Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Oscar Peterson 1925 - 2007

To commemorate Jazz Legend pianist Oscar Peterson who died last week, listen to his interpretation of Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare), The Italian Eurovision classic from 1958.
The recording is by the Oscar Peterson Trio: Oscar Peterson (piano), Ray Brown (bass) and Ed Thigpen* (drums) and is from december 1962. ------------
Oscar Peterson even performed at the Eurovision stage: In 1978 (Paris, France) he was a guest performer in the interval together with Stéphane Grapelli, Yehudi Menuhin, Kenny Clarke and Nils Pedersen.
* Ed Thigpen not pictured above.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Kids Are Alright, Part 3: The Angels

So, Congratulations to Alexey Zhigalkovich and to Belarus who won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest last night in Rotterdam. The voting was exiting like in olden days, although the field and the 12's were very leaning very much to the East. Just one piece of analisys from me: Don't bother sending slightly older kids, even with good songs (Sweden, Serbia), it's always a tiny one that wins.

That was the last word about the JESC at Eurocovers for now, If you want to find out more I recommend ESCKaz. But here's the third part of The Kids Are Alright, that sort of ties in nicely with the Next Big Event: Christmas.

The Kids Are Alright - Part 3 - The Angels
Hark! The lists of Eurocovers is riddled with childrens (mostly boys) choirs from France all named Les Petits Chanteurs De Something, Something.

France 1960 - Tom PillibiLes Petits Chanteurs A La Croix Du Boix from Paris (pictured above) do a mean Tom Pillibi (France's 1960 winner by Jacqueline Boyer). This boys choir celebrated it's 100th anniversary with a star studded (Nadiya, Mireille Mathieu, Lara Fabian, Charles Aznavour etc….) christmas show last December. And at the 14th of july they sang at the military parade, le defilé militaire, at the Champs Elysees.
The Petits Chanteurs have recorded many singles and albums since the 50's, mostly religious music, and they still tour the world. A bit more about their 100 year history is here (in French).
Israel 1979 - HallelujahLes Petits Chanteurs D'Aix En Provence is a boys choir with 45 years of history. On a 4CD collection Les Plus Grands Airs De Chorale (pic) they perform the Eurovision winners of 1977 and 1979. (although some of them don't seem so petit on the picture sleeve).
Hallelujah is the Israel entry of 1979, which was originally performed by Milk & Honey and won the contest on home ground.

At composer J.P. Cara's site you can find some kids choir versions of the 1977 winner L'Oiseau et l'enfant (France) by Les Petits Chanteurs D'Aix En Provence and by Les Fans and of Le Papa Pinguoin (Luxemburg 1988, Sophie et Magaly) by Le Top des Tout P'Tits.

1973 Eres TuThe Little Angels Of Korea are an all singing and dancing troupe from the Little Angels Performing Arts Centre in Seoul.
And their version of Mocedades' Eres Tu (Spain 1973) is truly angelic and should be featured on any Christmas mixtape.

Related Eurocovers PostsMocedades' Eres Tu in the top 10 most covered Eurovision songs
Hallelujah - almost in the top 10 most covered Eurovision Songs

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Kids Are Alright, Part 2: The Boys

This Saturday (december 8) the 5th Junior Eurovision Song Contest takes place in Rotterdam.
You can read more about the history of kids in Eurovision in the introduction to this 3 part article (Part 1 has the Girls). Here's part 2, with some boys who haven't been close to a razor yet, but sing their lungs out in their Eurocovers.

The Kids Are Alright -
Part 2. - The Boys

1960 Romantica
Robertino Loretti was discovered by Grethe Sønck.* (wife of Danish producer Volmer Sørensen) when the boy was singing in an Italian café. The discovery resulted in performances on Danish TV and Robertino recording his first LP in Copenhagen. European and Asian fame followed soon afterwards and in the early 60's Robertino scored hits with O Sole Mio, Ave Maria, Santa Lucia and most notably Mama. It was only after these hits that Robertino got an Italian record deal. In 1964 he scored his first hit in Italy with SanRemo song Un bacio piccolissimo, one of the best selling records of the year. A few hits followed but after Era La Donna Mia (1967) it slowed down. But Robertino kept on touring the world and he's still a welcome performer in Eastern European countries.
He recorded Eurovision entry (and evergreen) Romantica (Italy 1960, originally by Renato Rascel) when he was 14 years old. Robertino also recorded Uno per Tutte, Italy's 1963 entry.

* Grethe Sønck, we all know and love her from her version of Puppet On A String, to be found in this Eurocovers post.

