Thursday, January 21, 2021

Farrah Fawcett Majors goes Eurovision with Jean-Paul Vignon

Updated in 2021 to give Jean-Paul Vignon a little more credit, the original post was from April 2012.

Here's one piece of Eurocovers treasure I didn't know about. 
It's iconic American actress and Charlie's Angel Farrah Fawcett-Majors (1947-2009) doing a coverversion of the Italian 1974 Eurovision entry Si with French singer/actor Jean-Paul Vignon.
Vignon does all the singing but Farrah makes it all amazing by sexy-rapping all over the song like's she's French or something.
This single was already released in 1977 and Farrah Fawcett-Majors was a superstar and still no-one at Eurocovers knew of this gem. (in 2012, ed)
As far as I know this is the only time Farrah Fawcett-Majors ventured in the world of music.

Here at Jean-Paul Vignons website you can listen to the song in good quality. A Youtube audio is below.
The single was released in the U.S. (Nelson Barry NBR 7900, various promo's exist) and in Mexico (Columbia k.30010) in a gorgeous picture sleeve that makes no secret of who is supposed to sell this record.
Picture from Discogs

Jean-Paul Vignon
Besides releasing many singles in France, most from 1957 to 1967 Jean-Paul Vignon later focused more on his acting. This single with Farrah Fawcett was a bit of a one off.
As an actor you may have seen him in Star Trek The Next Generaton as a holographic waiter (Ep: We'll Always Have Paris) or heard him in Shrek as the Merry Man. Other credits are soaps like Days Of Our Lives, Gilmore Girls and Dallas (as a waiter again). In fact he played a waiter or similar roles in many shows. Add Hotel, L.A. Law, Falcon Crest (croupier), Murder She Wrote, Columbo and more.
He's still around and performs live shows (pandemics permitting).

In his bio it says that Farrah and him covered a winning Eurovision song but that can be forgiven. It's not like anyone remembers the actual winner.
His memoirs, published in French (De L'Ethiopie A L'Utopie) and English (From Ethiopia To Utopia) were released  in 2018 / 2019.  (More about that here at Vignon's website)
Vignon has a website and facebook with some great photos. This one of Farrah & Jean-Paul in the studio is especially lovely. Here's his bio on his website. 

Si by Gigliola Cinquetti ended second behind ABBA's Waterloo in the Brighton Eurovision Song Contest of 1974.

But credit where credit is due, I nicked the picture from the Cranched For Now blogspot, who wrote about this in 2009. So you go there now, read more about it, see the disc but don't forget to come back though.....
the b-side of the sleeve

Sunday, January 17, 2021

The Day That Everyone Loves Danny

Danny, legendary Finnish singer born as Ilkka Johannes Lipsanen (in 1942),  will enter the Finnish preselection for the 2021 Eurovision song contest Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (New Music Contest) with the Janne Rintala penned song Sinä Päivänä Kun Kaikki Rakastaa Mua (the day that everyone loves me).
Now the Uuden (new) part of that is a bit misplaced as Danny’s first singles were released in 1964.

Over the years Danny has had many hits in his home country and he is credited for putting touring live shows on the map for Finland. His live shows, often supported by other now well known Finnish singers (Kirka, Katri Helena, Vicky Rosti),  were among the first to start live music pop culture in the country, with hysterical screaming and all that.

There’s a movie and a musical about his life and they’re both called Danny. So he must have done something right.

The new Rotterdam 2021 Collection is open!

This year it’s the 8th time (and 9th song) Danny tries to get to the Eurovision Song Contest. Here's the Finnish 2021 page at the new Rotterdam Collection. 
The song premiered at 11 PM CET on Januari 17th and is now available from all your local digitessen.

Update: Now I didn't expect that! My Finnish is a bit rusty but the English translation is in the video below. Absolutely wonderful lyrics, sort of sad in a tongue in cheek way, resigning in the inevitable. 
Now you just keep that day away for a while longer Mr. Danny!

