenly decided to send in a wonderfully (annoyingly, according to some) bouncy little song about a kite flying high in the sky. Simple and catchy (or possibly repetitive), performed by another one of these groups of four people, clearly modelled on Abba.
The verses may be a bit clumsy but the chorus is so happy in all its simplicity and the choreography is probably so easy not even I could make a mess of it. Cute.
Cocktail Chic - Européennes (France 1986)
Things weren't exactly running smoothly in France at this point. There had been almost ten years since their last victory and the contest changing hands from TF1 to Antenne2 had resulted in a national final nobody wanted to be part of or associated with. So the best thing they could come up with this year were a bunch of popular backing vocalists who would finally have their big chance of performing as a group.
With styling as impeccable as their vocal delivery (some of those notes are really rather wobbly), the French girls didn't stand a chance during the voting and ended in a pale 17th place while the three other countries singing in French - Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg - all made top three.
Gunvor - Lass ihn (Switzerland 1998)
Through the years I have often been better at predicting the last place than picking a winner but this was a nul-pointer I never saw coming. I thought Gunvor had written herself a nice little ditty, perhaps a bit average but still catchy and retainable enough. It even featured Egon Egemann and his white violin, that would surely make an impression?
Despite being up against real non-songs like Spain and Greece, Gunvor somehow managed to cling to her zero points all the way through the voting. Her career, already deeply affected by local scandal newspapers and their shameless publication of pictures and details of some less glamourous aspects of her life, never recovered from this and Gunvor decided to retire from the spotlight. A real shame. And her song wasn't even bad to start with.
Christina Simon - Heute in Jerusalem (Austria 1979)
Eurovision is a circus full of glitter and happiness and more or less obvious attempts at attracting points from all directions. There is nothing wrong with that and I want it to be like that, but it does make it a less suitable arena for people who are actually trying to say something.
Austria thought the final in Jerusalem would be the perfect place to tell the world they would prefer peace instead of war and employed Christina Simon to be their voice in this slow and demanding jazz number. Of course it didn't stand a chance and as Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty right before the final it even felt less relevant also lyrically. Last place was still really unfair and my question remains the same as ever: what's the point of having juries if they can't recognise quality?
Aleksandra & Konstantin - My Galileo (Belarus 2004)
At first I had no idea how to react to this. Was it really in English? Were those real words? Is it supposed to sound like this? I didn't know what to expect from Belarus in the first place but I most certainly did not expect this. Despite being reluctant at first, it started growing on me with it's odd folksy sound and before Eurovision week in Istanbul was over I had sung this song in front of a small crowd at the Belarusian party and my friend had kissed Aleksandra's feet. A regular day at the Eurovision Song Contest, you know.