Monday, November 11, 2019

Building bridges with Donato Plögert

A Song can be a bridge, Eurovision fans know that. Die-hard Eurocovers fans also know Donato Plögert, the German singer, actor, entertainer, multi-talent whose German language versions of Eurovision Cult classics have earned him a loyal following among fans.
Now the hardest working man in German theater has released a digital album with all of his Eurovision coverversions to date and a few we haven't heard before.
From the first ones from his 1996 album Eins Blieb Ungesagt up to his version of the first Portuguese winner Amar Pelos Dois titled Mein Herz Schlägt Für Zwei. This man loves Eurovision.
That last one may have been a winner, but Donato Plögerts selections are mostly lesser known fan favorites including some that didn’t do too well at Eurovision (Willeke says hi).
To be fair,  there is quite a bit of Drama and some are an acquired taste. The album can certainly not be accused of relying on the easy boom bang-a-bangy Eurovision classics. It's great these songs get a second chance in life. 

2003 cdsingle Verliebt wie noch nie
The album is titled Ein Lied Kann Eine Brücke Sein (Vom Grand Prix De La Chanson Zum Song Contest) and is out now through digital sources.
It includes 19 Eurovision songs, five Preselection songs and a bonus track.
This is a digital album, but many songs have appeared on some of his 15+ albums and over 20 singles. Below is the tracklist with  some details on Plögerts first CD releases so if you really don’t like digital music you can try to hunt these down.
But for the rest of us, have a listen at your streamers of buy the songs from your favorite digitessen.

Here are the tracks and some info.
01. Wunder gibt es immer wieder - Germany 1970 (Katja Ebstein)
02. Kleines Kind - Malta 1992 (Little child - Mary Spiteri)
03. Zeit im Traum - Iceland 1987 (Haegt og hljott - Halla Margret)
--- From Plögert’s first CD Eins Blieb Ungesagt (1996, Red Clouds 2501)
04. Rhapsodie - Italy 1992 (Rapsodia - Mia Martini)
--- From 1997 CD Wenn Ich Nur Wüsste
05. Versuch's mal mit mir - Denmark 2005 (Talking to you - Jacob Sveistrup)
--- From a cdsingle from 2006 (Donato Plögert Musik ‎DPM 003)
06. Im Lauf der Zeit - France 2002 (Il faut du temps - Sandrine François)
--- From a 2003 cdsingle also including track 24 below (QED QSV 296)
07. Ich liebe dich - Germany (Preselection 1975, Katja Ebstein)
08. Wo ist das Licht? - The Netherlands 1994 (Waar is de zon - Willeke Alberti)
--- From the CD Sowas Vergisst Man Nicht! (1999, Pool Berlin 65253)
09. Was wird aus mir? - Slovenia 1995 (Prisluhni mi - Darja Svajger)
--- From his first CD Eins Blieb Ungesagt (1996, Red Clouds 2501) also including the Italian version (track 22 below).
10. Frauen regier'n die Welt - Germany 2007 (Roger Cicero)
11. Als ob du bei mir bist - Netherlands (Preselection 1998, Alsof je bij me bent - Nurlaila)
12. Liebe, sie bleibt - Sweden 1998 (Kärleken är - Jill Johnson)
--- From digital single Liebe lässt sich nie verbieten (2016)
13. Ein Lied kann eine Brücke sein - Germany 1975 (Joy Fleming)
14. Ewiges Licht - (Preselection 1996, Eternal love - Alfred Rapa)
--- From Plögerts first CD Eins Blieb Ungesagt (1996, Red Clouds 2501)
15. Mein Herz liebt für zwei - Portugal 2017 (Amar pelos dois - Salvador Sobral)
--- from the CD Banane (2017)
16. Und wenn der Tag beginnt - Spain 1989 (Nacida para amar - Nina)
--- from the CD Sowass Vergisst Man Nicht! (1999, Pool Berlin 65253)
17. Verliebt wie noch nie - Norway 2003 (I’m not afraid to move on - Jostein Hasselgård)
--- Two versions of this song can be found on a cdsingle from 2003 (QED QSV 326)
18. Ich bin Mensch wie du - Cyprus 1994 (Ime anthropos ki egos - Evridiki)
--- from the 2000 cdsingle Die Frau In Ihm (Town DTM 01485)
19. Im Wartesaal zum großen Glück - Germany 1956 (Walter Andreas Schwarz)
--- from the CD Sowass Vergisst Man Nicht! (1999, Pool Berlin 65253)
20. Und das nennst du leben - Malta (Preselection 1999, The right time - Lawrence Gray)
--- From the album Ich Bin Geboren Um Zu Leben, 2015, digital)
21. Zwei kleine Italiener - Germany 1962 (Conny Froboess)
22. Sempre cosi - Slovenia 1995 - Italian Version
--- From his first CD Eins Blieb Ungesagt (1996, Red Clouds 2501)
23. Mich jibt's nur in Berlin - Italy 1991 (Comme e’ddoce’o mare - Peppino di Capri)
--- CD Mittenmang (Berlin für Anfänger und Unersättliche) (2004, Rampenlicht 220026)
24. Fuego de amor - Malta (Preselection 1996, Eternal love - Alfred Rapa, Spanish)
25. Sing ein Lied (für Europa)! - Bonustrack

Links and sources
Thanks to Frank! Thanks to Rick!
Donato Plögert website, discography/shop, Facebook
The 10.000 coverversions project

Monday, October 21, 2019

Mamma Mia, It's Udo, Again!

Udo Jürgens would have been 85 last month. But he died. Five years ago.
He’s probably the most prolific songwriter ever to appear on the Eurovision stage. He wrote about a 1000 songs, sold 100 million records and represented his home country Austria three times at the Eurovision Song Contest. The 3rd time he won, with Merci Cherie (1966).
It is said that even Sir Elton John has expressed his envy toward Jürgens’ songwriting talent.

In 2007 his songs were forged into a musical Ich War Noch Niemals In New York and your Eurocovers wrote a bit about that here.

Now there’s a movie of the musical, again drenched in Udo’s music. Ich War Noch Niemals In New York the Movie is in German and now playing in theaters in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg. 
The Philip Stölzi directed movie stars Heike Makatsch, Moritz Bleibtreu, Katharina Thalbach, Uwe Ochsenknecht, Michael Ostrowski, Pasquale Aleardi, Marlon Schramm and Mat Schuh.
Reviews are mixed, from raving to raging. 
I haven’t seen it but I can’t wait for the DVD with subtitles (expected in June 2020, also on Blu Ray if you're into that).

The Soundtrack
One Eurovision song made it to the film, Merci Cherie is performed by the ever gorgeous Moritz Bleibtreu. (but a very short version at 1.38).

The music from the film is out on CD and deluxe 3CD set. Disc one has the songs from the movie, the bonus discs have all kinds of tributes and coverversions featuring artists like Pepe Lienhards orchestra (Jürgens’ touring band leader for 37 years!), Matt Monro (the amazing If I Never Sing Another Song), Nana Mouskouri, Heino, Caterina Valente, Milva and many more. (see image below for tracklist)
Digital?, not so much, it seems Spotify doesn't want us outside the German speaking countries to hear it. Same for Apple music, maybe iTunes has it but it doesn't show up here.

Mamma Mia It's Udo! (2007 post about the original musical)
You can find out about Udo Jürgens Eurovision entries and their versions on page three and four of the Eurovision Collectors Guide (via our facebook page, open to all).

IWNNINY, der Film has a Facebook page

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Therion - Poupée de cire, poupée de son

Here's an older post that's popular again right now, so, worth moving it up. Did a bit of an update too, still completely and utterly awesome.
After Poupée De Cire, Poupée De Son and L'Amour Est Bleu I really hope the band someday will discover the Gainsbourg Genius that is Boum Bada Boum by Minouche Barrelli.

(From 2012) Here's something completely and utterly awesome. Swedish Symphonic metal band Therion, formerly known as Megatherion, have released their 15th(!) album and it's a collection of French 60's and 70's songs including some well known classics (and quite a few obscure gems). The classiest of classics is of course Poupée De Cire, Poupée De Son*.
The album is out in October 2012 and is titled Les Fleurs Du Mal (The flowers of evil).
There are two versions of the 1965 Eurovision classic on the CD along with unforgettables like La Maritza (Sylvie Vartan), Polichinelle (Another France Gall hit), Initials B.B. (Serge Gainsbourg) and Les Sucettes (One of the biggest hits for the Gall/Gainsbourg Tandem)**.
See below for the full tracklist and details on the singers who originally recorded the songs.

You can buy the album (and the 2016 EP below) through the Therion website here.
Therium founder Christofer Johnsson is taking a massive risk with this unusual clash of Metal, Opera and YèYe album by financing the project himself, so please support them and Buy It.

