Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Nobody's favourite but mine, part 4
Are you ready, folks? Here comes a fourth selection of songs I really liked through the years even though I have a nagging feeling I could be the only one. The former three episodes suggest that I am not alone at all, which leads me nicely onto the first song of the bunch.
Patricia Kraus - No estás solo (Spain 1987)
I never understood why anyone wouldn't like this one. It's original, energetic and pretty modern for it's time, and Patricia could be one of the coolest females ever. She is wearing a leather corset and enough rouge to suggest that she fell headlong onto the makeup-table only seconds before she had to enter the stage, still manage to look like that is the most natural thing ever.
It does take forever until she gets to a chorus but that's not the end of the world, is it? Clearly worth more than the ten points it had to content itself with.
Helen & Joseph - L-Imhabba (Malta 1972)
Malta had a tough start in Eurovision - for their first two entries they sang in their native tongue and ended in last place on both occasions. I can sort of see what the juries meant in 1971 but this adorable little gem would have deserved to be showered in points. The line where they sing about freaks, Hell's Angels and hippies is worth a top ten placing alone. Not to mention the more than impressive body language of the conductor during the instrumental break. And extra points for fashion, of course.
Park Café - Monsieur (Luxembourg 1989)
For the last few years that Luxembourg were in the contest they more seldom commissioned potential hit songs from French record labels - or did nobody want to provide them anymore? - and turned to local talent instead, mostly with pretty moderate success. Park Café entered something as unusual as a song inspired by a recent hit movie - "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" - and provided a far more jazz inspired sound than the audience was used to and the juries remained largely unimpressed.
Telex - Eurovision (Belgium 1980)
Belgium is clearly one of those nutty countries that you just don't know what to expect from. When you least expect it they will do something really crazy and unexpected and most of Europe will sit there with their jaws hanging between their legs, not knowing what hit them.
For some reason, synthesiser pioneers Telex - Belgium's own Kraftwerk but with a sense of humour - decide to throw themselves into competition with a song about the contest in question and a pronounced desire not to be understood and go through the voting without a single point. The stunt failed, the Belgians managed to collect a minor number of points and even avoided the last place, and the trio managed to thoroughly confuse their own fans in the process. What remains is a cute little masterpiece that is sure to make you smile. And when you're done smiling, check out their cover versions of Ça plane pour moi, Twist à Saint-Tropez or Rock Around The Clock. Genius!
Mrs Einstein - Niemand heeft nog tijd (Netherlands 1997)
When Dutch tv selected these feisty females internally they were presented like a group that were sure to rock the boat in a big way in Dublin. They sort of did. Not only were they nicknamed "Old Spice" - which I think was pretty witty - but most people wouldn't believe their ears. A full-tempo rip-off of Paul McCartney's Bond theme Live And Let Die that would leave people out of breath as well as in serious doubt of what the Dutch were thinking.
Only I really, really like it. I think it is fun and energetic and far superior to most entries the Dutch sent in during those eight long years they constantly failed to qualify. Old Spice for the win!