"Rock Me" was the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 1989. Performed by Riva, representing Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the first and only time that this country would win the Contest. The song was performed in Serbo-Croatian, however during the winners' encore lead vocalist Emilija Kokic sang the song in English.
The song's victory led to international awareness of Yugoslav rock.
Riva's frontress Emilija Kokic continued to appear in various shows but had no significant success after the 1989 victory.
1988 - Switzerland
Celine Dion , "Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi"
"Ne partez pas sans moi" ("Don't Leave Without Me") is the Swiss winning entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1988. Performed by Céline Dion, it was released as a single in Europe on May 6, 1988. Dion performed "Ne partez pas sans moi" for 600 million viewers worldwide on the awards telecast.
The song composed by Turkish songwriter named Atilla Sereftug and Swiss composer Nella Martinetti won with 137 points, beating the United Kingdom entry "Go" performed by Scott Fitzgerald by just one point in one of the closest finishes in Eurovision history. The single sold 200,000 copies in Europe in two days and over 300,000 copies in total. It is considered to be one of the most popular Eurovision entries, mainly because Dion used the song's success to launch her international career.
"Ne partez pas sans moi" was also included on Dion's 1988 album The Best Of released in Europe (June 1988). The song appeared in Canada as B-side to "D'abord, c'est quoi l'amour?." It also appeared on the French version of Dion's Incognito album.
A music video was released in 1988.
Céline Dion also recorded a German version of "Ne partez pas sans moi," called "Hand in Hand".
1987 - Ireland
Johnny Logan, "Hold Me Now"
"Hold Me Now" is a song composed and performed by Irish singer Johnny Logan. It became the winner of the 1987 Eurovision Song Contest. Logan had previously won with "What's Another Year?" in the 1980 Contest and would go on to write the winner of the 1992 Contest ("Why Me?" for Linda Martin for whom he had previously written "Terminal 3" at the 1984 Contest). The song is usually sung by Bohemians at home matches in Dalymount Park.
The song was performed twentieth on the night, following Denmark's Anne-Cathrine Herdorf & Drengene with "En lille melodi" and preceding Yugoslavia's Novi Fosili with "Ja sam za ples". At the close of voting, it had received 172 points, placing 1st in a field of 22. After Logan had been proclaimed the winner with this song, he was overcome with emotion during the reprise and was unable to reach the high notes in this part of the song. As he had when he won in 1980 with "What's Another Year?", he shouted "I still love you, Ireland".
Lyrically, the song is a ballad sung from the point of view of a man whose love interest is leaving him for someone else ("from now on you'll be with someone else instead of me"). The singer pleads with his girlfriend to "touch, touch me the way you used to do" in order to leave him with good memories of their relationship, even as they "fill this memory/for the last time".
The chorus then tells the girl "don't say a word", as they prepare to part. Despite the sad nature of the parting, the singer says that "I will know/though we're apart/we'll always be together", which implies some sort of optimism on his part. The music (also composed by Logan) is that of a typical Eurovision power ballad, with the final chorus being introduced by a chorus of backing singers before they are joined by Logan's voice again.
The song was succeeded as winner in 1988 by Celine Dion representing Switzerland with "Ne partez pas sans moi". It was succeeded as Irish representative at the 1988 contest by Jump The Gun with "Take Him Home". "Hold Me Now" is regarded by many fans as one of the high points of Contest history, recently being voted the third-best song in Eurovision history (behind "Waterloo" and "Nel blu dipinto di blu").
1986 - Belgium
Sandra Kim, "J'aime La Vie"
"J'aime la vie" (I Love Life) was the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 1986. The winning song was performed for Belgium by Sandra Kim. Belgium had finished the 1985 Contest in last place, and thus achieved the rare turnaround from last to first in the space of one year. The song also marks the only time to date that Belgium has won the Contest. The song was also released on Kim's album J'aime la vie in 1986.
At Bergen, the song was performed thirteenth on the night (following Ireland's Luv Bug with "You Can Count On Me" and preceding Germany's Ingrid Peters with "Über Die Brücke Geh'n"). Its winning tally was 176 points, finishing first in a field of 20. The entry received points from every jury.
