Saturday, May 26, 2012

All eyes on Baku: Eurovision 2012

Tonight is the night. The 57th Eurovision final starts at, 24.00 local Baku time. 21.00 CET.
My country didn't make it to the final for the 8th time in a row, which must be some sort of record.
We're used to it, sad, but we'll be having big fun anyway.

Update: It's done, What's Another Year and all that. I'll leave most of the pre-contest text here, with the additions from the day after below

Eurocovers favorites Bulgaria, Finland and the Trackshittaz from Austria were killed of in the semi's, eternal shame on Europe for that.
Eurocovers loves Euphoria, The Sound Of Our Hearts and Love Is Blind very much, but good luck to everyone of course.

And special congrats to Malta's Kurt Calleja for being so lovely and fun and making it to the final and to Albania's Rona for being such a stunning singer.
And final break a leg to wonderful legend Engelbert Humperdinck who has the ghastly task to open the contest, but can take a nap during the other performances.
Oh and Jedward are probably the nicest blokes in the world.

If you're not in Eurovision TV world you can follow the show here:
Eurovision TV (Update: now the adress for re-watching!)
Songfestival NL - also have a second screen

If you want to have a quick info-check of all entries from the final  check them out at The Baku Collection:
Some Eurocovers posts feature: Anggun (France), Engelbert Humperdinck, Soluna Samay (Denmark), Trackshittaz and Jedward (Ireland).
And already some of the 2012 entries have been covered. Find out more here at Eurocovers.

And this is what happened:

Latest updated:
Sweden - Wins Eurovision 2012: Euphoria! for Loreen International hit, cds out now, remixes,  Acoustic and Dansband Schlager coverversions
Russia - Runner Up: Baku Babushka's win second semi, 10! Party versions of  For Everybody released
Serbia - 3rd place for Željko Joksimović  Nije Ljubav Stvar, Download Spanish, Symphonic and new Trubači version 
Azerbaijan - 4th: Sabina Babayeva, remixes, New ethnic version, Remix competition winner, new Jazz version
Albania -  Best ever result for Albania: Rona Nishliu, New Suus, English version
Estonia - 6th: Ott Lepland sings Kuula. English, Spanish and Russian versions, cdsingle
Turkey - 7th: Can Bonomo Loves Us Back, promo update
Germany - 8th: Roman Lob cds, new website, album out now
Italy - 9th Nina Zilli, L'Amore È Femmina (Out Of Love)
Spain 10th Pastora Soler, digital EP, Quedate Conmigo. stunning coverversion, best result since 2004.
11 to 26:
Moldova - Pasha Parfeny, Trumpet out for the girls
Romania - Mandinga cds, pick up Club De Mandinga CD with Libertatea mag, tracklist CD
Macedonia - Kaliopi Crno i Belo, download Russian version
Lithuania - Well Donny!  Love Is Blind, Another version (French) and debut album tracklist, updates.
Ukraine - Gaitana Be her guest to download, Special edition album details
Cyprus -  La La Love for Ivi Adamou, Euro Edition CD, remix, Kids: books are important
Greece - Eleftheria Eleftheriou  Aphrodisiac promo and cdsingle info.
Bosnia Hercegovina - Maya Sar Korake Ti Znam. Italian, English versions, promo update
Ireland - Jedward II cdsingle, Watershedline, Young Love in June.
Iceland - Greta and Jónsi  digital EP release
Malta - What A (semi) Night for Kurt Calleja, cdsingle and new mixes
France - Anggun updates, cds, duet versions
Denmark - Soluna Samay, Around the world, Best Of the old stuff release
Hungary - Compact Disco, 10 versions of SOOH, cdsingle
United Kingdom - Engelbert Humperdinck, cdsingle Out Now!, Autobiography: What's in a name?
Norway - Tooji wins battle with Sofi but tails at ESC final , Acoustic version released, coverversion, updates
Stranded in the 2nd semi:
Bulgaria - Sofi Marinova just misses the final, download song, promo updates
Croatia - Nina Badric Nebo remixes, cdsingle, Remix competition
Portugal - Festival da Canção, CD! digital single for Filipa Sousa, promo
Georgia - Anri Joxadze, no final for The Joker
The Netherlands - Joan packs her feather, Dreamcatcher! #1 hit, promo updates
Belarus - Litesound Heroes go home empty handed. Listen to new version and remixes.
Slovenia - Eva Boto. EMA CD, versions update, cdsingle
Slovakia - Miro Šmajda a.k.a. Max Jason Mai to Baku, Don't Close Your Eyes
Stranded in the 1st semi
Switzerland - Unbreakable, CD info, Sinplus, 7th Heaven remix, 11th in semi
Finland - UMK CD out now, Pernilla back to the handball competition
Israel - Izabo to Baku, versions update, Album details, Time to go
San Marino - Valentina Monetta Stock Exchange, 17 versions and counting, Social Network Song and the F-word song.
Montenegro Rambo Amadeus Not Last!' Brain Awareness, download
Latvia - New Beautiful Song for Anmary, cdsingle promo updates
Belgium - IrisWould You cdsingle and album Seventeen
Austria - Trackshittaz backside closes rear, cds out now, listen to the remixes
And some other bits and pieces
Handbook For Baku, Recommended reading
The other 'Collections' 1956 - 2008
Shopping tips - Who has their CD out in the shops
Who is in and who is out: The Pots! The Pots! The Draw!
Azerbaijan History - Check out all details on Azerbaijan's first 4 Eurovision entries, versions and releases.
Armenia - Withdraws from Eurovision 2012
Poland skips a year

