A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
There is always some matter to discuss or just a song I want to share
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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Tobson takes on Melodifestivalen 1983

If Gothenburg got to have a stab at Melodifestivalen, why shouldn't Malmö get the same kind of break? Said and done and the third biggest of Sweden's eleven television districts got themselves busy showing they knew how to make things work.

Only they didn't. In retrospect, Melodifestivalen 1983 stands out like a broadcast from another planet. Or another country, at least. The songs are weak, the orchestra is sub-standard and makes everything sound dated, and the host - without any particular experience of hosting tv-shows - is let alone without a decent script.

It looks cheap and it sounds cheap and if it hadn't been for the complete bullseye that was the winner, you can wonder if Malmö would ever had had a second chance to host.

Pictured borrowed from Expressen

10. Peter Lundblad & Agneta Olsson / Vill du ha mig efter gryningen
These two had plenty of experience both as solo singers and backing vocalists, but this love duet sound more like a beginning quarrel than two potential love birds. Strained singing and no memorable melody line in sight.
Grade: 1/5

9. Kerstin Dahlberg / Här är min sång till dig
Kerstin Dahlberg - described by the host as a most ambitious singer - had recorded a full album for the Mariann label two years before but was dumped by them after that. Here she was with a new record deal and a most approximate idea of how to hit the notes in her pretty forgettable entry.
Grade: 1/5

8. Karina Rydberg / Nu börjar jag mitt liv
SVT:s own tv magazine made a big feature on young Karina who hoped to leave her life as a shop attendant for a career in showbiz and painted the picture of her as The Next Big Thing. Too bad someone else would nick that very title before the night was over and too bad that poor Karina - who actually possesses both a good voice and a commanding presence - was given such a dull and nondescript song to perform. This is the last MF entry ever written by legendary Peter Himmelstrand who really didn't have one of his best days penning this.
Grade: 1/5

7. Nils-Åke Runeson / Värmen som du gav
If SVT Malmö would prove to have a mission when hosting MF, then it would be to push local talent into a bigger spotlight. This is the first MF entry ever sung in the dialect of Scania and would probably not have been among the ten selected, had the final been held by another district. Still it is a sweet, if slightly anonymous, song.
Grade: 2/5

6. Maria Wickman / Okej, jag ger mig
Since her 1982 entry, Maria Wickman had landed herself a deal with Epic records and was about to release a typical female rock/pop-album. In its recorded version, this is quite a well produced and catchy little number (even if the songwriting is weak in the verses). The orchestra in Malmö makes the whole thing fall to pieces and come to nothing, and Maria's album never really took off either.
Grade: 2/5

5. Karin Glenmark / Se
Swedish legendary singer/songwriter Östen Warnerbring had been so impressed with Karin Glenmark that he wanted to write her the perfect entry. Ambition is a good thing to have, but this one clearly suffers from the three-minute-rule. There are so many things Östen wanted to fit in and in the end you won't really retain anything. It's pleasant and beautifully sung but that's pretty much it.
Grade: 2/5

4. Ann-Louise Hanson & John Ballard / Bara en enda gång
I must admit that I first heard this song in its English version and after that, the Swedish original could never measure up. It always felt clunky and half-baked somehow. But if you are willing to overlook that, it's still a sweet song and the idea to turn Ann-Louise into a cougar and pair her with young and sweet John Ballard is a strike of genius.
Grade: 3/5

3. Ritz / Marionett
Let's just put one thing straight: in my world Monica Forsberg is a cultural monument. She should be the Queen. Or a president. She cannot do anything wrong. And as lead singer (and lyricist) she manages to turn this little ditty into a classic. Lands in exactly the right landscape between silly and cute, between catchy and annoying.
Grade: 3/5

2. Kikki Danielsson / Varför är kärleken röd?
Nothing could have stopped Carola from winning anyway but Kikki had good reason at cursing at the orchestra. What is a slick and elegant number in its recorded version is savagely trampled on until only scattered bits and pieces remain. Kikki's solo career took off anyway with a string of hits this year, while this really nice one remained pretty overshadowed and forgotten.
Grade: 3/5

1. Carola / Främling
Nothing could have stopped Carola from winning anyway but it was a happy circumstance for her that her song was the only one the orchestra know how to play without making it sound sloppy or hopeless. Lasse Holm had perfected his craft and written a close-to-perfect song tailor-made for Carola and has denied the story that Kikki was the first choice to perform it. Full marks from every jury is no surprise given how everything else sounded on the night.
Grade: 5/5

Carola was obviously the best choice for Munich but again I would have loved to seen what could have happened in a parallel universe where Kikki Danielsson had had a better management, better styling, a choreographer and an orchestra able to actually play her entry. Maybe it wouldn't have topped Carola's third place, but it would have been worth the effort for sure.

1 comment:

  1. I don't anything to say against the final result, but to me Se by Östen and Karin is a perfect little ballad, at least on record (I haven't seen the live version). There were, fortunately, bigger things to come for Karin.