Category Archives: Most-Played
Can you believe that Melodifestivalen, everyone’s favourite national final (‘everyone’ being a slight generalisation) is about to wrap up for another year on Saturday? For me that’s a double-edged Swarovski-encrusted sword: on one hand, it’s always sad when the mammoth Melfest ends, but on the other, this last installment is the first and only NF I will be getting up at 3am to watch, so I’m pretty excited. Even though I know – and you’ve heard me complain about this before – my stream will be rubbish. What’ll make the 2013 final really worth watching though is the fact that it’s a two, three or possibly even four horse race for the win, unlike in 2012 when the trophy had Loreen’s name engraved on it from the second she struck her final pose in semi 1. Here’s a reminder of the ten left standing:
- Tell The World I’m Here by Ulrik Munther
- Skyline by David Lindgren
- Falling by State of Drama
- Begging by Anton Ewald
- Only The Dead Fish Follow The Stream by Louise Hoffsten
- Bed On Fire by Ralf Gyllenhammar
- En Riktig Jävla Schlager by Ravaillacz
- Copacabanana by Sean Banan
- You by Robin Stjernberg
- Heartbreak Hotel by YOHIO
Wow, the ladies really need to step it up next year. Where’s the girl power? Although the lack of women does mean lots of eye candy. I mean, those dudes from Ravaillacz – whew!
Anyway, before we find out who will fly the home flag in May, I thought it would be nice to go back in time and celebrate the best of the Class of ’12. Well, my personal best, at least. So here is a list of my most-played…eh, you read the post title.
#1 | Why Start A Fire by Lisa Miskovsky
I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t expect much from lil ol’ Lisa, a stranger to me this time last year. Her Melfest 2012 entry was the second-to-last to be premiered, and at that point I thought I’d heard all the amazing-ness possible, excepting Danny Saucedo’s aptly titled Amazing (remember the olden days when MF was of a consistently high standard?). But I fell in love with it immediately, and was a teensy bit excited when it qualified to the final. I would describe it as ethereal, atmospheric guitar pop, if I was über pretentious. Otherwise, it’s just awesome guitar pop…although we never do find out why we should start a fire. For warmth? To burn all the physical copies of Josh Dubovie’s That Sounds Good To Me we can get our hands on? Why, Lisa, WHY?
#2 | Förlåt Mig by Mattias Andréasson
#3 | Soldiers by Ulrik Munther
#4 | Pä Väg by Abalone Dots
#5 | The Boy Can Dance by Afro-dite
This was more or less the same song Afro-dite went to the ESC with in 2002, which by 2012 was sounding majorly dated. But just because something isn’t contemporary, and you know it’s never going to go anywhere in a million years (unless there’s a sudden resurgence of disco schlager) doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. I actually like this a lot better than Never Let It Go.
#6 | Aldrig Aldrig by Andreas Lundstedt
#7 | Euphoria by Loreen
#8 | I Mina Drömmar by Maria BenHajji
#9 | Salt and Pepper by Marie Serneholt
#10 | I Din Himmel by Sonja Aldén
Sonja gave my hands-down favourite performance of Melfest last year. This is a ballad that begged for a great vocal, floaty dress, dry ice and a machine-engineered breeze to blow her chiffon around. Not only did we get all of that, but we got a bleeding bridge as well! Bridges are not used half as often as they should be on musical competition stages. Sonja sang her figurative pants off and commanded the stage, never faltering or tripping when a long hemline and all that mist would have made it so easy.
#11 | Youngblood by Youngblood
#12 | Mirakel by Bjorn Ranelid feat. Sara Li
#13 | Amazing by Danny Saucedo
#14 | Shout It Out by David Lindgren
#15 | Mystery by Dead By April
I am very much an anti-fan of heavy metal, Lordi’s Hard Rock Hallelujah being the one song of that genre that I can stand. My main peeve is the ‘death growling’, a.k.a. incessant screaming, which makes my throat and ears hurt just listening to it. That very same screaming was part of DBA’s non-heavy rock entry last year, but somehow I got past it, probably because the rest is such a contrast. All in all, I think Mystery is probably what would happen if Mr. Lordi did guest vocals on State of Drama’s 2013 entry.
