Saturday, November 24, 2007

80's Eurocovers - A Wave Of Portuguese New Wave.

Don't You Want Me or Love Will Tear Us Apart, that was the choice you had to make in The 80's, remember them? Dead Cool or Cool Dead.
Big Floppy Hair, Outrageous Blousons, Electronic Dans Music, Neue Deutsche Welle and more floppy hair.

Here are two Portuguese new wave tracks that are gloriously 80's. But in fact they're covers of 60's Portuguese Eurovision songs.

Mler Ife Dada were a extravagant band from Cascais, Portugal, heart of Portuguese new wave. They enjoyed their 15 minutes of 80's fame especially after the charismatic Anabela Duarte joined the band. Mler Ifa Dada made two, now of course very important, albums and a few singles.
For the b-side of their first single with Anabela Duarte, L'amour Va Bien, Merci (Ama Romanta records AMRO002, 1986) they recorded a version of Ele E Ela, Portugals 1966 entry by Madalena Iglésias. They re-titled it Ele E Ela….E Eu (Him and her… and me). It's a perfect European new wave gem clocking in under 1:50.
Mler Ife Dada recorded two albums which both have been re-issued on CD and there's also a compilation from 2003 but none of these releases has Ele E Ela….E Eu.

- Coisas Que Fascinam (LP, Polygram, 1987)
- Espírito Invisível (LP, Polygram, 1989)
- Pequena Fábula (Compilation Universal, 2003)
Anabela Duarte still tours and released a CD Machine Lyrique in 2006. Duartes 1987 solo LP Lisbunah, on which she re-invents Fado for a new generation, is another recommended album.

The second new wave cover is by Os Delfins, also from Cascais. Their version of the 1967 song O Vento Mudou (Portuguese entry by Angolan born Eduardo Nascimento) is what a Eurovision entry by Joy Division could have sounded like, ok....., let's say early Simple Minds.
Os Delfins, like th' Minds, soon abandoned new wave for rock-pop, but this early single remains a Portuguese new wave landmark. They're still recording and released the CD Delfins earlier this year. You can check them out at their MySpace.
-Os Delfins´version of O Vento Mudou was released as a 7" single and 12" inch maxi in 1984 on the Fundação Atlântica label (FA 2002697/6), which was regarded as the Portuguese equivalent of Factory Records.

Carlos Paião Cover Play BackPortuguese outfit My Tie have recorded a new version (in 2004) of the Portuguese 1981 entry Play Back by Carlos Paião. The coverversion is in English and was only released as a bonus track on promo cdsingle The Entrance. But it can also be heard at My Tie´s MySpace. And there´s some more good stuff too.

1966 - Ele E Ela (He and she or Him and her)
Original singer Madalena Iglesias came 13th in the contest in 1966 and recorded the song in Portuguese and Spanish (EP pictured above).
Madalena Iglesias recorded many Eurocovers herself. One EP Eurovisão 1965 (Alvorada AEP 6030, tracks wanted!!) features coverversions in Portuguese of the 1965 entries of Austria, France, U.K. and Luxembourg. She also recorded the 1966 winner Merci Cherie (in Spanish), Italian evergreen Romantica (1960) and Simone de Oliveira´s Portuguese entries of 1965 and 1969.
1967 - O Vento Mudou (The wind changed)
Original singer Eduardo Nascimento came 12th in the contest of 1967 and recorded the song in Portuguese and English.
1981 - Play Back
Original singer Carlos Paião (1957 - 1988) ended 18th in the contest and recorded the song in Portugese and English. (Eurovision Collectors Guide)

More Portuguese Versions In Other Eurocovers Posts:
Leny Eversong (Brasil), Florbela Quieros (Portugal), Puppet On A String , coverversions from Brasil, Jose Cid (Portugal), Portugal preselections artists Duo Ouro Negro (Singing in Italian)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Eurobandið in the Laugardagslögin 2008

Laugardagslögin being the name for the lenghty selection procedure to select Icelands next Eurovision entry (Belgrade 2008).

They have been featured here before (last August), the Eurobandið, and now they will feature in the 8th preselection round in Iceland.
The Icelanding multi week selection has started early, and they're already in the 8th 3-song preselection round, coming Saturday (21.15 CET)

Eurobandiðs song Fullkomið líf is written by Örlygur Smári (Oggi) who also wrote the 2000 Icelandic entry Tell me (Youtube) and the utterly brilliant Segðu mér from the selection that same year.
It promises to be an interesting round though, as the Eurobandið has to take it up against the Hara Sisters, an Icelandic X-factor act describing themselves as Pussy Punk.
The show can be seen on the net, but it's only three songs in a tedious long show.
Better watch the re-run here (the day after) and skip the bla bla bla. And fingers crossed that Eurobandið will do better than Dr. Gunni who's song Ísinn (sung by Heiða) was kicked out of the competition. features the songs that have been in the competition so far
Eurobandið MySpace features their Icelandic cover of Making Your Mind Up.

