EBJ’s Top 10…Swedish entries of all time (#10-#6)
Don’t pretend you didn’t see this coming. I bet even Corinna May saw this coming.
What? I’m allowed one insensitive joke a month, and that was September’s.
Anyway, here’s the deal: I love Sweden, you love Sweden (I assume…who doesn’t?), we all love Sweden – in some respect. If le love isn’t related to their fashion, furniture or food (oh hej there, meatballs with lingonberry jam on the side!) then it has to be for Sverige + Eurovision. I mean, even if Scandipop makes you want to pull a Van Gogh and you’d much rather treat your ears to some Balkan ballads or saucy Spanish salsa, you have to admire the Swedish attitude towards the ESC. Not to mention (though I am about to mention it) their dead-serious approach to competing in it, one that has seen them win the contest twice since 2012.
Overall – out of 55 participations – the hosts of Eurovision 2016 have added a trophy to their song contest cabinet six times, and have finished inside the top ten THIRTY-SEVEN times. That’s a whole lot of Eurovisual goodness right there, and I’m about to count down my favourites of the lot. Ja, it’s time for a good ol’ fashioned top ten…Swedish-style.
But, because I’m a soap opera fan and therefore love a good cliffhanger (and because I’m trying not to overwhelm you guys with one momentous post after another) I’m going to reveal my top ten Swedish ESC entries like, ever, in two separate posts. Today, I’m counting down my 10th, 9th, 8th, 7th and 6th-favourite songs, so if you want to find out which ones made it into the top five, you’ll have to stay tuned to EBJ. Sorry.
Also, since I’m yet to attain psychic abilities, I’d love you to hit me up with your personal favourite Swedish entries in the comments (but feel free to keep me waiting for your #1 like I’m making you wait for mine).
If you need a reminder of what you’re choosing from, then check this out:
And now, let the countdown begin. Tre, två, ett, go!
#10 | 1963
En Gång I Stockholm by Monica Zetterlund
I mentioned this entry in a previous post, not long after Sanna Nielsen performed it “alongside” Monica as part of her Melodifestivalen hosting/entertaining duties this year. That duet was spellbinding, and I couldn’t help revisiting the original performance (once my spine-tingles had subsided) to remind myself how En Gång I Stockholm (Once In Stockholm) stood up sans Sanna – particularly given that, back in ’63, it had finished equal last. That, my friends, is a travesty. The song, minus Miss Nielsen, is still lovely. It may not be as hypnotic or mystique-packed as Denmark’s winner Dansevise (which I also adore) but it does have a) a wistful quality emphasised by Monica in her performance, and b) a melody that’s so soft and beautiful you could practically blow your nose on it. I’m often an advocate for songs that exit Eurovision in last place, so naturally, this one’s a standout of the 1963 contest för mig.
#9 | 2015
Heroes by Måns Zelmerlöw
YES, I’M GOING THERE. In case you weren’t aware that I’m mad about Måns, and that I couldn’t be happier that the Eurovision circus is heading back to Sweden so soon, well…become aware now. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Heroes is a great song, and no, it’s not a David Guetta rip-off (an homage, perhaps, but a carbon copy? Puh-lease). It checks a ton of boxes on my list of epic ESC entry criteria: it’s catchy, contemporary and energetic; it successfully fuses together two different musical genres; it builds to a climax worth waiting for; the lyrics don’t put my gag reflex to the test; and it’s karaoke-friendly. What more could one want? Well, apart from a mind-blowing staging concept that puts all the competition to shame. Oh wait – Heroes had that too! Aurally and aesthetically, this entry is a prime example of Sweden’s ability to go above and beyond without breaking a sweat.
#8 | 1996
Den Vilda by One More Time
If songs that make you desperate to frolic in a lush forest with a myriad of woodland creatures are your thing, then I’m guessing you’re a fellow fan of this entry from ’96. If not, why not? This track is gorgeous and timeless. I can’t say the same about the power suit OMT’s Nanne donned for the show (Eurovision performance or marketing meeting? Who can tell the difference based on that outfit) but lack of flowing chiffon aside, Den Vilda as a package is pure, pared-back perfection. Though the verses sound very similar to the choruses, they don’t sound too similar, meaning you’re/I’m easily drawn in by the melody without suffering from any repetitive-itis. Everything (except the chiffon, because there isn’t any) just flows. This is a classic case of magnificent minimalism.