Here’s a list of his earlier Euroviisut efforts.
1966 Pieni Saana (Little Saana, 8th)
- single (Scandia KS 628) has the winning song Playboy by Ann Christine on the b-side!
1967 Sua Kutsun, Maarit (I call you, Maarit, 2nd)
1967 Keskiyöllä (At midnight, 4th)
- both 1967 songs on single (Scandia KS 682), 2nd placed song also on VA EP 4 Iskelmää (Scandia SEP 215).
1973 Galileo Galilei (5th) (video below)
- single (Scandia KS 891)
1974 Jos Maailmassa Vain Ois Kahva (If there was only a handle on the world, 7th)
- single (Delta DES 5)
1975 Seikkailija (Adventurer, 2nd)
- single (Delta DES 10)
1986 Ninja (8th)
- single (M&T Productions MTP 1097)
2004 Seven Times Seven (in English) - Danny & D’Voices (10th)
- CD Minulta Sinulle (Poptori 1134-2), also on promo cds (MUFA records) 
Seven Times Seven is a nod to his 1968 hit Seitsemän Kertaa Seitsemän which means Seven Times Seven
2021 Sinä Päivänä Kun Kaikki Rakastaa Mua (the day that everyone loves me)
- digital single

-- -- 
Eurovisio Special 1978
Danny's Eurovision covers
But this is Eurocovers so we’ll take a look at Danny’s coverversions of Eurovision songs. All are translated into Finnish. Many come from Various Artists LP’s from the 70’s and 80’s where most Eurovision tunes from one year were translated and recorded by Finnish artists.
Two times he paired up with Armi Aaviko who you’ll probably remember as Miss Finland 1977. Sadly Armi died in 2002, just 42 years old.
The YT links are all audio's on Youtube.
Here’s the list of Danny’s Eurocovers.
Säästä Suukkosi Vain (Save your kisses for me, U.K. 1976) (YT)
Judy Judy (Judy et Cie, Belgium 1976) (YT)
- Both on Eurovision 1976 covers VA LP Huipulla 10 Eurovisio Special (Scandia SLP 632)
- Judy Judy also on LP Elämän Maku (Scandia SLP 631)

Päin Seinää - Armi ja Danni (Rock Bottom, U.K. 1977)  (YT)  
Beatles (Sweden 1977) (YT)
- VA Eurovision covers LP Eurovisio Special 1977 (Scandia SLP 648)
- LP Tahdon Olla Sulle Hellä (Scandia SLP 647)
Beatles 1977
Beatles also b-side to Armi & Danni single Tahdon Olla Sulle Hellä  (7"Scandia KS 979)
Jäi Taakse Päivät Nuo - Armi ja Danny (Bad Old Days, U.K. 1978) (YT)
- VA Eurovision covers LP Eurovisio Special 1978
Disco Tango (Denmark 1979)
- VA Eurovision covers LP  Eurovisio 79 (Scandia SLP 911)
Vain Rakkaus Jää (Tænker Altid På Dig, Denmark 1980)
- VA Eurovision covers LP Eurovisio Special 1980 (Scandia SLP 917)
On Meri Tänään Tauhatan (Feggari Kalokerino, Greece 1981) (YT)
- 7” single, b-side to Vain Kaksi Nauhaa (Scandia KS 1058)
- VA Eurovision covers LP Eurovisio Special 1981 (Finnlevy FL 5095)
Maybe there’s more, if you know any, just drop a comment.

Danny Facebook and Website (in Finnish)

You may like these other Eurocovers posts:
A La Laila - The collected works of Laila Kinnunen and Eurocovers Discography
2007: The Finweeks, a series of posts about Finnish artists and coverversions tying in with the Helsinki contest of 2007.

Friday, January 01, 2021

Senhit | Waterloo - #FreakyTripToRotterdam

Happy New Year Eurocovers friends. I hope 2021 will be as fabulous as this!

Monday, December 21, 2020

Art for Christmas: Senhit's Amar Pelos Dois

The strangest Christmas I've ever experienced (I mean: No shopping!) needs its own soundtrack. Eurovision singer Senhit (2011, 2020 and 2021) has been giving us some amazing videos monthly covering Eurovision classics. 
The December instalment is this one, Amar Pelos Dois, the 2017 winner for Portugal by Salvador Sobral. Classical singer Jordi Galàn sings along too.