In the lyrics, Kim describes herself as being "fifteen", although she was later proven to be only thirteen at the time of her performance. She thus remains the youngest ever Eurovision winner and one of the youngest-ever performers at the Contest. Her record is unlikely to be challenged, as the Contest rules were changed to specify that performers must turn at least 16 in the year that they perform. According to author and historian John Kennedy O'Connor in his book The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History, the Swiss (who had placed 2nd) petitioned to have the Belgian win nullified after Kim's age was revealed.
Kim, herself of Italian descent, also recorded her winning entry in Italian (with the same title as the original French, "J'aime la vie") and English ("Crazy of Life").
In a 2006 online interview with 12points.be, Kim was asked if she sings "J'aime la vie" "with pleasure" at concerts and events now, to which she responded, "Not always." She then said, "It's a little girl's song, with little girl's lyrics, with a young adolescent's atmosphere. Nowadays, singing "J'aime la vie"...do you like life every day? Me neither." She does however continue to perform the song, and in 2007 one of the performances was televised live on Norwegian TV.
"J'aime la vie" was succeeded as Belgian representative at the 1987 Contest, held in Brussels, by Liliane Saint-Pierre performing "Soldiers of Love".
1985 - Norway
Bobbysocks, "La Det Swinge"
"La det swinge" ("Let it swing") is a song in Norwegian, sung by the pop duo Bobbysocks!. It was the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 1985 - Norway's first victory in the contest. The song is a tribute to dancing to old rock 'n' roll heard on the radio. Befitting the subject matter, the song itself is written in an old-fashioned style, with a memorable saxophone melody setting the chorus off. The melody arrangement is in retro style, containing elements of contemporary 1980s music and throwbacks to the 1950s.
The song was performed thirteenth on the night, following Italy's Al Bano and Romina Power with "Magic Oh Magic" and preceding the United Kingdom's Vikki Watson with "Love Is". At the close of voting, it received 123 points, placing 1st in a field of 19.
For their Eurovision appearance, the two members - Hanne Krogh and Elisabeth Andreasson - appeared in sparkling, bright purple jackets, worn over black and white outfits; Krogh sported a striking, black-and-white striped floor-length gown.
This was Elisabeth Andreasson's second appearance in the Eurovision Song Contest; in 1982 she represented Sweden in the duo Chips with Kikki Danielsson singing "Dag efter dag". Danielsson incidentally finished third after Bobbysocks and West Germany's Wind, with "Bra vibrationer" in the 1985 contest, again representing Sweden. Andreasson in turn went on to appear in the contest on two more occasions - she finished sixth in 1994, performing a duet with Jan Werner Danielsen, entitled simply, "Duett" and in 1996, she appeared as a solo artist, finishing second to Ireland's Eimear Quinn. Krogh finished 17th (second from last) in the contest in 1971, with the song "Lykken er", and in 1991 she returned to the Contest as part of the group Just 4 Fun, finishing 17th with "Mrs. Thompson".
"La Det Swinge" was succeeded as Norwegian representative at the 1986 Contest by Ketil Stokkan with "Romeo".
Following their win, the single "La det swinge" peaked at #1 in the Norwegian and Belgian singles chart, and entered the charts in Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Ireland, United Kingdom to name a few.
1984 - Sweden
Herrey's, "Diggi-loo Diggi-ley"
"Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley" was the winning song in the Eurovision Song Contest 1984. Performed in Swedish by a trio of brothers named Herrey's. Lyrics were written by Britt Lindeborg, and the tune by Torgny Söderberg. It was produced by Anders Engberg and Torgny Söderberg.
The song is a perfect illustration of the time period in which it was performed; a very upbeat 1980s-style dance song, performed by three impossibly clean cut young men - fellow Swedish Eurovision participant Tommy Körberg famously dubbed them "the dancing deodorants" in the press, a derogatory nickname that stuck with them for the rest of their career in their home country - and the nonsensical title harking back to previous entries such as "Boom Bang-a-Bang", "Ding-A-Dong" and "La La La". The song has achieved considerable fame among Eurovision Song Contest fans, with a well-known archive of Contest lyrics using the domain name diggiloo.net, named after it. Despite the reception the song receives today, in the run-up to the Contest it was not an immediate favorite to win; bookmakers Ladbrokes had Ireland's "Terminal 3" and Italy's "I treni di Tozeur" as higher favourites, so the song winning came as a surprise to many.
