And it’s back to Luxembourg for the second-to-last time. Malta decided to withdraw as they couldn’t afford to participate and Austria decided to skip out just cause. Luckily, we were joined by Israel, which left us with just 17 countries and a rather inelegant jury voting sequence. Countries were also allowed to sing in any language, which a lot of them put to use immediately.
And we’re in Luxembourg City. It feels like we’ve been here a lot, especially considering that it’s such a small country. This year has the distinction of having one of the most iconic stages, at least in my opinion, with a vertical orchestra. It also has the anti-distinction of having some of the worst audio mixing. Thankfully, some people on youtube have restored the music as well as the video, so I’ll be able to listen to this year in its full glory.
We open with a great orchestral arrangement of Après toi and some views of Luxembourg.This time, our host is Helga Guitton, a TV presented from Germany. She quickly welcomes us in French, English and Luxembourgish amd we move to the songs, as was normal back in those days.
And here we see Finland, the first country to take advantage of the relaxed language rule by singing in English. Clearly, it worked out to their favour since they got 6th place, their best so far and their best result until their win in 2006 (and then only tied in 2021 and surpassed in 2023).
It’s easy to see why the juries liked it to much, it’s a fun and uplifting tune about how great love and life is. While Marion does have a tinge of an accent, I think it makes it sound more earnest and genuine, so I don’t mind it at all. I listened to the original Finnish version too and I don’t feel like the song lost anything in the translation, so kudos for that too.
And here’s an entry that was absolutely robbed. I know that it couldn’t have won since it was performed second, but last place is way too harsh for this. It’s an amazingly catchy entry (that’s been popping up in my brain for nearly four years). Nicole and Hugo are amazing and charismatic performers and I love everything about this song. The costumes are very of-their-time, but they add an incredible amount of charm, the choreography is extremely memorable (there’s a reason why this is always included in those “Iconic Eurovision Performances” compilation videos on YouTube). The instrumental just makes you want to get up and dance with them. And yeah, the hook baby, baby works really great too and it doesn’t feel like the song is relying on it too much.
To every halfwit who likes to pretend that Eurovision has never been political until recently, I present this entry (of course, not just this entry, there have been many more before). The only reason it was allowed to go to Eurovision at all was because of fears of negative international publicity.
Anyway, it’s a really good song too, it manages to stand on its own even without the political subtext. It has that 70s pop sound, but it also manages to sound Portuguese too, so good job. There isn’t a lot I’d like to say about this entry, but it was nice.
This song feels weird and disjoined (I feel like I’ve been saying this a lot). The seconds don’t flow into each other at all. It was just an overall mess and didn’t interest me at all.
And here’s an entry that could’ve been a total mess, but wasn’t. The fact that they sing different lyrics at the same time (and in different languages too) could’ve made it all incomprehensible. And it’s all because the French and English parts feel different. One of them is slower and quieter than the other one (which one changes during the song). And the languages do get some individual time to shine as well.
Also, it’s in 5/4 time, which is absolutely delightful. It’s also the second time Norway has sent an entry in 5/4 (the previous one was in 1966, where I had them as my winner). It’s such a great way of making your song stand out from everyone else (since they’ll most likely be in one of 4/4, 3/4 or 6/8). And the song’s very jazzy instrumentation adds to that feeling of difference, since most countries have embraced a very poppy sound in their entries.
Also also, yay for linguistic freedom. Entries like this one (and a couple entries that will come way later) are why I’ll never support a reintroduction of the language rule.
This is weirdly enticing. The squeaky trumpets get on my nerves, but there’s this interesting “pump-pump” rhythm that does remind me of a train a bit. Plus the hook is kinda catchy.
Although I do want to point out the trombines, they did a lot of heavy lifing in the orchestration here. There has been a lot of focus on the brass section this year, which gives it a different feel compared to the previous ones.
This is just a perfectly executed entry. There’s genuinely nothing wrong here, the singing is emotional and loging, but also energetic. Sometimes it feels like the singer is oversinging and overselling it too much, which absolutely kills the mood, but this song verges on the edge of this, but avoid it overall. The strong hook also helps a lot (and it’s sung a bit differently every time, which helps to avoid “wearing it out” so to say).
The arrangement is epic, but not over-the top. It starts out pretty simple, with the focus on the singing, but then slowly starts to layer more instruments before exploding in richness when the firsy chorus starts. It’s almost orgasmic. Also, I specifically want to note the deep trombone song that’s sometimes played before the verses, it’s really lovely.