1984 Ik Hou Van JouThe Dutch classic entry from 1984, originally by Maribelle, lost big time at the contest despite the orchestra's applause for the singer.
The Dutch evergreen has since been covered by Cilla Black, Engelbert Humperdinck, José Carreras, Bold & Beautiful actor John McCook and every second singer from South Africa. Here's a wonderful junior version by Demis from his CD Het Leukste Moment (The best moment, Discosound 1995). Demis' (actually named after Mr. Roussos) biggest hit was Ga Dan (Just go, Youtube) from his second album Met Jou (With you, 1996) and it seems his singing career ended when his voice dropped.
The music he makes today as DJ Demis H. is mostly instrumental and he's co-founder of Dynamik Traxx.

1991 Draumur Um Ninu (a.k.a. Nina)A huge ballad for Iceland in 1991 by Stefan & Eyfi here by Hákon Guðni Hjartarson. He performed in a kids show Stóra Stundin Ykkar (2006) with this song. The CD Stóra Stundin Ykkar (Sena records) also includes karaoke versions and is probably still available in Iceland. Hákon is the one top left on the pic.

Junior Eurovision Song Contest official website

Junior Eurovision related CDs are available at BeaRecords. OUT NOW: The 2 CD with all entries for the Rotterdam contest + all karaoke versions.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Mamma Mia, It's Udo!

Yesterday the musical "Ich War Noch Niemals In New York" opened at the Operettenhaus at the Reeperbahn in Hamburg.
The show, with already 150.000 tickets sold in advance, is based on the songs of one time Eurovision Winner and 100 million record seller Udo Jürgens.

It seems the crowd, including celebrity red carpet huggers (Peter Kraus!, Wenche Myhre !!) loved the show, the critics are mixed. The musical is a thin story about an ambitious TV show host Lisa (Kerstin Marie Mäkelburg) who neglects her mother Maria (Ingeborg Krabbe) who's life in an old folks home bores her to tears and she flees to New York with her old-folk home amant Otto (Horst Schultheis).
Lisa, with Otto's son Axel (Jerry Marwig) needs to get the parents back to the home in a week otherwise their residences will be cancelled. Neither of them want to take care of their parent at home so they'll try everything possible to get the runaways back home in time.
Lisa is nominated for a TV award she desperately wants and at crunch time it's either the award, or getting Mutti back in time.
But it's not only the story that makes this musical interesting but it's the music. The musical is created using 23 songs by Eurovision legend Udo Jürgens. (He wrote over 900!) All his big hits feature in the show including 1966 Eurovision winner Merci Cherie, Aber bitte mit Sahne, Mit 66 Jahren, Griechischer Wein, Siebzehn Jahn - Blondes Haar, Buonas Dias Argentina and much more.

Udo Jürgens was involved in the casting for the show himself. The direction is by Christian Struppek & Glenn Casale and the production is by Maik Klokow. It's the first German only production for Dutch music theatre company Stage Entertainment.
The IwnniNY cast CD will be released in februari 2008 by Ariola/Sony.

Watch a trailer video here. More information is here (in German) and more about the cast is here.
Udo Jürgens participated for Austria in the Eurovision Songcontest in 1964, 1965 and 1966. He won in 1966 (Merci Cherie) but the 1964 entry Warum Nur Warum became an evergreen and a worldwide hit as Walk Away for Matt Monro. Find out about Walk Away covers in this Eurocovers post.
Udo Jürgens official homepage
Some reviews of the show (all in German) (Süddeutschen Zeitung)
Welt Online (Die Welt)
and an amateur Youtube excerpt

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Kids Are Alright !!

Junior Eurovision, the JESC, who needs it?
The Kids do!
The Eurovision spin-off for the under 16s has proven to be a popular tv show for the youngsters aspiring to be the next singer/songwriter (they're supposed to write the songs themselves).
Fun for all the family to be had and the 5th edition taking place in Rotterdam, Netherlands next Saturday (8th December) is no exception.

Junior Eurovision is for the kids, so it's not really Eurocovers material, although there was this one time winner for Spain (2004) with the superbly titled Antes Muerta Que Sencilla (Rather dead than common) by Maria Isabel that wouldn't have been out of place in the adult competition and even got covered by some adults in Mexico (see comments) (Horoscopes de Durango, pictured), in the Dominican Republic (merengue by Juliana) and in Spain by Las Supremas De Mostoles.
You can also find the Youtube of the original version by Maria Isabel.

Eurovision history has been littered with pre-pubescents. Gigliola Cinquetti was too young to love in 1964, 1986 winner Sandra Kim (J'aime la vie) lied about her age to get in the competition and 1989 saw two toddlers on the stage. Israels barely potty trained Gili Natanel singing along with Galit (Derech Ha Melech) and Nathalie Pacque (J'ai Volé La Vie) for France, who was like 4 months or something. (She just got a baby, congratulations Nat!)

To get to the point, here are some youngsters doing cover versions of your favorite grown up Eurovision songs. They will melt every mommy's heart and make you want to make / adopt some of the critters yourself. And there's three parts!

