Sunday, January 13, 2008

2008 welcomes Azerbaijan to the Eurovision stage.

The list of countries for Eurovision 2008 counts 43 and there's again two newcomers on the Eurovision stage. San Marino and Azerbaijan*. Austria opts out for 2008.
Eurocovers of course tries to find any excuse to present some songs here but so far I haven't been able to find any version sung in Azerbaijani (or Azeri-Turkish, check your wiki's).
If anyone knows any, just let me know….

But this is close, Muslim Magomaev (Müslüm Maqomayev, Муслим Магомаев, 1942-2008) is a classical singer (baritone) who was born in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, in 1942, USSR times.
He shares his name with his grandfather, legendary composer Muslim Magomaev (1885 - 1937), who was a pioneer of Azerbaijani music. His father was a painter and war hero, his mother an actress. Magomaev Jr. started as a classical singer but after a performance in Italy he also turned to popular music. Since he has recorded Italian and Russian versions of many Italian songs including several San Remo entries and (other) songs by Domenico Modugno. Later he was dubbed the Soviet Sinatra.

In 1966 and 1969 Muslim Magomaev performed in Paris Olympia with great success. The director of Olympia Bruno Coquatrix offered him a contract, and Muslim Magomaev was seriously considering an opportunity to pursue international career, but he didn't get the Ministry of Culture's permission, who claimed that it needed Muslim Magomaev to perform at governmental concerts. In 1969 he received MIDEM Gold Disc Award in Cannes for the album sales of over 4,5 million units. In 1973, at the very young age of 31, Muslim was awarded the Soviet Union's highest artistic title: People's Artist of the USSR. Muslim Magomaev is also known as a composer of songs, film soundtracks and music for theater performances. In addition, Magomaev played in films and acted as a host in television and radio broadcasts.

Muslim Magomaev has been living and working in Moscow since the early 1970s. In 1997, in recognition of Magomaev's professional successes, a Russian astronomical society named two planetoids of the solar system in honor of him and his wife, Tamara Sinyavskaya, a prominent Russian opera singer who was also awarded People's Artist of the USSR and worked as a soloist at the Bolshoi Theater. (source: Magomaev Website)
At his website (in English and Russian) you can read more and listen to a large selection of his songs: classical music, songs by Azerbaijani composers, western popular songs, film themes and many self composed works.

UPDATE: Muslim Magomaev died on October 25, 2008.

Magomaev Eurocovers.So far I have found two Eurocovers by Muslim Magomaev. Both are entries from 1965, the year of his visit to Milan, Italy.
Se Piangi, Se Ridi (Italian)- Italy 1965, originally by Bobby Solo
Voskovaya Kukla (Восковая кукла, Russian)
- Luxembourg 1965, France Galls Poupée De Cire ... ***
I don't have any details on the release of Se Piangi Se Ridi, but Poupée…. was issued on a Melodija 4 track EP (33ГД-0001045-2 see picture) and a compilation LP of the same year, Vsem kto lyubit pesnyu (#3)
The third song featured here is Non Pensare A Me, the 1967 SanRemo winner that was replaced at the rehearsing stages of the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna.**



*Where's Azerbaijan? (Azərbaycan): On the west side of the Caspian Sea with Russia to the North and Iran to the South. On the west Azerbaijan shares borders with Armenia (disputed) and Georgia. Capital city Baku is at the Caspian coast.
Azerbaijan seceded from the USSR in 1991 and has a populuation of 8,5 million.
The Eurovision Song Contest broadcast will start at 02.00 hours as in summer there is a 5 hour time difference.

** Non Pensare A Me was the 1967 San Remo winner by both Iva Zanicchi and Claudio Villa. Villa was supposed to sing it as the Italian Eurovision entry but the song had to be replaced just days before the contest because it broke the release rules (i.e. it was released to early). Instead, Claudia Villa represented Italy with Non Andare Piu Lontano, but Non Pensare A Me was the hit (mainly for Zannichi) and is covered by most artists that were in the business of covering popular Italian songs (Connie Francis, Andre Hazes, Yukari Ito, Agnaldo Timoteo, José Guardiola).
Of Non Andare Piu Lontano I only ever found one coverversion (by Los Catinos)

*** Can't get enough of Poupée De Cire, Poupée De Son?, for more check these Eurocovers posts: Tatiana in The Kids Are Alright part 1, Les Sans Culottes in Eurocovers 1st Birthday, Shimatani Hitomi video, Arcade Fire (info only), My Tam (Vietnam) and Minami Saori (Japan) in the top 10 most covered Eurovision songs, Estonian Star Sisters and Swedish Anne Lie Rydé.

1 comment:

Italianbeat said...

Thanks for russian Pouppe!