According to author John Kennedy O'Connor's The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History, The Herrey's opened the contest and thus became the third winners of the competition to sing from pole position, following Teach-In in 1975 and Brotherhood of Man in 1976. No song sung first or second has won since.
The song itself deals with the lead singer discovering a pair of golden shoes in the street one day. He puts them on and immediately feels like dancing in the street, entering a "magical world". Thus, he wishes for everyone to have a pair.
The English translation, released some time after the Contest, took much the same theme, titling the song "Golden Shoes".
Richard Herrey, lead singer of the band, performed at the Congratulations special in late 2005.
The song was succeeded as winner in 1985 by Bobbysocks representing Norway with "La det swinge".
"Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley" as best reached a 2nd place at the Swedish singles charts.
1983 - Luxembourg
Corinne Hermes, "Si La Vie Est Cadeau"
"Si la vie est cadeau" ("If Life is a Gift") was the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 1983. Written by Jean-Pierre Millers (music) and Alain Garcia (lyrics), performed in French by French singer Corinne Hermès for Luxembourg.
The song is a dramatic ballad dealing with the wonder of life, likening it to a gift. The lyrics tell of the singer's suffering in love with a man; "who promised her the whole world" and did not follow through, "what about the baby I wanted to give to you in the spring?". She then sings that any kind of gift is welcome, whether it be given, stolen or returned, and warns that the good times are too short, implying that the listener should savor them for all they are worth. Hermès also recorded the song in English and German, as "Words of Love" and "Liebe gibt und nimmt" ("Love Gives and Takes") respectively.
The song was performed 20th (last) on the night, following Belgium's Pas de Deux with "Rendez-vous". At the close of voting, it had received 142 points, placing 1st in a field of 20. The win brought Luxembourg equal with France on five Contest wins apiece, however both countries would later be eclipsed by the Republic of Ireland, which would win seven.
Compared to the previous year's Eurovision winners, "Si la vie est cadeau" only proved to be a moderate commercial success, peaking at #2 in France, #3 in Belgium, #12 in Ireland, #13 in Sweden, #14 in Switzerland, #31 in the Netherlands and failing to chart in most other European countries.
The song was succeeded in 1984 as winner of the Contest by Herreys representing Sweden with "Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley".
It was succeeded as Luxembourgish representative at the 1984 Contest by Sophie Carle with "100% d'amour".
The Finnish rendering "Lahjan Sain" was recorded by Lea Laven being the title cut of her 1983 album release.
"Ein bißchen Frieden" ("A Little Peace" in English) won the 1982 ESC and was sung by Nicole. "Ein bißchen Frieden" was written by prolific German Eurovision-writing duo Ralph Siegel (music) and Bernd Meinunger (lyrics) for the Eurovision Song Contest 1982 in Harrogate, Yorkshire, England.
The song was performed by 17-year-old high-school student Nicole, resulting in Germany's first win at the Eurovision Song Contest by a record margin of sixty-one points, setting a new record for the largest winning margin that lasted until the Eurovision Song Contest 1997, at which "Love Shine a Light" by Katrina and the Waves won by 70 points.
"Ein bißchen Frieden" was the eighteenth and final song performed that evening (following Ireland's The Duskeys with "Here Today Gone Tomorrow"). At the close of voting, it had received 161 points, placing first in a field of 18.
The performance was unlike most other Eurovision entrants in that Nicole performed while seated on a stool, playing a white acoustic guitar and accompanied by a backing group which included a harpist. The gentle ballad describes a wish for world peace, with the lyrics sung in first person, and also describes the beauty of the natural world.
After winning the contest, Nicole performed the reprise in four different languages: German, English, French and Dutch, and released recordings in five additional languages across Europe: Danish, Italian, Russian, and a German-English-Dutch combination and a German-English-Italian combination. It topped the charts in many countries, selling more than three million copies and the English version was the last Eurovision winner to top the charts in the United Kingdom. The English version also holds the honour of becoming the 500th British Number One.