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Baku Weeks, part 1 and only

Since Eurovision 2007 Eurocovers readers are used to the So And So weeks highlighting the Eurovision history of the organizing country through coverversions of their greatest hits and by their popular singers.

No such luck this year, as Azerbaijans Eurovision History is short and I haven't found any Azerbaijani Eurocovers artists except the one that was already featured in 2008 Muslim Magomaev (1942-2008), when Azerbaijan entered the Eurovision family.

Below is a re-hash of that 2008 article with a few alterations.

Also check out
The Finweeks
The Belgrade Weeks
The Moscow Weeks
The Oslo Weeks
The Düsseldorf Weeks - German Classics
The Baku Collection, all about the cds, versions, charts of Eurovision 2012.
All about the releases of Azerbaijans first 4 entries in a Baku Collection special

If you know any Eurocovers from Azerbaijan (excluding live clips and youtube amateurs) please let me know.

Here's the 2008 article about Azerbaijani/Soviet singer Muslim Magomaev, the only Azerbaijani artist I know that has recorded Eurovision songs.

2008: welcomes Azerbaijan to the Eurovision stage.

The list of countries for Eurovision 2008 counts 43 and there's again two newcomers on the Eurovision stage. San Marino and Azerbaijan. Austria opts out for 2008.
Eurocovers of course tries to find any excuse to present some songs here but so far I haven't been able to find any version sung in Azerbaijani (or Azeri-Turkish, check your wiki's).
If anyone knows any, just let me know….

But this is close, Muslim Magomaev (Müslüm Maqomayev, Муслим Магомаев, 1942-2008) is a classical singer (baritone) who was born in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, in 1942, USSR times.
He shares his name with his grandfather, legendary composer Muslim Magomaev (1885 - 1937), who was a pioneer of Azerbaijani music. His father was a painter and war hero, his mother an actress. Magomaev Jr. started as a classical singer but after a performance in Italy he also turned to popular music. Since he has recorded Italian and Russian versions of many Italian songs including several San Remo entries and (other) songs by Domenico Modugno. Later he was dubbed the Soviet Sinatra.