#16 | Just A Little Bit by Love Generation
#17 | Why Am I Crying? by Molly Sandén
#18 | Sean Den Förste Banan by Sean Banan
He’s back this year with a very similar but not-quite-as-good chaotic dance track, is Sean Banan, and this time he’s wearing a diaper instead of fake body hair. I’ve always preferred fake hair myself. Say what you will about this hyperactive man-child – you can’t deny this song is an ear worm and a half. In fact, if you aren’t hearing it in your head right now there must be something wrong with you.
#19 | Stormande Hav by Timoteij
#20 | The Girl by Charlotte Perrelli
Back in ’08 it would have been more appropriate for Charlotte to sing a song called The Extra-Terrestrial, but nowadays she is looking fierce in the best kind of way. Last year in Malmö Arena, she pulled out all the stops (and 95% of the planet’s spike appliqué supply) for what turned out to be an unsuccessful comeback, but one that stuck in my mind. The Girl took a step back from the straight-up schlager of Take Me To Your Heaven and Hero, which possibly freaked out some people who thought that was all she was capable of.
Which Melodifestivalen 2012 entries are still racking up the plays at your end? And who do you think should win the 2013 final on Saturday night?
Good morning/afternoon/evening etc! I’ve finally recovered from my Christmas food coma and I’m ready to blog once again – no mean feat considering the overload of pudding that had me unable to lift my fingers to type a single word. I hope you guys had a great festive few days, with or without similar repercussions, and that Santa brought you some quality junk.
Today’s topic of discussion actually has nothing to do with Eurovision, although I can’t say I didn’t discover what you’ll read about as a result of my obsessive but totally healthy fixation.** It’s a most-played list of a different kind, factoring in my top songs from Europe that haven’t been sung on an ESC or NF stage. That’s the only rule, so let me know below which Europop-tastic tracks make your list.
* Okay, so maybe this ↓ has something to do with Eurovision. Just maybe.
* I think my New Year’s Resolution should be to stop writing such rambly, confusing introductions.
#1 | Korabliki by BiS (Russia)
They may have split up – #sadface – but BiS are still the best thing to have come out of the Russian music industry after Dima Bilan and those adorable grannies. You’ll see quite a few songs from their first and last album Dvuhpolyarniy Mir (Two-Polar World) in this list, because I love it to pieces and play it constantly. Korabliki (Boats) has to be my favourite track. It’s ridiculously catchy and is accompanied by a pretty cool Pirates of the Caribbean-esque video in which the guys aren’t wearing a whole lot.
#2 | Zasipay by BiS
#3 | Dvuhpolyarniy Mir by BiS
#4 | Zhivoy Tsvetok by BiS
#5 | J’aimerais Tellement by Jena Lee (France)
#6 | Pick Me Up by Emila de Poret (Sweden)
Swedish pop music is, not to generalise at all, amazing. This particular slice has more of an r & b feel than what we’re used to from our Melodifestivalen exposure, but the main reason I like it is the main reason I like the majority of entries in MF every year – yes, because it’s catchy. And believe me, it is great for performing in the shower using a shampoo bottle as a mike.
#7 | Stop! Stop! Stop! By Nu Virgos (Russia)
#8 | Pauza Povtor by BiS
#9 | Cry For You by September (Sweden)
#10 | L’Amore by Sonohra (Italy)
Brothers Diego and Luca won the youth section of the 2008 San Remo Song Festival with this piano/rock ballad, about *shock horror* love. It’s a much more mainstream-sounding song than the traditional Italian ballads that dominate that competition, and seems like something that would have been selected to go to Eurovision had Italy returned at that point. I reckon it could have done pretty well, too.
#11 | Money For Nothing by Darin (Sweden)
#12 | Pop-Korn by BiS
#13 | Vivi Per Un Miracolo by Gemelli Diversi (Italy)
#14 | Hurricane by Rebound (Sweden)
This could easily be an Eric Saade B-side, and like several of his singles and albums, it has topped the Swedish charts. It’s not deep or meaningful and the hurricane simile is kind of nonsensical, but it’s such danceable fun I couldn’t care less (in fact, I rarely care about that sort of thing when it comes to music). I defy you not to be singing along to the chorus by the time the last one rolls around.
