One of the Big 5 has its national day today. Can you guess which? That’s right, it’s Spain. And as a stalwart of 56 contests, we thought it would be good to look at some of those memorable songs from down the years. Are yours amongst them?
First, let’s start with one of Spain’s two winners. In Madrid’s Teatro Real, Spain was hosting after Massiel won the previous year. In a unique result, four countries tied for the win. What could the EBU do? The scoring was never likely to throw up this result, or so they thought. So scrutineer Clifford Brown decided what to do there and then – all four countries were given the win. One of them was Spain, and here’s the very animated Maria Rosa Marco Poquet, better known as Salomé, looking a lot like Shirley Bassey.
Jumping to 1983, where we saw Spain not win, but come last. It’s not the only time this has happened, but it’s perhaps the most unjustified. Remedios (María Dolores) Amaya was a young flamenco singer making her way in the world and was asking who was sailing her boat. She turns up at the world’s biggest electric fire in Munich’s Rudi-Sedlmayer-Halle, she finished last, but was not alone.
In the 1970s, Spain had an interesting time, and were runners-up on three occasions. This next song comes from Mocedades (the youths) who hailed from the Basque country. ‘Eres tú’ has become a standard, and is still popular 43 years later. It even made the top 10 in the US’s Billboard Hot 100, quite a feat for a song in Spanish. On that night in Luxembourg’s Grand Théâtre, it was probably the nerves of lead singer Amaya Uranga that was the song’s downfall.
We need to move to the 1990s, which again gave Spain some highlights. One runner-up and also one last place. For this decade I’ve picked this song from the 1991 ESC in Rome’s Cinecittà. Sergio Dalma (see, they do enter male singers occasionally too) was adopted by the memorable host Toto Cutugno, and Señor Dalma even recorded his song in Italian for the host country’s market. The contest version was abridged, as the full one broke the three minute rule. Sergio came fourth.
To finish, I’ve selected this powerful ballad from 2012 in Baku. Some would say it’s a bit old school. That may be the case, but a great song is a great song, whenever it was entered. Pastora Soler was faultless in her performance, but 2012 was always going to be Loreen’s year. The 21st Century hasn’t been that good for Spain, and maybe this song deserved to do much much better. Perhaps, even, TVE should get Pastora back.
What are your favourite Spanish songs? Are they in this little list? Or have we missed something obvious?