Monday, February 19, 2018

Hüpiknukk: Heli Lääts 1932 - 2018

This week, on February 16, Estonian singer Heli Lääts passed away.

Avid Eurocovers readers may have noticed I'm a bit of a fan since I discovered her impressive list of Eurocovers.

Most of this article is from Januari 2007 from the Year Of The Puppet series (About coverversions of Sandie Shaws Puppet On A String).
 I changed a few things and moved it up as a little tribute to the legendary Estonian singer.
Heli Lääts was 85.

from the 2007 post: 
Hüpiknukk
Puppet On A String comes with a variety of titles in different languages. There's Sprellemann and Sprattelgumma, Paprikajancsi and Sätkynukke, and they will all be featured here in the Year Of The Puppet.

My favorite title for Puppet On A String is Hüpiknukk. Try saying it 10 times in a row, and fast.

Hüpiknukk is the Estonian version of Puppet On A String and this one is by Heli Lääts, one of the most popular Estonian singers from the 60's and 70's.

Heli Lääts has recorded many coverversions of international hits since the late 50's and most of her work has been released on cd in the past years. Another singer that would have graced the Eurovision stage very well if only…..

So it's not a surprise some Eurovision songs found their way to Heli Lääts' repertoire. So far I have located 19:
Sweden 1962 - Keväd ja paike (Sol och vår)
United Kingdom 1967 - Hüpiknukk (Puppet On A String)
France 1968 - Allikas (La Source) - update: Thanks Frank
Germany 1969 - Kaunid Balleriinid (Primaballerina) *
Monaco 1971 - Tänav, pink ja puu (Un banc, un arbre, une rue)
Netherlands 1975 - Ding-dinge dong (Ding a dong)*
France 1977 - Lind ja laps (L'oiseau et l'enfant) *

These sevens song can be found on 3CD Heli Lääts - Eesti Kullafond (Hitivabrik, rel 2004), still available from Apollo.ee
Kaunid Ballerinid and Tänav Pink Ja Puu can be also found on the 1979 LP Поет Хели Ляэтс (Poet Heli Lääts) on the USSR state owned Melodia label (Мелодия label). I nicked the picture from discogs.
Allikas was released on a mixed artists 4-track EP (also on the Melodia label)



In addition to the ones mentioned above there are a few that have been released digitally in recent years.
Netherlands 1969 - Trubaduur (De Troubadour)
Luxembourg 1972 - Pärast sind (Après Toi)
UK 1974 - Maailm on suur  (Long Live Love)
Luxembourg 1974 -Head Teed!  (Bye, Bye, I Love You)

And these have been recorded but I haven't found many details yet
France 1958 - Valss kaunil kevadpäeval [kevad on käes] (Dors Mon Amour) (excerpt here)
Netherlands 1967 - Mu ümber on kevad (Ring Dinge Ding)
Germany 1971 - See maailm (Diese Welt)
Ireland 1971 - Ühe päeva armastus (One Day Love)
Finland 1973 - Päikese Trummid (Tom Tom Tom)
Spain 1978 -Tule, tantsime koos (Bailemos Un Vals)
Germany 1980 - Teater (Theater)
Germany 1982 - Et oleks rahu (Ein Bisschen Frieden)



Tracks marked * can also be found on the CD Unustamatu Eurovisoon, a compilation CD from 2002. It features 22 Eurovision songs covered in Estonian, dug up from the vaults to celebrate the Contest being held in Tallinn. (Hitivabrik, 2002)
Kaunid Balleriinid was also released in a remixed version by DJX on a 12"inch vinyl and DJX CD Tähesadu DJX Episood 1. He mixed the song with Spillers Groovejet minus Sophie Ellis Bextor

Links and sources
ERR/ETV news
Heldur Karmo net - A website which lists all songs translated by Estonian lyricist Heldur Karmo
Unfortunately no Heli Lääts at Spotify, but you can find some Audio's at Youtube.

Sanremo 65 - Tutte Le Vincitrici

Sanremo is 68 by now, but I just noticed this 4CD album with coverversions of all 65 winners from 1951 up to 2015 of the Mother Of All Songcontests, the Festival Della Canzone Italiana di Sanremo.

The first Sanremo festival was in 1951 and Nilla Pizzi won with Grazie Dei Fior.
Sanremo quickly became a successful stage for Italian singers and songwriters.
The Eurovision Song Contest which premiered in 1956 was modelled on the Italian music spectacular.
The Sanremo festival became closely connected to Eurovision straight away: The winner of Sanremo went on to be the Italian Eurovision entry from 1956 to 1966.

In 1967 things changed. Sanremo winner Non Pensare A Me by Claudio Villa was disqualified because the new Eurovision regulations ruled the song had been released too early. It was replaced by Non Andare Piu' Lontano after the Eurovision rehearsals started.
After that the actual Sanremo winner only went to Eurovision on four occasions.
Sometimes the Sanremo winning artists would pick another song or someone who ended lower on the Sanremo table represent Italy in Europe. In the 70's and 80's the Eurovision choice was often Sanremo unrelated.


To celebrate the 65th anniversary of the Sanremo contest a 4CD was released by Azzurra Music in 2016. It includes all Sanremo winners recorded by new, young and upcoming artists. 15 of the 65 songs are Eurovision entries.
The 4CD is still available at Azzurra Music, but for you digital youngsters, it's also available through your favorite mp3 outlets, or if you're broke, Spotify.

