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, 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).

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).

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)

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

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Moscow revisited: Believe Again

2010 is here and so is the new Eurovision season. Preselections, National finals, Melodi Grand Prixes or whatever you call them, are in full swing and a few days ago Denmark announced their 10 hopefuls. (info here at DR TV)

Song # 2, All About A Girl by Joakim Tranberg is written by the same team as last years Danish entry Believe Again: Lars Halvor Jensen, Martin Michael Larsson & Ronan Keating.
Ronan Keating is Mr. Rollercoaster of Boyzone, but you already knew that.
Of course there's 9 more songs and if the quality is as good as last year you should put some cash aside for the DMGP 2010 CD which will be released early februari.

Last year in Moscow the Danish entry performed by (Niels) Brinck ended 13th in the final, which is respectable but not exactly winning.
Believe Again scored a #1 hit in Denmark and got a platinum award. It also spent 2 weeks on the Swedish charts reaching # 44.
Who knows what could have been if there had been a proper release in Europe.
But almost a year later Believe Again is a winner at Eurocovers with the most successful coverversions of the year. Brinck homepage Brinck at The Moscow Collection

Jeroen Van Der Boom
Jeroen van der Boom, one of the Toppers (Dutch entry 2009) has recorded a Dutch version of Believe Again on his new album Verder (Red Bullet Music, released in September). The track is titled Weer Geloven.

In november it was released as a cdsingle which also includes an acoustic version of the song.
In Christmas week the cdsingle took the #1 spot on the Dutch singles-sales top 100, a second # 1 hit for Jensen, Larsson & Keating.
Jeroen Van Der Boom Home

South Africa
Four South African singers have recorded Believe Again song in Afrikaans, but it's Heinz Winckler 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.

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 are in English).
You can see the video in this post. The clip is also at Heinz Winckler MySpace where you can listen to some earlier songs (in English).

The first Afrikaans coverversion of Believe Again was recorded by Henri Alant. The track is called Ek Glo (I believe) and was originally planned to be on Alant's forthcoming CD, which seems unlikely now.
Ek Glo is already issued on a 6-track advance promo CD Sal Jy by Artists Warehouse.
Two other artists in the battle for Believe Again were Kobus Muller and Francois Marais.

Charl Stone
A fifth South African singer who has recorded Believe Again is Charl Stone.
Newcomer Charl is a policeman from George (on the south coast). He recorded Believe Again in English for his album 'n Nuwe Geur (a new scent).
You can listen to Believe Again and some other tracks from his debut at his MySpace.
Excepts of all album tracks are at RhythmMusicStore.

AustraliaOrianthi Panagharis is an Australian rock singer/guitarist who covers the song in English on her new album Believe (Geffen records).
The track is now titled Believe without the Again.
Read more about Orianthi at her website and find out about her Michael Jackson This Is It auditions at Popdirt.
The first single from Orianthi's album is According To You which is currently on the Australian charts (reaching #8 last december).
According To You also charts in the US Billboard hot 100 (currently at #26) and in various Canadian and Japanese charts.
Please note there's also a track called Believe on Orianthi's 2007 CD Violet Journey, but that's a different song. Obviously.

Special thanks to Roy & Songfestivalweblog and Dominique.
Parts of this article have already been featured at Eurocovers and the Moscow Collection.

Jeroen Van Der Booms cdsingle is available at BeaRecords who also stock the Brinck CD.
Both the Heinz Winckler & Charl Stone albums are available at Kalahari. (Heinz, Charl)
Digital versions are available at Rhythm Music Store. This South African download store offers mp3's worldwide, but I haven't tried it yet.
Orianthi's CD is available through all regular uni-ama-play-tunes webshops.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

South Africa CD news: Dancing On Splintered Glass

Eurocovers has regularly featured CD info of South African artists recording your favorite Eurovision songs. Often in the Afrikaans language, or other exotic tongues like English.
So, when all eyes are on South Africa in 2010 , because of the Football (Soccer….) World Championship, Eurocovers continues to track the Afrikaans music scene for those artists covering your favorite Eurovision tunes.

Many popular and up and coming artists have selected one or two Eurocovers for their latest albums but this is the first time an artist decided to fill a CD with Eurovision songs only. And an interesting eclectic collection it is.
Since the South African Eurocovers boom started Dominec has been working on his CD Dans Ons Op Splinterglas and now it finally sees the light.
15 tracks are here. All are songs that have graced the Eurovision stage in the past 30 years, the oldest being Peter Sue and Marcs Io Senza Te (Switzerland 1981).

