Tuesday, January 27, 2009

4 X 40 - Madrid 1969 - extra: The Losers

1969 is one of my favorite years in Eurovision history. Not just because of the multitude of great songs, but also from a collectors point of view. Many singles were released in stunning picture sleeves all over Europe (I'm getting all nostagic here) and most artists released their song in different languages.
Here, in an extra 4 X 40 post, is a quick run-by of the songs that didn't win, and a few coverversions for your entertainment.

Opening the contest was Yugoslavia. Pozdrav Svijetu (Dobar Dan) by Ivan & the M 's was a language marvel in itself, as the lads wished us all a good day in our own language. The multi language trick has been repeated often in Eurovision.
Ivan & the M's recorded also recorded their song in Spanish.
I don't know about any coverversion of this song though, if you do, please let me know.

Romuald recorded his Luxembourg entry Catherine in French, Spanish, German and Italian. The song was written by no-one less than Paul Mauriat, featured in the very first Eurocovers post with lyrics by André Borgioli. Paul Mauriat recorded an instrumental of the song with his orchestra.

Monaco's Maman by Jean Jacques was recorded by the 12 year old singer in French, Spanish and German. It's a tale about a young boy wanting to be a soldier but then he sees it upsets his mum he decides never to take up arms. This simple receipe for world peace was covered a few times, but I have only found covers in Spanish (and some instrumentals). Here's one by Los Olivers from the LP Hits In España.

Third up was Spains home entry Vivo Cantando by Salomé - (4 X 40 Vivo Cantando )

Muriel Day´s The Wages Of Love (Ireland) was only recorded in English and I don´t know of any coverversions.

The entry for Italy Due Grosse Lacrime Bianchi by Iva Zanicchi was covered two times once in Spanish and one instrumental.
Surprising as most Italian entries of the era easily clock up 30, 50, or even 100 coverversions. Michael Holm wrote German lyrics for Iva Zanicchi´s own version, but even if it was recorded, it remains unreleased. Here´s the Spanish coverversion Solo Dos Lagrimas by Gelu.

After Italy two winners in a row: United Kingdom (4 X 40 - Boom Bang A Bang) and The Netherlands - (4 X 40 De Troubadour)

My personal favorite of 1969, Swedens Tommy Körbergs Judy Min Vän (Judy My Friend), was oddly translated as Dear Mr. Jones for his English version released on the European market. Great song and a great singer who shot to world fame with the recording of the musical Chess written by Tim Rice, Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson. In 1988 he tried again at Eurovision with Stad I Ljus and today he is a celebrated star in Sweden performing regularly with BAO (Benny Anderssons Orchester) (See their Youtube for the theme to Swedish Farmer Seeks Wife)
Tommy Körberg defeated two pre-ABBA efforts on his way to Madrid. Hej Clown by Jan Malmsjö (Written by ABBA's Benny Andersson) ended 2nd and Anni-Frid Lyngstadts (ABBA's Frida) solo song Härlig Är Vår Jord ended 4th.
I only know of only two coverversions of Judy Min Vän, one in Norwegian by Per Müller (Judy Min Venn, still looking for that one) and one in Finnish by Johnny Liebkind: Judy-Ystäväni (Scandia EP)

Louis Neefs (1937-1980) second entry for Belgium Jennifer Jennings is another fine pop tune. Neefs recorded it in Dutch (Flemish), French, German, English, Italian and Spanish.
I know of seven coverversions of which 5 are more or less instrumental.
A cool one is by the 50 Foot Combo, a ska-punk outfit who recorded the song for their 2003 CD Jennifer Jennings.

Bonjour, Bonjour by Paola (del Medico) is yet another great song from the 1969 contest. It was the song that ended 5th after the four winners. Paola's original version was in German but she also recorded the song in French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. Coverversions were recorded in English, Swedish, Dutch, Estonian and Czech (by Jamilá Vesela, details wanted). Paola represented Switserland and tried her luck again in 1980 with Cinema, which did slighly better and ended 4th.
-Once a long time ago an early edition of the Eurovision Collectors Guide booklet got a book review in Record Collector Magazine. Of course the piss was taken: "people getting their ears insulted once a year" and "translated into exotic languages like English" but the critic ended with referring to the fantasticness of the Norwegian 1969 entry Oj Oj Oj Så Glad Jeg Skal Bli by Kirsti Sparboe, which had been haunting him ever since. And it shifted some copies of the book anyway.
The 1969 song from Norway only got one point and ended last but the Norwegians were getting used to that. I think it's just as lovely and as catchy as Boom Bang A Bang. Kirsti recorded the song in Norwegian, Swedish, German and French.
A Dutch/Flemish version by Danyel Dirk was titled Oi, Oi, Oi, Mijn Hart Staat Op Springen (My heart is about to jump/explode).
Danyel Dirk had it all, good looks and a promising start to his career with a few popular singles. But it wasn't meant to be as just a few months after releasing his debut LP Danyel Dirk he died in a tragic single car accident at the age of 22. Oi Oi Oi can be found on that debut LP (Regal records) re-issued in 1975 on Columbia. It's also the b-side to Er Stond Een Regenboog. http://www.danyeldirk.net/

Swedish Siw Malmkvist already sang for Sweden in 1960 but with Primaballerina she represented Germany. Siw recorded Primaballerina in German, Swedish and Spanish.
It's one of the 18 Eurovision songs that was covered by Estonian legend Heli Lääts. More about Heli Lääts in this Eurocovers post and more Siw here and here

14th (out of 16) in line was the winner from France (4 X 40 Un Jour, Un Enfant)

Desfolhada Portuguesa, (a.k.a. Desfolhada) Simone de Oliveira's second Eurovision entry (after 1965's Sol De Inverno) for Portugal is probably the second most remembered Portuguese Eurovision evergreen (after 1974's E Depois Do Adeus, I should do a post about that one too some time).
It's in the same league as The Troubadour, folk-ish with a passion and it's still a fan favorite too. So why Lenny Kuhr won and Simone only ended 15th is a mystery to me.
The song has been covered several times in Portuguese and is still a popular song at Simone's live performances. She recorded the song in French, Spanish and of course Portuguese.

Patricia Cruz
A new version of Desfolhada Portuguesa can be found on the CD Recordação by Patrícia Cruz. The 2008 CD also includes coverversions of the Portuguese entries of 1985 (Penso em ti, eu sei) and 1991 (Lusitana Paixão). You can listen to all tracks at http://www.patricia-cruz.com/ Watch a live performance
The last country to perform in the 1969 contest was Finland. And odd duo, a weird hat and a revue song just different from anything else on offer. Kuin Silloin Ennen by Jarkko & Laura ended 12th, which with hindsight was a good result for Finland pre-Lordi.
Many Eurovision songs were covered in Finland, more than in any other country, but Finnish songs were mainly covered by Finnish artists. Kuin Silloin Ennen has a few covers in Finnish, one in related language Estonian and one in Spanish. (Las Llamas Crecen by Los Dos)

Austria opted out of the contest because of Franco's dictatorship, and Denmark was in year 2 of their 11 year Eurovision drought. Liechtenstein was also rumoured to have participated in 1969, but it was never officially confirmed, even though there is a EP by singer Vetty including Liechtensteins so called Eurovision entry Un Beau Matin. The song drops all the countries names and by todays standards it would probably be a parody .

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