The Kids Are Alright - Part 1. - The Girls
1961 Estando Contigo
Spains debut entry was performed by the ever fabulosa Conchita Bautista but it was the version by Marisol (a.k.a. Pepa Flores) that made the song really famous in Spain. She sang it in the hitmovie Ha Llegando Un Angel (An angel has appeared) and you can watch a clip of it at Youtube (Check out the guys in the backing!)

1965 Poupée De Cire,
----------------Poupée De Son
Considering the fact that the original song allegedly is about an activity unmentionable at this decent family blog, it's a bit unsettling to hear a 6 year old infant sing it. She must have been lured by all the little dollies.
Tatiana (Tatiana Eva Marie) recorded the song in 1992 on her first album Tatiana Chante when she was 6, and has since made name as a comedian, model and singer. Her latest (rather beautiful) CDs with Compagnie Zorongo: Narandilé and Rhapsodia are influeced by her Romanian, Greek, Dutch, French, Swiss, Turkish and Gipsy heritage and you can hear some of her music at her MySpace and website.
Tatiana Chante includes covers of songs by celebrated French songwriters like Gainsbourg, Michel Polnareff, Françoise Hardy and Guy Beart.
The CD also includes a song Ah! Quelle Histoire which could be Cliff Richards Congratulations or not. (Anyone knows?)

2006 Girls and Horses
In 2006 Germany sent Texas Lighting with their perfect slice of country pop No No Never, which failed to get Europe televoting (even though it's really really quite good).

Teresa Strobl loves horses, she even caught horsefever, as she is singing in her version of No No Never, Pferdefieber. It's from the Kiddy Contest 2006 CD, from an Austrian TV competition in which kids sing hits in their own style, and with kid-proof lyrics. Previous Kiddy Contests (& CDs) have featured a few Eurovision covers:
- Kiddy kids - Jungs (Love Shine A Light, UK 97, from CD Kiddy contest 3, 1997).
- Nicki Freiberger - Mein superstar (Zusammen Geh'n, Austria 92, from CD Kiddy Contest 9, 2003)
- Teresa Strobl - Pferdefieber (No No Never, Germany 06, on CD Kiddy Contest 12, 2006)
The 2007 edition CD did not produce any Eurocovers.

Another hippic version of No No Never, Mein Kleines Süsses Fohlen (My sweet little foal) was recorded by the Lollipops, two girls who have released a zillion records but remain in their mid teens. The Lollipops CD with the song is Reiterferien sind der Hit, but they also have a new CD out Zusammen sind wir doppelt stark on which they cover the German 2007 entry Frauen regier'n die Welt (Roger Cicero) as Kids Regiern Die Welt (Kids rule the world).

Junior Eurovision Song Contest official website
Junior Eurovision related CDs are available at BeaRecords. OUT NOW: The 2 CD with all entries for the Rotterdam contest + all karaoke versions.

Related Eurocovers Posts:
Gigliola Cinquetti - Non Ho L'eta in the top 10 most covered Eurovision songs.
France Galls Poupée De Cire in the top 10 most covered Eurovision songs.
Boom Bang A Bang (UK 1969) - By Pippi Lookalike Anne Mette

Saturday, November 24, 2007

80's Eurocovers - A Wave Of Portuguese New Wave.

Don't You Want Me or Love Will Tear Us Apart, that was the choice you had to make in The 80's, remember them? Dead Cool or Cool Dead.
Big Floppy Hair, Outrageous Blousons, Electronic Dans Music, Neue Deutsche Welle and more floppy hair.

Here are two Portuguese new wave tracks that are gloriously 80's. But in fact they're covers of 60's Portuguese Eurovision songs.

Mler Ife Dada were a extravagant band from Cascais, Portugal, heart of Portuguese new wave. They enjoyed their 15 minutes of 80's fame especially after the charismatic Anabela Duarte joined the band. Mler Ifa Dada made two, now of course very important, albums and a few singles.
For the b-side of their first single with Anabela Duarte, L'amour Va Bien, Merci (Ama Romanta records AMRO002, 1986) they recorded a version of Ele E Ela, Portugals 1966 entry by Madalena Iglésias. They re-titled it Ele E Ela….E Eu (Him and her… and me). It's a perfect European new wave gem clocking in under 1:50.
Mler Ife Dada recorded two albums which both have been re-issued on CD and there's also a compilation from 2003 but none of these releases has Ele E Ela….E Eu.

- Coisas Que Fascinam (LP, Polygram, 1987)
- Espírito Invisível (LP, Polygram, 1989)
- Pequena Fábula (Compilation Universal, 2003)
Anabela Duarte still tours and released a CD Machine Lyrique in 2006. Duartes 1987 solo LP Lisbunah, on which she re-invents Fado for a new generation, is another recommended album.