#15 | Datascroller by Apparatjik (Denmark/Norway)
#16 | One In A Million by Bosson (Sweden)
#17 | Lovekiller by Darin
This is the title track from Swedish Idol runner-up Darin’s last album, which also featured his 2010 Melodifestivalen entry. It’s another album I’ve played over and over again due to its general awesomeness, which itself is due to this guy’s knack for writing very clever pop songs. Lovekiller is a builder, starting off simple and ending up walloping you in the face with strings and choruses and whatnot.
#18 | Mr. Saxobeat by Alexandra Stan (Romania)
#19 | All This Way by Amanda Fondell (Sweden)
#20 | Dragostea Din Tei by O-ZONE (Moldova)
I think everyone knows this song, even if they don’t know who sings it, what it’s called or where it came from. Released in 2004, it was one of the most-downloaded songs of the year and had a heck of a lot of people saying ‘numa numa’ at inappropriate moments. If you’re not familiar with O-ZONE, you may not be aware that 1/3 of the band represented Moldova in Eurovision 2006 – that’s Arsenium (Arsenie Todiras) who together with Natalia Gordienko and Connect-R crashed and burned with one of the most hideous contest performances of all time. I guess he should’ve stuck to riding on the DDT fame wave.
I’ve showed you mine…show me yours?
NEXT TIME: Everybody has a few national finalists they wish had gone all the way. In my last post of 2012, you’ll find out which 10 I think should have been chosen for Eurovision, but missed out.
By my reckoning, there are 296 days until Junior Eurovision 2012 – but I always was rubbish at maths.
Now that I’ve gotten that bad joke off my chest, I can tell you that there are in fact 22 days until the show, and that I don’t feel one of my usual rambling introductions is necessary for this post. Here’s a playlist of my most listened to entries from the last nine years of mini Eurovision, which surprised even me in its lack of resemblance to my list of all-time favourites…
#1 | Zo Verliefd (Yodelo) by Laura (Belgium 2009)
This list may not go hand in hand with my top 20 Junior songs of all time, but it does have my absolute most-loved right where it should be. Belgium is one of my favourite JESC countries (as opposed to being one of my most maligned ESC countries) and of all the gems they’ve sent over the last nine years, Laura’s is my personal best. Who’d have thought yodeling could a) not bring up unpleasant memories of being forced to watch all 56 and ½ hours of The Sound of Music when I was a kid and b) be so enjoyable? Prior to 2009 (and Gwen Stefani’s Wind It Up aside) not moi.
#2 | Erazanq by Arevik (Armenia 2007)
#3 | Antes Muerta Que Sencilla by Maria Isabel (Spain 2004)
#4 | Arabiens Drøm by Anne Gadegaard (Denmark 2003)
#5 | Mama by Vladimir Arzumanyan (Armenia 2010)
Two years on and I’m still loving it! This is the most recent winner I was 100% happy with, and didn’t have to spend a fortnight or so coming to terms with. Vlad (who I suspect will grow up to be quite the ladies’ man) deserved the victory with this ethno-pop plea for his mother’s love advice, which I can’t believe he wrote and composed himself at the tender age of twelve.
#6 | Det Finaste Någon Kan Få by Molly Sandèn (Sweden 2006)
#7 | Ti Si Moja Prva Ljubav by Dino Jelusic (Croatia 2003)
#8 | Allt Jag Vill Ha by Josefine Ridell (Sweden 2010)
#9 | Eooo, Eooo by Anja Veterova (FYR Macedonia 2010)
I’m sorry to say this, but Anja’s singing – and unfortunately, speaking – voice is one of the most irritating I’ve ever heard. Luckily her entry for Macedonia in Minsk was so damn catchy it overshadowed that. I find this such a good sing-along song, and I think it could stand up in big Eurovision with a few tweaks.
