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> Lex's 1990s Eurovision Countdown
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LexC
post Sep 30 2016, 07:36 PM
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(I don't have a banner yet but if Adam wants to help a bitch out then go right ahead angel.gif )

You know what we haven't had in here for a while? A good old fashioned Countdown *.*

You know what else we haven't had in a while? An excuse for me to show off my bad taste, poor presentation skills and unhealthy levels of interest in a campy, kitschy song contest *.* *.*

Given the age of people who currently run the internet, the 1990s are the current period in time being mined for marketable nostalgia in everything from Buzzfeed listicles to overnight sensation augmented reality games that we've pretty much all stopped playing at this point. However, with our dear beloved song contest, the traditional perception of this decade tends to be a much more negative association. Common responses from people who were there at the time or are familiar with this era are usually emphasize how the songs became a homogenous mush of earnest, emotive ballads and, given that Ireland seemed to be unable to stop winning for the best part of the decade, playing up a celtic/new age element wherever possible. So, being the brave yet foolish person I am, I decided to embark on a mission to listen to all of the 1990s eurovision songs and see for myself if this synopsis is really true. There were high points (1990, 1996 and 1999), low points (1992, 1994) and good lord jesus christ what a complete and utter mess points (what else could that be but 1991) and the results of my findings I present now (i.e. over the next few months because there's a lot to say) to you.

*TE DEUM*
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LexC
post Sep 30 2016, 07:40 PM
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INTRODUCTION

I know we have varying levels of geekery about the history of Eurovision in these parts so there'll be some people here who'll have their own pre-formed opinions on all of these tracks and there might be people reading this who know next to nothing. So, for the uninitiated, here be the preamble.

The main things you notice about the Eurovisions in the early 90s when you jump straight in is firstly, the lack of visual spectacle on the level to which we've become accustomed by 2016 and the "sing in your own language" rule that is in effect for all but one of the contests in this mix. As such, a lot of my verdicts on these songs are less about having any meaningful connection to the lyrics and more to do with the feel or vibe of them, so if you're not a fan of wishy-washy sentiments about the wonder of the soft lilting sounds of the German language then, well, get used to it because I'll be doing that a lot.

That said, one of the recurring themes we'll be returning to on our journey to the past is how we can see what we would now recognise as "modern eurovision" emerge throughout the 1990s. In terms of European history there's also interesting trends to be seen in Eurovision of events happening IRL. For example, between the 1990 and 1999 contests, the Soviet Union broke up and countries throughout Central and Eastern Europe gained their independence, West and East Germany reunified to became just plain old Germany again. Yugoslavia (the hosts in 1990 no less) entered into a bitter civil war which would eventually lead to its break up (which is still yet to reach its completion thanks to poor old Kosovo) and the European Union in it's (pre-Brexit) current form was established in 1992. Hell, the winner in 1990 is literally about the set up of the EU, complete with the blue background and yellow stars in the staging via what I must assume was the cutting edge of projection technology in the late 80s


So, that's broadly what you're in for here. I don't know how long it's going to take but given I'm planning on doing write ups for 60 songs here, expect it to take a while if you want it to be good (I'm aiming to have it all wrapped up by the time the fun and games kick off in Kyiv in May at the very latest).
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Weiss Schnee
post Sep 30 2016, 08:12 PM
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I am very interested to see these write-ups. I know 1995-onwards and have a few well-defined faves from the latter half of the 90s but the early part is partly a mystery.

