I did a bit of an ESC week this week, featuring Guildo Horn’s Guildo hat Euch lieb! in my Songs of the Week and introducing you to the only Eurovision Song Contest Museum in the world, the Husavik Eurovision Exhibition. During the preparation, I got quite a lot of into an ESC mood this year and also had some discussions with other people about their favorite Eurovision songs. As I am a blogger, I have to do what bloggers do: share my thoughts. And it is yoru task to discuss with me 🙂 Enjoy this posting right before the Liverpool ESC 2023.
The points gained for a song are not comparable, due to different voting systems and numbers of participants.
My Favorite ESC Songs representing Germany
I start with my favorite artist representing Germany. Despite I featured him this week (and he is also in the playlist below), Guildo Horn is not in this list of five. Another song, which hurt not to make the cut is No No Never by Texas Lightning (2006, 15th out of 24 finalists), which is to me one of the most underrated German ESC songs of all times.
5th: Katja Ebstein – Theater
1980, 2nd (of 19 contestants), 128 points
Two years before Nicole won the Eurovision Song Contest, this song by Katja Ebstein was just beaten by Irish Johnny Logan. Melodically and from the lyrics, I feel that it is one of the most beautiful writes Germany has ever sent to the big European stage.
4th: Lena – Satellite
2010, Winner (of 25 finalists), 246 points
This (in 2010) young lady just has to be on the list. After 28 years, she made Germany smile again. The easy, cheeky Satellite was a great breakthrough for Lena (Meyer-Landrut), who is still very successful in the German pop music scene. Not the deepest song ever written, but one with lovely vibes.
3rd: Joy Fleming – Ein Lied kann eine Brücke Sein
1975, 17th (of 19 contestants), 15 points
I mentioned Texas Lightning and their song to be underrated. Joy Fleming’s 1975 song definitely deserves this label as well. Not successful at all in the contest, the song is still a German schlager classic. “A song can be a bridge” – a rather timeless main theme, which would have deserved better.
2nd: Michelle – Wer Liebe lebt
2001, 8th (of 23 finalists), 66 points
After Guildo Horn, Sürpriz and Stefan Raab, Michelle completed one of the most successful eras in the contest with her 2001 song Wer Liebe lebt (“Who lives love”). A beautiful, very intense ballad, which I felt to be even a bit too brave on stage.
My Favorite German ESC Song: Nino de Angelo – Flieger
1989, 14th (of 22 contestants), 46 points
My favorite German song of all times has just made a rather average placement. It is not even Nino’s most successful track at all times (which is Jenseits von Eden / Guardian Angel, which even made it to the U.K. charts). But the song is a lovely love song write in a beautiful atmosphere.
Ich hab die Zeit nie ganz vergessen
Als wir noch Flieger waren
Du gehst nicht raus aus meinem Herzen
Ich denk nur noch daran
(“I have never completely forgot the time
When we have been flyers
You don’t get out of my heart
I simply still think about it all the time”)
My Favorite International ESC Songs
Due to the fact that there are so much more songs I could pick from, I went for ten international nominations. Three countries are represented twice in that list. Let’s see which country song would be your 12 points one…
10th: Toto Cotugno – Insieme: 1992
Italy 1990, Winner (of 22 contestants), 149 points
9th: Domenico Modugno – Nel blue, dipinto di blu
Italy 1958, 10th (of 17 contestants), 7 points
This one is by far the oldest song in my list of ESC tracks. Nowadays, there are several (especially more pop-ish) versions of this track. Nonetheless, it is hard to argue against that Nel blue, dipintu di blu is one of the globally most well-known songs from Italy.
8th: Gina G. – Ooh Ahh… Just A Little Bit
United Kingdom 1996, 8th (of 23 finalists), 77 points
Gina G. is in fact an Australian artist, but her 1996 song was in fact written by two British songwriters. The song did very well in the qualification, but could not keep up in the finals of 1996 in Oslo. However, the song became a very popular hit in all over Europe (apart from Germany, to be honest…). I still love it.
7th: Danijela (Martinovic) – Neka Mi Ne Svane
Croatia 1998, 5th (of 25 finalists), 131 points
There are ESC songs, which simply stay in my mind. One of the most intense performance I still remember from my presence at the Birmingham National Indoor Arena. And even though I don’t speak any word of Croatian, I still can sing along to this one… Somehow.
6th: Carola – Fangad av en Stormvind
Sweden 1991, Winner (of 22 contestants), 146 points
Toto Cotugno brought the Eurovision to Rome in 1991 – and Carola sang into our hearts there. The song became a continental success, also in the English version Captured by a Storm Wind.
5th: ABBA – Waterloo
Sweden 1974, Winner (of 17 contestants), 24 points
Okay, this is maybe the Eurovision Song which wrote most history of all times. I love ABBA and their music, but especially in context of the ESC, it just did not touch me as much as others. Of course, even I cannot do anything against this one being a massive pop listen by the Swedish superstars.
4th: Lordi – Hard Rock Hallelujah
Finland 2006, Winner (of 24 finalists), 292 points
20th May 2006, Athens… One of these days I will simply never forget in my life. I told you in my Hard Rock Hallelujah posting already. Apart from the stage performance, which revolutionized the contenst, my favorite Finnish monsters Lordi gave the by far best song the evening. One of the few occasions when the ESC lead to an increased phone bill for the voting for me.
3rd: Johnny Logan – Hold Me Now
Ireland 1987, Winner (of 22 contestants), 172 points
In regards of the ESC, Johnny Logan is Ireland’s trump. He is the only performer who won the contest thrice. The middle one is my absolute favorite. The self-write was a great chart success in many European countries. Hold Me Now made it to the Top 5 of the charts in more than ten of them. Superb.
2nd: Dana International – Diva
Israel 1998, Winner (of 25 finalists), 172 points
1998 was a special contest to me as it was the only time I in fact attended the event as a spectator. Nonetheless, I feel that 1998 was a really special contest with a few songs, which really changed the contest. Diva by the Israeli transgender artist Dana International. Amazing artist.
My Favorite Overall ESC Song: Katrina & the Waves – Love Shine A Light
United Kingdom 1997, Winner (of 25 contestants), 227 points
If you look at the gap between Love Shine A Light and second placed local Irish Marc Roberts (Mysterious Woman), you see how much the United Kingdom dominated 3rd May 1997 in Dublin. Finally, there were 70 points between the first and the second spot. There were also ten full 12 points votes for the British – and a top ranking in my all-time list as well.
My ESC Favorites Playlist
In line with this posting, I also created an ESC Favorites playlist. The fifteen songs mentioned in here open the playlist, followed by a random order to songs I simply (still) love to listen to:
Eurovision Song Contest
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