2016 update 
Therion have also tackled L'Amour Est Bleu (Love is blue), the 1967 entry by Vicky Leandros.
It's on the EP Les Épaves, which was recorded in 2012, so I guess the tracks just didn't make it to the Fleurs album. But the tracks don't sound like leftovers. Go find it in you favorite record store or digitessen.

There are two versions of Vicky's Eurovision classic on the EP. Les Épaves was also released on limited edition vinyl 10 inch and cdsingle. Tracklist below.


* You know by know: Poupée De Cire, Poupée De Son is the 1965 Eurovision winner for Luxembourg performed by France Gall and written by Serge Gainsbourg
** Only the version of the album sold at the live shows and the Japanese edition have the bonus track Les Sucettes. - Thank you Gabriel, see comments

Therion have uploaded several clips from the Fleurs album to their Youtube channel. Next to Poupée there are videos of Initials B.B.,  Mon Amour, Mon Ami  of Je N'ai Besoin Que De Tendresse and one of J'ai Le Mal De Toi.

Therion website, Facebook
Also check out Lori Lewis (Therion singer) website.
And ABBA fans: here's a video of Therions take on Summer Night City from their 2001 album Secret Of The Runes.
Special thanks to Olaf and Gabriel. Please see comments.

Les Tracks
Here’s the full tracklist of the Les Fleurs Du Mal album. I did some digging on the net and found most of the original singers.
1. Poupée De Cire, Poupée The Son (France Gall, 1965)
2. Une Fleur Dans Le Coeur (Victoire Scott, 1968)
3. Initials B.B (Serge Gainsborg, 1968)
- Of course the B.B. initials stand for Brigitte Bardot
4. Mon Amour, Mon Ami (Marie Laforet, 1967)
- Written by legendary Eurovision winning songsmiths André Popp and Claude Marnay.  
5. Polichinelle (France Gall, 1967)
6. La Maritza (Sylvie Vartan, 1968)
7. Soeur Angelique (Annie Philippe, 1966)
8. Dis-Moi Poupée (Isabelle, 1967)
9. Lilith (Léonie, 1972) - see comments, thank you Fabio
10. En Alabama (Léonie, 1971)
11. Wahala Manitou (Léonie, 1971)
- Both Leonie tracks originally appeared on the same single. Source : discogs
12. Je N'ai Besoin Que De Tendresse (Claire Dixon, 1967)
13. La Licorne D'or (Victoire Scott, 1968)
14. J'ai Le Mal De Toi (Betty Mars, 1974)
- Betty Mars is the French 1972 Eurovision singer.
- This  J'ai Le Mal De Toi is not the 1964 Colette Dereal song. 
15. Poupée De Cire, Poupée The Son
16. Les Sucettes (France Gall, 1966)
Sources :Discogs, Youtube and record collection of yours truly.

Les Épaves
1. L'amour est bleu (heavy version) (Vicky Leandros cover)
2. Nous ne sommes pas des anges (France Gall cover)
3. La fermeture éclair (Delphine cover)
4. Ah-Hem-Ho-Hu-Err (Christine Pilzer cover)
5. L'amour est bleu (mellow version) (Vicky Leandros cover)

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Eurovision Collectors Guide 1956 - 2018

Here’s some news about the 10th* edition of the Eurovision Collectors Guide, previously known as the booklet that gives you all the information on the entries of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Since 1989 nine* booklets have been issued with all the information on the songs, versions and releases of our beloved Eurovision Song Contest. Some of you may still have a much thumbed copy lying about.

I’m pleased to present the 10th edition in a new DIY format  Many things have changed since and another (affordable) paper edition was just not possible.

* Actually it's the 11th edition but the first one (#0) only had 10 copies made and hasn't been available to the public.

It’s 3 decades of dedicated work, of collecting data with a lot of help from many people.
Massive thanks go out to all of you who have contributed to the Eurovision Collectors Guide over the past 30 years, couldn’t have done it without you.
I hope you’ll find it useful, fun and occasionally surprising.

This new version will hopefully provide all the information you need. You can read it online or print it and make a lovely book / atlas out of it, it’s up to you now.

I decided to make this issue a free issue, but if you’re really really really happy with what you see, I won’t stop you from sending me presents.
There will be updates and corrections later in the year, that's where you come in....

For the new print it yourself edition of the Eurovision Collectors Guide please visit our facebook
Oh, and it only costs a like or two.
Or you can download the whole thing as a PDF file here at ESC History

The Tel Aviv Collection will keep you updated with the latest releases, versions and trivia of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Israel.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Play It Again Nicki!

Picture from Energise records Facebook.