#10 | Knock Knock!…Boom Boom! by Nicole (Malta 2010)
#11 | Mijn Ogen Zeggen Alles by Roel (Netherlands 2003)
#12 | Anders by Trust (Belgium 2007)
#13 | Oki Doki by Bartas (Lithuania 2010)
I distinctly remember disliking this in the lead-up to Minsk, something I could say about quite a few of the songs on this list. Apparently I’ve come around. It does have a way of getting into your head – particularly the ‘oki doki’ parts, which are kind of annoying but so easy to sing along with.
#14 | Muzyki Svet by Daniil Kozlov (Belarus 2010)
#15 | Shut Up by Oliver (Belgium 2008)
#16 | Click Clack by Ralf (Netherlands 2009)
Who doesn’t love this song? Okay, so it’s likely not everyone loves it, but come on – it’s so hard to resist those ba-da-bi-di-do’s! All in all it’s one of my favourite JESC winners, and despite the strong competition from Russia, Armenia and Belgium, I think it was the right choice. Anytime the Netherlands win anything ESC-related, there should be widespread celebration.
#17 | Čarobna Noč by Sonja Skoric (Serbia 2010)
#18 | Moondog by Amanda Bašmakova (Latvia 2011)
#19 | Get Up! by Jill & Lauren (Belgium 2010)
#20 | Sommer og Skolefri by Malin (Norway 2005)
I’ve already sung the praises of this entry in my JESC ’05 recap (not literally, but if I had it would’ve gone something like this: ‘IIIII looooo-uhhh-ooooove thiiis SOOOOOOONG!!’, followed by riotous applause) but you can never say too many good things about it – it’s not like it’s going to get a big head. Malin was so teeny and adorable back then, and her super-cute song that implied how much school sucks was just the cherry on top.
Which Junior songs make your most-played list??
COMING UP: As the countdown to Amsterdam continues, I put JESC 2009 under the microscope. Then, it’s the exposé you’ve all been waiting for: who are the JESC doppelgangers? All will be revealed very soon…
I think it’s time to take a break from JESC, partly for those of you who roll your eyes at Junior Eurovision and partly for me because I’m tired of typing ‘JESC’ and ‘Junior’ every second word.
Today’s post is a hybrid, featuring the second installment of my new (ish) Most-Played series, as well as a quick look at the results of everyone’s favourite second chance contest: the OGAE SCC.
But first up, that list of most-played songs. Last time it was winners (you can read/re-read that here: https://eurovisionbyjaz.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/new-most-played-esc-winners/) and this time, as you most likely figured from the title, it’s national finalists – the songs that have tried and failed to get to the big show, but have found their place on the iPods of NF followers everywhere. Check out my list, and then comment me the ones you’ve played the most since…well, ever. Pretty please?
#1 | Kom by Timoteij (Sweden 2010)
Timoteij are to me now what the Spice Girls were to me fifteen years ago – I love everything they’ve ever produced and think they’re totally fabulous in every way (and if Timoteij had their own brand of perfume, I’d probably buy it too). The first of their two Melodifestivalen songs may have come 5th in the final, but for many it will be one of those potential ESC entries that got away. It did win the 2010 OGAE Second Chance Contest however, so that’s some *sniff* consolation *sniff*.
#2 | Nada Es Comparable A Ti by Mirela (Spain 2009)
#3 | Breathing by Bryan Rice (Denmark 2010)
#4 | En Una Vida by Coral (Spain 2010)
Here’s an epic ballad in the mould of Mirela’s and/or Pastora Soler’s Quedate Conmigo, both of which I love unconditionally. Having been beaten in Spain’s 2008 final by none other than Mr. Baila El Chiki-Chiki, I bet Coral thought she had a win coming two years on when she stepped back on the NF stage with only a curly-haired, clown-toting guy who’d been in the stage adaptation of High School Musical to defeat. Unfortunately she thought wrong, but she’ll always be the rightful winner in my eyes.
#5 | Emotions by Mista (Slovakia 2010)
#6 | You’re Out of My Life by Darin (Sweden 2010)
#7 | Nótt by Yohanna (Iceland 2011)
#8 | La Histeria by Marquess (Germany 2008)
Germany had a super-strong (or über-strong) national final in ’08. Caroline Fortenbacher! Monrose! Cinema Bizarre! It couldn’t have had more star power unless there were more famous people competing (duh). Anyway, none of those artists managed to win, and neither did Marquess – but their entry La Histeria is so much fun. Albeit more Spanish fun than German fun. I think it would have done much better in Belgrade than Disappear, a song which many fans wish would do just that.
