Sunday, August 30, 2009

2009: Believe Again Again Again and Again. (& Pippi)

There have been some interesting developments regarding the Afrikaans coverversion of Believe Again, this years Danish Eurovision entry sung by (Niels) Brinck (13th in the final).
It turns out four South African singers have recorded the song, but it's Heinz Winckler (picture) who gets the clearance to release it.
Wincklers version, Ek Kan Weer In Liefde Glo (I can believe in love again), is released on his new album which is out on Selekt Musiek in September.
You can already see the video in the post below. The clip is also at Heinz Winckler MySpace where you can also listen to some earlier songs (in English).
Believe Again was written by Lars Jensen, Martin Larsson and Ronan Keating.

Heinz Winckler was the winner of the first Idols (Pop Idol) in South Africa in 2002. You probably have seen him on the (one off) international show World Idol in 2003, where he finished 4th performing Aerosmiths I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing. (The winner was Kurt Nilsen from Norway).
Winckler released three albums, all sung in English and the new one is the first with songs in Afrikaans (although five songs will be in English).
The first Afrikaans coverversion of Believe Again was recorded by Henri Alant. The track is called Ek Glo (I believe) and was planned to be on Alant's forthcoming CD (which seems unsure now).
Ek Glo is already issued on a 6-track advance promo CD Sal Jy by Artists Warehouse. (Some info in Afrikaans and pic sleeve is here)
Two other artists in the battle for Believe Again are Kobus Muller and Francois Marais.
Special Thanks to Roy.

2009: Moscows Eurocovers
You can read more on coverversions of 2009 Eurovision songs at The Moscow Collection, where you can find all details on the Moscow Eurovision versions, releases, charts and covers. Official Eurocovers so far are of the entries from Norway, Iceland*, U.K., Denmark, Germany, Spain, Ireland* and the Netherlands. A few less official covers are thrown in for good measure.
* = these are (co) composers demo versions.
Vacation in the Netherlands
Rein Mercha currently has a chart hit in the Netherlands with the summer track Vakantie (Vacation or Holidays). It's a coverversion of Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu) which needs no further explanation.
He recorded it with the Gitano Kings, so it's no surprise the song is inspired by the famous Gipsy Kings version of the 1958 Eurovision song which was a worldwide hit in 1989.
Vakantie so far reached #66 in the Dutch sales top 100. You can watch the video here at YouTube.
The cdsingle is released by the NRGY label and is available at the TV Oranje website (sorry, NL only, limited payment options) and in the handful of Dutch shops that still sell singles.

RE: Jazzbox
The Jazzbox version of Dansevise (clip in this post) will be released on an EP (Also on Ituuns) including an extended version.
Source: A reply to the Jazzbox post by the artist himself at, recommended Eurovision blog.

MySpace YourSpace OuttaSpace, Pippi's Pappa
Speaking of Jazz, let's pay another visit to a MySpace page. This time it's Helena Eriksson, Swedish Jazz singer. And when you say Swedish Jazz, you think En Gång I Stockholm; The Swedish 1963 Eurovision song by Monica Zetterlund gets a relaxed makeover by Helena and her wonderful harmonica man Luciano Mosetti .
The track is from the album Helena Eriksson sjunger Zetterlund from 2007.
Check out Stockholm and some other great tracks at Helena's Myspace here.

I Didn't Know That...
I knew that the lyrics to En Gång I Stockholm were written by Beppe Wolgers (Bertil John Wolgers, 1928-1986) but I didn't know that he is the daddy of the most famous redhead ever to walk the globe, Pippi Långstrump, Pippi Longstocking, Pipi Duga Čarapa, پی‌پی جوراب‌بلنده (for more, see wiki).

That is to say, Beppe Wolgers, is Ephraim Långstrump, Pippi's Papa and Captain of the Hoppetossa in the 1969/70's TV series that made the Astrid Lindgren character and her adventures world famous. (or even more famouserer than they already were).
Ephraim is superstrong and megacool and all that, but of course he is no match for Pippi (played by Inger Nilsson). Everyone wanted to be Pippi, but I guess most of us were just Tommy or Annika.
Beppe Wolgers wrote many songs and Swedish lyrics to international (jazz) standards. He also wrote childrens books and became a kids favorite as a storyteller in Beppes Godnattstund (Beppe's Goodnighthour).
There's a MySpace dedicated to Beppe Wolgers here, where you can also listen to another version of En Gång I Stockholm. (by The Real Group, acapella stars).

Ek Kan Weer In Liefde Glo

Believe Again, Denmarks 2009 entry by Brinck, now in Afrikaans by Heinz Winckler.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Eurocovers Summer Break part 3, Love Is Blue special.