(spoilers) It doesn't get better than the moment Mary hands over the black Baby Jesus for adoption to a same sex couple in their tighty whities. Madonna would be proud (if it was still 1989).
I hope Senhit will release the covers as an album (A CD/DVD set would be nice), but for now they're only on Youtube.
Big Kudo's to the director Luca Tommassini, who surpassed himself again on this amazing video.

Here's the playlist with all the coverversions Senhit made in her #FreakyTripToRotterdam project.
Amar Pelos Dois, Rise Like A Phoenix, Congratulations, Ding A Dong, Everyway That I Can and Cheesecake.
And in May she did a heartwarming version of Insieme 1992 (Toto Cutugno's winner of 1990)

Her 2020 entry Freaky! is still available through all your favorite digital stores and on the Official 2020 CD
I really hope she get's a stunning song for the 2021 contest (and don't let Azerbaijan snap it up!).

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Senhit's 2011 page is here at the Düsseldorf Collection
Senhit's 2020 page is here at the Rotterdam Collection
The Rotterdam 2.1 Collection is expected in January

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Af álfum - Frostrósir, Christmas is coming

Today I am in the mood for getting this post up to the top. (links may not all work)

Not a Eurocover and way early of course, but how many famous Icelandic Eurovision people do you recognise in this clip? (see below) What a wonderful christmas song. (and I don't do christmas songs very much thank you)
RÚV (Icelandic TV people) should consider sending this to Eurovision. I mean, it's wonderful, it's already finished, no hassle and costs of a multi-round preselection and even if some get the flu, there's enough singers here to do it. It would be the first Christmas song at Eurovision which would be in itself Eurovision History-Book-On-The-Shelf worthy. Consider it....

The Fróstrosir project celebrates 10 years of Christmas music this year.
Here's the Fróstrosir homepage where you can find out if you spotted all the stars. (under Flytjendur)

In the past Fróstrosir have Christmafied two Swedish Eurovision entries.
The 1996 entry Den Vilda (One More Time, 3rd place) became Dansaðu Vindur and was released on the CD Fróstrósir (2002) and compilation Fróstrósir - Best lögin' (2006).
1995's Se på mig (Jan Johansen, 3rd place) became Stjärnan Min and was released on the CD Heyr Himna Smiður (2008)
Update: Fróstrósir and Eurobandið singer Friðrik Ómar also gave a Swedish Eurovision track the Christmas Once Over: Tommy Körbergs majestic Stad I Ljus (Sweden 1988 by Tommy Körberg) became Vetrarnótt for the 2010 holiday season.
Another Update: Af Álfum, Vetrarnótt, Stjärnan Min and Dansaðu Vindur can all be found on the new album / 2CD Fróstrosir Fagna. (thanks Dominique!)

More Fróstrosir in this Eurocovers post.

