Eurovision Review – 1973: Die Fledermaus in der Turnhalle

Posted: 11/10/2011 in Eurovision Song Contest Reviews

Uh. Oh. Unlike tiny Monaco, the somewhat less tiny but still not very large Luxembourg (2m² squeezed between Belgium, Germany and France) did not pass on the organisation of the contest. Danger! Even though there was no tradition of holding Eurovision in big halls in those days it was sad to see the whole thing cramped into the CLT Nouveau Théâtre, the equivalent of having a family picnic on a handkerchief. Far be it from me to lobby for Parken Stadium, but when you have to stack the orchestra you know something’s not right. Now let’s hope the songs will make us forget the setting.

Yes, I realise things were different back then but logistically and practically that location must have been a nightmare. Some camera angles are simply awful and are without a shadow of a doubt due to the lack of space. OK Dimi – let go *wax on wax off*. Just don’t think of the clown that will perform during the break *reaching for brown paper bag*

Musically it was to be expected we’d see an overload of women with dramatic ballads, but the field was quite diverse and gave us a wide variety in performers and songs. The ones that did attempt to get into the slipstream of La Leandros and Sévérine did not all fit into the same league as their role models. German Gitte looked more like a frompy Snow White with a boring schlager, Irish Maxi gave us a mini performance during which she could hardly control her nerves and Finnish Marion Rung (that’s one N too many with that dress) seemed like a rock chick who got stuck with a silly children’s rhyme.
The men did not necessarily do better, even though a couple of them were back for a second serving. Cliff Richard for example crumbled due to nerves and treated us to coordinated spasms which didn’t do his empty anthem any good. Still, better to be noticed than completely invisible (Portugal) or simply tragic (Switzerland). The duo’s and groups on the other hand did not do too shabby, except for the hippie countrypop we got from the Swedes – with the legendary and equally horrifying lyric “your breasts are like swallows in nesting”. Who dares to use the word breasts, sacrilege!

So perhaps the free language rule wasn’t the best move. Not that a lot of countries put it to use: only Finland and Sweden took the opportunity to go for English and their example would change the landscape on a short term ànd in the long run. Norway and Belgium carefully stuck a toe in the water by mixing different languages, as to have a maximum of broad appeal I suspect. Stick to the things you know would be my advice.
On a quick fashion note it was remarkable to see a parade of carpets and wide sleeves, as if multicoloured bats had taken over the pathetic gymnasiumlike hall. Gotta love the ’70s!

So in short I’m not too excited by the majority of them, but the ones that àre good are in fact great. You win some, you lose some. These are the ten fortunate ones to land in Dimivision’s top ten:

1 point: Monaco – Un train qui part


As much a rabbit in the headlights as Kate Ryan, this one. And as bland as her own name. Was she on helium before coming on? Any one of her backings would have done a much better job, it’s really painful at times. The only reason why this gets one point is because I quite like the chorus (and the line ‘a train that leaves is also a train of hope’) unlike many of its competition I flunked as well.

2 points: Netherlands – De oude muzikant

I see what they’re trying to do with the dramatic lighting but they fail: it’s still as schlager as its chorus. All arm in arm and from left to right! The melancholy is wasted on this flat Shalalie predecessor. Ben Cramer does a splendid job and I rather fancy the heavy drum but that’s about it for me.

3 points: Italy – Chi sarà con te

What starts as a nice Italian rumba soon melts into something that is too cruise shippy (let’s invent expressions, shall we?) for my taste. The qué sera, sera reference isn’t completely out of place but a tad too cheap. Massimo Ranieri still looks too young to drive but impresses more than 2 years ago. A bit of a missed opportunity, this.

4 points: France – Sans toi

Did we do our make up ourselves, now? And are we slightly drunk? I secretly suspect her to be a spoiled brat and I detest her verses. But in the chorus she suddenly changes pace and almost manages to convince me. High entertainment value anyway, and the funniest end note I’ve ever heard.

5 points: Luxembourg – Tu te reconnaîtras

Anne-Marie David is younger than I imagined/remembered her to be and is clearly out for the kill. The girl wants it and nobody shall stop her. It makes it all a bit calculated for me, I’d like to believe it a bit more. But well done of course.

6 points: Yugoslavia – Gori Vatra

Balkan drama, the new flavour to the contest. At last! I love this and Zdravko Čolić does a marvellous job, gives me a bit of a Tom Jones feel (for lack of a better reference I’m afraid). Boyfriend doesn’t agree, but I think the nana’s in the second verse were not deliberate and he forget his lyrics. Discuss.

7 points: Israel – Ey-sham


Barbra in tha house, y’all. Wearing a carpet, are we? I know you’re supposedly covering up a bulletproof vest but this can’t have been fashion at the time, can it? I understand why they emphasise the female conductor but enough is enough already. Other than that this is fabulous and somehow reminds me of a couple of songs we’ll get further down the road in the early ’90s. An impressive first try, this.

8 points: Belgium – Baby, baby

LOL!! I actually LOL’d!! This is utterly fabulous from the get go, and utter nonsense of course. “A woman can’t do anything on her own”??!! The drama in the long lalaaaa is unseen, and this is solely responsible for some very terrible consequences further down the road. The outfits and the choreography and the wave and the drama. The definition of camp and simply Epic.

10 points: Norway – It’s just a game

This is really phenomenal. Straight from some musical and sung superbly by the, how very Sound Of Music, Bendik Singers. Perhaps a bit on the sugary sweet side but I admire their talent and professionalism. *I bow*

12 points: Spain – Eres tu

Nothing short of legendary and it makes me tingle all over. Bless her and her nerves that don’t prevent her from singing so clean and pure. A bit on the campfire side, but eternal nonetheless.

The wooden spoon goes to the German maid. I’d say click here, but I wouldn’t if I were you.

A first win for Spain and the soutern country is on the rise in our all time top ten even pulling a Carola on Sweden:

1             Netherlands 104 (1970 – 1971)
2             United Kingdom  83 (1961 – 1965)
3             France 79 (1960)
4             Italy 73 (1958 – 1964)
5             Belgium 76 (1968)
6             Luxembourg 71 (1956 – 1967)
7             Spain 62 (1973)
8             Sweden 62
9             Germany 56 (1959)
10            Finland 56 (1962)

Now, let the revolution commence!

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