#9 | Dear Mama by Blaxy Girls (Romania 2009)
#10 | Elektrisk by Anniela (Sweden 2011)
#11 | Forever Or Never by Cinema Bizarre (Germany 2008)
#12 | My Heart Is Refusing Me by Loreen (Sweden 2011)
Loreen was another ‘one that got away’ from Melodifestivalen, but she kind of compensated by coming back in 2012 and, you know, winning Eurovision, et cetera. The song that brought her and her wacky taste in clothing to ESC community attention was different to, but just as kick-ass as Euphoria. I still can’t believe it didn’t get out of the second chance round.
#13 | In The Club by Danny (Sweden 2011)
#14 | Better Or Worse by Julia Alvgard (Sweden 2011)
#15 | Tid Att Andas by Simon Forsberg (Sweden 2011)
#16 | Surrender by Passionworks (Finland 2009)
#17 | Or by Chen Aharoni (Israel 2011)
I am nothing if not a member of Team Dana International, but even I have to say that sending her to Düsseldorf instead of Chen was a MASSIVE mistake on Israel’s part. I swear to Mr. God that he would have qualified and made the top 10 had he been given the chance. Or is everything I want in a Eurovision song – ethnic but contemporary, catchy, dramatic, performed by a hot guy…sigh.
#18 | Do You Wanna? by Gipsy.cz (Czech Republic 2009)
#19 | Sleepless by Anna Noa (Denmark 2011)
#20 | Drømmen by Jeffery (Denmark 2011)
This is quite a humble number that slipped through the cracks, failing to make the super-final of DMGP last year. I think it’s my fondness for Scandinavian languages in hip-hop/r & b-type music that keeps me playing it. It probably wasn’t right for Eurovision, but as a listening song, it ticks all the right boxes.
The results are in: OGAE 2012
For those of you who don’t know, the OGAE Second Chance Contest is where the songs that failed to make Eurovision go to try and redeem themselves. Nominated songs from each national final are voted on by official fan clubs all over the world to determine the best of the could-have-beens.
Last year, it was Iceland’s Yohanna who won the contest with Nótt (a song that coincidentally, or nótt, made my above playlist). This year, another powerhouse female vocalist took out the competition – Pastora Soler, the most successful Spanish ESC entrant since 2004.
- Spain – Tu Vida Es Tu Vida by Pastora Soler
- Sweden – Amazing by Danny Saucedo
- Norway – High On Love by Reidun Sæther
- Denmark – Take Our Hearts by Jesper Nohrstedt
- Austria – That’s What I Am by Conchita Wurst
- Iceland – Hugarró by Magni Ásgeirsson
- Russia – Back To Her Future by Dima Bilan & Yulia Volkova
- Slovenia – A Si Sanjal Me by Eva Boto
- Estonia – Mina Jään by Lenna
- Cyprus – You Don’t Belong Here by Ivi Adamou
- Germany – Quietly by Ornella de Santis
- Netherlands – Chocolatte by Raffaëla Paton
- Portugal – Gratia Plena by Ricardo Soler
- Belgium – Safety Net by Iris
- Finland – Lasikaupunki by Ville Eetvartti
- Greece – Killer Bee by Cassiopeia
- Latvia – She’s A Queen by Roberts Pētersons
- Ireland – Mercy by Donna McCaul
- Lithuania – Why by Beissoul
I am a little surprised that Pastora managed to win. I’m not a huge fan of Tu Vida Es Tu Vida, possibly because I love Quedate Conmigo so much; and anyway, I figured Norway or Ireland would romp to victory. But she is a stellar performer, so my pointless-since-she’ll-never-see-this congratulations go out to her.
Just because, here are my personal picks of the bunch:
May we all celebrate the brilliance of these national finalists, ‘til the upcoming selection season erases them from our memories!