The song was chosen in an internet poll conducted by the European Broadcasting Union in 2005 as one of the 14 most popular songs in the history of the Eurovision, and was one of the entrants in the Congratulations 50th anniversary concert in Copenhagen, Denmark, held in October 2005. Although Nicole was not at the concert, it was re-enacted by dancers equipped with white guitars and a live orchestra as the original footage was shown in the background. "Ein bißchen Frieden" finished as the seventh most popular song in the history of the contest.
The song was succeeded as Contest winner in 1983 by "Si la vie est cadeau" by Corinne Hermès representing Luxembourg.
It was succeeded as German representative at the 1983 Contest by Hoffmann & Hoffmann with "Rücksicht".
In 1982 "Ein bißchen Frieden" was covered in Czech as "Jsme deti slunce" by Jaromír Mayer, in Croatian as "Malo Mira" by Ana Štefok, in Danish as "En smule fred" by Susanne Lana, in Hungarian as "Egy kis nyugalmat kívánok én" by Neoton Família and in Finnish as "Vain Hieman Rauhaa" by Katri Helena. In 1996, the Swedish techno/folk/bluegrass band Rednex, known for their hit Cotton-Eye Joe around that time, did a cover of "Ein bißchen Frieden," also played in the Eurovision Song Contest. The song has since been rendered in English as "A Little Peace" recorded by Daniel O'Donnell for his 1997 album I Believe, and in Dutch as "Een Beetje Vrede" recorded by Kathleen Aerts for her 2009 album In Symfonie.
1981 - United Kingdom
Bucks Fizz, "Making Your Mind Up"
"Making Your Mind Up" was sung by British group Bucks Fizz and the 1981 ESC winner. Released in March 1981, it was Bucks Fizz's debut single, the group having been formed just two months earlier. From 2004 to 2007 the BBC used the name Making Your Mind Up for their Eurovision selection show in honour of the song.
In late 1980, songwriter Andy Hill teamed up with John Danter and composed "Making Your Mind Up" with an eye to entering it into the A Song for Europe finals the following year. Working with his then girlfriend, Nichola Martin, a former singer, they set about recording a demo of the song to enter. This featured the vocals of Hill, Martin and Mike Nolan, a singer Martin had worked with before. Martin then set about gathering a line-up to enter the song with, based around her and Nolan. With the song already entered under the name Bucks Fizz, Martin and future manager, Jill Shirley recruited Cheryl Baker, Bobby G and Jay Aston to the line-up, with Martin herself dropping out. The song secured an entry into the final along with another Hill/Danter composition, "Have You Ever Been in Love", which would be performed by Martin and Hill under the name Gem.
Martin and Shirley secured a recording deal with RCA Records and Hill spent a week at Mayfair Studios in London with the group recording the song and its B-side. Backing vocals on the record were supplied by Alan Carvell, who also went on to be one of two backing singers in the Eurovision performance. The song was published by Paper Music, which was a year-old publishing company owned by Billy Lawrie – himself a songwriter and brother of singer Lulu. Choreographer Chrissie Whickham, a former member of dance troupe Hot Gossip, spent two days with the group working on the dance routine.
The lyrics of the song are largely meaningless, although it can be argued that they are about making the decision to commit to a serious relationship.
On 11 March 1981, Bucks Fizz performed "Making Your Mind Up" at the Song for Europe finals and despite being up against favourites and current chart group Liquid Gold, won the contest with ease. From this point, the group undertook much promotion of the song around the UK, including an appearance on Top of the Pops, whereby the single entered the UK charts at 24. It rose to No.5 the following week. A promotional video was filmed by the BBC for the Eurovision previews as they had done in previous years. The video depicts the group walking around Harrods department store in London. In line with other previous preview videos, the group do not lipsynch any of the words. This video has never been released on any official Bucks Fizz video or DVD releases, in its place is the group's first appearance on Top of the Pops.
On 4 April the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest was staged in Dublin. In a close contest throughout the voting procedure, "Making Your Mind Up" managed to secure a victory with 136 points, beating second-placed Germany by a small margin of four.
The song is held in affectionate regard by many Eurovision fans, and is generally considered to be a good example of a pop song from the Contest. Reaction was less favourable to the group's performance of the song, which was considered to be off-key, and led to much criticism that the members were chosen more for appearance than vocal ability. In addition, the performance is remembered for the point at which the two male members of the group removed the skirts of the two female members – only to reveal shorter skirts beneath them. Member Cheryl Baker has since commented on their poor performance stating that she sang the song in a higher key to the rest of the group due to nerves. Mike Nolan has said that on the night the microphones got mixed up, with Baker and Jay Aston singing on the lead microphones which had a higher volume.
