Sunday, 29 April 2012

Guilty Pleasure - Eurovision Special

Just two more to go folks. Any ideas as to which act is going to make number one? Why not leave a message and we will see if you guess correctly.
And so to my penultimate Eurovision favourite.

Number 2 - L'oiseau et l'enfant by Marie Myriam (France)

Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Marie represented and won the contest for France in 1977 with this amazing song.
I love the French language, so it is no surprise that a song or two in the language would feature in my top 10 and this one simply is the best. I do not speak or even understand French but this song is pure pleasure to my ears.
The song was released in the UK under the title The Bird and the Child and reached number 42 in the charts. It really should have been top 10 and shame on us Brits for not making it so.

You will have noticed the lovely Angela Rippon at the start of the video, who hosted the contest for that year. Though I am a gay man, I have always had the slightest of crushes on Ms Rippon. I think it was the dance routine she did on the Morcambe and Wise show that was the cause of this crush. Now aged 67, she still looks as stunning now as she did back then.

Until next time, when I will reveal my number one Eurovision act, I bid thee farewell.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Guilty Pleasure - Eurovision Special

So here we are folks...only 3 more to go on my Eurovision countdown.

Number 3 - Apres Toi by Vicky Leandros (Luxembourg)
Originally from Corfu, Vicky represented Luxembourg in the 1972 contest and won it with this beautiful ballad.
Already quite famous in the 60's, her win cemented her status as one of the biggest stars to come out of the contest.
Apres Toi was released all over the world and went on to sell over six million singles. In the UK it was released as "Come What May" and reached number 2 in the charts.

Ms Leandros continued releasing albums and singles during the 80's, 90's and 2000's and charted in countries as diverse as Greece, China, Canada and Japan. She has worked with the likes of Deep Purple, Demis Roussos, David Soul and Tony Christie to name just a few and continues to work in the music industry.

Until next time, I bid thee farewell.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Guilty Pleasure - Eurovision Special

The top spot in my countdown looms ever closer. Have any of your favourites featured in my chart. Maybe it's my next choice?

Number 4 - Hallelujah by Gali Atari and Milk and Honey (Israel)

This song won the 1979 contest but only just. Spain were in the lead and looked set for victory until they awarded 10 points to Israel.

Gali was a solo performer and joined Milk and Honey for Eurovision, leaving the band soon after.
The performance on the night was perfect and whilst the audience wasn't on the scale of recent Eurovisions, they received an astounding round of applause and were obviously one of the favourites.

The song itself takes me back to my childhood and reminds me of happy times with my family.
It's one of those songs that builds up as it goes along which I absolutely love.
After winning Eurovision, it did very well in the European charts, reaching number 5 in the UK.

Milk and Honey tried representing Israel in the contest two more times but failed to reach the final on both occasions.

Until next time, I bid thee farewell.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Guilty Pleasure - Eurovision Special: Half way there!

That's right folks. We're at the half way stage with my Eurovision countdown. I hope you have liked my choices so far.
Ready for the next one?

Number 5 - This is My Life by Euroband (Iceland)
The duo are the very handsome Fridrik Omar Hjorleifsson and Regina Osk and they represented Iceland in the 2008 contest.
After giving one of the best performances of the night, they only managed to finish in 14th place. A top 5 placing was much deserved and one can only imagine how gutted they must have felt, especially as there were some absolutely appalling songs that scored better than Euroband. Proof, yet again, that tastes in music differ from Country to Country. Either that or there are lots of tone deaf viewers out there.

Never let it be said that Iceland cannot produce a good dance track. This one really is a beauty and I can just imagine myself and many other guys dancing our socks off to it in Queens Court. It could even warrant a dance around a pole too.

The song itself did not chart in the UK but  did reach number 2 in their home
With the right amount of promotion, I honestly believe this song could have been a hit in the UK and Ireland and who knows, maybe even the USA?

Those of you who know your Eurovision may recognise the voice before the start of the above video. That's right, it is the legend that is Sir Terry Wogan who sadly hosts the show no more. The political scoring became too much and he wasn't enjoying hosting the show because of it. A sad loss for us Brits but he was replaced with a good choice in Graham Norton.

Until next time, I bid thee farewell.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Guilty Pleasure - Eurovision Special

Welcome back to my Eurovision top 10 countdown and the next entry is a controversial choice due to the fact that it is mostly instrumental.

Number 6 - Love Symphony by Quartissimo featuring Martina Majerle (Slovenia)

Quartissimo are a string quartet who between them play the violin, viola and cello and play them rather well too. Martina, who originates from Croatia, joined the quartet for this Eurovision entry because rules state an entry must contain lyrics. Slovenia's entry was originally instrumental.

I absolutely adored this entry for the 2009 contest but, unfortunately for Slovenia, not many others did. It failed to reach the final having only scored 14 points in the semis.
Was the lack of support because we don't actually hear a word from Martina until 1 minute 14 seconds into the song? There is more instrumental than singing throughout the duration of the number and maybe viewers just did not perceive it as a song.
Whatever the reason for it's failure to make it to the next stage, I honestly believe it deserved to progress.

Unfortunately for Quartissimo, their track failed to make an impression on the pop or classical charts but thanks to the official Eurovision website, it is one of the many tracks on my ipod.

Until next time, I bid thee farewell and if you like what you have read, please feel free to leave me a message or ,better still, pass the link onto your friends and family.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Guilty Pleasure - Eurovision Special

Hi folks and welcome to the next recipient to earn a place in my Eurovision Top 10.
Without further ague, let us proceed.

Number 7 Alexander Rybak - Fairytale (Norway)

Winning the competition for Norway (though Alexander originates from Belarus)  in 2009 with a total of 387 points, the highest score in Eurovision's history, is this beautiful song.
Yes Mr Rybak is rather dashing and would look very nice on my arm but it is for the song that he features in my top 10.
I love the simplicity of the lyrics and in the way he delivers the vocal. Add to that his stunning violin playing and it's not hard to see why he was one of the favourites to win.
Alexander reached number 10 in the UK charts which, given the fact that the day when Eurovision winners did well had long gone, was quite an achievement. It went to number 1 in 7 other countries.
Since his top 10 debut, there has been nothing else from him, at least not in the UK.
Over in Norway, he did lend his voice to their dubbed version of the 2010 animated film "How to Train Your Dragon".

Until next time, I bid thee farewell

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Guilty Pleasure - Eurovision Special

Welcome to my Eurovision countdown and I must say it is proving to be quite a task.
So many fantastic songs throughout the years and picking just ten is exhausting, not that I'm complaining. It's been lovely looking back through the archives of the contest.

Who is the next entry in my top 10? Read on and all will be revealed.

Number 8 Bobbysocks La Det Swinge aka Let it Swing (Norway)

Bobbysocks were Hanne Krogh and Elisabeth Andreassean and together they won the 1985 contest for Norway with this quirky little swing number.
They give a winning performance full of sparkle and energy and the orchestra, well what can you say except it is a swing song and when those instruments start a playing, boy do you want to swing.

Bobbysocks reached number 44 in the UK charts with their Eurovision winner and continued to work together until 1988. Up until their split, they released 3 albums and 10 singles. In 2010, a compilation album was released to celebrate 25 years since they won Eurovision and whilst not as successful as their previous releases, it did introduce them to a whole new audience.

Today, Eurovision's look has totally changed from the look of 1985 with everything produced on a much grander scale now. If Bobbysocks were to sing in the contest today, I doubt it would be a winner but I guarantee the audience would be up on their feet swinging to their hearts content.

Until next time, I bid thee farewell.