Hallelujah! Not the future winner, sillies, but the sigh of relief! I’ve got colour on screen, life is good! Gone are the days that everything looks alike. But does everything still sound alike?
You’d think everyone would take the opportunity with both hands and get themselves noticed! Much to my surprise I had to wait until song 6 to finally see some colour… although peach is not really a colour is it, Switzerland? Sweden put a careful toe in the water by using an orange touch but it wasn’t until song 9 someone dared to make use of this weird new technology by going for a big splash of lime. Finland, my hero.
The new dynamic did not necessarily affect the musical merits we had become accustomed to and previous winners clearly inspired the rest of Europe. Male ballads kept popping up, duo’s tried to win us over and bouncy women wanted to lure us in. Not all acts managed to attain the same level as their inspirations though (but then again, they hardly ever do…): Portugal failed miserably by giving us probably the worst singer the Contest would ever know…until Luxembourg followed only four songs later with the worst vocal tandem ever. Monaco went for the duo concept as well but sadly their respresentatives left their personalities at home. And poor Norway, the country that gets me enthusiastic one year only to disappoint me the next, must have been collectively high when they chose Odd (what’s in a name…) Børre who gave me the Stress he sang about.
By now I feel confident enough (meaning I think I have enough to say) to review my full top ten, and if the actual winner’s not in my top ten I’ll add that one as well.
All in all I quite liked this year, if not only for the controverse it stirred! Without further ado, here are the points of the Dimivision jury:
1 point: Sweden – Det börjar verka kärlek, banne mej
I had only heard this song in some Melodifestivalen medley so I was happy to hear the full version, sung well by Claes-Göran Hederström who has impeccable taste in clothing I have to say. I also understood the reason why I hadn’t heard it before as it is simply uneventful, even though it swings nicely. Rather unimpressive.
2 points: United Kingdom – Congratulations
Lord, here we go again. Irritatingly simplistic this, taking the audience for a bunch of toddlers. Again! I can’t begin to explain how happy I am this didn’t walk with it. Sir Cliff does a decent job, yes, but it takes more than your star status to turn this turd into gold darling. Oh, and ruffles are wrong. Always. Pfoeh, glad I got that off my chest!
3 points: France – La Source
Lovely Isabelle Aubret is back for a second serving and unlike the appreciative juries I remain a tad underwhelmed by this, shall I call it arty farty, attempt. I know what she’s trying to do by not looking into the camera but instead of taking me along on a dreamy journey I feel sadly disconnected. 1968 is definitely not 1962, my love.
4 points: Yugoslavia – Jedan dan
Finally some Balkan crazyness! Perhaps a bit too all over the place, but I’d rather have this folky approach than the kindergarten shite we have too endure all too often.
5 points: Germany – Ein hoch der Liebe
Not one to blow me away, this, but it’s got a good hook and is lovely enough. The fact that it’s mainly held up by its chorus holds it back, with a bit of creativity this could have been much more dynamic. Not that the charming miss Myhre doesn’t try her best to cover that up though.
6 points: Ireland – Chance of a lifetime
I like this soft crooner style, and Pat McGeegan‘s voice suits this song very well. His performance on the other hand is too understated for this to come across as it should, I feel. It’s almost as if he’s too shy to go full throttle, which is a shame. A good hint at Irish things to come…
7 points: Netherlands – Morgen
The thing that struck me most about this was Ronnie Tober‘s accent, and a quick search on Wikipedia taught me the man had spent quite some time in the USA. Happy to read my ears did not deceive me! Not that it bothered me, if anything it added a certain charm that sadly everyone except the Dutch speaking community missed out on. I like this, he sings it well and the atmosphere is cute but it could have done with a bit of spice to lift it up a notch.
8 points: Spain – La la la
My written comment as I watched this went: ‘Simple but powerful. But a tad too simple. But powerful.‘ Massiel pulls out all stops to sell this strange composition with verses and a chorus that do not seem to match. In the end it’s the combination of power and simplicity that did it, and not undeservedly so.
10 points: Finland – Kun kello käy
Taking the concept of bouncy women with happy songs and putting a Finnish twist on it by adding a peculiar structure: what’s not to love? It makes me smile all the way through.
12 points: Belgium – Quand tu reviendras
Quelle surprise! I’m ashamed to say this was the first time I heard our own entry and it blew me away. What a lovely atmosphere this brings, a bit on the medieval side even. It intrigues me, and the fact that she’s very nervous only makes it more endearing. A bit of ‘The Voice‘ avant la lettre in my book, and a firm number one for this Contest!
The wooden spoon for the last place goes, after a fierce battle with Portugal, to the tonedeaf duo from Luxembourg.
And the overall top ten changes again! Huzzah!
1 Netherlands 74
2 United Kingdom 69 (1961 – 1965)
3 Luxembourg 56 (1956 – 1967)
4 Italy 56 (1958 – 1964)
5 France 55 (1960)
6 Finland 54 (1962)
7 Belgium 52 (1968)
8 Germany 47 (1959)
9 Sweden 45
10 Denmark 40 (1957 – 1963)
Right, I’m ready for some more dynamics maestro!
2 thoughts on “Eurovision Review – 1968: Life in technicolor”
I immensely enjoyed reading (so far only some) of your reviews … and “Quand tu reviendras” is my favourite ESC song ever. 🙂
Aww, thanks! And Claude Lombart was a real surprise to me – see, sometimes Belgium díd send good stuff 😉