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Where are they now - 70s Eurovision

Morrissey 240662D
In the last week, it's been suggested that the venerable Morrisey will be writing Britain's entry into the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest.

For those of you in the US, Eurovision is a Europe-wide song contest that's been taking place annually since 1956, and is both loved and derided for the acts representing each country every year. The 70s were a particulaly high (low?) point in terms of truly awful manufactured pop music, and it's become an instituion, a bit like the Auntie who farts at family reunions. It also has it's fanatical followers (one user alone has uploaded over 800 Eurovision clips to YouTube), and I have to admit to an extensive Eurovision playlist on my iPod.

So, the following is a collection of personal favorites from my formative years, disguised as a "Where Are They Now". It's my blog, I can ruin it if I want to.

ABBA (Sweden) - 1974
So, let's get the obvious one out of the way. Without question, the most successful Eurovision song contest winner ever, Waterloo launched ABBA into worldwide mega success, to be thought of in the same category as The Beatles in terms of poptastic hitmaking ability. Internal strife (they were all married, and then divorced from each other) led to a break up in 1986. Benny & Bjorn continue to work, involved with the musicals Chess & Mamma Mia. Anni-Frid became a Princess by marrying into German royalty, and then lost both her husband to cancer and her daughter in a traffic accident. Agnetha continues to record, but has become very reclusive. I for one would pay serious bucks to see these guys play a reunion, although don't hold your breathes (despite Bjorn having a little tax evasion problem) - allegedly ABBA turned down one BILLION dollars for a US tour in 2000.

TEACH-IN (Netherlands) - 1975
Massive props to anyone for coming up with a song named Ding Dinge Dong, talking about dinga donging every hour. Watch the video for the spectacular special effect at the end. Only two years after winning, success took it's toll, and Teach-In disbanded, although they briefly reformed in 1997.

A great song, from a woman who'd already WON the Eurovision contest back in 1964, so I'm not sure why they let her back. But she only came second (1974 was ABBA's year, remember?). And she hosted the show in 1991. Maybe she needs to diversify.

MILK AND HONEY (Israel) - 1979
Israel had actually won the competiton the year before with A-Ba-Ni-Bi (again with the great title), but this is the better song (only slightly). Gali Atarim the lead singer continues to record, and she received a gold record in 2001 for an album of love songs. This one has to win the prize for the most bizarre video intro - what the hell were they thinking?

Here's a nicely dramatic example of how tastes change. "Save All Your Kisses for Me not only won the competition in 1976, but went on to be the best selling Eurovision song of all time, reaching #1 on charts in 34 countries. I SO have to program my Second Life avatar to do that little kick dance. Watch for the sexy wink at 01.34 - priceless. And they're still together and still touring.

COCO (UK) - 1978
Glam rock rules. I can still vividly remember my utter disappointment when this didn't win - a traumatic scar on my youth that took me years to get over. One of the singers, Cheryl Baker, went on to be part of Bucks Fizz, the group that WON the contest in 1981, and has since become a B-lIst TV celeb in England. Still on my iPod after all these years. Which is why no-one ever asks me for mix tapes.

MARIE MYRIAM (France) - 1977
There's something about songs in French that means I could care less what the song's about - something about a bird and a kid. The accent just gets me every time. And that's about all I know, apart from some return Eurovision visits from marie in later years. What the hell happened to this chick, anyone know? See, I told you this was a "Where Are They Now" in name only.

This is the song that was beaten out by Ding Dinge Dong (you know you'te gonna be singing that all day). The Shadows were better known as the backing band for Cliff Richard, a man who has spent more time on the British charts than Queen, The Beatles or Madonna. So perhaps they shouldn't have given up their day job. And maybe I need to do a Lunch Hour Veg on Sir Cliff.

This one's for my mum. Not that she has an internet connection, but I remember that The New seekers were one of her favorites. This came second, and , yes, they're still going. Makes you wonder about flash in the pans like ABBA.

When you have a voting system that awards points country by country, some of whom throughout the years have been at war, you occasionally get the situation where they all forget their differences, put aside past animosity, and come together to REALLY hate a song. A montage of Eurovision entries that didn't get a single point from any voting country.

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Such a far cry from Lordi's "Hard Rock Hallelujah". We've come a long way, baby.

said Your mom's new boyfriend on January 16, 2007 12:07 PM.

Did you know that your Where are they Now section was Yahoo's Pick for Site of the Day for yesterday, Jan 15th? It's true. I clicked on the email and surprise one of my favorite blogs popped up. Just thought I'd share that with you.


said Jo-Ann on January 16, 2007 5:04 PM.

Are they all a little bit greyer now than they were in these clips?? Your I pod must be a special place.

said forefen on January 18, 2007 2:13 PM.

ABBA and Teach-In yeh they was good songs.. but that Shadows one from '75 ... cheesy or what ?


a person who remembers all this stuff the first time round (shows age)

Gomem, Bristol UK

said Gomem Desoto on March 22, 2007 11:58 PM.
pop culture
blog on the
maybe not.

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