The second new wave cover is by Os Delfins, also from Cascais. Their version of the 1967 song O Vento Mudou (Portuguese entry by Angolan born Eduardo Nascimento) is what a Eurovision entry by Joy Division could have sounded like, ok....., let's say early Simple Minds.
Os Delfins, like th' Minds, soon abandoned new wave for rock-pop, but this early single remains a Portuguese new wave landmark. They're still recording and released the CD Delfins earlier this year. You can check them out at their MySpace.
-Os Delfins´version of O Vento Mudou was released as a 7" single and 12" inch maxi in 1984 on the Fundação Atlântica label (FA 2002697/6), which was regarded as the Portuguese equivalent of Factory Records.

Carlos Paião Cover Play BackPortuguese outfit My Tie have recorded a new version (in 2004) of the Portuguese 1981 entry Play Back by Carlos Paião. The coverversion is in English and was only released as a bonus track on promo cdsingle The Entrance. But it can also be heard at My Tie´s MySpace. And there´s some more good stuff too.

1966 - Ele E Ela (He and she or Him and her)
Original singer Madalena Iglesias came 13th in the contest in 1966 and recorded the song in Portuguese and Spanish (EP pictured above).
Madalena Iglesias recorded many Eurocovers herself. One EP Eurovisão 1965 (Alvorada AEP 6030, tracks wanted!!) features coverversions in Portuguese of the 1965 entries of Austria, France, U.K. and Luxembourg. She also recorded the 1966 winner Merci Cherie (in Spanish), Italian evergreen Romantica (1960) and Simone de Oliveira´s Portuguese entries of 1965 and 1969.
1967 - O Vento Mudou (The wind changed)
Original singer Eduardo Nascimento came 12th in the contest of 1967 and recorded the song in Portuguese and English.
1981 - Play Back
Original singer Carlos Paião (1957 - 1988) ended 18th in the contest and recorded the song in Portugese and English. (Eurovision Collectors Guide)

More Portuguese Versions In Other Eurocovers Posts:
Leny Eversong (Brasil), Florbela Quieros (Portugal), Puppet On A String , coverversions from Brasil, Jose Cid (Portugal), Portugal preselections artists Duo Ouro Negro (Singing in Italian)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Eurobandið in the Laugardagslögin 2008

Laugardagslögin being the name for the lenghty selection procedure to select Icelands next Eurovision entry (Belgrade 2008).

They have been featured here before (last August), the Eurobandið, and now they will feature in the 8th preselection round in Iceland.
The Icelanding multi week selection has started early, and they're already in the 8th 3-song preselection round, coming Saturday (21.15 CET)

Eurobandiðs song Fullkomið líf is written by Örlygur Smári (Oggi) who also wrote the 2000 Icelandic entry Tell me (Youtube) and the utterly brilliant Segðu mér from the selection that same year.
It promises to be an interesting round though, as the Eurobandið has to take it up against the Hara Sisters, an Icelandic X-factor act describing themselves as Pussy Punk.
The show can be seen on the net, but it's only three songs in a tedious long show.
Better watch the re-run here (the day after) and skip the bla bla bla. And fingers crossed that Eurobandið will do better than Dr. Gunni who's song Ísinn (sung by Heiða) was kicked out of the competition. features the songs that have been in the competition so far
Eurobandið MySpace features their Icelandic cover of Making Your Mind Up.

Eurobandið made it! Congratulations! Their song Fullkomið Líf (Perfect life) will now be in the Icelandic national final on February 16th 2008. You can hear the song (and all the others that have been in the selection) here.

There will be many Eurocovers stars in the 2008 Eurovision selection season, even some I can't disclose yet, and they will all be featured here at Eurocovers with their coverversion(s) of Eurovision songs.

Older Eurocovers posts featuring Icelandic artists:
The original Eurobandið article, Elly Vilhjálms, Helena Eyjólfsdóttir, Friðrik Ómar, Hera Björk & Bríet Sunna Valdemarsdóttir, Gunnar Olason,

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Tejano Time - 1977 - Enseñame A Cantar

Enseñame A Cantar (Teach me to sing) is probably one of the cheeriest songs ever to enter Eurovision. The Eurovision performance (Youtube) is legendary for the background singers who seem to live the happiest moment of their life (or they are on something). Even though they only ended 9th in the 1977 contest
The song performed by Micky and written by Fernando Arbex still is a popular singalong and has been covered many times (63 versions currently listed).
Fernando Arbex also wrote Micky's European hit Bye Bye Fraulein and Middle Of The Roads Soley Soley.
Enseñame A Cantar has traveled well and has recently ended up in Texas where some great coverversions have been recorded. Two of them are here.

First up there's the handsome lot The Tejano Boys, who released their Texmex version of the song on their album No Me Se Rajar (CE distribution, 2004). It's all about the squeeze (© TexMex FM radio) and the TexMex trademark accordion, played by Oscar Anzaldua is featured prominently on the track.
The Tejano Boys from Brownsville, Texas are specialists in the Tejano genre. Their energetic live shows and relentless touring won them a devoted following throughout Mexico and the United States. The Boys have their MySpace here.