It feels weird to point out the same thing three times in a row, but the trombone here is brilliant. Not that other parts are bad, the piano is amazing too and so is Patrick’s singing. It’s a really catchy and contemporary song with a lot of names mentioned throughout (probably to increase the applea to non-francophones).
And here’s what I was talking about. He oversells it too much and loses me. I love the instrumental a lot (but I would’ve loved more electric guitar - a lot more), but I just can’t get past his overdramatic singing.
Italy finally decided to experiment with having a more minimalistic arrangement after the 1966 fiasco and it worked out really well. It also really helps it to stand out from other songs because it grabs your attention by not grabbing your attention. It starts out slow and mellow and your brain thinks “hold on, this is not like everything that came before it”. But I have to say, I’m glad the arrangement gets more complex as the song progresses, it really helps with variation.
Ah, and here’s my favourite Eurovision entry of all time. I remember when I clicked on a compilation of all winners sometimes around 2018 and was immediately impressed by this and knew I had to check it out in full.
Anyway, I genuinely think it’s the perfect Eurovision ballad. It’s extremely passionate, but again, not overperformed. Anne-Marie is an absolute natural on stage and just fills it with her presence. She has an extremely powerful voice and isn’t aftraid of using it to create a lot of drama.
The arrangement is absolutely brilliant too. Every instrument feels necessary here and while you get an alteration between minor key verses and a major key chorus, it’s done in a slightly different way, through the pre-chorus. It gets a very simple arrangement, so you keep expecting the orchestra to go all out in the chorus and it does, changing the key at the same time. And that piano break before the second verse helps to shift it back to a minor key without making it feel weird or boring. The fact that it stays interesting in the chorus also helps a lot.
I also love the lyrics, that are basically about not forgetting who you are, that you’ll “recognise yourself” in so many things - the “dreams of childhood”, the “train station” and so on.
This is an entry that introduced me to old eurovision all those years ago and it’s no doubt that I hold it special in my heart.
And we finally reach a very awkward entry, one that shows that it’s sometimes better to keep a song in its native language, because otherwise you end up with something like this and lyrics like “Your breasts are like swallows a-nestling”, which just makes me cringe. It’s sad too, because the Swedish version is much better (and doesn’t have weird lyrics).
Clearly though, it worked out for Sweden since they got 5th place, so what do I know.
This is a very charming entry about an old musician (as you could probably tell from the title). It’s rather old-fashioned and waltzy, but I think it gives it more charm. Plus Ben has really good vocals. And the accordion! I love me some nice accordion.
Maxi has a very monotone way of singing that completely fails to capture my interest. It doesn’t help that the song itself is extremely average too. It’s hard to say more things, it isn’t interesting enough.
First of all, welcome to the first entry that used a backing track. Those guitars aren’t played live, they’re just pretending. You can see that because they aren’t plugged into anything.
Second of all, wtf is that choreography? Why are you swaying around so weirdly and doing that thing with your arm?
But I still think this is a nice song. It has a good strong hook that doesn’t really get worn out, a good instrumental and all components for a winning entry.
God I wish she sang better. She’s very quiet and breathy in the verses and shouty in the chorus, but the instrumental is absolutely beautiful. It could’ve easily been a top 3 entry for me if not for this.
It’s obvious that Israel tried to impress right from the start. They sent one of their big name artists and an insanely appealing song. It starts off with a great piano entry and then shifts into a slow verse with a fairly minimalistic arrangement. Just as you’re starting to think that this is how it’ll stay, the chorus begins and becomes something epic and bombastic.
But I like that the vocals mostly stay the same throughout the song. She could’ve started belting the vocals out during the chorus, but she didn’t and I’m very happy about it.
Also hey, the first female conductor, that’s awesome. Sadly, there won’t be many more after this.
Congratulations to Luxembourg for being my first three-time winner.
This year will always have a special place in my heart since it was the first year I watched in full. This is why I don’t think I can be objective about it, but I’ve always found it one of the most enjoyable years. Even the interval act, which some people (alright, a lot of people) find cringe, is charming to me.
It also has one of the most fun voting sequences (helped by the fact that the voting system forces everyone to stay pretty close). Not only because of the extremely close race for first, but also the close competition between the Nordics in attendance this year. While this system is highly flawed, I still believe it offered the most interesting voting sequences. Of course, I wouldn’t want to bring it back, 40 countries rating 26 entries sounds like a total nightmare, but I’ll always appreciate it nonetheless.
I’ll see you all in 1974, the year of ABBA, the year of no France and the last year before the EBU introduces our current 12/10/8-1 voting system.