Late last month I compiled a list of what I considered to be the most fantastically random Eurovision covers/samples/remixes ever. Since then I’ve realised that to limit the list to just 10 was absurd when there are so many brilliant (and not so brilliant) covers out there. To correct this I’ve trawled the depths of Youtube in order to bring you 10 more ultimate ESC covers – this time with added readers’ suggestions.
“Ooh Aah … Just A Little Bit”
Original: 1996, United Kingdom, Gina G (6th)
Cover: The Wurzels
After my last post Wiwi reader Tiggeh asked how I “missed this gem”. Well as promised here they are right at the top of the list. This British scrumpy and western band (I never knew such a genre even existed) certainly put their own unique spin on Gina G’s classic, sprinkling it with plenty of “Ooh Aarghs” and “Urple Burples”. Whether it’s a “gem” is debatable but it’s definitely a load of fun.
Original: 2012, Romania, Mandinga, (12th)
Cover: Pinup Girls
Really what’s the point of covering a song if it’s going to be a carbon copy of the original? The Pinup Girls obviously see some merit to it, as the only difference between their version of “Zaleilah” and Mandinga’s is a language change. Even the instrumental arrangements are the same! Since there’s nothing new to say about the song I decided to see what I could find out about the band. After much searching I eventually found their Last.fm page. It was in Lithuanian so I turned to Google Translate for help. It gave me translations such as “Terrible as wilted razinka the three headless … and went on bleat Misguided text … Pale as a faded blanket.” Hmmm … are you sure that’s right Google? They’re not that bad, just a bit unimaginative.
“What’s Another Year”
Original: 1980, Ireland, Johnny Logan (1st)
Cover: Shane MacGowan
Once upon a time Shane MacGowan sang masterpieces such as “Fairytale of New York.” Unfortunately, those days are most definitely in the past. This cover of “What’s Another Year” is awful, horrendous, terrible … I could continue but you get the point. Worse the song goes on and on, by the half way point it seems to be never-ending. Honestly this could be used as a torture weapon – it really is that bad.
Original: 2010, Germany, Lena (1st)
Cover: Jennifer Braun
This is more of an alternate version rather than a cover. Jennifer was the runner up to Lena in the German 2010 selection process. Had she won this would have been the version of “Satellite” to grace the Norwegian stage. Thankfully, the Germans saw sense and chose Lena. Because Jennifer is nothing but a fun sponge – she sucks all the vibrancy and cheekiness out of the song and turns it into something that would be dropped off an Adele album for being too morose. You have a nice voice Jennifer but seriously, lighten up!
“Save All Your Kisses For Me”
Original: 1976, United Kingdom, Brotherhood of Man (1st)
Here’s another Tiggeh suggestion. This cover is by the now defunct band Kenickie, who’s main claim to fame is that their lead singer was Lauren Laverne. Anyone familiar with Lauren will be aware that she is an indie chick through and through, what with her music show on BBC Radio 6 and all her various arty tv projects. It’s hardly surprising then that she treats the song with a certain degree of apathy. And Lauren, just for future reference, there’s no need to shout at the 3 year old you’re singing to. That’s just mean!
“L’Amour Est Bleu”
Original: 1967, Luxembourg, Vicky Leandros (4th)
Cover: Paul Mauriat
When I first heard Vicky singing “L’Amour Est Bleu” I was convinced that the song must have won since it sounded so familiar. Therefore, I was quite surprised to discover that it only came 4th. In fact, it wasn’t Vicky’s version I recognised but this cover by Paul Mauriat and his orchestra. This arrangement topped the Billboard Charts for several weeks. And despite being over 40 years old, its popularity endures to this day. It is still used on film and television soundtracks including “The Simpsons” and “Mad Men”.
“You and Me”
Original: 2012, Netherlands, Joan Franka (15th SF2)
Cover: Jan Smit
Angus may have omitted it from his list but in my humble opinion the greatest injustice ever (well maybe not that big) was Donny Montell making it to the 2012 grand final ahead of Joan Franka. Well thankfully there’s still life in Joan’s song. Not only is it the only Eurovision 2012 song (excluding “Euphoria” obviously) which I’ve heard outside of a nightclub, it has also been covered by Jan Smit. Who apparently is quite a big deal over in the Netherlands. Take that Donny :-P.
Original: 1996, Ireland, Eimear Quinn (1st)
Cover: Celtic Woman
Contrary to what the name suggests Celtic Woman is actually a collective of Irish women. They have had great success pedaling cover versions of Celtic themed songs in America. But like the Pinup Girls they suffer from a severe lack of creativity. Since most Americans are oblivious to Eurovision it’s easy to see why the band haven’t put much effort into giving a fresh take on the song. However, in Europe it inevitably leads to unfavourable comparisons with Eimear Quinn. The absence of any originality only highlights Eimear’s superiority. Girls if this is your best effort y’all should just go home.
Original: 1998, Israel, Dana International (1st)
Cover: Philipp Kirkorov
Now for another reader suggestion, this time courtesy of Frank Naef. Phillipp Kirkorov represented Russia back in 1995 coming 17th. Since then he’s developed a bit of a reputation for ESC covers. This cover of Dana International is definitely divalicious, as can be seen from the video. Whether he’s embracing the song’s other main theme of powerful women is questionable. He’s definitely dedicated to the song, having recorded it in Spanish (below), Russian and Hebrew.
“Fångad Av en Stormvind”
Original: 1991, Sweden, Carola (1st)
Cover: Black Ingvars
I read recently that when scientists played heavy metal to a group of mice, the animals killed each other. I’m no expert on this genre of music, is it heavy metal? Anyways, it didn’t fill me with a desire to attack the rest of the Wiwi team. Although, the verses are a bit unbearable and the satanic chanting is unnecessary, you can’t help but be uplifted by the chorus. The Eurovision theme tune at the beginning is a nice touch too.
So what do you guys think? What other covers/samples/remixes are out there? Let us know in the comments below. And click here to see some of the Eurovision covers we’ve covered previously.