Eurovision 2018

#TOP250 – Which Eurovision songs really have stood the test of time?

Happy New Year! While a new year means that a new Eurovision Song Contest is edging ever closer, it also means it’s time to look through ESC Radio’s Annual Top 250!

While Loreen has held on to her crown for a 7th consecutive year, James took a closer look at the results and noticed something. Out of the Top 250, only 63 songs come from the 20th century and the 44 contests that took place then – meaning almost 190 songs have come from the last 18 contests!

This got us thinking – which songs have stood the test of time? Which songs from the Eurovisions of yester-year are still being listened to and loved by fans today? The answers are surprising… but then again, maybe not!

The highest placing entry on this list from the 1990s is Norway’s winning entry from 1995, the hauntingly beautiful instrumental “Nocturne”. With only 24 words in its lyrics, this unique song still clearly strikes a chord with Eurovision fans today, as it placed 10th!

From the 1980s (home to some of the best Eurovisions EVER according to some of our team and extended family!), the highest placing entry was Johnny Logan with “Hold Me Now” from 1987. A Eurovision classic if ever there was one, it came 62nd in the Top 250 – the highest of Ireland’s 4 songs on this list.

Let’s face it, there’s only one song it could be from the 1970s – the winner that started a nation’s obsessive love affair with the contest – Sweden’s ABBA with Waterloo!

The 1960s saw a real shift in Eurovision dynamics, with the first ever pop song winning the contests after years of chanson and ballads. This has clearly had a lasting impact, as “Poupée de Cire, Poupée de Son” by France Gall for Luxembourg in 1965 was voted into 59th in this year’s Top 250!

In 108th place is the oldest entry in the Top 250 – from the third Eurovision way back in 1958 no less! Domenico Modugno’s “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu” may have only came 3rd in the contest, but it’s the most commercially successful Eurovision song ever, with sales massing to more than 22 million copies world wide! Amazing in itself, it’s also incredible that over 60 years later this song still features in the Top 250!

So if we take a look at the spread of entries over the years, these are the numbers of songs from each decade of the 20th century:
1990s – 33
1980s – 11
1970s – 12
1960s – 6
1950s – 1
While it’s maybe not surprising that the further back in time we go, the fewer entries make it into the Top 250, it’s still worth noting that people are still enjoying songs from as far back as 60 years ago – the power of music!

What do you think of the Top 250? Did your favourites make it? What’s the oldest Eurovision song that you love?

Let us know!

Author: James Scanlan
Source: ESC Radio
Image Source: ESC Radio

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