The second Tejano version of the song featured here is by Ruben Vela, from his 2007 CD Los Melones (Crown records). Ruben Vela from San Antonio is a legend amongst Tejano accordion players and has been recording for over 50 years.
"Throughout the years, Ruben Vela's music has touched the hearts and souls of Tejano fans around the world. In 1983 he was honored for these outstanding contributions to the world of Conjunto music and inducted into the Conjunto Hall of Fame at the world famous Conjunto Festival in San Antonio." (From the Crown Records Ruben Vela Bio)

Break out the Mezcal, grab some enchiladas. Great songs to cheer up any day!!

Both artists' albums and loads of other great Tejano CDs are available from CE Musica (USA only) and the likes of Amazon, Cduniverse and e-bay.

Tejano (Spanish for "Texan") or Tex-Mex music is the name given to various forms of folk and popular music originating among the Hispanic-descended Tejanos of Central and South Texas (says Wiki)
Related Eurocovers PostMexico's finest cowboys Los Reyes Del Camino cover the 1971 Italian entry L'Amore E Un Attimo (Perdo Cariño Mio) in this post.

Blog Tip:One of the first ever Eurocover singles I ever bought, Que Bueno Que Bueno by Los Sirex can be found at El Rincon Del 45. A great beat version of the Spanish 1965 entry originally by Conchita Bautista. The A-Side track is a version of Petula's DownTown
They also feature the above mentioned L'Amore E Un Attimo by the original singer Massimo Ranieri, with his own Spanish version.
And a happy 1st Birthday to El Rincon !!!!
... and don't forget to enter the Tobi Jooste CD competition here.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Grethe Kausland 1947 - 2007

Another sad goodbye to a Eurovision singer. Grethe Kausland who sang Småting (Little things) with Benny Borg for Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest of 1972 died today.
Grethe Kausland died after a struggle with cancer at only 60 years of age.

Grethe Nilsen or Lille Grethe as she was known as a child star, had her first 100.000 seller Teddyen Min when she was 8 years old. It made her the best selling recording artist in Norway at the time. At 10 she made her filmdebut and 12 she already had 12 records to her name. When the 60's came she changed her tune from childrens music to more jazzy material and scored several hits in the early 60s like Souvenirs & Det finns millioner.
In the 1973 she joined Dizzie Tunes, a popular TV showband with which she performed until 2001. With Dizzie Tunes she scored 70's hits like Mere ra-ta-ta-ta and Toppop. One of her most successful stage acts was her inpersonation of Sammy Davis Jr.
In 1978 she released the well received and awarded disco LP A Taste Of Grethe Kausland and in 1979 the less acclaimed collection of re-recorded Lille Grethe songs Grethe synger lille Grethe, all in good old 70's disco style.
As an actress she starred in many TV shows and movies from 1957 up to 2005. She also did Norwegian voices / dubs in international films and animations including E.T..
In 1991 she received the Leonardprisen for her achievements in theatre and revue.
Grethe Kausland was diagnosed with cancer in 2006 but took to the revue stage again at the end of that year. In 2007 the cancer took over again and Grethe Kausland died November 16, 2007.

Listen to Grethe's Norwegian version of the German entry Nur die Liebe lässt uns leben (Mary Roos) which she recorded in Norwegian (VA LP Norske Favoritter 1972) and in Swedish (VA LP Svensktoppar 13 or 14(?)). She also recorded the Dutch 1972 entry Als Het Om De Liefde Gaat in duet with with Odd Borre (also on Norske Favoritter LP and Svensktoppar 15).

Sources: You can find a biography / discography (In Norwegian) here.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Eurocovers 1st Birthday !!!

Today Eurocovers celebrates its first birthday. A year ago it all started with a little tribute to Paul Mauriat without really knowing where things would go from there.

It's been a year of fun, finding out about all kinds of singers who are (or were) stars in their own country, had an interesting story or just recorded an awesome version of a Eurovision song.
All this research often creates more questions and wantslists, and I want to say thanks to everyone who has replied to my requests and sent me cool stuff. A lot of it will pop up here sooner or later. Please keep it coming….
'Meeting', other bloggers, receiving some great tracks and even getting weird e-mails all has been great fun and I hope to continue for another year.

My favorite parts have been The Year Of The Puppet, with all kinds of versions of Sandie Shaws Eurovision winner Puppet On A String and the top 10 most covered Eurovision songs.
I thoroughly enjoyed finding out about fabulous singers like Leny Eversong (as one Eurocovers reader put it: How can anybody not love Leny Eversong?), Ken Boothe, Helena Vondráčková, Hồ Quỳnh Hương and Argentina Tango King Carlos Di Sarli.

Next year, Anno Domenico ©, Eurocovers will celebrate 50 years of Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu) and there will be an updated look at the most covered songs, expanding to the top 20. There will be lists, links, music, pictures, blog tips, competitions, new releases and what have you.

Now I'm blowing out the first candle and give you all another slice of the Eurocovers cake.

