Saturday, January 23, 2010

Denmark 1961: Angelique

Let's take a short trip back to 1961. The 6th Eurovision song contest was held in Cannes, France. A record breaking 16 countries were present and the contest was won by Luxembourg. They hired French singer Jean Claude Pascal to do the job and his Nous Les Amoureux was the first of five Luxembourg victories.
But it's another song I want to rant about a bit here, as several versions have been frequenting my playlists recently.

Angelique
Angelique, written by Aksel V. Rasmussen, was the Danish entry. Danish Italian Dario Campeotto performed it and ended 5th.
Campeotto recorded the song in Danish, Italian and French and 40 years later also in English.
Angelique is one of the Danish entries that became an evergreen at home but also inspired a few international stars to record the song.

The song was covered in at least 8 languages with an Estonian version by Kalmer Tennosaar probably being the most exotic.
1958 Eurovision winner André Claveau recorded the song in French for his EP Les Amoureux De Minuit (Pathé Marconi EG 557).
Dario Campeotto himself recorded coverversions of several Italian entries Volare (1958), Piove (1959), Romantica (1960), Al Di Là (1961) and Uno Per Tutte (1963).

Brasil
I know of two Portuguese versions recorded in Brasil which were both originally released on good old 78 RPM discs.
Brasil had 78RPMs until the mid sixties and a few more will be featured here at Eurocovers soon.

João Dias - Angélica
- on 78rpm Transformação (Odeon 14757)Carlos Gonzaga - Angélica
- on 78rpm (RCA 802501, 1962)
- LP O Cantor Hit Parade (RCA BBL 1208)




A Dutch, or rather Flemish version was recorded by Ray Franky (1917-2002). Ray Franky was a popular singer in Belgium sincejust after WWII and all through the 50's and 60's. He was the first Belgian artist ever who received a golden disc. His most popular song (from 100s) probably was Oh Heideroosje (Oh, Little Heather-rose).
Ray Franky also recorded 'n Beetje (Netherlands 1959) and Romantica (Italy 1960).


Finland
Of the 44 versions I have listed an impressive 19 are in Finnish (and only 6 in Danish).
I think the oldest of the Finnish ones is from a 7" inch single by Olavi Virta (Nor disk ND 16) but the Fins have been singing about Angelique in most decades since that version.
Other Finnish versions are by Matti Asla, Johnny Forsell, Kari Tapio and Raimo Sirkiä. See the list for more details.
Olavi Virta also recorded Finnish versions of Aprite Le Finestre, (Italy 56), Volare and T'En Va Pas (Switzerland 63)
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The last version here is by I Cinque Di Roma. I haven't been able to find much about them, but I did read they were regulars at Moçambique hotels. But they're probably from Rome. And there's five of them.
Their Angelique is a blend of English and Italian and was originally released on the LP I Cinque Di Roma (Parlophone). I just added it here because it's so utterly lovely.

I'm still looking for an English version by Colin Day (one of the Allisons, see this Eurocovers post) which was released as a b-side to his single Brasil (Parlophone R 4803).
There was a version written in the U.S. with lyrics by Dick Loring and Allen Hood for Ardmore Music*, but I don't know if any American singer ever recorded it. (do you?)

* Source Billboard magazine


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