Fróstrosir 2011 features the following Eurovisiony people:
Eiríkur Hauksson - Three time Eurovision star (1986 with trio Icy, 1991 with quartet Just4Fun for Norway and his own fantastic Valentine Lost in 2007.
Hera Björk - Je Ne Sais Quoi was her Eurovision eruption in 2010, and she also had the fabulous entry Someday ending 2nd in the Danish 2009 final. She also recorded an Icelandic coverversion of Christine Guldbrandsens Alvedansen (Norway 2006)
Friðrik Ómar - Member of Eurocovers fabulous favorites Eurobandið, well know for This Is My Life (2008) also had some great solo tunes in the Icelandic preselections (Það Sem Verður 2006 and Eldur 2007)
Regína Ósk - Member of Eurocovers favorites Eurobandið, also had a great solo tune in the Icelandic preselection (Þér Við Hlið in 2007)
Guðrún Árný - Pre-selection singer in 2003 with Með Þér.
Eivør Pállsottir - Faroese singer participated in the Icelandic selection with I Nótt in 2003. She's the main singer on Dansaðu Vindur.
Heiða Ólafs - In 2009 pre-selection with Dagur Nýr.
Matti Matt - My favorite Sjonni Boy. Coming Home 2011. In 2010 he had a solo song in the selection: Out Of Sight.
Stefán Hilmarsson - Two time Eurovision singer Stefan out of Beathoven (1988) and Stefan and Eyfi.
Also appeared as backing singer and musician on various Icelandic entries.
Ína Valgerður - Eurocovers star recorded the Italian 1964 winner Non Ho L'eta in Icelandic. Entered the Icelandic selection in 2008 with Lullaby To Peace.
Jógvan Hansen - Preselection 2010 (One More Day) and 2011 (Ég Lofa)
Ragnar Bjarnason - Legendary Icelandic singer, recorded Eurocovers of Volare and Non Ho L'eta(Italy's 1958 and 1964 entries)
Sissel Kyrkjebø - Internationally acclaimed classical singer from Norway, was in the 1986 contest interval performance.
Ragga Gröndal - Two times national semi finalist (2003 with Ferrari and 2008: Wake Me Up), member of the Fancy Toys and a bestselling singer in Iceland.
Guðrún Gunnars - Judge on the Paul Oscars Eurovision previewTV show Alla Leið
The other singers without any Eurovision relation that I know of are: Ágúst Ólafsson, Björg Þórhallsdóttir, Erna Hrönn, Garðar Thór Cortes, Gissur Páll, Guðrún Gunnars, Hulda Björk Garðarsdóttir, Jóhann Friðgeir, Kolbeinn Ketilsson, Margrét Eir, Óskar Pétursson, Vala Guðna and Védís Hervör. Producers / arrangers Karl Olgeir Olgeirsson and Árni Harðarson  also appear in the video.  

Sunday, December 13, 2020

What's Another Year: R.I.P. Charley Pride (1934-2020)

Only a week ago I watched a Country music documentary which included a story about the remarkable history of Charley Pride. It prompted me to dig up his wonderful version of What’s Another Year
And now I read that the man is not getting another year thanks to that damned you know what.
So sad and poignant. Have a listen below. 

Pride’s What’s Another Year was released on his 1991 CD Classics With Pride. (Not to be confused with the 1996 album with the same title).

Charley Pride recorded over 40 albums and scored over 70 hits in the US Country singles charts, of which 30 went to #1.
Find out more about Charley Pride's groundbreaking achievements at his website and facebook.
What’s Another Year is Johnny Logan's 1980 Eurovision winner for Ireland.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Eternamente Blu, Volare in the 20's

In the past 15 odd years Eurocovers has been writing a lot about coverversions of Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare), the 1958 Sanremo winner and Eurovision entry by Domenico Modugno. It's an obsession.
If you use this link you'll see most of the earlier posts.

Here's just a quick runthrough of new coverversions just released, showing that Mr. Volare is still alive and kicking. With listening links for your convenience.

In February Italian heartthrob and superstar Tiziano Ferro was a guest performer at the Sanremo Festival performing Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu.
Now he has released his quite wonderful new album Accetto Miracoli: L'Esperienza Degli Altri and in includes a similar version of the Domenico Modugno classic. (out on 2CD, LP and digital) 
Youtube Audio. Sanremo performance via RaiPlay
It took Brazil’s former Minister of Culture (and music legend) Gilberto Gil over 60 albums to give us a version of Volare, recorded with his granddaughter Flor. They first performed the song back in April as a message of support and strength to the Italian people hit by the pandemic. Now they recorded a studio version for a digital EP De Avô Pra Neta (digital EP) Youtube Audio, Original performance
Another familiar name, Jane McDonald, Queen of British Cruiseships,  also released a version of Volare (in English) on her new album Cruising with Jane McDonald, Vol. 2. (CD and digital) Youtube Audio
Russell Watson just scored a U.K. top 10 album with his album 20 (CD and digital). 
This includes a new recording of Volare. He previously recorded it with André Rieu (2003, CD Zauber des Musik 3) the Royal Philharmonic (2008, CD The Platinum Collection), and with Aled Jones (2018, CD In Harmony). Youtube Audio