These are the Eurovision songs on the Sanremo 65 Tutte Le Vincitrici 4CD:
(For the full tracklist see picture below)
Year     Title  - original artist - artist on the Sanremo 65 4CD


1956 Aprite le finestre - Franca Raimondi - Serena Carpi
1957 Corde della mia chitarra - Nunzio Gallo - Marco Tascone
1958 Nel blu dipinto di blu - Domenico Modugno - Swinger Twinger
1959 Piove (Ciao ciao bambina) - Domenico Modugno - Blues Coffee Trio ft Teresa
1960 Romantica - Renato Rascel - Animarma ft. Eniko
1961 Al di là - Betty Curtis - Carlotta ft. Olly Vincent
1962 Addio... addio - Claudio Villa - Michael Vaiasinni
1963 Uno per tutte - Emilio Pericoli - Kabaré Voltaire
1964 Non ho l'età (Per amarti) - Gigliola Cinquetti - Francesca Beccaria
1965 Se piangi se ridi - Bobby Solo - Mercoledi Notte
1966 Dio come ti amo - Domenico Modugno - Luca Bui
1972 I giorni dell'arcobaleno - Nicola Di Bari - Errequatro
1997 Fiumi di parole - Jalisse - Ibrevidiverbi
2013 L’essenziale - Marco Mengoni - Proclama
2015 Grande amore - Il Volo - S.Ma.C.K (Stefania, Carlotta, Karol)

Monday, February 12, 2018

Karin Bekker's Without You

Digital Release Image Sonder Jou.
Here's a lovely new release from South Africa. For her new album Sonder Jou (Without you) Karin Bekker recorded six songs from the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. Four songs are in Afrikaans, two in English.

Sonder Jou is available now through iTunes, Amazon, 7digital and Spotify to name a few digitessen.
A CD release is expected soon. (More details when I have them...)

Below is a list of the Eurocovers on Sonder Jou but the whole album is worth your while. The album also includes last summer's single Vriendskap (Friendship)

Karin Bekker's Eurocovers
Klaar met jou (Finished with you)
Nuwe Begin (New beginning)
Sparkle (in English)
Jy’s Die Een (You’re the one)
Genoeg (Enough)
Lionheart (in English)


Links and sources:
Thanks to Roy
Karin Bekker Website, Fan-Facebook

Some more:
If you can't get enough, Frikkie Van Biljon recorded the 2017 Slovenian entry.
On My Way by Omar Naber becomes Elke Tree (Every step). Out on iTunes, Spotify and what have you. Frikkie's Facebook
And one more for the road: Hanco recorded the Australian 2017 song (Don't come easy by Isaiah Firebrace) in Afrikaans. His version Dis Nie Maklik Nie (It's not easy) is also out on all important digital sources. Hanco's Facebook

Monday, February 05, 2018

Anno Domenico Revisited: Volare 60

The 2018 re-issue
This year on January 9, Domenico Modugno would have celebrated his 90th birthday.
And on Februari 1 his Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare) won the 1958 Sanremo contest.
Carosello Records and Edizioni Curci will launch a series of releases throughout 2018, to honor one of the greatest artists in the history of Italian music.

An exclusive vinyl single is released of Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Limited edition of 1958 copies).
It features the original 1958 version and an instrumental of the 1967 re-recording.
The single comes in a black inner sleeve and also includes the sheetmusic. Nice!
(Fonit/Carosello 8034125 848027)

A new compilation album (3CD) is out on Februari 9.
Two discs have the hits of Modugno including Nel Blu…, Piove (Ciao Ciao Bambina) and Dio Come Ti Amo.
A third disc features interpretations of Modugno hits by Italian artists like Il Volo (Piove), Gianna Nannini (Volare), Gianni Morandi, Ermal Meta, Massimo Ranieri, Ornella Vanoni, Milva, Mina, Enrico Ruggeri.

Some facts about Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)
The song was written by Domenico Modugno (music) and Franco Migliacci (lyrics). The most used English lyrics are written by Mitchell Parish.
The song was written in 1957 but was first launched at the eighth San Remo contest (Final Februari 1st) where it was performed twice. Once by Domenico Modugno and once by Johnny Dorelli.
Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu won the San Remo song contest and Modugno represented Italy in the third Eurovision Song Contest in 1958 in Hilversum, The Netherlands at the 12th of March.

Modugno was a relative newcomer back in 1958 and didn't have a stitch to wear. He had to borrow the blue tuxedo he performed in.

The new 3CD
The Eurovsision Song Contest was won by France's Dors Mon Amour by André Claveau and Modugno ended third with 13 points. 2 times 4 from Belgium and Germany and five times 1 point. And zero poing from Denmark and Luxemburg.

But Modugno laughed all the way to the bank, as his song , soon known as Volare (after the refrain) became one of the top 100 best selling singles of 20st century, a US #1 hit, A double grammy winner and one of the most covered songs with several lives in most decades since the original recording.
Volare won the first ever Grammy for a song in 1958. 

Domenico Modugno went on to participate in Eurovision two more times. In 1959 with Piove (Ciao Ciao Bambina) and in 1966 with Dio Come Ti Amo.
Modugno also wrote the 1962 entry Addio Addio which was performed by Claudio Villa.
Domenico Modugno passed away in 1994 at the age of 66.

In 2008, when Volare was 50, Eurocovers ran a series of articles of the many coverversions of Volare. If you use this link you can find all Anno Domenico related posts.
Back of the 60th anniversary sleeve