Eurovision Review – 1958: Bad marketing

With those first two snoozers of contests Eurovision needed something to make it stay afloat because its relevance hadn’t exactly been proven yet. Still, EBU held on firmly to the idea and they would soon be proven right. At this point in time we’ve probably got Italy to thank for the further existence of the contest, for fairly obvious reasons.

The Italians used their national pride San Remo as the selection platform for Eurovision and this proved to be an excellent perspective as it provided the much needed contemporary swing. The rest of the bunch proved to be as boring and dreary as their predecessors while Domenico Modugno‘s self written Nel blu dipinto di blu was already a huge hit in his homeland. But clearly the judges all around Europe weren’t, as they are today, briefed to look for the song that could prove to be a pan-European hit and they massively went into the wrong direction.

They would soon be proven wrong by the rest of the world. Modugno went on to be the first Grammy winner of both Record and Song of the year and his song is to this day the only non-English one to have been able to win both those prizes.
It must also be one of the most covered songs in the history of modern music and will be beyond any doubt one of the most known songs throughout the entire world.

But. How on earth can you name a song that almost completely relies on its charismatic chanting of the word ‘volare’ anything other than Volare? A really bad case of marketing, this! I’m certainly not claiming that turning ‘Nel blu dipinto di blu’ into ‘Volare’ would have assured victory in Eurovision but in order to be remembered in a field of ten songs you’d think they’d emphasise the song’s strong feature? Anyway, Eurovision sprouted its first hit and saw its existence prolongued because of it. It wouldn’t take long for countries to realise what a great platform ESC could turn out to be – if you use it right.

This is what my top ten looks like:

1 point: Luxembourg
2 points: Netherlands
3 points: Austria
4 points: Belgium
5 points: Denmark
6 points: France
7 points: Germany

8 points: Sweden – Lilla Stjärna

Not quite your Swedish Schlager of course, but a couple of bits were dreamy enough to make me like this more than some of the others.

10 points: Switzerland – Giorgio

The Swiss went for Lys Assia again, a woman I can’t stand to look at anymore because she keeps popping up at every ESC event imaginable. Or did I cover that already? Anyway, she did a decent job on this one. A tad too childish in the ‘Giorgio’ bits but lovely up-tempo which made a real difference in this ballad driven year.

12 points: Italy – Nel blu dipinto di blu

How does one judge a classic? One doesn’t really, does one? One should stop saying one and get on with this review, shouldn’t one? It’s just too known to overlook by now, and though it’s really just the refrain that’s memorable it’s got more to offer than the rest of the bunch. Nuff said.

Which means the all time top ten looks like this:
1             Italy  29
2             Luxembourg  24
3             Netherlands 22
4             Denmark  17
5             Belgium  16
6             France  15
7             Switzerland 14
8             Germany 12
9             Sweden  8
10           United Kingdom 6

Now let’s see if anyone’s learned anything!


Published by Dimivision

Overly opinionated. Slightly off my rocker. There's no such thing as a guilty pleasure.

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