Before the house music of the 2010’s, the pop music of the 2000’s, and the rap music of the 1990’s, rock topped the charts. Sadly, it seems to be losing its relevance in the world and in Eurovision. In recent years rockers at ESC have learned that they must adapt their sound or suffer a poor result. However, like most genres of music, rock has many different sub-genres, some of which have fared better in our annual schlagerfest. Let’s have a look-see…

Modern Rock

Music in the style of Coldplay and Green Day often does well. Usually this has a more pop-house or a hip-hop twist. Combined with some cute guys that get everyone fangirling, they can make a real impact on the scoreboard. Finland’s Softengine, featuring the adorable Topi Latukka, recently scored the best result for their country since their victory in 2006 (more on that later). Also in this category is Turkey’s maNga, the runners-up to Germany in 2010.

Classic 70’s-style Rock

I might be a high school student, but I’m an old soul at heart. Outside of Eurovision, Rush and Aerosmith are my absolute favorite bands. Their style of rock is my absolute favorite, and I love seeing it transferred to the Eurovision stage. Unfortunately, it has zero chance of qualifying. These old-time artists often sing in their native language, and it’s probably the death sentence. Two examples of this are last year’s entry from Albania, Identitet (although the problem might have been the excessive amount of pyro), and Latvia’s entry in 2004, Dziesma par laimi. Neither qualified, coming 15th and 17th, respectively, in their semi-final.

Chick Rock

We proclaimed 2014 the year of angry women, but chick rock is a sub-genre specifically for this type of music. From Emma singing of her hate for the inconveniences of the city, to Hanna telling a creepy stalker to back off, to Sinéad Mulvey shouting at her cheating boyfriend, these women have no feelings of mercy! Chick rock often does poorly, and is often a pre-show favorite that scores shockingly low.

Glam Rock

These KISS wannabes haven’t gone full-on metal yet, but they are much more stylish than the classic rockers. A bizarre combination between crazy costumes and classic rock music with a bit of emo mixed in, they are commonly found on the right-hand side of the Grand Final scoreboard. Need an example? Look no further than Sweden’s entry in 2007, The Ark with The Worrying Kind, or Finland’s entry the next year, Teräsbetoni with Missä miehet ratsastaa.

Over-The-Top Crazy

While this type of rock has never even crossed the Eurovision stage, we owe it a mention. This type of music usually includes ear-ringing volumes and lots of screaming. The music itself is often very depressing as far as lyrics are concerned, and there are often lots and lots gimmicks involved. We salute Outrigger, who performed Echo in Melodifestivalen this year, and Winny Puhh’s insane performance of Meiecundimees üks Korsakov läks eile Lätti.

Rock’s Sole Victory in Modern Eurovision

This one does not need any introduction. We all know and love our favorite monsters, the members of Lordi! Headed by makeup artist Tomi Putaansuu (a.k.a. Mr. Lordi), this unique ensemble stormed their way to Finland’s long overdue victory in 2006. Here is Hard Rock Hallelujah!

Do you think that rock is undeservedly wronged in Eurovision? Could you care less about its inclusion in the final? As they would say in the European home of rock, kertokaa miedän kommenteissa!

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Gilho Ahn
Gilho Ahn
6 years ago

Disappointed to see Cool Vibes (Vanilla Ninja), In my dreams (Wig Wam) missing. But how can you say recent times and not even mention One more day (Eldrine)??

Ali Nella Houd
Ali Nella Houd
6 years ago

Ehh – Ötesi! (Not Östemi – which is some sort of marinated sweetmeat dish …?)

Ali Nella Houd
Ali Nella Houd
6 years ago

A little mixed smörgåsbord from the last decade: 2005 – Cool Vibes, Vanilla Ninja (anyone for a faux key change from some faux Suisse?), and – yes, JMH – In My Dreams, Wig Wam. (“Love is all over me!”) 2007 – Malà Dàma, Kabàt. (They just got the lighting and staging wrong – if they’d been darker and moodier, it would have stuck in people’s heads, and maybe gotten them off the bottom.) 2008 – Deli, from Turkey’s Mor ve Östemi, with time signature nirvana! 2009 – The Highest Heights, Lovebugs (Switzerland). Another goody that didn’t get to the final… Read more »

Timbardur62
Timbardur62
6 years ago

@Dhani, if SoftEngine/Something better isn’t rock, then what is? Or are you trying to be annoyingly provocative as always? 😀 LOL you back 😀

Zolan
Zolan
6 years ago

2011 was a pretty good year for rocking out in some form or other.

Eldrine with “One More Day” for Georgia.
Poli Genova with “Na Inat” for Bulgaria.
Zdob Si Zdub with “So Lucky” for Moldova.
Anastasiya Vinnikova with “I Love Belarus.”
Yuksek Sadakat with “Live it Up” for Turkey.
A Friend in London with “New Tomorrow” for Denmark.

Ranting Ruby
Ranting Ruby
6 years ago

YES! Eurovision NEEDS more bizarre crazy confronting stuff like Winny Puuh! (I’m sick to death of cheap-looking women in shiny frocks and too much hairspray). It’s ridiculous that rock isn’t represented more, when it’s the life-blood of the music industry in most European nations!

Eurovision in 30 seconds!

Lol, look at this video of ESC 2014 in just 30 sec!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5tQVE9gIkw

D
D
6 years ago

I like indie rock, folk rock, grunge, and other genres along those lines but I can’t stand old rock music from the 70s-80s, glam rock, super loud/screamish rock music, anything like that. However, I would never want stuff like that to leave Eurovision entirely since we need diversity.

deli
deli
6 years ago

I think the first song which can be considered as a rock one was Korni – “Moja generacija” (Yugoslavia 1974). It was very Pink Floydish.

Paul
Paul
6 years ago

The first couple of rock songs were all quite good:
1991 Belgium entry (Clouseau – Geef het op)
1994 Slovakia entry (Tublatanka – Nekone?ná piese?)

Paul
Paul
6 years ago

Lordi’s victory wasn’t the only one of rock music. Katrina & The Waves can be classified as Britpop/pop-rock which is a genre of alternative music nonetheless.

Davve
Davve
6 years ago

Only The Ark and Lordi has really worked.

Dhani
6 years ago

Lol Softengine is not Rock hahahahaha !!

emby2
emby2
6 years ago

Sinead Mulvey’s ‘Et Cetera’ was the closest Eurovision has come to my own taste in music. I wouldn’t call it ‘chick rock’, it’s a pop-punk song circa late 90s to early 00s and it just happens to be sung by girls. I was disappointed it didn’t qualify. I listened to it recently on the 2009 DVD and it sounded too echo-ey in Moscow’s huge hall. They should have turned up the guitars!

beccaboo1212
6 years ago

Ireland 2009, Albania 2013, Italy and Finland 2014!! My FAVES! Eurovision needs MORE rock songs!!!!!!!!!!

JMH
JMH
6 years ago

No Wig Wam? Really?

Renske
Renske
6 years ago

It’s a pity that this year was a year without a lot of rock. Softengine made a good performance, it was one of my favourite songs to listen too.