The first post featured L'Amour Est Bleu, so it's just fitting there's another one here.
This version is by Maria Magdalena, and when you hear the sound of the record it could well be recorded 2000 years ago. The song is titled something like Ipangamo Uy Unoy Co. The exitement being that the song is sung in Ilokano, the 3rd language of the Philippines.
No need to say that it's the first ever Ilokano Eurocover listed.
The song is likely from a single which also features another song, Maudi A Bilin, which is an Ilokano classic..
HELP WANTED: If anyone can shed some light on the singer, single or even share a picture that would make me very happy. (Thanks Maian for the song)

One of my all time favorite songs is Dio Come Ti Amo, the 1966 Italian entry by Domenico Modugno. In the top 10 most covered Eurovision songs (it's at #9) I requested the version by Duo Ouro Negro from Angola and five! of you sent me the song. Thanks to all, it's a lovely as I hoped it would be, judge for yourself below.

# 10 of the most covered Eurovision songs is Poupée De Cire, Poupée De Son, the best pop song written in the 60's. It's also one of the most visited Eurocovers subjects. Les Sans Culottes demonstrate how it would sound if it was recorded by Blondie. From their great CD Fixation Orale from 2004.

Last up there's two Puppets. Suzy Darlén (pic left) as asked for in the Puppet In Brasil post (from EP Oh Johnny, Brasil Odeon 7 BD 1134) (Thanks Jorge!) and a crazy mix of styles in Sounds Orchestral (CD Sounds Chart Bound, 1998 Sequel records) (Thanks Jim!)
I'm still looking for versions of Puppet On A String in Greek, Japanese, Hebrew, Thai, Vietnamese etc. and from now on, Ilokano.

And don't forget to check out some of my friends blogs and favorite sites, the links are on the right side of this page.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Boom Boom - It's a good day for politics

Eurovision has been linked with politics from the first edition to the present day. I'm not even talking political voting but there are some historic examples of songs tying in with political events in history. The role of the 1974 Portuguese entry in the Carnation revolution is the classic example, but there's more. Enough material for many future Eurocovers posts.

Today it's a small slice of politics from Denmark. (Thanks Mikael!!) For the forthcoming elections on november 13 the former leader of the Social Democrats and former prime minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen has recorded the social democrats election song - using the melody of Denmark's 1978 Eurovision song Boom Boom. (Originally by Mabel, ending 16th)
The song is titled Det blir en god dag (It will be a good day) and Rasmussen recorded it with Mogens Jensen MP, Eurovision fan and Rasmussen imitator. (on the right on below picture).
The lyrics of the election song run along the lines of "It will be a good day when Fogh (present Liberal prime minister) resigns".

Boom Boom by 'boyband' Mabel was the return entry for Denmark after 11 years of absence. Interesting detail is that back in 1967 DR's decision to withdraw from the contest was under a social democratic management.
Entertainment was branded too right, light and frivolous and DR TV was only supposed to broadcast serious television. At some stage it took the shape of a iconoclasm and many archives of light entertainment were destroyed in the process. Including footage of the 1964 Eurovision song contest.
What made Denmark decide to return in 1978 I don't know, but Mabels Boom Boom remains a well known song in Denmark, and now the social democrats have adopted / adapted it for their 2007 campaign.

You can hear the song here and/or download it here. Youtube has several videos of the original version like this one from the preslection (DMGP), screaming girls included.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ooh, Aah, Eastfield - Gatecrashing Eurovision

In the mid 90's the United Kingdom was really on a roll with 4 brilliant and succesful entries in a row from 1995 to 1998.
Ooh, Aah, just a little bit by Gina G was a worldwide hit even though it only ended 8th (due to Gina G catching a cold in that skimpy dress of hers).
Ooh, Aah is the biggest US hit for a UK entry and a top 10 hit in Australia, Gina G.'s homecountry.
Seemingly silly with the Ooh's and Aah's, it's a genius slice of Pop every charthit writer wished they had written.
And of course there was ridicule like The Wurzels Oo-Arr, A Dutch Telekids version, A Smurfs version and a completely undeserved Jive Bunny make-over.
But here's a great example of a fitting tribute just the way we need them!

Eastfield released their version on a split 7" inch single in 2004 (Baszdmeg 26008) and a year later two versions on a cds/EP Gatecrashing Eurovision. (Baszdmeg 26009)
They call it Urban Rail Punk, I call it fab! 10/10 for the song and 26/10 for the sleeve! ---------- 
The 7"single is still available at Eastfields website in red, green or black vinyl (click orders) but the cdsingle is sold out.
And if you prefer some Ukelele Ooh's and Aah's here's a Youtube for you.-
Some Eurovers Stuff From All Kinds Of Blogs:
You can find a video of an Esperanto coverversion of Sanomi (Vi Kaj Mi) (Belgium 2003, runner up by Urban trad) at Francis Soghomonian's video page.
Yayo Salva Musical is worth browsing for some great old EP's including interesting San Remo releases.
New blog Musical Interval has a nice 60's Paul Mauriat LP featured including two Eurocovers.
Boppeslag features The 50 Foot Combo who cover the 1969 Belgian entry Jennifer Jennings (Louis Neefs)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Greek born Eurovision singer Jimmy Makulis has died.
He was the first Greek singer on the Eurovision stage when in 1961 he entered for Austria in 1961 with the song Sehnsucht (Desire). That song is one of the rare missing songs in anyone's Eurovision record collection, as it's one of the unfound records of which no release is confirmed.

