Showing posts with label Eurovision Song Contest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eurovision Song Contest. Show all posts

Thursday, 14 November 2019

På en gammal bänk - Siw Malmkvist

Although the sleeve of this single simply credits the song 'På en gammal bänk' to Siw, the label clears up the mystery: yes, this is Siw Malmkvist, the Swedish singer who was popular both in Sweden and in Germany. In 1969 she participated in the Eurovision Song Contest with 'Primaballerina', but this single proves that she was still interested in the Contest two years later: 'På en gammal bänk' is a Swedish version of 'Un arbre, un banc, une rue', with which Severine won the Contest that year.

What's more, the B-side, 'Ett Rött Äpple' is a Swedish version of 'Pomme pomme pomme', another Eurovision song from that year. No wonder, then, that this single had to end up in my collection. Even if the sleeve isn't in the best of conditions...

My collection: 7" single no. 6190
Found: Discogs.com, received November 12, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'På en gammal bänk' / '
Ett Rött Äpple'

Uh jeg ville ønske jeg var dig - Birthe Wilke

Birthe Wilke was born on March 19, 1936. When she was in her teens, she won a talent competition at the National Scala Theatre in Copenhagen, sang as soloist with Bruno Henriksen's Orchestra at Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, made her first recording, and was named "Denmark's Doris Day" and recorded 'Que sera sera' in 1956. She participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1957 where she sang 'Skibet skal sejle i nat' ('The ship is leaving tonight') with Gustav Winckler. They ranked third of 10 competitors at the end of the voting, and stunned television audiences with a 13-second long kiss at the end of their performance.

Birthe returned to the Contest two years later with the song 'Uh jeg ville ønske jeg var dig' ('Oh - I wish I were you'). This time, she finished in fifth place. In 1961, she won the award for best singer at the first international song festival in the Gdansk shipyard hall, the forerunner of the Sopot festival and Intervision Song Contest. In 1966 she retired from public life, but made a short-lived return in 1973. In addition to her recording successes, she participated in radio, television, advertising and commercial film.

My collection: 7" single no. 6189
Found: Discogs.com, received November 12, 2019
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Uh jeg ville ønske jeg var dig' / 'Augustin'

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Mitt liv - Kate

'Mitt liv' ('My life') was the Norwegian entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1987, performed in Norwegian by Kate Gulbrandsen. She was only 21 when she performed the song on the Eurovision stage. This was, after all, the year after Sandra 'Je suis quinze ans' Kim won the Contest, so young women and children were flocking towards that stage at the time. (It would take the EBU decades to finally organize a Junior contest for those who are actually interested in seeing children sing. For the record: I am not one of them.)

The song was written and composed by Norwegian Eurovision veterans Hanne Krogh and Rolf Lovland. It finished ninth in a field of 22 competitors. 

My collection: 7" single no. 6184
Found: Discogs.com, received October 2, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Mitt liv' / 'The woman and the girl in me'

Sangen om dig - Bjørn Tidmand

Bjørn Tidmand was born on January 24, 1940 in Copenhagen, Denmark. After being a member of the Copenhagen Boys Choir as a child, Tidmand began performing in local nightclubs and signed a recording contract in 1959, having a hit with a Danish-language version of 'Only Sixteen'.

In 1964, he represented his country in the Eurovision Song Contest with 'Sangen om dig'. He finished in ninth place in a field of 16 competitors. The song is a love ballad, with Tidmand singing that the song about his lover can never end because it would "never get everything said".

My collection: 7" single no. 6185
Found: Discogs.com, received October 2, 2019
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Sangen om dig' / 'Ingen'

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Speeldoos - Annie Palmen

Annie Palmen was born in IJmuiden on August 19, 1926. She started her career singing with dance orchestras around the city of Haarlem, then sang on various radio stations before her first hit record, 'Ik zal je nooit meer vergeten', in 1958. In 1960, Palmen took part in the Dutch Eurovision selection, as one of the artists singing 'Wat een geluk', which was eventually performed by Rudi Carrell on the international Eurovision stage.

Palmen returned in 1963 in a more straightforward procedure, performing three songs from which a professional jury would pick a winner. The song 'Geen ander' ('Nobody else') was chosen to go to the eighth Eurovision Song Contest, held in London on 23 March. Before the contest however, the lyrics to the song were completely rewritten, and it became 'Een speeldoos'. The song was not successful; it was one of four songs that received the dreaded 'nul points' in a field of sixteen competitors. Her career continued until 1972, after five years of monthly appearances in the television programme 'Mik' on Dutch TV. Palmen died in Beverwijk on 15 January 2000, after a long illness of an undisclosed nature, aged 73.