Some other 2020 Volares are by:
Franco Corso (CD Vincerò, to be released Dec 1) Website listening
- Corso also recorded it in 2005 but this is a new recording
Imai Shunshuke (今井俊輔CD I Am I 2020 Volare) Youtube audio
Claudio Capeo (CD Penso A Te) (streaming/shopping link)

Sunday, November 01, 2020

Diamonds Are Forever

This week legendary Welsh songstress Shirley Bassey releases her final album I Owe It All To You. A modestly titled album (and song) thanking her fans for their loyalty over the years. The album has new songs, a few coverversions and some old personal favorites of Shirley reimagined.

In the back of my mind I always knew Goldfinger, Big Spender and Diamonds Are Forever but the first Shirley Bassey record that made a real impact on me was the 1978 disco version of This Is My Life (La Vita). She originally performed that song, also performed by Elio Gandolfi, in the 1968 SanRemo contest but it didn’t make it to the final. Here's the wonderful 1968 SanRemo performance.

To be fair, I wasn’t a massive fanboy at the time, but I learned to love her later. In the 80’s and 90's (second hand bought) singles started piling up to the point she got her own section in my record collection. (An honour not bestowed on many)
I was overjoyed when I found the Italian single with Diamonds Are Forever sung in Italian (Vivo Di Diamanti).
I was stunned by her cooperation with Yello (The Rhythm Divine) and adored her Propellerheads hit History Repeating*. And, no surprise, I also love The Performance from 2010 with new songs by cool people like Rufus Wainwright, The Manics, Gary Barlow and the Pet Shop Boys.

There’s no Eurovision tune on the new album, so here’s the videoclip of the only Eurovision song she covered, Dio Come Ti Amo (Italy 1966, Domenico Modugno).

Dio Come Ti-Amo (Oh God How Much I Love You)
was first released in 1991 on the album Keep The Music Playing. On the original LP release Modugno is credited as D. Medunidoleo.
She also recorded another Modugno song Chi Si Vuol Bene Come Noi..., a 1968 single for Bassey sung in Italian.
Shirley Bassey recorded several songs from the Great Italian Songbook so there may be some more SanRemo covers in there, I don’t know (do you?).
Update: Jezahel from her 1972 LP And I Love You So was a SanRemo entry for Delirium (as Jesahel), finishing 6th).

Another Eurovision legend, Udo Jürgens, also supplied Bassey with (at least) two songs.
Reach For The Stars from 1961 (originally Woher Ich Auch Komm’) with English lyrics by Norman Newell**.
If I Never Sing Another Song (or. Illusionen by Alexandra, 1967 and Udo Jürgens himself, 1974) was recorded by Shirley Bassey in 1976. You can find a nice article (and lovely pics) about Udo meeting Shirley here at the Shirley Bassey Blog.

* Jamala, Eurovision 1944, also did that one, on her album For Every Heart. (video)
** Trivia alert: Norman Newell wrote the English part of the lyrics to the 1963 Swiss entry Vielleicht Geschieht Ein Wunder by Carmela Corren which was performed in German and English at the contest (and on record).
Shirley Bassey website
Shirley Bassey facebook
The Shirley Bassey Blog
I Owe It All To You is released on November 6 on CD, deluxe CD (with book but no extra tracks) and digital. (Shopping)
More Eurocovers posts about Dio Come Ti Amo include Elvis & Vega, Verdelle Smith, Perla, Sonny J., and the 10000 coverversions project #9.

007 approves, R.I.P. Sean Connery


Sunday, October 11, 2020

Justice for a classic: Door De Wind

A surprise hit for a personal Eurovision favorite.
Every now and then the popular TV show Beste Zangers Van Nederland (Best singers of The Netherlands*) comes up with a song that somehow strikes a chord and becomes a hit.
Door De Wind (Through the wind), the Belgian entry originally performed at Eurovision by Ingeborg always was a beautiful song even though it only came 19th out of 22 entries in 1989.
Dutch singer Miss Montreal did her heartfelt version in the show dedicated to the original composer (and backing singer) of Door De Wind Stef Bos and people ate it up and bought it into the charts. Finally some justice for a classic.