#7 | 2012
Euphoria by Loreen
If you want more evidence of Sweden’s ability to say N-O to O-T-T and still succeed, it’s right here. There’s no question why Loreen holds the record for the most sets of douze points received by a Eurovision winner. Euphoria was, is and always will be the bomb dot com. For me, it’s just as impressive now as it was when it topped the Melfest scoreboard three years ago (!), in terms of both sound and staging. The slick production, maximum-energy beat and infectious ‘up-up-up-up-up-uuuup’ hook are all as wonderful as Loreen’s crab scuttle*, and came together in a performance so uniquely staged, it was groundbreaking. This entry will forever be filed under ‘Unforgettable’ in the Eurovision archives, and perhaps replace ye olde Bucks Fizz skirt-rip in the ‘Eurovision in a nutshell!’ clip compilations trotted out by the media at every opportunity.
* CAN’T…RESIST…THE GIF…
#6 | 1983
Främling by Carola
Sixteen-year-old Carola is my favourite version of Carola (although I’m happy to be fångad in her invincible stormvind any time) and she was clearly living her best life on the Munich stage, with her bouffant hairdo and weird-ass shirt that seemed to have a Dalmatian-giraffe on it (what WAS that?). Her vocal chops have always been insanely good, as this performance of the dated-but-still-magical Främling proves. The song gave Carola chance after chance to sing her heart out, and she grabbed each and every one. She also got to do a bit of strutting, because that’s the logical move to make when one is commandeering such a funky, oh-so-80s pop song. STRUT, CAROLA, STRUUUUUUT! The ‘why’ of why Främling is a favourite of mine pretty much boils down to one word: catchy. Främling is freaking catchy! It gets stuck in my head on the reg, but I never get tired of it, since it’s so peppy and all. Here’s to that continuing for many years to come *clink*.
That’s the end of this chapter, Eurovisionaries (I did warn you I was going to leave you in the lurch). I’m still polishing – and possibly reordering – my top five Swedish contributions to our beloved song contest, so you’ll have to sit tight for a few days until all is revealed.
As I asked you so nicely in the intro, please leave me many, many comments feat. the what and why of your top-ranking ESC entries from Sweden…and/or make a guess as to which ones have squeezed into my top five. Guess correctly, and you win a big bag full of my admiration!
Until next time…
8 Responses to “EBJ’s Top 10…Swedish entries of all time (#10-#6)”
EUPHORIA ❤ The winner of the decade, if I may be so bold. 1963's another good choice, and out of all the Carola songs, "Främling" is probably the best (even though I have a soft spot for her 2006 entry, so shoot me, it's too schlager for it's own good and I LOVE it), so overall, a nice list. ˆ-ˆ
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Forever ’til the end of time??
Okay, totally just saw the word ‘euphoria’ and thought that was the entirety of your comment 😶
I won’t judge your invinciblllllllle love. Who wouldn’t have a soft spot for anything involving a removable cape that large??
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thank you for another ‘Melfest Monday’ post, and this time only with winners of THE greatest preselection show of them all! I actually did not see this coming, so closely after its inaugural edition, but I am very happy to get a view on your favourite 10 Swedish entries of all-time.
So, here are my thoughts on your first/bottom half:
10. Monica Zetterlund: I loved the Sanna/Monica version of Melfest 2015 more than its original version of 1963, I must admit! But it really is a strongly underrated song according to the scoreboard of 1963. But Sanna did the magic here, for my taste!
9. Mans Zelmerlöw: Sweden did everything right this year with Mans and his super performance. It was the awaited and respectable win this year for Sverige. This, of course, also belongs to my list of favourite Swedish entries, as you will see in a moment …
8. One More Time: I actually don’t remember this one very well, because I have never seen the ESC 1996 in full, as you know we weren’t in and it was only broadcasted by NDR, which was not possible (at that time) to watch all over Germany! So this could not belong to my list of favourites, but I think it’s a fine song and the performance was pure and simple, which I like, too.
