From Dana to, eh, Dana International some of the weird and wonderful melodies which have triumphed at Eurovision over the years.
1. WATERLOO ABBA (1974)
The Swedish supergroup’s winner was voted the best song in Eurovision’s history in a 2005 poll to mark the Contest’s 50th anniversary, and I’m not about to disagree. Waterloo broke with Eurovision’s endless procession of dramatic ballads with an upbeat tempo, and the performance was new, too, with flashy silver costumes and choreography. It went on to sell more than six million copies worldwide and made global superstars of Agnetha, Anni-Frid, Benny and Bjorn. To be honest, you’d think a Top 10 list of Contest winners would be tricky to compile. I mean, there are 62 of them there were four joint winners in 1969 and they’re meant to be the best. But let’s be honest, many of them are either utterly awful, completely forgettable or both. Can you hum Celine Dion’s 1988 Swiss victor? Thought not. Here are nine more that we thought deserved a mention.Checkout our interactive Eurovision 2015 maphttps://www.youtube.com/embed/3FsVeMz1F5c
2. MAKING YOUR MIND UP BUCKS FIZZ (1981)
A SONG that made a big impression on this youthful writer, or at least the bit where Bobby and Mike whipped Cheryl and Jay’s skirts off did. The group only came together two months before the Contest but this song began a run of 20 UK hits. Bucks Fizz say their performance was off-key, Cheryl saying she sang in a higher key due to nerves and Mike saying the microphones got mixed up, with the girls getting the lead ones which had a higher volume.
3. SAVE YOUR KISSES FOR ME BROTHERHOOD OF MAN (1976)
Perfectly sung and performed, some say the four members jigging about on stage helped change Eurovision from a contest into a show. Still the bestselling Eurovision winner of all time, it was also the second year in a row in which the song performed first won the whole shooting match. The song also holds the highest-score record for the post-1975 system, earning 9.65 points per jury, including seven maximum 12s.
4. POUPEE DE CIRE, POUPEE DE SON FRANCE GALL (1965)
Written by the legendary Serge Gainsbourg, this was like the theme song from a French James Bond movie. Except France, despite her name, was representing Luxembourg. It was all John Barry-esque violins and horns, and damnably catchy, telling the story of a wax puppet who sings at her master’s behest. Which mirrors the fact France, then just 17, felt she was being used by Gainsbourg. Gall’s performance on the night was off-key but the song shone.Checkout our interactive Eurovision 2015 maphttps://www.youtube.com/embed/faiFi2HhE4U
5. WHAT’S ANOTHER YEAR JOHNNY LOGAN (1980)
Mr Eurovision, Logan won again in 1987 with Hold Me Now and wrote Why Me? which triumphed for Linda Martin in 1992. The Eurovision’s meant to be about positivity but this isn’t about a man waiting for the girl of his dreams to fall for him as many suppose, it’s about a man watching his father come to terms with the death of his wife. Fun!
6. EVERY WAY THAT I CAN SERTAB ERENER (2003)
The most recent winner I actually liked, this Turkish delight was a belter. Sir Terence of Wogan didn’t much care for the belly dancing that accompanied our Sertab’s performance but that has to have been the Baileys talking. It was one of the closest Contests, with just three points separating Turkey, Belgium and Russia at the top.
7. DING-A-DONG TEACH-IN (1975)
Sometimes in a multilingual contest, nonsensical lyrics are a boon. Step forward these happy Hollanders who followed Lulu’s Boom Bang-A-Bang in having bonkers words that apparently are meant to be “an ode to positive thought”. Teach-In, who amassed 152 points, re-recorded it as Ding ding-a-dong for the German market, which makes much more sense . . .
8. PUPPET ON A STRING SANDIE SHAW (1967)
Britain’s first Eurovision winner and a worldwide smash hit, sung by a woman who absolutely detested it. Sandie says: “I hated it from the very first oompah to the final bang on the big bass drum. I was repelled by its sexist drivel and the cuckoo-clock tune.”
That didn’t stop her recording a new version in 2007 to mark her 60th birthday, mind you.
9. ALL KINDS OF EVERYTHING DANA (1970)
Some find this sugary and twee but you can’t argue with the fact it beat favourites by Mary Hopkin and her 50-piece orchestra and Julio Iglesias to the title. Mind you, most agree 1970 was an off-year for the Eurovision, with five nations boycotting the Amsterdam contest following the previous year’s result, which saw four countries share the top spot.
Let’s just gloss over the fact that Israel isn’t actually part of Europe and simply enjoy a decent dance tune. The fact Dana International was a transgender artist helped make this a hit in gay clubs across the Continent, and she lived up to the title by delaying the winner’s encore, insistent on changing into a parrot-feather dress designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier.