Thursday, February 28, 2008

MF 2008: Linda Bengtzing to Belgrade - How Hard Can It Be?

The 4th round of the Swedish Melodifestivalen this Saturday sees the 3rd entry for Linda Bengtzing. She entered in 2005 with Alla Flickor (All the girls) and made it to the final (where she ended last). When the power-schlager scored a top 10 hit Linda was hailed as one of the new Schlager Queens (along with Shirley Clamp) and her 2nd Melodifestivalen effort Jag ljuger så bra (I lie so well) ended 7th in the final of 2006 and scored a # 2 hit. Her 'debut' album Ingenting att Förlora (Nothing to lose, see comments) also reached the top 10.

Now Linda is back with Hur svårt kan det va? (How Hard Can It Be?) and she's out to win.
When you browse Linda's website you may get the impression her career started with her 2004 Fame Factory appearance but of course Eurocovers digs deeper and found some of linda's youth sins.

En Del Utav Mitt Liv
In 1986, at the age of 12, she released the album En Del Utav Mitt Liv (A part of my life, as Linda without the Bengtzing). This album includes 10 tracks and as far as I know it was only released as a cassette (Pop Production MK 1706).
One of the tracks is Så Många Människor, a Swedish version of the German entry of 1985 Für Alle by the group Wind (2nd place behind Norways Bobbysocks!). Wind also recorded the Swedish version themselves.
Another track of interest is Piccadilly Circus from the 1985 Melodifestivalen. The song only ended fourth but became one of the great Melodifestivalen classics for original singer Pernilla Wahlgren.
Another early record is a single with a Swedish version of the 1986 Eurovision winner by Sandra Kim: J'aime La Vie (Älskar mitt liv) (Mariann Records 2458).
None of the old tracks have ever been released on CD but if Hur svårt kan det va? is successful it's high time to polish up the old tapes and release a midprice CD Linda Bengtzing, the early years.
There's a (Swedish) article here, with some nice early pictures and some more info on the young Linda Bengtzing.

Linda Bengtzing scored the best selling single of the 2007 in Sweden with Värsta Schlagern (The worst Schlager) a MF/Eurovision parody she recorded with Markoolio. Watch the tongue in cheek video here at youtube.
The new MF song will be out on cd-single march 10, followed by a new album Vild & Galen March 19.

Special thanks to Rick and Klaus!

Also Check the Eurocovers Melodifestivalen 2008 post about Carola.
A great new CD with Swedish Eurocovers is out now, more details are here.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Eurovision 2008 - Till Hamingju Eurobandið

Congratulations to Eurobandið for winning last night Icelandic final with This Is My Life. The song, originally Fullkomið líf in Icelandic, can be hear at the bands MySpace. Or download the song Official & Free at Tonlist

The band, with Friðrik Ómar and Regína Ósk has already been featured in these Eurocovers posts.

Eight countries chose their entry last night. You can find out more at the official Eurovision site and many others. Ireland has chosen a turkey named Dustin. No comment, watch here (Youtube).

Friday, February 22, 2008

Anno Domenico: Pier Angeli

Another Volare, Another tragedy. Sardinian born twin* Pier Angeli's entry in the history books on the shelf may be mostly about her being James Deans belle and all that, but she was an actress in her own right. And she sang a bit too.
*Pier Angeli's twin sister is actress Marisa Pavan.

Pier Angeli's first American film, Teresa (MGM 1951) won her a Golden Globe as best newcomer (New Star Of The Year) but she didn't really live up to these expectations in the films that followed. In 1956 she starred in Somebody Up There Likes Me alongside Paul Newman in a role originally intended for James Dean, but he was dead by then.

Pier Angeli was engaged to Kirk Douglas in the early 50's, had a short relationship with James Dean (the rumoured marriage never took place thanks to Mamma Angeli) and Dean was said to be heartbroken of the unrepairable kind.
Pier Angeli married (Eurocoverer*) Vic Damone in 1954. The marriage lasted 5 years. Her second marriage to Italian composer Armando Trovajoli only lasted 7 years. Angeli said that James Dean was the only love in her life.
1960's Films didn't bring her much success but just when things started to look up for Pier Angeli when she was offered a role in The Godfather, tragedy struck and she died at 39 of an medical incident. Speculations about suicide have never been confirmed.

Pier Angeli recorded Volare for her 1959 LP Italia Con Pier Angeli (Forum SF 9055, re-issued on Roulette SR 25051) which is now a collectable LP. Volare was also released as a b-side to Torero (Roulette 4104) The EP Italia Con Pier Angeli features 4 tracks of the LP but not Volare.
The LP was re-issued on CD in Japan in 2005 (EMI), I don't know of any other CD-issues.
Note From The Editor
All links to uploaded songs at Eurocovers have been deleted as my uploader has terminated my account for copyright infringement.
I can understand their point of view and bear no grudge against them, but to the petty little weazels who scour the internet just to be able to snitch for a few pennies: I hope your children will be ugly.
I won't be creating a new account, so from now on Eurocovers will only feature news, release info and links to websites with content that is legal and interesting for the Eurocovers reader.
All the Eurocovers posts, stories, discographies etcetera, stay up and I hope you'll still enjoy the read.
It was great while it lasted, wasn't it?