In 1966 and 1969 Muslim Magomaev performed in Paris Olympia with great success. The director of Olympia Bruno Coquatrix offered him a contract, and Muslim Magomaev was seriously considering an opportunity to pursue international career, but he didn't get the Ministry of Culture's permission, who claimed that it needed Muslim Magomaev to perform at governmental concerts. In 1969 he received MIDEM Gold Disc Award in Cannes for the album sales of over 4,5 million units. In 1973, at the very young age of 31, Muslim was awarded the Soviet Union's highest artistic title: People's Artist of the USSR. Muslim Magomaev is also known as a composer of songs, film soundtracks and music for theater performances. In addition, Magomaev played in films and acted as a host in television and radio broadcasts.

Muslim Magomaev has been living and working in Moscow since the early 1970s. In 1997, in recognition of Magomaev's professional successes, a Russian astronomical society named two planetoids of the solar system in honor of him and his wife, Tamara Sinyavskaya, a prominent Russian opera singer who was also awarded People's Artist of the USSR and worked as a soloist at the Bolshoi Theater. (source: Magomaev Website)
At his website (in English and Russian) you can read more and listen to a large selection of his songs: classical music, songs by Azerbaijani composers, western popular songs, film themes and many self composed works.

ADDED Muslim Magomaev, died on October 25, 2008 at the age of 66, nine months after the original article was compiled.

Magomaev Eurocovers.
So far I have found two Eurocovers by Muslim Magomaev. Both are entries from 1965, the year of his visit to Milan, Italy.

Se Piangi, Se Ridi (Italian)
- Italy 1965, originally by Bobby Solo
Voskovaya Kukla (Восковая кукла, Russian)
- Luxembourg 1965, France Galls Poupée De Cire, Poupée De Son.

I don't have any details on the release of Se Piangi Se Ridi, but Poupée…. was issued on a Melodija 4 track EP (33ГД-0001045-2, picture) and a compilation LP of the same year, Vsem kto lyubit pesnyu (No3)  / Всем, Кто Любит, Песню (№ 3)

The third song featured is Non Pensare A Me, the 1967 SanRemo winner that was replaced at the rehearsing stages of the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna.*

♫ Poupée - Se Piangi - Non Pensare

* Non Pensare A Me was the 1967 San Remo winner by both Iva Zanicchi and Claudio Villa. Villa was supposed to sing it as the Italian Eurovision entry but the song had to be replaced just days before the contest because it broke the release rules (i.e. it was released to early). Instead, Claudia Villa represented Italy with Non Andare Piu Lontano, but Non Pensare A Me was the hit (mainly for Zannichi) and is covered by most artists that were in the business of covering popular Italian songs (Connie Francis, Andre Hazes, Yukari Ito, Agnaldo Timoteo, José Guardiola).
Of Non Andare Piu Lontano I only ever found one coverversion (by Los Catinos)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Goodbye Donna Summer

I am very sad to hear that Donna Summer died. I know it's completely not Eurocovers related, but Donna Summer helped me survive through those horribly difficult teen years (probably second to ABBA only).
And she gave us the most utterly important timeless amazing dance record of all times, I Feel Love. Above is my own old tatty single sleeve, when it was actually a b-side first.
I guess the only thing left to say is the old cliché, Donna Summer, you'll be missed, but your music lives on forever.

What's your Donna Summer top 5?
1 - I Feel Love
2 - Rumour Has It
3 - On The Radio
4 - The Hostage
5 - I Remember Yesterday

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Quédate Conmigo, Euphoria and When The Music Dies covers

Here is a coverversion of this years Spanish Eurovision Song Quédate Conmigo which will be performed in the Eurovision final on May 26 by Pastora Soler.
I don't know who is behind this (please tell me), but it is wonderful. Singers from all over the world (well, mostly Eurovision world) cover the classic Eurovision ballad and it is very well put together.
I've spotted a few pre-selection singers (ooh, Rui Andrade) and Eurocovers favourite Lianie May from South Africa.