'Een speeldoos' was the only Dutch Eurovision single missing in my collection, so it is with great pleasure that I acquired this disc. (A few more Eurovision songs happened in the last century, but these were never released as a single.) 

My collection: 7" single no. 6159
Found: Discogs.com, received August 16, 2019
Tracks: 'Speeldoos' / 'Bij jou'

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Give love a chance - Seija Simola

Seija Simola was born in Helsinki on September 25, 1944. She began her musical career in the mid-Sixties in the band Eero Seija & Kristian Trio, and her debut solo album was released in 1970: Seija Simola 1.

In 1978, she represented Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest. She sang 'Anna rakkaudelle tilaisuus', which finished in 18th place, in a field of 20 competitors. Despite this poor result, Simola continued a long and successful career in her native Finland. She passed away in Vantaa on August 21, 2017.

This single presents the English version of her Eurovision song: 'Give love a chance'. It comes in one of the thinnest paper sleeves I have ever seen.

My collection: 7" single no. 6155
Found: Discogs.com, received August 9, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Give love a chance' / 'Little smile'

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Arcade - Duncan Laurence

Every year when the Netherlands announce their Eurovision candidate, there is a sigh of desperation and the resigned thought: 'Okay, so we won't win this year - again'. Ever since Teach In won the contest back in 1975 - a feat I didn't consciously experience - there have been many attempts to get to the top spot, but with dud artists like Bernadette, Gerard Joling, Willeke Alberti, Glennis Grace and - oh how terrible - De Toppers, we didn't have a shadow a chance.

And then suddenly, the unknown artist Duncan Laurence was announced as this year's entry. The song sounded weird at first, but it was way better than most songs from previous years. And when the bookmakers started predicting that the Netherlands could win this year, a mixture of disbelief and hope started to rise. I couldn't believe it when 'Arcade' won the Contest in May. And then, of course, the question came: will it be released on any physical format? The answer came two full months later: 'Arcade' was released last week on 7" vinyl. So there you have it - a winning Dutch Eurovision song on vinyl. It doesn't really get much better than this.

My collection: 7" single no. 6151
Found: Bea Records, received July 30, 2019
Cost: 10 euro
Tracks: 'Arcade' / 'Arcade (acoustic version)'

Do I dream - Maxi

Maxi was the stage name of Irene McCoubrey, born February 23, 1950. In the late 1960s Maxi teamed up with Barbara Dixon and Adele King to form Maxi, Dick and Twink. The trio toured Ireland, the UK and Canada and recorded two singles. They also worked a session singers in Motown studios in Detroit, Michigan, before disbanding. Following this she pursued a career with Danny Doyle and Music Box before going solo. She represented Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1973 singing 'Do I Dream', finishing tenth in a field of 17 competitors.
 
In the late 1970s, Maxi became part of another all-girl trio Sheeba, with Marion Fossett and Frances Campbell. The group represented Ireland in the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Horoscopes'. Maxi embarked on a career in broadcasting with the Irish national broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ). Working mainly on radio, she also took on some television work including a quiz show, presenting Ireland's lottery and fronting the Miss Ireland contest. In 1987 Maxi presented the national final for Eurovision alongside Marty Whelan.

My collection: 7" single no. 6148
Found: Discogs.com, received July 29, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Do I dream' / 'Here today and gone tomorrow'

Friday, 19 July 2019

Living in Tooneland - Park Cafe

I bought the single 'Monsieur' four years ago, a rare Eurovision single from the act hailing from Luxembourg. I was quite surprised when I saw this single, featuring the English version of that song on the A-side. That version also appears on the B-side of 'Monsieur', but still... I was buying some Eurovision cd-singles from the same online seller so I didn't feel bad about adding this one to the stack.

The B-side 'Passion' comes from the band's 1989 album 'Goodtime boy'. That album also features 'Living in Tooneland', but not the Eurovision entry 'Monsieur'. That single remains the rarest of the two, then.

