Take a break from the pre-Christmas hustle and bustle and have a listen to our latest batch of Euro-covers.
Original: 2012, Sweden, Loreen (1st)
Cover: Linda Martin
Not only was “Euphoria” arguably the greatest Eurovision winner of all time, it was also one of the biggest worldwide hits of 2012. Understandably any new version is going to be subject to more scrutiny than the average Eurovision tune, particularly if the singer is a former Eurovision winner best know for power ballads. But still, Linda Martin must have been slightly taken aback by the media reaction to her rendition of “Euphoria”. The Daily Edge labelled it a “butchering”, while the Irish Independent focused on her lyrical slip-ups. Personally, I think they were being a tad harsh. Admittedly, the performance was nowhere near as good as “Terminal 3” or “Why Me?” but it’s an admirable effort. And you have to give some bonus points for the “Arribas”.
Original: 1996, Ireland, Eimear Quinn (1st)
Cover: Imogen Brough
While the contest itself may be strictly an all European affair, I think it’s fair to say that Eurovision, or its music at least, has been embraced internationally. We’ve already seen covers from Far East Asia, North America and South Africa. And now it’s time for one from Oceania, courtesy of Imogen Brough, a former contestant on “The Voice Australia”. Unfortunately, Imogen’s take on “The Voice” is kinda pitchy and *spoiler alert* it was her final performance on the show. Which is a shame since her version of Sia’s “She Wolf” is actually much, much better.
“What About My Dreams?”
Original: 2011, Hungary, Kati Wolf (22nd)
Cover: Monique “Se Dit Met Jou Hart”
Sticking with the international theme, here’s an Afrikaans version of “What About My Dreams?” by Monique. While I’m always glad to see under appreciated Eurovision gems get a second life through cover versions, I can’t help but feel that this take by Monique is covering by numbers. Almost everything’s there – thumping beat … check, powerful female vocals … check, sass and attitude … check, originality … oops! I know I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again, but what’s the point of doing a virtual clone of the original. Sure Monique gives us a belter of a dance track, but isn’t that exactly what we’d already received from Kati?
“L’Amour Est Bleu”
Original: 1967, Luxembourg, Vicky Leandros (4th)
Cover: Scooter & Vicky Leandros “C’est Bleu”
It’s a sad reality that at some point or other all great songs are destined to be horribly mangled in some ill-advised cover version. However, it’s not often that the original artist is party to the crime. Honestly, I can’t understand what inspired Vicky Leandros to team up with everyone’s least favourite German dj, Scooter, and produce this … this garbage. With enough auto-tune to make Angus weep and additional brain dead lyrics (“Is everyone in? Everybody in the place it’s time to spin”) there are no redeeming qualities. Seriously, did Scooter take all Vicky’s loved ones hostage and blackmail her into agreeing to do this?
Original: 2009, Denmark, Niels Brinck (13th)
Cover: Ronan Keating & Paulini
Ok, so this is a tricky one. Because I’m not sure if it’s actually a cover version at all. I’ll explain my confusion. The song was written by Ronan Keating, but performed by Brinck at Eurovision, who basically was a perfect dead ringer for Keating (he normally sounds more like this) and then released by Keating as a duet with Paulini, a past winner of Australian Idol. Now Ronan’s take on the song sounds identical to Brinck, but then Brinck was originally singing in the style of Ronan, so … ugh, all this over thinking is giving me a migrane. Let’s just say that Ronan’s duet with Paulini is the better version. Capiche?
“Hold Me Now”
Original: 1987, Ireland, Johnny Logan (1st)
Cover: Kaye Styles & Johnny Logan “Don’t Cry”
I think Belgian rapper Kaye Styles must be in cahoots with Scooter. And together the duo plan on destroying the Eurovision classics of yesteryear, with the forced complicity of the original singers. That has to be the case. Surely Johnny Logan wouldn’t voluntarily agree to help wreck his own creation. Would he? Because I think he comes out of this even worse than Vicky from her dalliance with Scooter. At least she got to be glamorous in a red dress. Johnny just looks like an embarrassing uncle at a random family gathering. Thankfully, he doesn’t die a death of auto-tune. Although, I suspect this may be the moment he discovered his fondness for rapping.
Original: 2010, Germany, Lena (1st)
Cover: Floppy Dee
Following Jennifer Braun’s woe-filled version of “Satellite”, Wiwi reader GermanFan2012 suggested this cover by Floppy Dee instead. And while it’s considerably livelier than Jennifer’s rendition, I can’t warm to it. On the Eurovision scale of rock n roll this is less maNga and more Adrian & Bledar…basically meh. Merely by going down the rock route it draws unfavourable comparisons to the far superior rockabilly version from the 2011 opening ceremony. All in all, I think Floppy Dee is a rather apt name for the band, because I’m far from excited.
Original: 1984, Sweden, Herrey’s (1st)
Cover: Viktoria Tolstoy
Ever since Valentina Monetta confirmed that she’d be off to Eurovision for a third time, many of you have wondered what a jazzy Eurovision song might sound like. Here’s a possible taster – a jazz version of “Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley” by Swedish singer Viktoria Tolstoy (she’s also the great-great-granddaughter of the writer, Leo). Viktoria takes the nonsensical ditty about golden shoes, and transforms it into a nuanced song full of depth and meaning … or that’s what it sounds like anyways. If Valentina can follow Viktoria’s lead and pull off something similar in Copenhagen she’ll be doing very well indeed.
Original: 2009, Sweden, Malena Ernman (21st)
Cover: Philipp Kirkorov & Anna Netrebko
When Russia’s 1995 entrant, isn’t too busy fleeing to Israel or questioning Miss Universe candidates, Philipp Kirkorov likes to keep himself occupied by churning out covers of Eurovision favourites. If you thought his take on “Diva” was over the top, brace yourselves. This time he has teamed up with Russian soprano Anna Netrebko, and the results are spectacular. With shattering chandeliers, palaces, silver suits and waterfalls the video is a homage to camp decadence which makes “Phantom of the Opera” seem low key. Anna’s vocals are flawless, and the male-female duet gives proceedings a “Time To Say Goodbye” vibe. The whole thing is fab-u-lous darling!
Original: 1973, Spain, Mocedades (2nd)
Cover: Daniel Diges
What’s with certain Spanish Eurovision contestants? They give terrible performances when on the Eurovision stage but then afterwards do excellent covers of past classics. While Daniel Diges’ “woah woah”ing may have been nowhere near as annoying as Lucía Pérez and her constant “ouo uo uo ouo uo uo“ing, his Eurovision set was still far from good. Therefore, it’s hard to credit that the same man is singing this superb version of “Eres Tú”. Pity he didn’t put on such a class act in Oslo.
So what do you guys think? What covers/samples/remixes have I left out? Let me know in the comments below. And click here to see some of the Eurovision covers we’ve covered previously.