ESC Song Reviews pre-1992



I have decided not to do individual song reviews for all of the songs from Eurovision Song Contests before 1992 as I found that I was simply trashing most of the songs for being predictable (there are a limited number of ways to say that I don't like power ballads) and only liking two or three songs from each contest. So, from this point on, I have decided to focus only on the positive. Only songs that come with that famous Daniel Viles Recommendation will be shown here. Think of it as the ultimate Eurosong guide for the discerning listener.





9. France – Amina Annabi – C'est le Dernier Qui a Parlé Qui a Raison *****

Definitely a song for the serious music lover. "C'est le Derner" is quite a calming pop song with a very subtle reggae feel and an accordion-driven rhythmic accompaniment. The composition is beautifully written; the song always seems to be lifting. In addition to this, Amina's voice is something very special indeed. While the lyrical sections of the song allow her smooth contralto to glide through the song, it is the vocal effects she uses in the chorus, which I can only describe as being similar to Tibetan throat singing, that will send the listener over the edge. You will not hear many more beautiful songs than this, anywhere!

10. Turkey – Izel Celiköz, Reyhan Soykarci & Can Ugurluer – Iki Dakika ***

For this song, forget that whole 'discerning listener' thing I was talking about before. And whatever you do, if you have people whom you are trying to convince to take the Eurovision seriously, don't let them see this song! Having said all that, this song is just so kitsch that it goes back to being fun again. The style is what you might call "bubble gum rock 'n' roll" and, for native English speakers, the title is pronounced "Itchy Ducky Car", which, isn't exactly a title that lends itself to credibility. This song will either make you dance or cringe; there's no 'in betweens' here.




14. FRANCE – Joëlle Ursull – White and Black Blues *****

I think that the greatest compliment that I can pay to this song is to say that in my wide and varied music listening experience, I have never heard another song like it. This is a simply incredible song. Perhaps calling it 'a darkly textured rock waltz with additional Mediterranean instrumentation' might go close to describing the sound of this song. Joëlle's voice is wonderfully dark and moody, almost jazz-like. Anyway, I'll stop pretending that any description can do justice to this song. Just get a copy of this song any way you can. The performance of this song in Zagreb was also spectacular, so if you can get a video or video file, that's even better.

15. YUGOSLAVIA – Tajci – Hajde da Ludujemo ****

Just as it would be in 1991, the best art song of the contest is immediately followed by the best novelty, fun song of the contest. It would be easy to throw this song in the 'bubble gum pop' bracket, but it's worth remembering that there was a band going around back in 1991 by the name of Transvision Vamp and I'd say that they inspired at least some parts of this song. The performance of this song is a must-see. You will never again be in doubt that blondes have more fun! Enjoy this song for years but, again, don't let your friends hear you listening to it!




1. ITALY – Anna Oxa & Fausto Leali – Avrei Voluto ****

This song is a power ballad. Hang on, you say, doesn't Daniel despise power ballads? That's right, I do despise power ballads, so for me to include one such song in a recommended listening guide means that this must be something special. As an example of how rarely I praise a song like this, the next ESC power ballad I like is Norway's 'Duett' in 1994 – five years away! The song is definitely more than the sum of the parts. The vocals are more like a screaming contest and the composition is nothing out of the ordinary, but there is a genuine atmosphere created by this song, perhaps due to the lyrics illustrating the regrets of love rather than the hope of love. From the lips of an avowed ballad hater, this song sounds great.

7. UNITED KINGDOM – Live Report – Why Do I Always Get it Wrong? ****

This song is included in my list because it features one of the most outstanding male vocal performances in Eurovision history. If anyone knows the singer's name, email me at, quickly! The song is a rather standard late Eighties pop ballad with lots of synthesiser sounds and electronic drum noises; the closest band in terms of sound that comes to mind is Simply Red, although that is a little misleading. In short, voices like this don't come along too often; enjoy this guy.


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