* The format is known in many other countries. It’s a show where singers sing each others songs and everyone goes all tearful and gooey over it (which makes it pretty much unwatchable for me).

Ingeborg's original 
Ingeborg (Sergeant) recorded three versions of the song, the original, an acoustic version and an English version (Breakaway). Plus there's an instrumental you can sing along to. They were released over two single releases (7" inch vinyls). 
Ingeborg's singles were released in the Netherlands but obviously also available in Belgium.
- Door De Wind / Door De Wind (Acoustic)  (HKM 145 491-7)
- Breakaway / Door De Wind (Instrumental)  (HKM 145 509-7)
The English version single comes in two different sleeves.
The English lyrics were written by Simon Shrimpton-Smith who in the 70’s recorded under the name Simon Le Bon. (not him of Duran Duran)
The original version was also released on Ingeborg's 1990 album Voor Eén Seconde (HKM LP & CD) and her 2004 compilation CD Diamond Collection (HKM).
The hit version by Miss Montreal is released through your usual digital sources. You’ll be pleased to know that the single version does not have the emotional affectations the video has.

There have been a few coverversions of the song, some very recent. I quite like the country tinged version by Tamara and Tom. 

Stef Bos - Live version by the composer
--- CD Stad en Land: Live 92/98 (1998, HKM)
--- digital single (2018, Puur Feest Muziek)
Gert Bekker (South Africa)
--- CD Dis Die Girl (2005, Rhythm Records)
Peter van Bugnum
--- CD Heimwee (1996, Bemmel productions)
Miss Montreal
--- digital release (2020, Cornelis Music)
De Strangers - Door De Regen (Comedy in Antwerps, Flemish dialect)
--- LP/CD De Ziel Uit Ons Lijf (1989, Dureco)
--- Also includes Vivan Bomma, a coverversion of Rock Me Baby, the Eurovision winner of 1989.
Tamara en Tom (Davys)
--- digital single (2017 HKM)
Do you know of any other (officially released) versions?

Below is a Spotify playlist with all version they have. Does not include the Gert Bekker (it's on Youtube) and Peter van Bugnum versions.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Hoe Lang (Kuula) - Henny Thijssen

2020: Congratulations to Henny Thijssen for winning The Voice Senior.

To celebrate, I have moved this slightly updated 2013 post about his Eurovision cover Hoe Lang (Kuula) up.  

A Dutch version of Ott Leplands Kuula is recorded by Henny Thijssen. The song is titled Hoe Lang (How long) and is out on TwentieRecords (digital)
The januari 2013 release is available from digital sources like iTunes, Spotify, Apple music. (updated)
Update 2020: Hoe Lang was released on CD in 2016. You can find it on the album Henny Thijssen Zingt (Twentierecords) as a bonus track. (at moment of writing still available hereherehere)

In March 2013 the song enters the Dutch top 100 at 86.
Update: After five weeks the track makes an unexpected jump to #20 in the Dutch charts. Total chart run: 86, 72, 59, 50, 53, 20, 85 

Henny 'de snik' Thijssen is a Dutch folk-schlager* singer-songwriter who wrote several songs and lyrics for some of the Dutch greats like André Hazes, Koos Alberts, Renée De Haan and Eurovision host Jan Smit.
He's been a prolific solo singer since the late 90's but Hoe Lang is his first solo hit to reach the top 40. (and his biggest hit to date).

For the latest Eurovision related release news follow our Facebook.

Ott Leplands Kuula reached 6th place in the Baku Eurovision Song Contest for Estonia. He performed the song in Estonian but has also recorded English, Spanish and Russian versions.
All details about that one here at the Baku Collection.

*Dutch folk-schlager: Not sure how to translate the word volksmuziek, so it's folk-schlager and I hope you get the gist.

2013: PeR from Latvia from behind.
Eurovision 2013
The Malmö Collection features the latest news on the CD releases, versions and artists of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest held in Sweden and soon on a TV set near you.

Here's the quick links to each country's 2013 page.
Albania, Austria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and United Kingdom