What do you think of the OGAE results? And don’t forget to tell me about your most-played national finalists!
NEXT TIME: It’s back to the JESC recaps as I look back on Rotterdam 2007. Then, prepare yourselves for a very frightening Halloween post as I count down the top 10 Scariest Eurovision Moments of All Time…BOO!
Hello there. Long-ish time, no see! Today I’m adding another kind of post to my repertoire, which may or may not go down as well as the rest do or do not…do. Anyway, it’s the first in a new series called Most-Played (I bet you didn’t see that coming) which has come to be with a little help from iTunes. Every now and then I’ll be presenting you with a list of my personal MPs – all part of a Eurovision-themed category, of course – and asking/pleading/begging etc for you to share your own. I’d love it if you’d humour me on those occasions, starting right now with my most frequented winning songs. I’ve got to admit, I was a little surprised by some of the songs that came up, especially since I recently completed my top 50 which looked very different in terms of the champions. I can only blame shuffle and my ever-changing tastes, I suppose…
#1 | Everyway That I Can by Sertab Erener (Turkey 2003)
I can’t remember ever skipping over this when it came up in shuffle. One whiff of the opening riff (poem unintended) and you just know it’s time to roll up your shirt and do some impromptu belly-dancing whilst your dog watches on and wonders if you’re having an epileptic fit. Or is that just me?
#2 | Satellite by Lena (Germany 2010)
#3 | Wild Dances by Ruslana (Ukraine 2004)
#4 | Fångad Av En Stormvind by Carola (Sweden 1991)
Although I wouldn’t call this my all-time favourite winner at the minute, I’ll always have a special place for it in my heart music collection, as it won Eurovision the year I was born. Being a September baby, it wasn’t the first winner of my lifetime, but I refuse to acknowledge the song that was. All I will say on that is whyyyyy meeeeeeeee?
#5 | Believe by Dima Bilan (Russia 2008)
#6 | Dansevise by Grethe & Jørgen Ingmann (Denmark 1963)
#7 | Hard Rock Hallelujah by Lordi (Finland 2006)
Apart from bedroom belly-dancing, there are few things I love more than rocking out to the monstrous winner of 2006 with absolutely no holds barred and no shame. When you’re a pop music aficionado there are so few occasions on which you can let loose like that, so I’d like to thank Lordi for the music – the most hardcore music you’ll ever be able to associate with yours truly.
#8 | Molitva by Maria Šerifović (Serbia 2007)
#9 | Poupee De Cire, Poupee De Son by France Gall (Luxembourg 1965)
#10 | Insieme: 1992 by Toto Cutugno (Italy 1990)
#11 | Fairytale by Alexander Rybak (Norway 2009)
#12 | My Number One by Helena Paparizou (Greece 2005)
Greece’s lone winning song is hardly a groundbreaking one, but it definitely makes me want to smash some china (something my mother does not appreciate). It’s also a great sing-along song, so when I’m all exhausted from a) hip-shaking to Sertab and b) head-banging to Lordi, I can just collapse on the floor and mouth the lyrics. Relaxing!
#13 | Hold Me Now by Johnny Logan (Ireland 1987)
#14 | Ein Bisschen Frieden by Nicole (Germany 1982)
#15 | Een Beetje by Teddy Scholten (Netherlands 1959)
#16 | Tu Te Reconnaîtras by Anne-Marie David (Luxembourg 1973)
Admittedly, both this version and the English version Wonderful Dream combine to make this winner one of my most-played, but the fact that the English version is just as listenable has to count for something. I think this is one of the more timeless victors of Eurovision’s earlier days.
#17 | Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi by Celine Dion (Switzerland 1988)
#18 | Running Scared by Ell/Nikki (Azerbaijan 2011)
Trust me, I’m as shocked as you are to see that, out of 50+ winners, this is among my 20 most-played. I suppose, as a song that you might just happen to listen to, it comes across better than it does as a song that won Eurovision (all those times I said I was over it, I lied).
#19 | Love Shine A Light by Katrina and the Waves (United Kingdom 1997)
#20 | Hallelujah by Milk & Honey (Israel 1979)
How do your most-played winning songs compare to mine? Let me know below ↓