7. Loreen: Epic, just epic! Loreen was amazing and her mysterious performance was the best by far that night. And I think she will get into the Eurovision book of records for having the biggest commercial chart success all over Europe, including a No.1 in Germany, of course!
6. Carola: “Främling” is a wonderful song that I like too, while her T-shirt was not so fashionable, but probably à la mode at that time. That looked like as if it was some kind of … beach wear?! And I can make sure there are no beaches in Munich, even not in 1983! Concerning her winning song from 1991 I thought it was a mediocre “lalala” song, but well done in her live performance. But I still can’t help that this win was totally ROBBED from Amina (Ali, I absolutely agree with you on this point!). There should’ve been at least two winners; the rules at that time were very questionable, IMO!
Well, now your Top 5 Swedish entries? I go for a guess:
I’d say Sanna (2014), Anna (2010) and Robin (2013) are the secure numbers, but then it’s getting difficult?! Hmm, I guess it could be Jan Johansen (1995) and the Herreys (1984)!?
Hopefully, there are at least one or two of my guesses in your Top 5!
And finally, here are my numbers 10 – 6 from my favourite Swedish entry list:
10. Tommy Nilsson – En dag (1989): a good song from the old days of the 80’s, and a very strong performance by Tommy. It also belongs to those songs that I never skip from my Melodifestivalen 1958 – 2013 CD box ;-)!
9. Arvingarna – Eloise (1993): I am not an expert in Eurovision boybands and their songs, but this one I still like until today! Even the Swedish language sounded great in this song, and the performance was no ‘pomp and circumstances’, but fitted the song perfectly. And may I say that aloud: I liked their shirts ;)! Maybe I should think of something like this for Stockholm 2016?!
8. Jan Johansen – Se pa mig (1995): I love this song! It is so beautiful that I always think this could have been a winning song, too. Maybe it was not memorable enough for a winning song, but I’d still say this is one of the best entries of the 90’s. And there was no big show behind it, just the song and Jan! If that works on stage and the spark flies over, then there is a magic Eurovision moment coming up.
7. Jill Johnson – Kärleken är (1998): well, her funeral suit probably was not the best choice at all, but this song is awesome and her live performance was close to perfect. You know, I love everything about the Eurovision 1998, maybe that changes the view a bit, if you have seen it live in the arena?! From those many great songs of the 1998 Eurovision edition Jill belongs to my personal favourites from that year. And if I had one wish free, I’d like to have the Eurovision orchestra back.
6. Mans Zelmerlöw – Heroes (2015): our ‘hero’ from 2016 did it all right. The vocal performance was great, his stage performance more than impressive, and his song very contemporary and just perfect for any radio station. I am already nervous to meet him (well, to see him on his only concert in my region) in Cologne’s Gloria in the beginning of October. If I am lucky to get a good photo of him, I will send it to you, if you like?!
Finally, I’d like to invite you for a guess of my Swedish Top 5 entries; that is sooo easy and sooo predictable, I can tell!
Have a good Eurovisionary week and read you soon …
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Well, this wasn’t supposed to be a Melfest Monday post, but since it did go live on a Monday and it IS Melfest-related, I guess you’re right…it is one! I’m glad you’re actually happy about the Sweden overload (at least for now).
You may have already seen that I’ve posted my top five Swedish entries, and if so, you’ll know that you are pretty amazing at predicting! 4/5 – I’m very impressed. Now the pressure’s on for me to guess yours, which is making me very nervous because I’m a TERRIBLE predictor. But I’ll give it a shot after I’ve passed judgment on your #10 through #6…
#10 – Like you with One More Time, I need to become more familiar with Tommy before I form an opinion. I’ll get back to you ;D Though my opinion of your Melfest CD box is well and truly formed (a.k.a. I’m über jealous and may have to snap one up for myself).
