I had gone through the roof seeing my native Sweden win the ESC and had originally planned to attend the international final in Malmö, being blissfully unaware of how much those tickets would cost as well as how fast they would sell out. Anyway, the national pre-selection in Stockholm was a good consolation prize.
This was my first time ever at a televised event. I was so excited by everything that was going on. The cameras. The action. The celebrities. The whole ambience felt completely electrified. My entire outlook on the songs in competition is hopelessly coloured by all of this and I will probably overrate every single song (except one).
For many years on, nothing could live up to this experience. It would take years for me to feel as excited about a Swedish final again.
|Image borrowed from svt.se|
10. Shanes / Upp flyger vi upp
Shanes felt like a bunch of oldboys already in 1982 and the additional ten years did them no favours. The obvious filler song in an otherwise solid lineup.
9. Angel / Venus butterfly
What starts out as a pretty dramatic and exciting schlager ends face down in a disappointing chorus with no particular bite or personality. Angel had had a bit hit the previous year but were not a lasting thing in Swedish showbiz.
8. Maria Rådsten / Vad som än händer
One More Time - the band that would score an international hit later in the year with "Highland" and go on to represent Sweden in 1996 - had two songs in the running and two of its soloists were doing one song each while Peter and Nanne watched from the sidelines. This one has good energy but never made a lasting impression on me. Sharp-eyed viewers can recognise Karin Risberg ("Stopp stopp stanna" in 1986) among the backing vocalists.
7. Kikki Danielsson / En enda gång
An interesting attempt to cross-pollinate Kikki with a power ballad à la Scorpions. Kikki does the best she can but in the end, the song would have needed to show more muscles. The end result is well-intended but far too tame.
6. Thérèse Löf / Ingenting går som man vill
The second OMT entry is a quirky and humorous tale of an Interrail gone wrong. Jaunty performance by Thérèse who would leave the group before ESC 1996 but make it to the ESC stage as a backing singer.
5. Anna Nederdal / Ingen annan än du
Time can change so much and this song that I first found mind-numbingly boring is now a bit of a personal favourite. Classy and intimate, almost whispered at first before culminating in a lovely chorus.
4. Lena Pålsson / Jag kan se en ängel
I was surrounded by dansband music as I grew up and Wizex were always among my favourites. Fresh and original and with a thing completely of their own. This juicy little piece marinated in saxophone should have been bang-in-the-final. Extra points for one of the most daring lyrics about sex up until then, something nobody realised thanks to the dansband connection.
3. Christer Björkman / Imorgon är en annan dag
Maybe Christer isn't the strongest vocalist ever but in the right environment he shows how good he is at working whatever he has. In front of the audience at Cirkus he was most convincing and really made this little song come to life.
2. Py Bäckman / Långt härifrån
Like a one-woman hippie colony, Py swept in with an infectious rhythm and an original chorus that sounded very different from everything on offer. The juries understood precious little and today this one is another one of those forgotten classics that would deserve more love from the people.
1. Lizette & Bizazz / Som om himlen brann
Colourful and action packed, Lizette Pålsson teamed up with Bizazz - THE dance company at the time, omnipresent in every entertainment show here was - and should of course have been the winner. Deemed the winner in a reader's poll conducted by one of the evening newspapers but sadly overlooked by the large record-buying audience.
Not a bad year but lacking in obvious peaks. Most songs are on the same level but there is very little here that would qualify as being unforgettable in any way.
In a parallel universe:
Nobody in this bunch would have altered ESC history, Linda Martin would have won regardless. But I think Lizette could have managed to stir things up a bit, given the lack of convincing uptempo songs on offer in Malmö. She could surely have landed around a 10th place or so, don't you think?
Lizette & Bizazz / Som om himlen brann (Sweden 1992 NF)