Look who's at it again! Nicki French releases a new EP Let's Play That Song Again covering some Eurovision tunes we all know and love. 
The EP includes Go (Gigliola Cinquetti's Si from 1974), My Star (Brainstorm 2000) You Are TheOnly One by Sergey Lazarev and Tonight Again (Guy Sebastian)
One of these is one of my top 3 favorite Eurovision songs ever, so well done Nicki.

All songs feature in two versions on the EP including mixes by Pete Ware and Matt Pop.
If you buy the CD version a new mix of Don't Play That Song Again (Nicki's own Eurovision classic from 2000) is yours as well.

We. Love. Nicki.
The 2015 Eurovision EP
CD version available now at Energise Records who also still have Nicki's first Eurovision from 2015 EP available. (more about that one here at Eurocovers)
The digital version is out on May 6.

Energise Records "does" Nicki French and also gives us some great Linda Martin, Sinitta, Hazell Dean and more. 
There's also a delicious cover version of Verona (Koit 'n' Laura's Estonian entry that was robbed) by Sean Smith and Peter Wilson released in a variety of mixes (on a 2CD set).

Links and sources
Nicki French website and FB
Energise Records website and FB
Nicki French: The first Eurovision EP

also check out:

Friday, March 29, 2019

4 x 50: Eurovision 1969 Madrid

Today it's 50 years ago that the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest happened in Madrid, Spain. There were four winners and other sources of total mayhem (like Franco).
There's a lot of talking but the show starts at approx 16 minutes.
(TVE's archive may not be available in all territories.
You can watch the original show here at TVE's archives. It's in black and white, as broadcasted in Spain back then.
Other countries saw it in colour. The colour version is here at TVE

10 years ago Eurocovers did quite a few bits about that, so why not check the old posts out. (Warning, may contain expired links)

Monday, March 25, 2019

Dana Valery - This Is My Prayer

2019: The Eurocovers post about Dana Valery is another one worth moving up. Thanks to Keurspel YouTube you can now give the songs mentioned a listen. (scroll down a bit)
The original post is from 2009.
It seems Dana Valery has all but disappeared from the WWW and there still is no compilation of her work.  You can find some stuff on the digitals but none of the Eurocovers.

South-Africa release
Another international singer already lined up for a Eurocovers feature since the beginning of this blog is Dana Valery. But information on her career and recordings is very patchy I had to put the article aside several times. I thought it especially interesting because of her equally talented brother (Sergio Franchi 1926-1990) who also has a few Eurocovers to his name, so something of a Brothers and Sisters feature would have been fitting.

Dana Valery's career is all over the place and I don't know many artists who have recorded for so many record labels. Her work isn't documented anywhere and as far as I know there has never been a CD re-issue of any of her albums, let alone a compilation. I don't intend to cover all aspects of her career but the things that stood out are here. If you have any additions or suggestions please leave a comment.

Dana Valery Catalano is born in Italy but at eight she moves to South Africa with her family.
It's here that she has her first solo hits, including her first Eurovision coverversions.
But before the breakthrough she spends a short while (and one LP: Dan, Diana and the Diamonds, CBS 1962) with Rhodesian band the Diamonds.

It's hard to put her early South African releases in chronological order but it's the 1964 single This Is My Prayer that is a huge hit and becomes a top 10 best selling single of the year in South Africa. This Is My Prayer (CBS SSC 479 South Africa) is a coverversion of Gigliola Cinquetti's Eurovision winner Non Ho L'Eta (Italy 1964).

The b-side to the single is Would I Love You Again, and that's another Eurocover: t'En Va Pas, the Swiss 1963 entry by Esther Ofarim (2nd place).
The single is also released in the UK but it fails to chart. (Decca F11881),
Japan and the U.S.
Both songs can also be found on the LP Dana (CBS ALD 6747, South Africa)
After the success with This Is My Prayer Dana Valery releases an LP Dana Valery All'Italiana (CBS ALD 6694), but I don't know if there are any Eurovision songs on that, I haven't found a tracklist.
There are some more singles and albums released in South Africa up to 1965 but after that she moves to the U.S. to record what I think is her best work.


She releases several singles on the Columbia label like You, Having You Around and especially the utterly fantastic You Don't know Where Your Interest Lies from 1967. The latter is a Simon and Garfunkel song written by Paul Simon who also provides the talking bits on the track. (originally it's the b-side to Having You Around)
The song fails to chart but has become a Northern Soul classic over the years, and rightfully so. It has appeared on many compilations and the single was re-issued on several labels.
Update In 2013 the single was re-issued in the U.K. (Outta Sight label OSV 105).