My collection: 7" single no. 6142
Found: Discogs.com, received July 19, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Living in Tooneland' / 'Passion'

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Heute in Jerusalem - Christina Simon

Fans of Mezzoforte, Shakatak and elevator music in general, pay attention: Christina Simon created this single especially for you! 'Heute in Jerusalem' was Austria's attempt to make it big at the Eurovision Song Contest 1979, held in - you guessed it - Jerusalem. The song was about the hope of "peace in Jerusalem", bringing "sense against the nonsense". The song scored just five points, ending up in an equal last place in a field of 19 competitors.

But Christina Simon took it a step further on the B-side of this single: the track 'Babaya' is the kind of freestyle jazz that you could easily find on the aforementioned bands' albums. This single was, by the way, the last release by her. The Eurovision attempt proved to be the deadstop for her career.

My collection: 7" single no. 6138
Found: Discogs.com, received July 12, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Heute in Jerusalem' / 'Babaya'

Tom Pillibi - Jacqueline Boyer

Jacqueline Boyer represented France at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1960 with 'Tom Pillibi', and I was glad to buy the single of that song ten years ago. Just as happy as I am now, because I have actually found a copy of the German version of that song! This single was actually made in Germany - and presumably released in that country as well.

The B-side is the German version of the song 'Si tu rencontres l'amour', but I have found no information whether Boyer recorded that song in French at all...

My collection: 7" single no. 6139
Found: Discogs.com, received July 12, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Tom Pillibi' / 'Grüss mir die Liebe'

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Venedig im Regen - Thomas Forstner

Thomas Forstner represented Austria at the Eurovision Song Contest on two occasions: in 1989 with the song 'Nur ein Lied', and in 1991 with this song, 'Venedig im Regen'. Forstner was probably chosen again because of his impressive fifth place in 1989, but things didn't go so well two years later. The saccharine 'Venedig im Regen' came in last.

In the hilarious book 'Nul points' by Tim Moore, dedicated to those Eurovision artists who scored the titular zero points, there is an attempt to contact Thomas, to no avail. His career was already in decline in 1991, and after one final album ('Hautnah', released in 1994) he disappeared from the Austropop music scene.

My collection: 7" single no. 6137
Found: Discogs.com, received July 12, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Venedig im Regen' / 'Venedig im Regen (instrumental)'

Mrs. Caroline Robinson - Springtime

Springtime was formed by Norbert Niedermayer, Walter Markel, Gerhard Markel and Erwin Broswimmer. They released two albums, 'Springtime' (1977) and 'Lonely road' (1978). But their biggest claim to fame was their Eurovision Song Contest appearance in 1978.

Representing Austria, they sang 'Mrs. Caroline Robinson'. The song did not make a big impact, as they finished in 15th place in a field of 20 competitors. No wonder, then, that the band broke up soon afterwards.

My collection: 7" single no. 6136
Found: Discogs.com, received July 12, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Mrs. Caroline Robinson' / 'Honey, bye, bye'

Gute Nacht Freunde - Inga & Wolf

Many people in the Netherlands are familiar with the song 'Gute Nacht Freunde', because it has been the closing song of a popular radio programme for decades, in the version by Reinhard Mey, who wrote the song. It was a hit for him in 1974, and reached number 14 in the Dutch Top 40.

However, it was originally written by him for the German national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest in 1972. Inga & Wolf performed the song, but finished in fourth place, so they didn't go on to represent their country. That honour went to Mary Roos with 'Nur die Liebe lässt uns leben'. Still, this is a charming song and belongs in my collection, despite only being 'von der Vorentscheidung'.

My collection: 7" single no. 6140
Found: Discogs.com, received July 12, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Gute Nacht Freunde' / 'Das Stundenglas'

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Ein Bisschen Frieden - Nicole

I dare say that no Eurovision Song Contest collection is complete without this maxi single. Although Nicole's 'Ein Bisschen Frieden' certainly isn't the best song ever to come from the Contest, it has become rather immortal, for instance because of the fact that the young girl spontaneously sang her winning song in several languages after securing the top spot in the Contest in 1982.

I already had Ein Bisschen Frieden, A little peace, La paix sur terre, Een beetje vrede, En smule fred and Un poco de paz on single, but this 12" single features a medley that strings all of them together - well, except the Danish version. But for all its polyglottal glory, the sleeve of this 12" single still spells the word 'Merci' wrong.