Update: I just read at Eurovicio, who already posted it a week ago, that the idea from this clip is from Antonio (Tony) Sanchez, one of the composers of the song. It's a tribute to Pastora in support of her Eurovision adventure. You can also find the full list of participating singers at the Eurovicio link.
So: Thank you Eurovicio!

You can find out everything about Pastora Solers own version and releases here at The Baku Collection, the place for all info on the releases of the Baku 2012 Eurovision Song Contest.

And while we're in the business of 2012 covers, an acoustic coverversion of Swedish entry Euphoria well worth checking out is released by Gavin Mikhail.
Gavin Mikhail recorded his acoustic version of Euphoria for a digital release with five acoustic versions of current hits (+ five instrumental versions).
Mikhail's coverversions are a bit of an internet phenomenon and his version of the Swedish entry shows us why. I think MF 2013 may have their intervalact sorted with our Gav'.
Listen to Gavins Euphoria here or buy here at itunes or amazon.

Euphoria will be performed in the second semi-final on May 24 by Loreen. (and hopefully also in the final). Find out everything about Loreen, Euphoria, chart success, remixes and Melodifestivalen 2012 here at the Baku Collection.

Wənneer Die Musiek Verdwijn
A third coverversion worth checking out is Wanneer Die Musiek Verdwyn (When the music disappears) by Colé Van Dais. 
It's an Afrikaans version of When The Music Dies, Azerbaijans home entry by Sabina Babayeva (Səbinə Babayeva).
You can listen to Colé version through her Reverbnation and it's also for sale at RhythmMusic store (South Africa).

Colé Van Dais has recorded several Eurovision coverversions recently for her album Dink Aan My (Think of me). For example titletrack is a cover of Haegt Og Hljott, the 1987 Icelandic entry by Halla Margret.
She also recorded a duet version of Georgia's Peace Will Come (Diana Gurtskaya 2008) with Marc Rantseli. This one is sung in Afrikaans, Spanish, English and Zulu.
Afrikaanse Meissies (African girls or probably Afrikaans girls) is The Balkan Girls (Romania's Elena Gheorge, 2008) and Die Eiland (The island) is 1987 Cyprus entry Aspro Mavro by Alexia.
Listen to some of the tracks here at Reverbnation

Of course you can find out everything about the original entry by Sabina Babayeva at the Baku Collection. There are details about the remixes, the Azerbaijani version Gəl and more at this page.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

JEDWARD - Put The Green Cape On - EURO 2012

Jedward are covering their own Lipstick from last years Eurovision and turned it into Put The Green Cape On.
The Green Cape is donned in support of the Irish football team who take on Spain, Italy and Croatia in the first rounds of the forthcoming European Football Championships (Euro 2012) in Poland and Ukraine*.
Green Cape is released as Jedwards new single and all proceeds will go to the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC).
You just gotta love 'em, their hearts are even bigger than their hair.
For the video Jedward are joined by Irish sports and TV stars and even former Eurovision entrant Dustin The Turkey make a cameo appearance.
The cdsingle is out on Universal Ireland (3703342)

Find out more about Jedwards 2011 entry Lipstick here at the Düsseldorf Collection and their 2012 entry Waterline here at the Baku Collection.
source: Read more about the Green Cape here at RTE
More football / soccer at Eurocovers: Volare Meets The Beautiful Game
* Ireland are playing their first round games in Poznan and Gdansk in Poland)

Update: A week after release Put The Green Cape On enters the Irish charts at #3.
At #1 there's another football anthem: The Rocky Road To Poland by various (jurassic) Irish artists. It's also is for charity and stresses that it is the OFFICIAL anthem, but it doesn't have anyone half as exiting as Jedward or any of the other Irish Eurovision stars for that matter.

No Monster Club
If Jedward are a bit too easy listening for you it may be worthwhile to check out the Lipstick coverversion by the No Monster Club. They have a free download available here at Quarter Inch Collective.
It's from the album Quompilation #2.