** Vic Damone recorded at least two Eurovision songs, both Italian entries. Al Di La from 1961 (on CD Feelings, 1993) and Dio Come Ti Amo (1966) on the CD Greatest songs of the 20st century.
A Great Fanpage dedicated to Pier Angeli has wonderful pictures including some with James Dean.

2008: Anno Domenico is a tribute to Domenico Modugno's Eurovision classic Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare) which conquered the world 50 years ago. Eurocovers will feature half a century of remarkable coverversions of the Italian evergreen.
With this link you'll get all the Eurocovers posts that have featured (or mentioned) the song so far.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Melodifestivalen 2008 - Carola Not So Invincible?

I missed yesterday's Melodifestivalen heat to wake up with the shocking news that three time Eurovision entrant Carola didn't make it to the final straight away. Well, tough luck, she, with her singing partner Andreas 'Glorious' Johnson, will get another chance to sing their One Love in the Second Chance round.

Carola's Eurovision history is one of success and glamour. Her first appearance at a national final in 1983 resulted in a maximum vote from all 11 regions' judges, something that hadn't happened before.
The song, Främling (Stranger) went on to Eurovision in Münich and ended third.
Carola recorded the song in Swedish, English, German and even in Dutch. The latter, Je Ogen Hebben Geen Geheimen (Your eyes have no secrets) scored a top 10 hit in the Dutch charts. Främling was only a # 5 hit in the Swedish charts but has become a classic over the years and is the third most covered Swedish Eurovision entry behind winners Waterloo (1974) and Diggi Loo Diggi Ley (1984).

In 1990 Carola tried again and ended 2nd in Melodifestivalen with Mitt I Ett Äventyr. Great pop song and another # 5 hit in the Swedish charts. The winner Som En Vind by reli band Edin Ådahl bombed at Eurovision (16th) and in the charts (only a 15/2 hit)

Carola's revenge came in 1991 when she won Melodifestivalen and the Rome Eurovision with Fångad Av En Stormwind (Caught by a storm) an energetic power pop schlager stunner for which Carola introduced the windmachine to the Eurovision stage.
Runner up with the equal amount of points was Amina's Le Dernier Qui A Parlé for France, but Carola was declared the winner on a high point count.
The song charted in Sweden (3/6) but failed to impress the international record buyers.

Via an almost return in 2003 with När Löven Faller (which she withdrew from the competition) 2006 saw Carola singing Invincible (Evighet at the MF) at the Athens Eurovision Song Contest. Melodifestivalen was a piece of cake, but in the international final she 'only' ended fifth (a result many other countries would start a war for).

Carola is a superstar in Sweden. She had her ups and downs, scandals and celebrations. A tabloid career ranging from religious fundamentalism and anti gay remarks to liberation trough divorce and really really loving her stylists and hairdresser. All s#@t came her way but somehow most Swedes forgave her, bought her Christmasalbums by the truckload and voted Carola as most popular Swede after the royals.
Is Carola not making it straight to the final a sign of a love that's beginning to crack or do we just blame Andreas Johnson?

I made a Carola Document (updated version september 2011) for your entertainment and information. You can find details and some picture sleeves on all Carola's versions and releases as taken from the Eurovision Collectors Guide.
You'll also find lists of coverversions from the 10.000 coverversions project. If you have any addition or correction, please let me know.
It's a Word Document and you can download it here.

Carola's page at BeaRecords offers various releases of her entries including vintage vinyl, cdsingles and several CDalbums. is a great site about Carola with biography, discography, news and lots more.

Here's a few coverversions of Carola's three Eurovision songs.
First up there's Främling by Marjana Derzaj, a recording in Slovenian (Tujci) from the CD Za vse poletne noci! (2001, RTVS ZKP DD 0173). The Stormwind is covered by Dutch kids project Ministars as Een Nijlpaard In De Achtbaan which translates as A Hippo In A Rollercoaster. Last is Evighet by South African boyband Hi-5. Their Afrikaans version 'N Ewigheid is from their CD Versoeking (Select musiek) which includes 6 Eurocovers in Afrikaans.

You can find another version of Främling in the last years Eurocovers post about Døsty Cåwshit. You can find a Chinese version of Le Dernier Qui A Parlé, the song that Carola beat in 1991, in this post.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Anno Domenico: Volare Around The World

Volare has been covered in many languages and the version featured today is an quirky version in Japanese mixed with some Italian namedropping.