My collection: 12" single [unnamed]
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 2,5 euro
Tracks: 'Ein Bisschen Frieden/A Little Peace/La paix sur terre/Een beetje vrede/Un poco de paz' / 'Thank you, merci, danke (German/English/French/Dutch version)'

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Jennifer Jennings - Louis Neefs

Two years after Louis Neefs represented Belgium at the Eurovision Song Contest with 'Ik heb zorgen', he returned with the song 'Jennifer Jennings' in 1969. Although the song was dedicated to a fictional girl, it turned out that there was an actual real-life Jennifer Jennings living in England. She contacted Louis Neefs and he invited her over to a concert, after which they kept in touch.

At the close of voting, 'Jennifer Jennings' received 10 points, and ended up in seventh place in a field of 16 competitors. This single was made in Italy, and considering its age it is in fine condition!

My collection: 7" single no. 6127
Found: Discogs.com, received June 21, 2019
Cost: 6 euro
Tracks: 'Jennifer Jennings' / 'Vanessa (I love you)'

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Sing die Melodie - Johannes & Christin

Together with 'Nur noch Gefühl' I ordered another single from the Austrian seller I found online. It is this cover version of the Dutch entry for the 1978 Eurovision Song Contest: Harmony's ''t Is O.K.'. 

Johannes & Christin only released this one single together. Not much is known about Christin, but Johannes Prömmer had already released two singles in Austria in 1972. After this duet, he disappeared again, resurfacing in 1988 with one more single, 'Zigeuner'. And that's basically it. The Austrian music scene is not renowned for its big worldwide stars, but it is interesting that in this day and age some singers can remain so anonymous.

My collection: 7" single no. 6124
Found: Willhaben.at, received June 20, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Sing die Melodie' / 'Komm mit mir'

Nur noch Gefühl - Gary Lux

Collecting Eurovision Song Contest singles has become a little easier since buying online and worldwide has become more popular. Sites like Ebay and Discogs provide easy access to many singles that one would deem lost forever. But at the same time, some of those singles can become exceedingly expensive. Gary Lux's 'Nur noch Gefühl', for instance, commands a price of at least 20 euros.Which is why I was glad to find the Austrian version of Ebay in the shape of Willhaben. This is where I found this copy of the single for a fraction of the price.

'Nur noch Gefühl' was Austria's entry for the Contest in 1987. It wasn't a very successful entry: at the close of voting, it had received 8 points, placing twentieth in a field of 22 competitors. It must have been a disappointment: two years earlier, Gary's song 'Kinder dieser Welt' reached a respectable eighth place.

My collection: 7" single no. 6123
Found: Willhaben.at, received June 20, 2019
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Nur noch Gefühl' / 'Don't turn around'

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Heimweh auf grosser Fahrt - Freddy Quinn

Freddy Quinn was born as Franz Eugen Helmut Manfred Nidl on September 27, 1931 in Niederfladnitz, Austria. His popularity as a singer soared within the German-speaking world in the late 1950s and 1960s. Quinn's Irish family name comes from his Irish born salesman father, Johann Quinn. His mother, Edith Henriette Nidl, was an Austrian journalist.

He was "discovered" in St. Pauli, Hamburg, and was offered his first recording contract in 1954. Two years later he represented Germany at the first Eurovision Song Contest in Lugano, Switzerland with the atypical song, 'So geht das jede Nacht', about an unfaithful girlfriend who dates many men. He did not win, and the full results of the contest were never released so his placement is not known. This EP features four tracks by Freddy, and 'So geht das jede Nacht' is one of them.

My collection: 7" single no. 6122
Found: Ebay, received June 12, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Heimweh (Memories are made of this)', 'Sie hiess Mary-Ann (Sixteen Tons)' / 'Rosalie', 'So geht das jede Nacht'

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Marcel - Heidi Brühl

And then, finally, I have found the Eurovision single I have been waiting for all my life. Who wouldn't love to have a Eurovision song dedicated to him- or herself? Well, back in 1963 - years before I was born - German singer Heidi Brühl performed the song 'Marcel', and it's a great one too: the song is sung from the perspective of a young woman telling her lover (the titular Marcel) that he is moving too quickly for her. She tells him that 'only a gentleman has a chance with me' and that he needs to respect that. The song ended up in ninth place out of 16 competitors.

Heidi didn't stop her involvement with Eurovision after this: in 1968 she recorded a cover version of that year's Spanish winning song, 'La la la'.

My collection: 7" single no. 6121
Found: Ebay, received June 11, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Marcel' / 'Das grosse Spiel'
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