Eurobandið made it! Congratulations! Their song Fullkomið Líf (Perfect life) will now be in the Icelandic national final on February 16th 2008. You can hear the song (and all the others that have been in the selection) here.

There will be many Eurocovers stars in the 2008 Eurovision selection season, even some I can't disclose yet, and they will all be featured here at Eurocovers with their coverversion(s) of Eurovision songs.

Older Eurocovers posts featuring Icelandic artists:
The original Eurobandið article, Elly Vilhjálms, Helena Eyjólfsdóttir, Friðrik Ómar, Hera Björk & Bríet Sunna Valdemarsdóttir, Gunnar Olason,

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Tejano Time - 1977 - Enseñame A Cantar

Enseñame A Cantar (Teach me to sing) is probably one of the cheeriest songs ever to enter Eurovision. The Eurovision performance (Youtube) is legendary for the background singers who seem to live the happiest moment of their life (or they are on something). Even though they only ended 9th in the 1977 contest
The song performed by Micky and written by Fernando Arbex still is a popular singalong and has been covered many times (63 versions currently listed).
Fernando Arbex also wrote Micky's European hit Bye Bye Fraulein and Middle Of The Roads Soley Soley.
Enseñame A Cantar has traveled well and has recently ended up in Texas where some great coverversions have been recorded. Two of them are here.

First up there's the handsome lot The Tejano Boys, who released their Texmex version of the song on their album No Me Se Rajar (CE distribution, 2004). It's all about the squeeze (© TexMex FM radio) and the TexMex trademark accordion, played by Oscar Anzaldua is featured prominently on the track.
The Tejano Boys from Brownsville, Texas are specialists in the Tejano genre. Their energetic live shows and relentless touring won them a devoted following throughout Mexico and the United States. The Boys have their MySpace here.

The second Tejano version of the song featured here is by Ruben Vela, from his 2007 CD Los Melones (Crown records). Ruben Vela from San Antonio is a legend amongst Tejano accordion players and has been recording for over 50 years.
"Throughout the years, Ruben Vela's music has touched the hearts and souls of Tejano fans around the world. In 1983 he was honored for these outstanding contributions to the world of Conjunto music and inducted into the Conjunto Hall of Fame at the world famous Conjunto Festival in San Antonio." (From the Crown Records Ruben Vela Bio)

Break out the Mezcal, grab some enchiladas. Great songs to cheer up any day!!

Both artists' albums and loads of other great Tejano CDs are available from CE Musica (USA only) and the likes of Amazon, Cduniverse and e-bay.

Tejano (Spanish for "Texan") or Tex-Mex music is the name given to various forms of folk and popular music originating among the Hispanic-descended Tejanos of Central and South Texas (says Wiki)
Related Eurocovers PostMexico's finest cowboys Los Reyes Del Camino cover the 1971 Italian entry L'Amore E Un Attimo (Perdo Cariño Mio) in this post.

Blog Tip:One of the first ever Eurocover singles I ever bought, Que Bueno Que Bueno by Los Sirex can be found at El Rincon Del 45. A great beat version of the Spanish 1965 entry originally by Conchita Bautista. The A-Side track is a version of Petula's DownTown
They also feature the above mentioned L'Amore E Un Attimo by the original singer Massimo Ranieri, with his own Spanish version.
And a happy 1st Birthday to El Rincon !!!!
... and don't forget to enter the Tobi Jooste CD competition here.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Grethe Kausland 1947 - 2007

Another sad goodbye to a Eurovision singer. Grethe Kausland who sang Småting (Little things) with Benny Borg for Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest of 1972 died today.
Grethe Kausland died after a struggle with cancer at only 60 years of age.

Grethe Nilsen or Lille Grethe as she was known as a child star, had her first 100.000 seller Teddyen Min when she was 8 years old. It made her the best selling recording artist in Norway at the time. At 10 she made her filmdebut and 12 she already had 12 records to her name. When the 60's came she changed her tune from childrens music to more jazzy material and scored several hits in the early 60s like Souvenirs & Det finns millioner.
In the 1973 she joined Dizzie Tunes, a popular TV showband with which she performed until 2001. With Dizzie Tunes she scored 70's hits like Mere ra-ta-ta-ta and Toppop. One of her most successful stage acts was her inpersonation of Sammy Davis Jr.
In 1978 she released the well received and awarded disco LP A Taste Of Grethe Kausland and in 1979 the less acclaimed collection of re-recorded Lille Grethe songs Grethe synger lille Grethe, all in good old 70's disco style.
As an actress she starred in many TV shows and movies from 1957 up to 2005. She also did Norwegian voices / dubs in international films and animations including E.T..
In 1991 she received the Leonardprisen for her achievements in theatre and revue.
Grethe Kausland was diagnosed with cancer in 2006 but took to the revue stage again at the end of that year. In 2007 the cancer took over again and Grethe Kausland died November 16, 2007.