You probably think I may be overdoing it a bit on the L'Amour Est Bleu front, but it proves to be a popular track with Eurocovers readers, so here's some more for those who can't get enough.

A version I really really love is by Super Falling Star. They're from Australia, it's all a bit indie grumpy, and was released on a Japanese EP Melbourne Holiday. If you want to find out more, I'm sure it's on the world wide net somewhere.

Even more indie and also noisy are The Pees (The ピーズ) from Japan. Their Japanese version, 恋は水色, involves shouting and a lot of haphazard guitar stroking. It's from a b-sides compilation, and so it probably was a b-side at some stage.

Love Is Blue Goes Riverdance, in Korea.
The André Popp / Pierre Cour classic Love Is Blue by a Korean operatic singer named Moony무니 in an Irish Jig Stylee from the album Whispering Of The Moon. The English lyrics were written by Bryan Blackburn btw.
An utterly cheesy 70's version by the Mighty Rhythm Machine is titled Love Is Blue '76. It's your typical orchestra disco, not really funky, but with all the necessary violin bits, synthy parts and horny breaks.

And then there's Barbara Y Dick from Argentina who do it in French .

The Document
I have updated the old Love Is Blue document with the latest finds, corrections and added info. You can download the new file here. As usual it's a word.document with all info on the original releases by Vicky and details on all the coverversions I know of.

Looking For Some Love Is Blue:
To keep my LIB language collection in shape I'm looking for the following versions of L'Amour Est Bleu:
Yvetta Simonová - Má láska je bílá (Czech) from LP At Hudba Dale Zni (Supraphon)
and a Korean one I don't know much about : It's by김행자 from a 1970 Various artists LP힛트가요 레코드전집 10
Or another Korean version by Han Seung Ki 한승기 - 우울한 사랑 from 1990
If you can help me with any of these or have any additions or suggestions, just leave a comment or e-mail me. Thanks!

Blog Tips
Merci Cherie has been updating quite a bit and Eurocovers fans should check out the cool stuff from Iceland. Especially the Icelandic version of Love Is Blue: Örlög Min by Kristín Ólafsdóttir.

Cançons En Català I Més features Un Ninot Penjat D’un Fil by Els De La Torre. Even though it was already at Eurocovers in the Year Of The Puppet series, the Catalan blog has the full EP with picture sleeve. And it's worth a visit anyway….

RE: RE: RE:RE: The Laila Kinnunen Box Set. '(post below). I hadn't noticed, but there's also a 2CD issue of the A La Laila release. It has tracks from all 8 discs from the boxset, but not as many Eurocovers / Eurovision goodies. Just that you know. (Thanks for the tip Mikael)

RE: Sprattelgumma. You probably won't remember, but there was this bit about the very first colour TV broadcast in the Siw Malmkvist Year Of The Puppet post which I was forced to remove from the blog.
Now you can see it at This Youtube link, as long as it's there.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Jazzbox - Dancing Ditty

Jazzbox is Per Ebdrup. This track is released on a digital VA compilation Welcome To Music For Dreams (available at Junodownloads).
I don't know if there will be a CD release or inclusion on any Jazzbox CD.
Oh, and Dancing Ditty is of course the 1963 Eurovision winner Dansevise by Grethe and Jörgen Ingmann (1963)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Release news: A La Laila - The collected works of Laila Kinnunen

Legendary Finnish Songstress Laila Kinnunen's collected work finally gets the long awaited release it deserves. This project has been on the shelves for many years, already before her death in 2000.
Several different compilations, most with rare and previously unreleased tracks, have been released in the past few years, so I didn't expect the boxset to materialize anymore.
But at the end of this month an 8CD box is released by Warner Music Finland with (almost) all the Laila Kinnunen tracks you need.

Laila Kinnunen (Laura Annikki Kinnunen) was one of the great singers of Finnish popular music in the 50's and 60's.
To most Eurovision fans Eurovision fans she is probably best known for Valoa Ikkunassa, the first ever Finnish entry from 1961 which ended 10th. Eurocovers readers know her from her many versions of 60's Eurovision classics.

