Friday, May 01, 2009

Чингисхан - The Moscow Weeks - Dschinghis Khan

The Moscow Weeks have finally arrived. The delegations (and Teach In!, more about that later) are arriving in Moscow and the first rehearsals for Eurovision are this weekend. I've been digging for some Russia Related Eurocovers to relieve the unbearable tension and I'll present them here in the coming weeks.

Link-o-rama in Eurovision 2009: Ralph Siegel, German composer has his 19th song in the competition this year. Just Get Out Of My Life by Andrea Demirovic (singing for Montenegro) is written by Siegel with lyricist Bern Meinunger (for whom it is his 12th Eurovision song).

Bye Bye I Love You
Siegels first Eurovision effort was Bye Bye I Love You by Ireen Sheer which ended 4th in 1974 for Luxembourg. Most of his songs were for Germany including the country's only winner and international #1 hit Ein Bisschen Frieden (Nicole 1982) and a few of the biggest German Eurovision hits like Johnny Blue (Lena Valaitis, 1981) and Lass Die Sonne In Dein Herz (Wind, 1987).
Russian lyrics were written for Ein Bisschen Frieden but I don't know if Nicole ever recorded that in the studio. However she did perform the Russian version Nemnogo Mir on a TV show (Der Goldene Einz 1992)

Huh, Hah, Dschinghis Khan
The first one Siegel and Meinunger wrote together was the biggest hit of them all. Dschinghis Khan by Dschinghis Khan (2nd in 1979) was a #1 hit and stayed on the German charts for 29 weeks.
Dschinghis Khan, the band, went on to have a succesful string of hits and hitalbums serenading a colourful collection of historic mostly dead villians and often fictional heroes (and gnomes). Mata Hari, James Bond, Billy The Kid, Rocky Marciano, Tut Ench Amun, Pablo Picasso, Ivanhoe and on….. They were also very fond of their geography with titles like Himalaya, Israel Israel, Madagaskar, Rome, Sahara, Machu Picchu, Goodbye Hawaii and their 2nd biggest hit Moskau. And all this in a 5 year - 5 album span. Tacky? sure, Corny? of course, Fabulous? Yes!!. Do yourself a favour and buy a greatest hits CD.

The circle is round if you check out the remixes of this years Montenegro entry (all versions here at Limark, official). The Moscow remix is spiced up with samples from the old Dschinghis Khan hit about this years Eurovision host city Moscow, Moskau, Москва.

Dschinghis Khan, the song, is currently #19 in the top 20 most covered Eurovision songs with 121 versions listed. Given the subject of the song (check yer wiki) it's no surprise that many of the coverversions are from Asia with versions in Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean and Thai. In 2008 a version by Berryz Koubou (see this post) was a hit in Japan)

Владимир Девятов и Амархуу Борхуу
But it's the Moscow Weeks, so here is a Russian version of Dschinghis Khan. It's by
Vladimir Devyatov & Amarhuu Borhuu. I don't know much about them, but I know they toured performed together in a musictheatre show. Amarhuu Borhuu is from Mongolian descent and has spent some time in Premier Ministr, the band that represented Russia in Eurovision in 2002 with Northern Girl. But Borhuu wasn't in the band at that time.
I don't know if the song was ever released on a CD but it can be found on several Russian mp3 discs like the one pictured.

We Can't Live Without Music
Another Siegel/Meinunger entry that was covered in Russian is I Can't Live Without Music from 2002, originally by Corinna May who ended 21st for Germany.
It was recorded by Anastas!a Stotskaya (Анастасия Стоцкая) who participated in the 2005 Russian preselection with Shadows (Dance All Around Me). The song is titled Музыка и я (Music & Me) and was released on the album Anastas!a Stotskaya from 2003 (limited edition only)

On a personal note: Ralph Siegel and Bernd Meinunger's body of work has made them the absolute top of the who is who of Eurovision. They deserve unconditional respect for all the good stuff. Don't let the cheesy mishaps like Switzerland 2006, Germany 1992 or Luxembourg 1985 stand in the way of the absolute pop-brilliance of Dschinghis Khan, Johnny Blue, Theater, Le Papa Pingouin, Wir Geben 'ne Party and Just Get Out Of My Life.
Extra cudos go to Ralph Siegel for founding Jupiter in 1974, a record label that brought us many Eurovision releases over the past decades often including the not so obvious hits.

More Dschinghis Khan at Eurocovers.
Buy Dschinghis Khan CDs and collectables at BeaRecords
Dschinghis Khan Official site  and fansite

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