Even though Makulis enjoyed popularity in Greece his biggest successes were in Germany in the late 50's and early 60's. In 1966 he tried to break America which resulted in working with Duke Ellington and appearing on the Ed Sullivan show and playing Las Vegas. It resulted in one minor US radio hit Happy Heart (written by James Last). In the 90's Makulis toured Germany again and appeared in many TV shows.

Jimmy Makulis recorded two Eurocovers, both released in 1971.
Love is blue (L'amour est bleu, in English) can be found on the 1971 LP With Love (Hippo Records).
He also recorded a Greek version of Severine's 1971 winner for Monaco, Un Banc, Un Arbre, Une Rue : Μια καρδιά χτυπά (Mia kardia ktipa). I don't have any details on the original release but the song was issued on CD Τα Ερωτικά του '60 & '70 in 1996 and το ελληνικο τραγουδι in 2006.

Friday, October 26, 2007

VII: Year Of The Puppet - Sakura Teng !!!

In the Eurocovers posts celebrating Sandie Shaws anniversary year I have featured fabulous Mandarin Chinese versions of Puppet On A String by Lara and the Trailers ( 櫻櫻) and by Betty Chung ( 鍾玲玲) and I asked for the third known Chinese version by Sakura Teng (櫻花) & The Quests*.

Well, no need to look any further, there is a great bit of Sakura Teng audiobilia to be found at WFMU's Beware Of The Blog. You can find Puppet On A String along with classics like My Boy Lollipop, Stupid Cupid and the Beatles' Michele. Go there!
The same blog has more Eurocovers related stuff here with another Puppet and Congratulations by some Dutch postal workers. English with A Dutch accent at its best.
You can also find Esperanto singer Alberta Casey there, including her version of Domenico Modugno's Volare + a very interesting Maltese LP by Joe Cutajar, Once the Joseph of Helen & Joseph, Malta's first ever Eurovision stars from 1971. And many many many weird and amazing audiogems.
Many other versions of Puppet On A String from all over the globe can be found here (links)
The Quests* also recorded 1967 Luxemburg classics 'L'amour est bleu'.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Estonia - Hylene for Belgrade!

Estonia, look no further, your singer for Eurovision 2008 is Hylene. I have no clue who she is (Idol?), but her album Täna Rikun Ma Reegleid is stuffed with high tempo pop-disco-techno (think Cascada) that wouldn't be out of place on the Eurovision stage. Highly danceable but also a good collection of Tunes.
I have a feeling that going Pop the big way is the way forward for Eurovision which more and more drowns in ethnic drum parades and pseudo rock balladry. Hylene will do the job for Estonia.

Although her dress-code won't be acceptable for the EBU (Big Giant Head of Eurovision) but that's nothing that can't be handled with.

The album is a collection of 11 songs in Estonian plus You Came, a Kim Wilde cover in English. Add a few remixes as a bonus and it's 15 tracks in total.
And this is Eurocovers, so there's a Eurovision song too. It's Keelatud Maa (Forbidden land), originally sung by Estonian Pop Angel Maarja (Maarja-Liis Ilus), the best pop voice in the world. It's a fitting tribute to the 10th anniversary of the song, which reached the 8th place in the Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin in 1997.
Another coverversion on the album is Taevas Ja Maa, a fine pop song we all know and love as Heaven Is A Place On Earth (Belinda Carlisle's signature tune).

At Hylene's homepage you can listen to some more songs (Click Laulud) including the titletrack which is also the new single.
If you want to hear the original version try this videoclip at Youtube.

UPDATE 01-12-07: Estonia has announced the shortlist for the national selection and there's no Hylene. tssss...., they just don't wanna be in the final do they?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Swedish Queen Of Groovy Hammond - Merit Hemmingson

Instrumental covers can be a bore and often I don't really understand what actually is the purpose of releasing them on record. But of course the exceptions make the rule and the following instrumental versions of 60's Eurovision entries are just plain groovy. Groovy, for those younsters not familiar with the word, it's dated slang for Cool, Neat, Interesting. To me it means 'swinging your ass off'.

The Hammond organ is a popular keyboard instrument with endless possibilities, but often the Eurocovers on the organ (and there are hundreds) are of the cheesy variety.
But not so Merit Hemmingson, Swedish key-magicienne. Her Hammond antics are the most swinging you'll ever hear.