#9 – This is so cute. It’s a much better version of Romania 2011, IMO. The Swedish somehow makes a type of song that I easily find cheesy not so cheesy. If you’re considering an Arvingarna look for Stockholm, does that mean you’re heading to Eurovision next year? Will we finally meet (in Gamla Stan, perhaps) and temporarily become a dynamic duo who roam the streets attempting to convert Swedish non-fans (if we can find any) to the ESC way of life? TELL ME THIS IS HAPPENING!
#8 – Simply perfect. More of my thoughts are in the top five.
#7 – Also beloved by the both of us! You having been in the arena and having that connection with 1998 might have had an impact (this is one I would have killed to see live), but then again, I’ve ranked this higher than you, and sadly, I wasn’t there (I didn’t even know Eurovision existed in 1998…not to make you feel old, or anything). I think Jill’s presence here just boils down to the fact that you and I have excellent taste.
#6 – JAAAAAA! So happy to see my main Måns held highly in someone else’s esteem. And how lucky are you, going to see him. Once again, living in Australia doesn’t pay off for a Scandi obsessive 😛 Have an awesome time, take as many photos as you can and please send them my way! And feel free to tell him I love him while you’re at the concert, just in case I get arrested for stalking him and never get the chance.
Okay, no more procrastinating…I’m going to have a stab at your top five. I’m very sorry in advance, because there’s only one I’m sure of.
In random order, I’m going with Abba (although I’m guessing this is #1), Charlotte Nilsson, Loreen, maybe Sanna, and…Lena Ph? I’m blushing at my probable inaccurateness as I type this. There might be something more vintage in there that I’m overlooking. Can’t wait for the reveal!
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first of all, very very [belated] Happy Birthday wishes, hope you had a great 24th birthday this weekend and enjoyed your day! 😉
OMG … I almost forgot it!!! How can I do you any good?! O.K., I will get you a copy of my Melfest CD box, when we meet in Stockholm next year, as a [veeeery belated ]birthday gift ;-)! Would that do any good? So don’t buy it, it was awfully expensive (at least here in Germany), and you will get one for free then, promised! Unfortunately I was so busy this weekend with my work on our annual conference … ;-(
So, I can tell you (in your own words): THIS WILL HAPPEN NEXT YEAR! I’m planning to go to Stockholm in May 2016, and of course, we will meet there, if you like. 😉
There is only two possible places we should meet in Stockholm, apart from the Globen, and that is (1) Gamla Stan (you already mentioned it!) and (2) THE ABBA museum (I will come to that again in a moment) ;)!
In any case, I’ll be very happy to meet my favourite Eurovision blogger in the flesh, that would make my Eurovision dream come true! 😉
So, now on with your favourite Swedish entries of all time:
I was really, I mean REALLY surprised to see 4/5 of my guesses in your Top 5, that made me go WOOHOO today!!! Especially to see Jan at # 2 and Jill (I’d never have guessed that, how amazing!) on # 5, which made me go YEEEEESSSS!!! You have a fantastic taste in music, especially Eurovision-wise! And your guess on my favourite 5 was pretty good, too: you got 3/5 right :)!
So here they are, my favourite Swedish Eurovision entries of all time, a.k.a. THE ABBA CONNECTION 😉 :
5. Carola – Invincible (2006): I think Carola was THE “Dancing queen” of the Eurovision 2006. That song was soo ABBA-esque that there was no way for me not to love it. For me, it was her best entry from those three. I also like “Främling” a lot, which would have been my No. 10, I just skipped it with Tommy, since I already had “Invincible” in my Top 10. I feel sorry for nagging on “Fangad av en stormvind”, it is also a good song, but ridiculously I like her winning song a bit more in its English version “Captured by a lovestorm”, whereas the other two sound much better in the original Swedish version, IMO! So, don’t get me wrong, I’m also a fan of Miss Swedish Eurovision, especially because she always nails it, with her great voice!