It's by Bar/ Blues/ Rock'n'roll band Brave Combo from Texas together with Japanese Ondo (& Pop) star Kawachiya Kikusuimaru. (河内家 菊水丸).
Ondo is an 800 year old Japanese folk music genre.

The track first appeared on the 1993 Brave Combo & Kikusuimaru CD Ondo Saves The World (Tele Disc TLCD-93001, released in Japan) and later in 1996 it was reissued on the Brave Combo CD Mood Swing Music (Rounder CD 11574, USA)

Check out for all about the Grammy winning Brave Combo! Their albums and other goods are available at their Webstore
Their youngest CD is Polka's Revenge (Dentone records, 2007).

2008: Anno Domenico is a tribute to Domenico Modugno's Eurovision classic Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare) which conquered the world 50 years ago. Eurocovers will feature half a century of remarkable coverversions of the Italian evergreen.
With this link you'll get all the Eurocovers posts that have featured (or mentioned) the song so far.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

CD news: Festivalfavoriter - Internationella Hits På Svenska

It's Melodifestivalen* season and next week sees the release of a highly anticipated CD in Sweden Festivalfavoriter - Internationella hits på svenska (EMI) . It's a CD with 26 Swedish Eurocovers with songs from 1957 to 1977. Well known songs are there (Volare, Piove, Dansevise, Poupée de cire, Congratulations) but also some almost forgotten gems like L'amour s 'en va (Originally by Francoise Hardy), Finnish favorite Tipi Tii and Dutch Classic De Mallemolen. All covered in Swedish.
Artists like Gitte, Gunnar Wiklund, Alice Babs and Eurocovers favorite Marie Dieke all feature on this great collection.

Big kudo's go to Leif Thorsson, who used all his charm and pressure to make this CD release possible. Leif Thorsson is the author of the ultimate Eurovision / Melodifestivalen book Melodifestivalen Genom Tiderna**.

I'm also extra pleased with the inclusion of Doris' (Svenssons) version of Boom Bang A Bang.
Doris Svenssons' cult LP Did You Give The World Some Love Today Baby (in English), is a must hear and was reissued on CD with a load of bonus tracks, but not Boom Bang A Bang.

The Favoriter CD is out 11-02 and available soon at BeaRecords and other sources. At a snip! (6,50 at BeaRecords). See the full tracklist below.
* Melodifestivalen is the mammoth Swedish preselection for Eurovision. regarded as one of the best national finals and with all shows (6) in the top 10 most viewed TV shows of the year in Sweden.
Tonight is the first round for 2008, read more at the SVT Melodifestivalen site (In Swedish & English)

**Melodifestivalen Genom Tiderna (2006 edition Premium Publishing ISBN 91-89136-29-2) has been issued in 1999 with an updated version issued in 2006. The book is in Swedish but still extremely enjoyable if you don't read the language. Many unique photo's, picture sleeves and all results tables you need about more than 50 years Eurovision ánd the Swedish preselections. All in a large glamourous hardcover volume. I'd almost say Melodifestivalen Genom Tiderna is the only book you need, but I'd be selling myself short: of course a serious collector also needs the Eurovision Collectors Guide.

Tracklist Festivalfavoriter - Internationella Hits På Svenska
01 Doris - Boom Bang-A-Bang
02 Lars Lönndahl - I Det Blå (Volare)(Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu)
03 Carl-Erik Thörn - Säg Små Vackra Ord Till Mig (Say Wonderful Things To Me)
04 Marie Dieke - Om Våren ('N Beetje)
05 Alice Babs - Sov Min Älskling (Dors, Mon Amour)
06 Bertil Englund - Ring -A-Ding (Ring -A-Ding Girl)
07 Gunnar Thim - Säg Att Jag Drömt (Net Als Toen)
08 Gerd Persson & Tosse Bark - Sjung Lilla Fågel (Sing Little Birdie)
09 Carli Tornehave - Piove (Ciao Ciao Bambina)
10 Lars Lönndahl - Tina Och Marina (Zwei Kleine Italiener)
11 Marie Dieke - Åh, Ifall Jag Vore Du Ändå (Uh, Jeg Ville Önske Jeg Var Dig)
12 Gerd Persson - Tom Pillibi
13 Carli Tornehave - Angelique
14 Kicki Oscarsson - Vi Möts Och Vi Skiljs (L'Amour S'en Va)
15 Bertil Englund - Tipi-Tii
16 Gitte Henning - Det Kan Väl Inte Jag Rå För (Poupée De Cire, Poupée De Son)
17 Carl-Erik Thörn - Du Är Som Skapad För Mig (Uno Per Tutte)
18 Anne Lie Rydé & Sös Fenger - Drömdans/Dansevise
19 Gunnar Wiklund - Mercie Cherie
20 Gitte Henning - La La La (Lyckolåten)
21 Marianne Kocks - Simsalabim (Jack In The Box)
22 Pastallerna - Ler, Ber Och Bönar (Beg Steal Or Borrow)
23 Rasmus - En Bit Av Mig Själv (Tu Te Reconnaitras)
24 Emigranterna - Tom Tom Tom
25 Gitte Henning - Vi Gratulerar (Congratulations)
26 Small Town Singers - Äntligen Har Jag Kommit Hem (De Mallemolen)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Benny Neyman - 1951 - 2008