"Making Your Mind Up" went to No.1 in the UK following the victory and remained there for three weeks, becoming one of the biggest selling songs of the year. It also saw the group in high demand throughout Europe, with the single hitting No.1 in many countries and charting in the top ten in Australia. The record eventually sold four million copies worldwide.
The single began a run of 20 UK hits for Bucks Fizz and was quickly followed up by "Piece of the Action" and debut album, Bucks Fizz. At the end of the decade, "Making Your Mind Up" was No.47 in the UK top selling singles of the 1980s. Despite the success of the song, fans of the group don't consider it to be a good representation of their work, while member Cheryl Baker doesn't rate it as one of their best songs.
In the Eurovision, the song was succeeded as a UK entry by "One Step Further" by Bardo, who were managed by the same team as Bucks Fizz. As a winner, it was succeeded by "Ein Bisschen Frieden", sung by Germany's Nicole. The song title has also given the name to the UK selection process for the Eurovision Song Contest.
The now infamous skirt rip of the dance routine (which was mirrored by Mick Jagger and Tina Turner at 1985's Live Aid) has appeared in many contests since that time – most notably as part of Latvia's Marie N's performance of "I Wanna", which won for Latvia, in 2002.
"Making Your Mind Up" was spoofed by many artists following its success, with alternative titles: "Me vas a volver loco (You're Going to Drive Me Crazy)" (by Spanish group Parchís), "Rock and Roll Cowboy" by German singer Maggie Mae and "It's Only a Wind Up" by British comedy group Brown Sauce.
1980 - Ireland
Johnny Logan & Choir, "What's Another Year"
"What's Another Year" was Johnny Logan's first Eurovision Song Contest winner. "What's Another Year" achieved success in the 1980 edition of the Contest. This was Ireland's second Contest victory. Composed by Shay Healy, the song reached number one in the UK for two weeks in May.
The song is often misinterpreted as a power ballad, sung from the point of view of a man who has been waiting for the girl of his dreams to fall in love with him. On some level, he seems to recognise that she will never share his feelings, but he still holds them regardless. The title appears in the chorus, specifically "What's another year/To someone who is getting used to being alone?" In other words, he is prepared to wait as long as it takes. In reality, the song was written by Shay Healy (who also wrote "the Ultimate Country and Western Song" performed by Billy Connolly) about watching his father coming to terms with the death of his wife and companion, Mairin
When showband frontman Glen Curtin, the original choice of singer, turned down "What's Another Year", the song was rearranged by Bill Whelan to suit Johnny Logan's singing style. Whelan later composed Riverdance for the interval entertainment slot at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin. Musically, the song is easily identifiable by its saxophone introduction played by Scottish musician Colin Tully, who now lives and teaches in Wales. The success of "What's Another Year" launched Logan's Eurovision career (he would go on to success in 1987 with "Hold Me Now"). In addition, the song was selected as one of the 14 greatest Eurovision entries in a special to mark the 50th anniversary of the contest. It was covered by Shane McGowan of The Pogues in the "Song for Eurotrash" cover album of 1998.
Famously, after being announced as the winner of the Contest, Logan was overcome with emotion and could not achieve the high notes near the end of the song in his reprise. Instead, he called out "I love you Ireland", a phrase he would repeat seven years later.
The song was performed seventeenth on the night (following France's Profil with "Hé, hé M'sieurs dames" and preceding Spain's Trigo Limpio with "Quédate esta noche"). At the close of voting, it had received 143 points, placing 1st in a field of 19. The song was succeeded as Eurovision winner at the Eurovision Song Contest 1981 by British band Bucks Fizz and the song "Making Your Mind Up". It was succeeded as Irish representative at the 1981 Contest by Sheeba with "Horoscopes".
In Germany, Johnny Logan released a German language version of "What's Another Year", entitled "Was ist schon ein Jahr". In Portugal the single was released (in English) with a minor typing error on the front sleeve as "What's Another Year!"