4. Fame – Give me your love (2003): and now we come to a song that Benny & Björn have written twenty-two years before its first release ;-). I think you already know that “Lay all your love on me” belongs to my favourite from ABBA, and this song almost sounds like a1:1 copy of it. It has all of the ABBA harmonies a song could possibly have. I think I should also mention “Listen to your heartbeat” by Friends from 2001 which sounded very similar as a song, but their performance was not that excellent as Fames’ was, unfortunately! Fame also reminded me on “Avalanche”, a Swedish duo that I liked in the late 80’s / early 90’s:
3. Sanna Nielsen – Undo (2014): I don’t have much to add to your wonderful words for Sanna; I was soo happy that she finally made it to the Eurovision in her 7th attempt. She really deserved it! Concerning “Undo” I always think of “The winner takes it all” when I listen to it. One of my favourite ‘Malmö’ moments was seeing and hearing Sarah Dawn Finer singing TWTIA, which brought some tears into my eyes. And Sanna nearly had the same impact on me. I also like “Empty room” and her duet with Fredrik Kempe “Du och jag mot världen” very much from her Melfest entries; but “Undo” really is a pearl of a song and a well-deserved ‘Numero Uno’ in your countdown.
2. Loreen – Euphoria (2012): this probably is the ‘odd one out’ here, no ABBA-connection this time! I ranked Loreen so high in my countdown, because of very personal reasons. My Eurovision week 2012 was absolutely horrible, probably one of my most terrible weeks in my whole life! But that gladly changed again on Eurovision night, ten minutes or so after Loreen was announced as the winner of the 57th ESC in Baku. So her song always reminds me on this moment when I had the most amazing “Euphoria” in my heart, a feeling, which I will never ever forget again! I will always love “Euphoria” for this moment.
1. ABBA – Waterloo (1974): Surprise, surprise!!! How did you guess that right ;)?! As i said that was predictable, wasn’t it? I simply love everything about ABBA and Agnetha is one of my favourite female singers of all-time; I also adore her for her solo albums from the ‘After ABBA’ decade. I think ‘Waterloo’ was not their best song in their career, but still a timeless classic which one can still listen to in 30 or 40 years. And they changed the Eurovision a lot from a mainly chanson-related to a then more pop-oriented contest in the mid-70’s. I think they had the strongest impact on the Eurovision of them all with their winning song. Apart from that, I’d love to visit the ABBA museum with you, here’s my invitation! I still love those pictures you’ve sent me from the ABBA exhibition in Australia. That was awesome! 😉
So, congratulations on your very good guessing abilities! You got 3 out of 5 right, plus my # 1, I will give you an extra point for that. Now that makes 4 points, all in all!
Thank you for this great ‘gift’ of your amazing Swedish top 10 entries! I really like all of them, and it’s always funny to see that we absolutely agree on one half, while the other half differs. One could say we almost made it on half way, not :)!
Finally, I have to tell you that “Den vilda” still grows on me since I watched it a few times now. It reminds me somehow on Enya’s “Orinoco flow” which I think was an amazing song. I definitely will listen to it “One More Time” ;-)!
Have a great week and more of these awesome blog posts, please (I think I’m addicted!)!
Danke for the birthday wishes! Apart from suddenly feeling very old (even though I KNOW I’m not), I did have a pretty good weekend.
So we’re both going to be in Stockholm next May? YAY!!!!! This is so exciting! I’m up for both Gamla Stan and the ABBA museum (and I will also be on a quest to buy a Dala horse as a souvenir) so there’s plenty of places we could “accidentally” run into each other. If all else fails, möt mig I Globen. I will be just as happy to meet my most loyal reader/commenter in the flesh as you will be to meet your…favourite Eurovision blogger? That makes me feel almost famous. You sure know how to flatter a person!
3/5 on your top five? Well, that’s a lot better than I was expecting! I’m just super annoyed at myself, because I swear I was going to put Carola ’06 in the running. I just decided not to at the last minute 😥 Great top, though, Wolfgang – I can’t really fault it. Even though I don’t currently have Waterloo in my top ten, it’s a worthy #1.
So if the always-amazing Carola is Miss Eurovision (and Johnny Logan’s Mister, obviously) who’s the Queen of Eurovision? Conchita? Dana International? Lys Assia? Me (I wish)?
On second thought, it seems like Johnny should be the King…so then who’s Mister Eurovision? HELP!