Her work in Finnish is collected on the first six cds of the boxset including:
1-19. Lemmenaika koittaa - Dags igen att vara kär (Sweden pre 1959)*
2-11. Kaikki saavat toisensa - Alla andra får varann (Sweden 1960)
2-12. Romantica (Italy 1960)
2-13. Yö jo on cherie - Bonne nuit ma cherie (Germany 1960)
2-14. Tom Pillibi (France 1960)
3-8. Valoa ikkunassa (Her own Finnish entry, 1961)
3-9. Pikku ikkuna - cover preselection 1961
3-10. Kaikkialla - Al di la (Italy 1961)
3-11. Kesäyö Palmassa - Sommer i Palma (Norway 1961)
4-1. Tipi-tii (Finland 1962)
4-3. Kevätauer - Sol och vår (Sweden 1962)
5-4. Tanssilaulu - Dansevise (Denmark 1963)
6-3. Muistojen Bulevardi - (Finland) preselection 1966)
Other tracks include Finnish originals but also covers of standards like The Girl From Ipanema, From Russia With Love, Fever, Walk On By, Bei Mir Bist Du Schön and many others.
The set opens with her great cover of one of my favorite Modugno songs Lazzarella from 1957.

CD 7 is a collection of songs in Swedish
7-1. Tom Pillibi
7-2. Romantica
7-3. Bonne nuit, ma chérie
7-8. Ett ljus i ett fönster (Valoa Ikkunassa)
7-9. Sommar i Palma
7-13. Ti-Pi-Ti
If I'm not mistaken it's the first CD release of rare single Ett Ljus I Ett Fönster. Which is great.

CD 8 has rarities in several languages like German, Russian, Hungarian, English and even Afrikaans (Saries Mareis)
This cd also includes Vårvalsen and Ding Dong Ding, two songs she recorded with the Nordic singers of the 1961 Eurovision Song Contest (Dario Campeotto, Nora Brockstedt and Lill Babs).
The CD closes with a previously unreleased version of Tipi Tii.

What's missing?
I'm no one to complain of course as this collection is nothing short of fabulous.
But you won't find Unohdusta Ei Ole (preselection 1967) on this box set.
Absent Eurocovers are Merci Cherie, Malloryn Laulu (Le chant de Mallory) & Odotin Sinua (Ce Soir Je T'attendais). But these have been released on other cds.

There's a full Laila Kinnunen Eurocovers discography with picture sleeves in the 2007 Finweeks post about Laila Kinnunen.
Here are all Laila Kinnunen related Eurocovers items.

The 8CD box A La Laila is released by Warner Music Finland (release date 26-08-09) and has 160 tracks plus a 168 page booklet. The retail price is around 70 euros at various webshops.
* Thanks Mikael, see comments

Milana Misic
Milana Misic is the daughter of Laila Kinnunen. Her 2008 CD release Laulumme, with two Eurocovers (Al Di La & Dansevise), was already featured in this Eurocovers post.

Earlier this year (april) she released another album with songs made popular by her mom.
The album is Valoa Ikkunassa - 12 Laila Kinnusen Ikimuistoista Laulua (Columbia 74912323) and the first Finnish Eurovision song is one of the tracks. And it also has Modugno's Lazzarella.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Thank You India

I've been browsing for Eurocovers from India off & on for quite some time now, never with any Eurocovers worthy results. But I always came across all kinds of 'inspired' songs, where known melodies are spiced up with some new notes and the song is credited to the Indian composer.
It turns out that's not uncommon, and Eurocovers doesn't really care. Whichever way you listen, below are three versions of andré Popp's L'Amour Est Bleu / Love Is Blue (you know, Luxembourgs 1967 Eurovision entry originally by Vicky.)

Indian Movies
Composer Saluri Rajeshwara Rao wrote Ee Reyi Teeyanidi for the 1971 Tollywood* movie Chitti Chellelu.
He used a large part of L'Amour Est Bleu / Love Is Blue and added another melody line to the song.
The song is sung in Telugu (Indian language spoken mainly in Andhra Pradesh) by S.P. Balasubrahmanyam and P. Susheela but in the movie you see actors Haranath and Vanisri miming to their voices. (See Youtube in below post). It was common practice to hire professional singers to supply the voices for actors with lesser vocal talents.
Balasubrahmanyam is said to have recorded over 40.000 songs in 40 years.

In 1990 Calcutta born composer Bappi Lähiri created a song in Hindi with the same melody. Hum Dono Akele Hon featured in the film Aaj Ke Shahenshah.
Vocals are by Bappi Lähiri and Anuradha Paudwal. The female role in the song is by Kimi Katkar, the male role is for Chunkey Pandey. Lähiri also stars in the film, but not in this track.
Bappi Lähiri pioneered the use of disco music in Bollywood films (but not in this song). His songs borrow heavily on international hits like Lambada, Hasta Mañana, Karma Chameleon and Billy Jean.

