The Eurovision Song Contest 2008

Several good numbers saw that the kitch appeal was lower than usual this year. The ESC is an oddity, but I can’t help but love it. There are many treasures and a lot of shit to be found, and it really epitomizes the European pop song, for better and (mostly) worse. Two years ago, I live blogged the show, which I won’t do again, but I feel I should say something, so here are some of the worst and some favorites from the past.

This is useful, because it shows how good the songs could be back in the day. Fantastic songs and glamorous singers. Irony and modern pop music has since killed torch songs dead, but goddamn, looking at Sandie Shaw, it was worth it. And hell, Spain submitted good songs, which you could never guess from the past decade. Also, the French language is great, ain’t it? And look, in part 2, you see a very young Celine Dion…

Epitomizes the Swedish sound. I had a big crush on these ladies when I was young, and my dad has the LP stashed away somewhere. Seeing the current Eurovision stage show, it boggles the mind that they’re wearing, you know, clothes.

My favorite of them all, bar none. One of the greatest songs is the history of the contest, possibly the best.

Well, maybe except this one. Man, Agneta was a dish, despite the wardrobe.

Or maybe this one, which is my second favorite and the winner in ’94. It was Ireland’s third win in a row. Norway won the year after, so the Irish took another victory the following year, just to drive the point home. A severe lack of tits means it would never win these days. Ireland has had a proud tradition of in the ESC, but have lost the plot in recent years…

…as exemplified here. This year, the Irish sent this.
(UPDATE: I was just told that it was more or less a protest against the show turning into a farce…so yeah, they were taking the piss.)

Unlike Spain, who sent this, and were serious.

In 1980, Norway submitted this. Half the lyrics are in the Sami language (the Lapps), the droning but is known as “joik”. I fucking love this song, because joik is moe powerful than gunpowder.

And let us not forget this one. Jahn Teigen is the Norwegian king of Eurovision. Nil points. Sad thing is, if you strip it of the horrible score, it’s actually a decent song. It was originally a country-tinged song, and Teigen hated the score. The following year, he put it on his album “This Year’s Loser”.

What the hell, let’s add this. I still don’t know if I like it or hate it, but it does stick in my head. The tall beauty is in fact a man, a fact my mother had to patiently explain at the time. I was about ten years old, and I’m sure it must have fucked me up in some way.

Ding a dong, motherfuckers. Criticized by the Brits for nonsensical lyrics at the time, the Dutch nevertheless rode to victory with this one. Since the Brits later canonized Noel Gallagher’s lyrics, anything they have to say on the matter is pretty much moot.

Someone claimed that Germany isn’t known for making good music. I’ll raise you a Beethoven and a Mozart there, but I see the argument when it comes to pop music. Still, the lovely Nicole knocked this one out the ballpark and took the victory in 1982.

Oh, fuck it. This is awesome. Is this the greatest choreography ever or what?

Look, I could do this all this day, but go hunting on your own.

25.05.2008 • Permalink