All the new countries (thank you, political turmoil and original codifier of Balkanization) and foreign languages make it a rather enjoyable era though. Bring it on.
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Ryan.
post Sep 30 2016, 08:49 PM
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My Eurovision knowledge drastically dips pre-2000 so I'll be keeping an eye on this to get me informed!
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LexC
post Sep 30 2016, 08:54 PM
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We might be a bit slow off the mark with this starting out so to get you started, here's my honourable mentions in chronological order if you're desperate to get stuck in

Denmark 1990: Lonnie Devantier - Hallo, Hallo (8th, 64 points)
Belgium 1991: Clouseau - Geef het op (16th, 23 points)
United Kingdom 1991: Samantha Janus - A Message to Your Heart (10th, 47 points)
Cyprus 1992: Evridiki - Teriazoume (11th, 57 points)
Germany 1992: Wind - Träume sind für alle da (16th, 27 points)
Iceland 1993: Inga - Žį veistu svariš (13th, 42 points)
Netherlands 1993: Ruth Jacott - Vrede (6th, 92 points)
Croatia 1993: Put - Don't Ever Cry (15th, 31 points)
Sweden 1994: Marie Bergman & Roger Pontare - Stjärnorna (13th, 48 points)
France 1994: Nina Morato - Je suis un vrai garēon (7th, 74 points)
United Kingdom 1995: Love City Groove - Love City Groove (10th, 76 points)
Portugal 1996: Lścia Moniz - O meu coraēćo nćo tem cor (6th, 92 points)
Poland 1997: Anna Marie Jopek - Ale Jestem (11th, 54 points)
Estonia 1998: Koit Toome - Mere lapsed (12th, 36 points)

Names you might recognise in this group include Evridiki of Cyprus 2007 fame, Samantha Janus from EastEnders and having a photo of her face attached to Rob's bum in BuzzJack Teams 3.0, two people who also represented Sweden separately both before (Marie) and after (Roger) and the unnecessary flop follow up by a two time German runner up from 85 and 87. Also the Portugese song holds the record for their best ever result.
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AdamAloud
post Oct 1 2016, 01:17 PM
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Excited for this! I'm still a little rusty on the early 90's stuff so hoping to make a few discoveries out of it!

QUOTE(LexC @ Sep 30 2016, 08:36 PM) *
(I don't have a banner yet but if Adam wants to help a bitch out then go right ahead angel.gif )


Not a banner as such but I think this sums up 90's Eurovision pretty well



or perhaps one of the most loved winners?

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Qassändra
post Oct 1 2016, 01:55 PM
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Vrede and Ale jestem ARE NOT and NEVER SHOULD be limited to HONOURABLE FUCKING MENTIONS!


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LexC
post Oct 1 2016, 03:16 PM
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Well on that delightful note, lets kick things off

60. France 1999: Nayah - Je veux donner ma voix (19th, 14 points)


If you're looking for a full on cheesy French ballad then you'll struggle to find a more quintessential number than this one in the Eurovision of the 90s (France would go on to perfect the formula in the holy trifecta of 01-03 but then you probably know that already). As always there's more than a hint of Celine Dion but Nayah would end up using this to her advantage by becoming a bone fide Celine impersonator so I guess cosmically that makes some sort of sense. Speaking of the cosmos, before and during her eurovision experience, it was revealed to the French press that Nayah was a follower of Raėlism, a wierd alien cult religion who "teaches that life on Earth was scientifically created by a species of extraterrestrials, which they call the Elohim" (all of that lifted from their Wikipedia page). So there's that!

The highlight of this performance is probably at about 1:40 when she gets a huge self-satisfied grin on her face. An expression I can only assume had left her face by the time the results had come in.
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LexC
post Oct 1 2016, 03:18 PM
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QUOTE(AdamAloud @ Oct 1 2016, 02:17 PM) *
Not a banner as such but I think this sums up 90's Eurovision pretty well



or perhaps one of the most loved winners?



We may or may not be getting to both of these legend/icon/stars at a later stage
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Qassändra
post Oct 1 2016, 03:19 PM
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There'll be HELL TO PAY if that ROTTEN IRISH BORE is in your top 60!

Talk about the most MISERABLE WINNER EVER
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AdamAloud
post Oct 1 2016, 03:30 PM
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QUOTE(LexC @ Oct 1 2016, 04:16 PM) *
The highlight of this performance is probably at about 1:40 when she gets a huge self-satisfied grin on her face. An expression I can only assume had left her face by the time the results had come in.