I’m not a huge fan of Sweden’s more Schlager entries for the most part – 1999, 2001, 2003 etc have just worn a bit thin with me over the years. But I prefer Give Me Your Love to Listen To Your Heartbeat, and I could watch Jessica Andersson all day (she was/is so gorgeous). And Fame as a duo did sound really good together, which made the song sound better. So to sum up, I won’t criticise 2003 being in your top five…
…especially since Sanna is also in it, which makes up for any wrongdoing! We are definitely on the same page with Undo. Which ironically means there’s no sad to be undone.
I’m so happy Loreen picked you up-up-up-up-uuup when you were having a rough time. That’s proof of the power of music, and the fact that Eurovision makes everything better 😉 I love how certain songs just become associated with certain times in your life, and they can take you back in time and recapture a moment so clearly.
110% agreement from me on ABBA, Waterloo, and your suggestion that we visit the museum together. Count me in, because I can’t think of a better person to accompany me (given that ABBA themselves probably won’t be available!).
Lastly, I’m not surprised that Den Vilda is growing on you. It’s quite hypnotic. Side note: I really wish Germany hadn’t been squeezed out of the ’96 contest. Blauer Planet was AMAZING, and I would have loved to see it there. Leon was also epic in 1997, but I think I’ve already let on how annoyed I am that he was beaten by Bianca’s irritating ballad. Grr.
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I’d be so happy, if we meet in Stockholm next year. To sum it up, the dynamic duo (that is us!) will meet in Gamla Stan and then go and visit the ABBA museum together. I don’t think we have to convert anybody in Stockholm with our ESC way of life, since we’re in Eurovision city in Eurovisionland, the Eurovision family will rule the streets.;)
At least, I can tell that from my Malmö experiences two years ago.
Although it’s still 8 months to go, I am already nervous and excited myself about it. Could you please turn the clock forward, just a little bit?! 😉
Well, I am sure you will shorten the time with lots of more amazing blog posts until Stockholm 2016 is ready to kick off.
And concerning our Eurovision celebrities I would put it this way:
Carola is Mrs. Eurovision for her three time Top 5 placement including one winning title.
Johnny Logan obviously is Mr. Eurovision for winning the contest three times.
Now to our Eurovision royals:
I’d say we have Countess Conchita and Princess Dana crowned for their amazing ESC wins. I liked them together at the 60th birthday Eurovision concert in London; that was so nice to see those ‘sisters in mind’ together on stage!
Then we have King Alexander The Great of Norway for his highest point result ever in Eurovision history.
And Lys Assia would be THE Eurovision Yoda (from Star Wars), old and wise, she looks around every Eurovision corner where we don’t expect her.
Finally, the Eurovision Queen, now that can only be YOU for more than 6 years of EBJ and over 400 amazing blog posts, always so nicely and passionately written ! 😉
*insert the Eurovision anthem here*
What I forgot yesterday: Anna Bergendahl would be my # 12 ranking-wise, I love her beautiful song, too, and it was a total shock for me seeing her fail in neighbouring Oslo. That was unbelievable, IMO! This one definitely belongs to my top 10 of Eurovision-Non-Qualifier songs. And Charlotte Nilsson would be my lucky # 13 with her winning song of 1999, so this was a pretty close guess, too!
Lastly, I am biased with Lena Philipsson. I am not a big fan of “It hurts” (well, it sometimes does!), but I really like her Melfest entry “Dansa i neon” from 1987. That song was sooo much better than the winning Carnival Schlager by Lotta Engberg, I would have liked to see Lena on ESC stage in that year:
Final remark: you are soo right with everything you wrote on Loreen’s ‘Euphoria’! I couldn’t have put it in better words than you did. Viva the Power of Eurovision music!!!
Already waiting for some more Stockholm Suggestion Box posts, hopefully there will be some in the near future?!
Tschüß for now and have a happy Eurovisionary week,
PS Let’s face it: ‘Zeit’ by Bianca Shomburg was an LLB, and one of the terrible kind! Just three words: superfluous and lyrically redundant!