Here is the full tracklist of Dans Ons Op Splinterglas, released on Saturn Records.

Winde Van Verandering (Winds Of Change)
- Netherlands 1990 - Ik Wil Alles Met Je Delen - Maywood
- Romania 2006 - Tornero - Mihai TraistariuBemin My Vanaand (Love Me Tonight)
- Belarus 2005 - Love Me Tonight - Angelica Agurbash
Sonder Jou (Without You)
- Andorra - Sense Tu - Jenny
Wat Kan Ek Doen (What Can I Do)
- Switzerland 1981 - Io Senza Te - Peter Sue & MarcJy Het My Verraai (You Betrayed Me)
- Bulgaria 2006 - Let Me Cry - Marianna Popova
Jy Het Myn Hart Gebreek (You Broke My Heart)
- Slovenia 2006 - Mr Nobody - Anzej DejanLa Dolce Vita
- Finland 1989 - La Dolce Vita - Anneli SaaristoBly Net By My (Just Stay With Me)
- Iceland 2004 - Heaven - JonsiSe Jy Vir My (Tell Me You're For Me)
- Russia - Never Let You Go - Dima BilanJy Is Die Een Vir My (You're The One For Me)
- Croatia 2004 - You Are The Only One - Ivan MiculicOns Laatste Nag (Our Last Night)
- Sweden 1995 Se På Mig - Jan JohansenJe T'adore
- Belgium 2006 - Je T'adore - Kate RyanOns Somersaand (Our Summer Evening)
- Malta 2001 - Another Summer Night - Fabrizio Faniello
Die Lewe Is Wat Jy Daarvan Maak (Life's What You Make It)
- Norway 2004 - High - Knut Anders Sørum

You can listen to the songs at the recordcompanies pages Saturn records where there is also some order information. I don't have the details on international orders, but you can drop them a mail for information.

With Eurovision 2010 upon us and preselections in full force, the 2010 Oslo Collection is now launched. Here you'll find all release info on the entries of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest in Norway. Bookmark now.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

1970: All Kinds Of Hank.

This year it's 40 years ago that Ireland clocked up their first Eurovision victory. Many followed.
18 year old Dana's sweet lullaby All Kinds Of Everything sums up a few of her favorite things and the song may be a bit too saccharine according to todays standards. Hard Rock Hallelujah it is not.

At the time, Eurovision was practically dead, or at least in need of a doctor. Only 12 countries participated in the contest in Amsterdam.
Eurovision was overhauled (pimped, the kids) with some new inventions that still last today. The infamous Postcards, an opening show and more attention to the stage, which provides artists with different 'backdrops'.

Dutch TV did their thing, but a good part of Eurovisions saviour is thanks to Dana success. Plus Mary Hopkin was there for the U.K. and the world was introduced to Julio Iglesias.

All Kinds Of Everything, written by Derry Lindsay and Jackie Smith, was an international hit and it's genuine evergreen material. It takes its rightful place in the list of Irish classics.
The song travelled well and was recorded in at least 13 languages including Mandarin, Afrikaans and Icelandic. Dana however, only recorded the song in English.
I'm not launching an All Kinds Of Everything Year here, but there will be a few Eurocovers post dedicated to this Irish Eurovision gem.

Hank Locklin
The seminal American version (if there is such a thing) was recorded by honky tonk / country singer Hank Locklin.
Hank Locklin scored over 30 hits in the U.S. country charts and crossed over to the pop charts with Please Help Me I'm Falling, a U.S. top 10 hit in 1960 which was also his biggest hit in Europe.
It was probably his popularity in Ireland that made him notice All Kinds Of Everything. Already in 1964 he recorded an album Irish Songs, Country Style with all your Irish Eyes & Danny Boys (re-issued on CD in 2006)

In 1970 he delved in the Irish songbook again for his LP Bless Her Heart...I Love Her (US RCA 4392) and came home with All Kinds Of Everything.
A later recording appeared on the U.K. (only?) LP All Kinds Of Everything from 1980 (UK Top Spin TSLP 112).

Hank Locklin recorded over 60 albums and his songs were recorded by many artists including Dolly Parton, Dean Martin and Willie Nelson. He died last year at the age of 91.

Hank Locklin U.S. LP Discography
Please Help Me I'm Falling can be heard at at Hank Locklin's MySpace

A Jamaican reggae version of All Kinds is in the Eurocovers post Jamaica, Can I Have Your Votes Please pt. 2. Two (English) versions from China are here and a video by Mia Kalember from Yugoslavia is here.