Dutch singer Benny Neyman died today.
Listen to Marinella, a beautiful Dutch version of I Giorni Di Arcobaleno (Nicola Di Bari), the Italian Eurovision entry of 1972.
The song was released on the LP/CD Samen Zijn We Rijk (CNR 100,039 1978) and it was released as a b-side to 7"inch Onze Straat (CNR 141.547, 1979).

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Svanhildur Jakobsdottir & Nútímabörn

Been doing some browsing and I came across a comprehensive Icelandic record label discography page at Wiki. SG Hljómplötur.
Some great picture sleeves (I borrowed these from there) to be seen and there's some very interesting Eurocovers to be found in Iceland still.

The singer Svanhildur (Jakobsdóttir) recorded (at least) 4 Eurovision covers in the early 70s.
Next to her Eurocovers her other claim to Eurovision fame is that Svanhildur was the spokesperson who announced the Icelandic votes in 1997. And she's Anna Mjoll's mum (see comments)

Svanhildur LP Ég kann mér ekki læti (SG Hjlómplötur SG 050) features:
- Ekkert Svar (Apres toi, Luxembourg 1972)
- Betlað rænt og ruplað (Beg, steal or borrow, U.K. 1972)

And a 7"inch single by Svanhildur from 1971: (SG - hljómplötur SG 559) (top picture)
- Ég skal bíða þín (Un banc , un arbre, une rue, Monaco 1971)
- Þú ert minn súkkulaði-ís (Jack in the box, U.K. 1971)

Another one I found is by a ultra cool looking band called Nútímabörn LP Nútímabörn (SG - hljómplötur SG 023)
- La La La (Spain 1968)
Any help would of course be massively appreciated!!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Anno Domenico: 50 years ago today - Johnny Dorelli

Today it's 50 years ago that the final of the Italian SanRemo contest took place. The 3 day contest started on januari 30 and the final 10 songs competed on februari 1.
We all know the song that won, but in the olden San Remo days (1957 - 1967 + 1969) all songs were performed by two different artists, and the contest was won by both.

Modugno vs. Dorelli
Only one of them went on to Eurovision and the choice for the composer of the song is logical. So we all know Domenico Modugno, but the other winner Johnny Dorelli missed the train to world wide fame. It makes it even sadder that in 1959 the same thing happened with Piove (Ciao Ciao Bambina). Modugno went to Eurovision and had the hit, Dorelli missed out.
Dorelli's version of Volare ended up at 26 in the end of year charts in Italy in 1958. Modugno's version was only #2, behind Paul Anka's Diana.
--------------------------------------------------(pic: Domenico Modugno, Nilla Pizzi & Johnny Dorelli)
Johnny Dorelli scored his first success in 1956, Calypso Melody and he also recorded international hits like Julia (a #1 in Italy), My Funny Valentine, Love In Portofino and Speedy Gonzales.

His 1967 Sar Remo entry L'immensità was another hit record (# 2 in Italy) but Dorelli's success shifted to TV shows and later to acting in Italian films.

Dorelli recently released two jazz CDs Swinging (2005) and Swinging Parte Secunda (2007) featuring new versions of jazz standards including remakes of L'Immensita, Love In Portofino, My Funny Valentine etc. Both CDs on the Carosello label are available from most webshops.

Johnny Dorelli Eurocovers Discography (additions welcome)
Italy 1958 - Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)
- 7" & EP (CGD E 6041)
Italy 1959 - Piove (Ciao Ciao bambina)
- EP (CGD HG 7707)
Italy 1960 - Romantica (Renato Rascel at Eurovision)
- details wanted

2008: Anno Domenico will feature 50 years of coverversions of Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare).With this link you'll get all the Eurocovers posts that have featured (or mentioned) the song so far.

Another Blog TipA-Ma-Zing is the only word I could find for the LP featured at You Hear It, It's Unpleasant.
The LP by US quartet The Scotch Foursome includes Volare but also a host of other sleaze-cheese you will love. The post about the Foursome is here. You can listen to Volare with the player or d/l the full album and hear Ralph, Joe, Tony & Jim slaughter classics like My Girl, Light My Fire and I Wish You Love.