ESC 1979: My opinion (Part II)


A few days ago, I made the first part of my opinion post about the ESC 1979, one of my favourite editions ever of the contest. Now it’s time for the second part

By the running order, here are my comments of the last 9 songs:

11: France – Anne-Marie David – Je suis l’enfant soleil

The only former ESC winner in the competition, as she done that back in 1973, representing Luxembourg, with the power ballad entry “Tu te reconnaîtras”. This time, she sings a more mature ballad about a relationship between a “sun child” and a runaway stranger. And convincingly, she gave it a powerful performance, so worthy of the song. By the way, the song was internally chosen after the French ESC NF 1979 was cancelled due to a technicians strike and one song from it should also be referred as it’s my favourite from all the songs I’ve heard thus far: the disco-ballad “Le hiver est le plus chaud”, sung by Christy Caro

12: Belgium – Micha Marah – Hey, nana

Big mistake of the Belgian ESC NF jury by choosing this song: the 2nd placed entry, “Comment ça va”, would have done much better. Of course, Micha Marah didn’t like that fact and tried to disqualify the song to no avail (there was even a rumour that one of Micha‘s chorists would sing the song instead of her) and in the end, she performed it. She did all she could with the song in Jerusalem, but it wasn’t enough to actually stand out – eventhough it’s a nice uptempo entry

13: Luxembourg – Jeane Manson – J’ai déjà vu ça dans tes yeux

Fresh from some of her most known francophone hits like “Avant de nous dire adieu”, “La chapelle de Harlem” or “Fais-moi danser”, RTL chose her to represent Luxembourg with the blues-influenced ballad about a couple imagining their future together (although it sounds a little bit like Carly Simon‘s “Nobody does it better” which was the theme of tge 007 James Bond movie made in 1977, “The spy who loved me”). A very solid and powerful performance and a touching melody that it’s impossible to be quite imune – sadly underrated, just like Finland

14: The Netherlands – Xandra – Colorado

Actual name Sandra Reemer, she had participated already in ESC twice back in 1972 with Andres and “Als het om de liefde gaat” and as a solo singer in ESC 1976 with “The party’s over”. On her third attempt, she rocks the house with a song about getting a better life somewhere else, hence the title of the song. Vivacity isn’t missing on the performance she and her backing band gave, looking quite cool for those days. I’d recommend as well the 3rd placed entry of the Dutch ESC NF that year, the more intimist “Intercity” and the 5th (and last) placed entry, “Lila lavendel”

15: Sweden – Ted Gärdestad – Satellit

Ted was by then one of the rising names of the swedish music since the smashing success of his 1972 single “Jag vill ha en egen måne”. And after trying to go to ESC three times (1973, 1975 and 1977), he finally won the right with this modern (for that time) pop-rock song, perhaps influenced by Toto‘s “Hold the line” due to some of its guitar and drum riff hooks, about love comparsion with a satellite. The performance was certainly bouncy and didn’t showcase Ted‘s voice more. On the other hand, the backing singers were really great. From Melodifestivalen 1979 (Swedish ESC NF), I’d really say Magnus Uggla‘s unforgettable entry “Johnny, the rocker” should have gone to ESC 1979 instead

16: Norway – Anita Skorgan – Oliver

Anita Skorgan was already a experienced singer by then. And things got better after her participation in ESC 1977 with the disco-tinged entry “Casanova”: with “Oliver”, she had on her rooster a sexier song about a former couple whose girl wants to relight the passion with after seeing him in the discothèque and a big opportunity to do a better performance than two years ago. Something that happens when performing in ESC 1979: confident and charming in every possible way

17: United Kingdom – Black Lace – Mary Ann

The only bad moment of this edition: quite a bad rock entry with not the best performance ever and a irritating male voice. A curiosity: the song was accused of doing plagiarism of Smokie‘s “Oh, Carol” by the publishers of the group (RAK Music), but the case was dismissed after the publishers of the song (ATV Music) proved both songs were different. The intention of sounding like Smokie was, however, true – confirmed even by the band. There were much better songs to choose from in the British ESC 1979 like Kim Clark‘s haunting uptempo disco track, “Fantasy” (2nd place), The Nolan Sisters‘ funny catchy entry “Harry, my Honolulu lover” (4th place) or M-Squad‘s pop-rock à la “swedish Melodifestivalen schlager”, “Miss Caroline Newley” (11th place)

18: Austria – Christina Simon – Heute in Jerusalem

Surely the most underrated song of the edition: a beautiful contemporary jazz ballad about Jerusalem and the hope of peace in the city with a heartfelt performance by the singer. The composer of the song, Peter Wolf, would become one of the most famous instrumentalists and producers of the 80’s, working with such artists as (Jefferson) Starship, Heart, Patti LaBelle and even The Commodores

19: Spain – Betty Missiego – Su canción

Betty was by then a famous singer on her home country, Peru (representing her country in the Festival OTI de la Canción 1972 with the ballad “Recuerdos de un adiós”), and in Spain (where she was living for quite a long time, starting her music carrer and where she got double nationality). Chosen to represent the country, she sings this curious upbeat entry about a woman being alone and not really joyful until the day some children asked her to sing the song, restoring her joyfulness. The performance is unforgetable, not just for her performance but also for the appearance of four children singing the song with her and unfurling small banners at the end of the performance in four languages. Certainly a enduring entry that was perfect to finish the showcase of entries for that year

The interval act, called “Shalom’ 79” gave a taste of what’s best in Israel with lots of impressive choreographies and ethnic showcases. A note: “Belev echad”, originally sung by Hedva Amrani & Pilpel Lavan in the Israeli ESC NF 1978, which was tied with “A-ba-na-bi” in the voting but lost with it after a 2nd round of voting, was used in the interval act (with a different orchestration, of course)

The voting itself gave a big thriller towards the end: Spain was in the lead before they’d be the last country to vote by just a single point against Israel. Israel became the winner for the second time in a row after recieving the 10 points from Spain

This ends the second part of my opinion about ESC 1979. Here’s the video of the ESC 1979 interval act in two parts as a final treat:

Thank you,

LAboy 456
(Rui Craveiro)


Posted on 4 de May de 2012, in Eurovision Song Contest. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Great, detailed reviews of a classic, fantastic contest, with Jerusalem 1999 also doing so well to live up to the reputation of Jerusalem 1979.

  1. Pingback: Festival RTP da Canção 1979: My opinion « LAboy 456

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