Somewhere in the dark depths of my record vault lurks a vinyl from Mr. Bappi Lähiri. It was 1988, we were all screaming acieeeed, and Lähiri released a house tune called Habiba. I really should dig it up some day.

Ee Reyi Teeyanidi was re-recorded (again in Telugu) in 2003 for the movie Johnny where it was sung by Hariharan and Nanditha with Ramana Gogula producing. They lent their voices to the actor Pawan Kalyan and his wife Renu Desai (Youtube clip).

*Tollywood = Cinema of Andhra Pradesh, Bollywood is the film industry of Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay). Dollywood however, is not the cinema of Dehli.
I know the soundtrack to Johnny (2003) was released on CD (the film on DVD), but for the others I don't have any release details except that the films were released on video. The soundquality isn't very good, but the songs surely make up for that.
I've patched the info together from many sources, so please forgive me if there are inaccuracies in this post.

Brimful Of Asha
And then there's Volare. In Hindi it became Aajare, Aaja re na jaa re laage na mora jiya saajan tere bina soona, or some variation on that title. It's from the movie Sarhad from 1960 and the vocals are by no one else than the queen-mother of Indian film music, Asha Bhosle.
I haven't been able to track down a full recording of the song so that's bad luck, But there is proof, check out this patchy compilation of scenes from the film (Youtube). If anyone happens to have the track, I await your e-mail. Thanks.

Note: Salma & Sabina Agha recorded an LP of Abba songs in Hindi back in the 80's. Unfortunately for Eurocovers, Waterloo isn't on it, but the LP is still a must have. It was released in India, Sweden and the U.K. (at least) and later it was re-issued on CD several times. So if you want your ABBA hits in Hindi, shop around. (although you probably already have this amazing record in your collection).

Chitti Chellelu - Ee Reyi Theeyanidi (Love is blue)

Love Is Blue, Bollywood style. 1970 version sung in Telugu, language of Andhra Pradesh, India.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Eurocovers Summer Break - part 2

Here's a few more Eurocovers Summer Break classics.

Okkar Eina Nótt - Erla Þorsteinsdóttir
Lovely Icelandic version of Dors Mon Amour, the 1958 winner for France (by André Claveau).
Find some great Argentine Tango versions of Dors Mon Amour in this Eurocovers post.

Aldila Ciptaan Dunya - Lilis Suryani
Indonesian version of Al Di La, the Italian 1961 entry originally by Betty Curtis. Lilis Suryani was a famous singer in Indonesia (she died in 2007). Her career was riddled with politics and controversy but most of all adoration from the Indonesian fans.

Al Di La in the top 10 most covered Eurovision songs.
The (other) Indonesian version of Al Di La by Sandra Reemer is here.
An Indonesian version of the 1973 winner is in this post.

BLOG TIP: While browsing for some more info on Lilis Suryani I came across an interesting blog with music from Indonesia. Madrotter. Hours of browing fun guaranteed.
I found two Eurocover related posts: Indonesian singer Ernie Djohans LP La Novia has Daar Bij De Rivier (Dutch version of Belgium 1964, Robert Cogoi's Près De Ma Rivière). And there's a wonderful Indonesian cover of everybodies favorite Love Is Blue (L'amour Es Bleu) in the post about the Reynettes. Go check it out, you know you want to.

Met Sint Jan - Lize Marke
Yugolavia's 1968 entry Jedan Dan in Flemish by Lize Marke who herself sang for Belgium in 1965. More Jedan Dan fun in the Eurocovers post Men In Tights.

La La La - Leelo Karp
Estonian version of the 1968 winner by Massiel (Spain)

Ek Sien 'n Ster - Barbara Veenemans
Afrikaans version of I See A Star (Ik zie een ster) by Mouth & MacNeal. #3 in the 1974 contest and a European hit for the Dutch Duo. Barbara Veenemans is a celebrated opera singer (soprano).

Eurocovers Summer Break part 1

2009: The Moscow Collection
Even though the 2009 contest is way behind us, The Moscow Collection blog still keeps you updated with the latest news on the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. Versions, Releases, Charts, Coverversions, it's all there.
Some of the latest updates:
Bulgaria: Krassimirs Illusion, cdsingle & album out now
Turkey: Hadise Big In Japan, Japanese cdsingle & hit
Spain: Soraya, remix, mutant coverversion
Netherlands: Toppers In Concert CD & DVD imminent
Russia: Anastasiya's Mamo remixes online
Norway: Alexander Rybak wins the 54th Eurovision Song Contest and scores a European hit (& # 67 in Australia!), New remix on Russian CD.
Denmark: Brinck in the charts, promo release, Afrikaans coverversion