In the late 60's and early 70's she is a guest on all major U.S. TV shows (Ed Sullivan, Merv Griffin, Johnny Carson, David Frost, Liberace). Put Your Hand In The Hand (1971) is a popular song for her and it gets a single release in many countries.

A recommended album is Not The Flower But The Root from 1972 (see comments). This is a pure soul album produced by Carl Davis.
This album was re-released on CD in Japan in 2013 and 2016.

In 1975 she releases the third Eurovision coverversion on the LP Dana Valery produced by Mountain guitarist Leslie West. The album includes Dana's (quite fab) take on Cliff Richards Power To All Our Friends, the U.K. entry of 1973.

Disco doesn't pass Dana by either and she releases several records combining light disco with ballads and covers of pop hits. Her disco version of Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (1976 # 95 on the US billboard) is dire, but the era gives Dana Valery her 'biggest' US top 100 hit the soulful ballad Don't Want to be Lonely (#87 in 1980)

In 1978 she releases a single in German, Du Bist Das Licht in Meiner Welt, but it doesn't spark a career in the German speaking countries

After a long and sudden run of personal tragedies in the early 1991 she stops working for a year but then is asked to host an American games show. It's at this show Dana Valery decides it's time for a career change. She ventures into healing through Reiki and hypnotherapy.

Sergio Franchi
In her U.S. career Dana Valery performed with her brother on several occasions (The Ed Sullivan show amongst them)
Dana's brother is Sergio Franchi, an operatic singer who later crosses over to lighter music like say, Eurocovers. In his career he records the Italian entries of 1958, 1959, 1961 and 1966. Sergio Franchi's death in 1990 is one of the personal tragedies that had an big impact Dana Valery's life. I hope to do a feature on Sergio Franchi in a future Eurocovers post.

Jody Wayne - Are You Sure

2019: This 2011 post about Jody Wayne is by far the most visited at your Eurocovers blog. Now a kind YouTuber has uploaded the song, so you can enjoy it again. (scroll down a bit)

This coverversion of the 1961 U.K. entry Are You Sure is in the list of coverversions from South Africa. But that’s just because it was recorded when the singer, Jody Wayne lived there.

He’s a bit of a global person, our Jody. He was born in Bangalore, India from Canadian parents. He moved to England at three and to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) at 5, Back to England at 10 and back to Rhodesia where he formed the Diamonds with Mike Shannon.
He starred in theatre productions in London as a child actor (Cinderella) and a member of The Grashoppers.
A move to South Africa was followed by TV jobs as an actor and behind the scenes.
It sounds a bit like a Motown story, but it was while singing while he was working, Jody was discovered by his TV boss. Little Joe and the Travellers were born and they had their own TV show for two years.

After winning the Durban Song Festival with A Voice In The Dark (his first single) he scored his first hit with Tell Laura I Love Her.

Are You Sure was Jody’s third single in 1966 (PYE records PY 67) and many would follow, including # 1 hits like Patches, Sixteen Candles and The Wedding.
Are You Sure can also be found on the LP Jody (South Africa PYE PL 2074) and the LP  It's Me Again from 1988.

“This song is off the compilation album "Record Express Dance Party", released in 1966. It's a cover of a song by The Allisons from 1961. Record Express was a monthly teenage magazine published in South Africa in the 1960s.” - Quote from YouTube entry

Jody Wayne released nine studio albums and about 20 singles. He also played Joseph in a 1975 production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
From the 70’s on he focussed more on songwriting and producing other artists' records.

Jody Wayne’s most recent project is the Smokie Jo tour and album. It’s a tribute to 70’s band Smokie, known from international hits like Living Next Door To Alice, Lay Back In The Arms Of Someone and Oh Carol.
Jody Wayne’s Smokie Jo album features hits of Smokie and some of his own platinum selling hits (Regala records 2009 on CD and DVD)
Two CDs have been issued featuring many of Jody Wayne’s older recordings. The Heart And Soul Of Jody Wayne and Send Me Some Loving. But neither has Are You Sure.

You can find more about 1961 U.K.  Eurovision entry and world wide hit Are You Sure in the Eurocovers post Team GB.
Update: Colin Day (a.k.a. Bob Allison) has passed away, read more here at Eurovers

Any corrections, additions and comments are of course very welcome.

Links and sources:
Keurspel YouTube
Jody Wayne Facebook 
Rock Co Za - The South African Rock Encyclopedia