I think the 'ALRIGHT!' after hitting the note at 2:20 just tops this.
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LexC
post Oct 1 2016, 03:42 PM
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59. Malta 1996: Miriam Christine - In A Woman's Heart (10th, 68 points)


Ahh Malta. Having come back into the Eurovision fold in 1991 following a brief and largely flop ridden stint in the mid 70s, they quickly seemed to find their niche of "charming and sweet" which lasted long into the 00s and this fits within that frame perfectly. Looking like the bastard offspring of Olivia Lewis and Alizee, unable to move her feet and her hips at the same time (although I've definitley done a version of that opening move in my more inebriated moments so who am I to judge) and the pink hue of everything from that skirt and jacket set and the 1996 height of technology in-vision heart-shape filter towards the end make it so hard not to love this.
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AdamAloud
post Oct 1 2016, 03:59 PM
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Totally stealing her dance moves for the works Christmas party

Great start to your countdown Lex!
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Weiss Schnee
post Oct 1 2016, 04:08 PM
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NAYAH! That's one of my favourites from the 90s, (so it should be way higher than #60 but I'll take its inclusion anyway, at least it's not an honourable mention). I love a good French ballad, and the progression is just really beautiful on that one.
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LexC
post Oct 1 2016, 04:17 PM
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58. Iceland 1992: Heart 2 Heart - Nei eša jį (7th, 80 points)


One for the scandi fans here! In a year as dreary and hard to watch as 1992 is, this is a complete breath of fresh schlager air. In true Icelandic revolving door tradition, Sigga (her in the yellow) had already competed in a different duet in 1990 (more about that later), sung back up in 1991 and would go on to compete again as a soloist in 1994. If you're a connoisseur of Sweden's Eurovision oeuvre then this is no doubt a very comfortable genre for you so enjoy!
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Qassändra
post Oct 1 2016, 04:20 PM
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God 1992 was SHIT. I can't think of another year where a Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go cast-off could be so flattered by its company.
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AdamAloud
post Oct 1 2016, 04:33 PM
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I'm so offended that Icelandic GEM only came 7th knowing what the top 2 was that year.
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LexC
post Oct 1 2016, 05:05 PM
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57. Germany 1998: Guildo Horn - Guildo hat euch lieb! (7th, 86 points)


...I'm so sorry.

I know it's terrible, I know he looks like he wasn't photogenic enough to get past the audition for The Gremlins (see, 90s reference, topical!), I know that he randomly molests members of the audience, including The Rt Hon Katie Boyle but...I can't help it, the power of catchiness compells me!

If Tirren doesn't kill me before then, the next track is coming up swiftly.
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LexC
post Oct 1 2016, 05:27 PM
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56. Slovakia 1998: Katarķna Hasprovį - Modlitba (21st, 8 points) * PEAK SLOVAKIA *


Poor Slovakia have always had a bit of a rough time at Eurovision. Granted sometimes it's just been because of poor songs but this scoring a grand total of 8 points can be filed alongside Horehonie in terms of anti-Slovak hate crimes. If it had run later on in the show rather than being erased from everyone's memories the minute Dana International stepped on stage then I wager it would have rightfully had a better showing, but such is life. In terms of lyrics and composition it's inkeeping with the tradition of a lot of the Central and Eastern Europe ballads from the mid 90s of generally having an undertone of spirituality and angst. The Zjelko-style big balkan ballad would eventually be born out of this tradition in the mid 00s. But anyway, this is pure magestic beauty and may possibly be the best thing Slovakia have ever sent!
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Qassändra
post Oct 1 2016, 06:21 PM
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QUOTE(LexC @ Oct 1 2016, 06:05 PM) *
...I'm so sorry.

I know it's terrible, I know he looks like he wasn't photogenic enough to get past the audition for The Gremlins (see, 90s reference, topical!), I know that he randomly molests members of the audience, including The Rt Hon Katie Boyle but...I can't help it, the power of catchiness compells me!

If Tirren doesn't kill me before then, the next track is coming up swiftly.

You're going to hell.
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