Debut LP Merit Hemmingson and the Meritones at the Esquire Club (Sonet T 7656, 1967) features an odd collection of popular songs putting a pop song like Sandie's Shaw's Always Something There To Remind Me against a funky jazz Watermelon Man.
And then there's New Fashioned Waltz. It's a version of the jazzy Swedish Eurovision entry of 1966, Nygammal Vals, written by Bengt-Arne Wallin. Even though Merit Hemminsons interpretation is instrumental it's worth mentioning that the lyrics (by Björn Lindroth) are some of the weirdest ever written in Eurovision history. There's a hip pig breeder, a prudish princess and some saucepan banging. You can check them (and translation in English) out at the site for Eurovision lyrics The Diggiloo Thrush.

There's some more serious toetapping and finger snapping to be done with Hemminsons second LP, Merit Hemminson Plays (RCA Camden YSJL-1-547, 1968). It's another collection of hits like Lady Madonna, Mighty Quinn and A Banda. And it has two Eurocovers.
Massiels 1968 winner La La La opens gentle and slowly but you just can't sit still once the beats kick in. Cliff Richards runner up of the same year, Congratulations, gets the groovy hammond treatment laced with some funky sax.
You can find more details about this second LP and its personel here at the Sabu Martinez website.

Today Merit Hemmingson mainly focusses on folk music and she has issued several CDs in recent years (check her MySpace).
In a 40 year career she has released 20 albums (so far), the most recent being Touch of 2006.
In 2005 a compilation of 70's tracks was released at the initiative of Merit fans/Eurovision stars The Ark: Merit - Queen Of Swedish Hammond Folk Groove (Bonnier-Amigo AMSCD 111).Both Merit Hemmingson CDs are available from CD-ON and other sources. The early LP's have not been issued on CD (yet).
Merit Hemmingson Homepage and MySpace and a Youtube video for 2006 song Halcyon Days.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

10.000 Eurocovers: Additions to ABBA's Waterloo

Here's some additions to Waterloo in the top 10 most covered Eurovision songs.

A rare version of the 1974 Eurovision classic I had been looking for for a long time is the Turkish version by Nilgün Atılgan. Most known as an actress, Atılgan released several records including this single Oldu mu? (Waterloo) on the Coskun label. (Coskun plak 1359) presents an odd version of ABBA's Eurovision winner Waterloo features a mini Abba sample, cats and a disturbed vocal. Think The Colourblind James Experience meets Vincent Price. In a washing machine. You can get the track here.

An even more impressive version in the weirdness stakes is the version by Phil Granville you can find at at Loving the wow wow wow's at the end.
"This site features parodies of popular songs using karaoke-style backing music with vocals provided by audio pronunciation samples from online dictionaries". Many other great classics get the Dictionaraoke treatment.

And I didn't want to let you hear this one (for your own good), but I can't refuse a request that is accompanied with praise and kisses.

It's the Babies Go Abba Version by the Sweet Little Band (see original article).

Babies Go ABBA, Aerosmith, Bob Marley, Elvis, Madonna, Shakira, Coldplay, Oasis etc - more info at RGS music
The original Waterloo article is here.

Funky Czech In has a nice feature about Blue Swede, band of Eurovision singer Björn Skifs (Swedish entries of 1978 & 1981). Blue Swede preceded Abba by being the first Swedish act to top the US charts (1974 - Hooked on a feeling).

Monday, October 01, 2007

Los Reyes Del Camino - Perdón Cariño Mio

I have many soft spots, one is for Mexican Cowboys preferably doing Eurovision covers.
The track featured today is the 1971 Italian entry l'Amore E Un Attimo originally recorded by Massimo Ranieri. Ranieri's Spanish version Perdón Cariño Mio was covered by Los Reyes Del Camino on their 1997 CD Asi Es La Vida (Disa/Universal 2020028) and it's a heartfelt rendition of a song oozing with love and sorrow. If you don't know the original I recommend you watch it at YouTube and prepare to melt.

The boy in the front is Tito (Gilberto de Jesús Rodríguez Guardiola) who joined 2 years after Perdón Carino Mio was recorded.
After Tito joined the Reyes got the attention of a whole new audience (i.e. 15 y.o girls) and they got their first 100.000 selling CD.
The Kings Of The Road have a new CD out now titled Sólo Falta Ella (Disa/Universal 2107620), with a more adult Tito, a more rockier sound and the men dressed in serious black with the appropriate sturdy faces on the cover.
You can hear songs of the new album at the Los Reyes Del Camino Myspace. The Tito and Los Reys Del Camino MySpace has some older songs.
There's a few video's of the band at Youtube in which they show a wide range of Mexican cowboy fashion must haves. All tormented little soap opera's with many girls, but young Tito never seems very happy.

Another Mexican version of the song was recorded by Estela Nuñez. I don't have details on the original 70's release but it can be found on several Estela Nuñez compilation CDs.