Listen to Grethe's Norwegian version of the German entry Nur die Liebe lässt uns leben (Mary Roos) which she recorded in Norwegian (VA LP Norske Favoritter 1972) and in Swedish (VA LP Svensktoppar 13 or 14(?)). She also recorded the Dutch 1972 entry Als Het Om De Liefde Gaat in duet with with Odd Borre (also on Norske Favoritter LP and Svensktoppar 15).

Sources: You can find a biography / discography (In Norwegian) here.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Eurocovers 1st Birthday !!!

Today Eurocovers celebrates its first birthday. A year ago it all started with a little tribute to Paul Mauriat without really knowing where things would go from there.

It's been a year of fun, finding out about all kinds of singers who are (or were) stars in their own country, had an interesting story or just recorded an awesome version of a Eurovision song.
All this research often creates more questions and wantslists, and I want to say thanks to everyone who has replied to my requests and sent me cool stuff. A lot of it will pop up here sooner or later. Please keep it coming….
'Meeting', other bloggers, receiving some great tracks and even getting weird e-mails all has been great fun and I hope to continue for another year.

My favorite parts have been The Year Of The Puppet, with all kinds of versions of Sandie Shaws Eurovision winner Puppet On A String and the top 10 most covered Eurovision songs.
I thoroughly enjoyed finding out about fabulous singers like Leny Eversong (as one Eurocovers reader put it: How can anybody not love Leny Eversong?), Ken Boothe, Helena Vondráčková, Hồ Quỳnh Hương and Argentina Tango King Carlos Di Sarli.

Next year, Anno Domenico ©, Eurocovers will celebrate 50 years of Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu) and there will be an updated look at the most covered songs, expanding to the top 20. There will be lists, links, music, pictures, blog tips, competitions, new releases and what have you.

Now I'm blowing out the first candle and give you all another slice of the Eurocovers cake.

The first post featured L'Amour Est Bleu, so it's just fitting there's another one here.
This version is by Maria Magdalena, and when you hear the sound of the record it could well be recorded 2000 years ago. The song is titled something like Ipangamo Uy Unoy Co. The exitement being that the song is sung in Ilokano, the 3rd language of the Philippines.
No need to say that it's the first ever Ilokano Eurocover listed.
The song is likely from a single which also features another song, Maudi A Bilin, which is an Ilokano classic..
HELP WANTED: If anyone can shed some light on the singer, single or even share a picture that would make me very happy. (Thanks Maian for the song)

One of my all time favorite songs is Dio Come Ti Amo, the 1966 Italian entry by Domenico Modugno. In the top 10 most covered Eurovision songs (it's at #9) I requested the version by Duo Ouro Negro from Angola and five! of you sent me the song. Thanks to all, it's a lovely as I hoped it would be, judge for yourself below.

# 10 of the most covered Eurovision songs is Poupée De Cire, Poupée De Son, the best pop song written in the 60's. It's also one of the most visited Eurocovers subjects. Les Sans Culottes demonstrate how it would sound if it was recorded by Blondie. From their great CD Fixation Orale from 2004.

Last up there's two Puppets. Suzy Darlén (pic left) as asked for in the Puppet In Brasil post (from EP Oh Johnny, Brasil Odeon 7 BD 1134) (Thanks Jorge!) and a crazy mix of styles in Sounds Orchestral (CD Sounds Chart Bound, 1998 Sequel records) (Thanks Jim!)
I'm still looking for versions of Puppet On A String in Greek, Japanese, Hebrew, Thai, Vietnamese etc. and from now on, Ilokano.

And don't forget to check out some of my friends blogs and favorite sites, the links are on the right side of this page.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Boom Boom - It's a good day for politics

Eurovision has been linked with politics from the first edition to the present day. I'm not even talking political voting but there are some historic examples of songs tying in with political events in history. The role of the 1974 Portuguese entry in the Carnation revolution is the classic example, but there's more. Enough material for many future Eurocovers posts.

Today it's a small slice of politics from Denmark. (Thanks Mikael!!) For the forthcoming elections on november 13 the former leader of the Social Democrats and former prime minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen has recorded the social democrats election song - using the melody of Denmark's 1978 Eurovision song Boom Boom. (Originally by Mabel, ending 16th)
The song is titled Det blir en god dag (It will be a good day) and Rasmussen recorded it with Mogens Jensen MP, Eurovision fan and Rasmussen imitator. (on the right on below picture).
The lyrics of the election song run along the lines of "It will be a good day when Fogh (present Liberal prime minister) resigns".

Boom Boom by 'boyband' Mabel was the return entry for Denmark after 11 years of absence. Interesting detail is that back in 1967 DR's decision to withdraw from the contest was under a social democratic management.
Entertainment was branded too right, light and frivolous and DR TV was only supposed to broadcast serious television. At some stage it took the shape of a iconoclasm and many archives of light entertainment were destroyed in the process. Including footage of the 1964 Eurovision song contest.
What made Denmark decide to return in 1978 I don't know, but Mabels Boom Boom remains a well known song in Denmark, and now the social democrats have adopted / adapted it for their 2007 campaign.

You can hear the song here and/or download it here. Youtube has several videos of the original version like this one from the preslection (DMGP), screaming girls included.