Before the article, a disclaimer – the below editorial is tongue-in-cheek and written from the personal opinion of the author, and does not necessarily represent the views of ESC United as an outlet, its contributors or anyone associated with Eurovision.
As we wind down the calendar year and prepare for the release of ESC Radio’s ESC 250 list, I’ve been thinking a lot about what my personal 250 list would look like. Despite only being a fan for 5 years, I’ve listened to nearly all of the Eurovision entries at least once, currently work on a podcast where we review past contests and current happenings, and of course work for ESCUnited. All this to say, I’ve done a lot of my homework on the 1,500+ songs that make up the Eurovision playbook. Every few days I will release a new chunk on my list, leading up to the grand reveal of ESC Radio’s ESC 250 on December 31st 2019.
So enough talking, let’s dive back in shall we?
#69 – France Gall – Poupée de cire, poupée de son (Luxembourg, 1965)
This song is 54 years old, yet it is still just as great as it was in 1965. France Gall wasn’t a massive name in the music scene at the time of her competing, but her music is some of my favorite 60’s and 70’s French music and winning Eurovision really started her career. It’s fun, light, energetic, and she looks happy when you watch it back. Rest in Peace Queen France.
#68 – Samira Said – Bitakat Hob (Morocco, 1980)
That one time that Morocco debuted in the contest and also left the contest in the same year. I can understand being disappointed in a contest result, but withdrawing over it was a tad silly. Nevertheless, this song is a complete gem and really showcases the Moroccan culture and Arabic language. This is also a special song because it’s the only song we have that is entirely in Arabic for the contest.
#67 – Nina Morato – Je Suis Un Vrai Garçon (France, 1994)
My goodness the 90’s were a good decade for the French, and this song shows off why. 1994 was a year FULL of ballads, and then Nina takes the stage with a modern pop song, and it really stood out from the crowd. Add in the really interesting vocal line for this song and the fun band arrangement, this song was stellar. It deserves more attention.
#66 – Lordi – Hard Rock Hallelujah (Finland, 2006)
The first and probably last time we will see demons on stage at Eurovision, and boy did they make an impact that year. This was a year of okay songs, ones I liked and some were just meh. And then there’s Lordi and their all-powerful entry. In my opinion, this restarted the fad of having rock bands at Eurovision, and that’s a good thing.
#65 – Helena Paparizou – My Number One (Greece, 2005)
From one winner to another, it’s the Greek goddess Helena up next. This was a good song for the decade, and it was up against quite a few good songs too. She came for the fame in 2001, and came for the kill in 2005. And kill the bank account of ERT in 2006 she did.
#64 – Elitsa Todorova and Stoyan Yankulov (Bulgaria, 2007)
Although I said that their 2013 song was the better of their two entries, this song is higher up due to how unique it was the first time, and it was their best placement and only qualification until their 2016 return with Poli. This song was an interesting display, extremely entertaining, and it beat out it’s sibling song because I listen to it more.
#63 – Inger Jacobsen – Kom Sol, Kom Regn (Norway, 1962)
You’ll be surprised to know that this is not the highest song from the 60’s on my list, as there will be others to come. But gosh, this song is just so beautiful and I have no idea how this song only came 10th in the contest. Her voice has that alluring quality where you just want her to keep singing, and for the time this was such a radio-friendly song.
#62 – Regina – Bistra Voda (Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2009)
I will say this loud so everyone can hear it: This song came ninth place but is nine times better than “Fairytale”. It’s got passion, an ethnic track, and of course it’s played much more often than Alexander’s winning song on my playlist (which is never). Consider this my guilty pleasure from the 2009 Grand Final.
#61 – Jana Burčeska – Dance Alone (F.Y.R. Macedonia, 2017)
Honestly, this song wasn’t as bad live as some people made it out to be. Sure, she needed some dancers or backing vocalists on stage so she didn’t get swallowed up, but other than that Jana slayed it on stage WHILE also pregnant. I fully understand why this song didn’t qualify, but the track itself is such a great attempt from then FYR Macedonia and set them down the track of success that they are on today. Also if you don’t listen to this and clap during the chorus, you’re not a real Eurovision fan.
#60 – Linda Martin – Why Me? (Ireland, 1992)
The first of three back to back wins by Ireland and the only country so far to pull that off. That is the power that Linda Martin has. She was great in “Terminal 3” although it was just an okay song, and then she returns 8 years later with the most impactful ballad of the 90’s. I sent this song to my boyfriend because Linda is singing what I often feel. So yeah this is a sappy placement, get over it.
#59 – Chara & Andreas Konstantinou – Mana Mou (Cyprus, 1997)
I’ll go out on a limb and say I sort of wish this song has won over “Love Shine A Light” because I love it so much. It’s such an ethnic bop that hasn’t aged a day and it’s also constantly evolving for 3 minutes. The harmonies on this song are also beautifully done. While this does have a repetitious beat track behind it, they really made a masterpiece over that and didn’t rely on the track to carry the song. Modern Cyriot dance tracks could never.
#58 – Elnur Huseynov – Hour Of The Wolf (Azerbaijan, 2015)
My gosh this was the most talented vocalist in the 2015 contest. This song still gives me chills every time I hear it, and this was one of the songs I had hoped would win the contest. And that moment he hits the high note sends me to another planet. One more thing, the choreography for this song is so amazing and expertly done. This was all around a home run entry.
#57 – Željko Joksimović – Nije Ljubav Stvar (Serbia, 2012)
How this placed behind “Party For Everyone” I will never understand, but whatever. If Serbia had sent this song in any other year, they would have won the entire contest hands down because this song is that good. In fact this is one of the best Serbian entries of the decade. The staging on this song is also pure art.
#56 – Koza Mostra feat. Agathon Iakovidis – Alcohol Is Free (Greece, 2013)
This song straight up made me want to learn Greek (I never did) and whistle this song at work all the time and sing the chorus too. I also sing this at the bars too because…well I think it’s funny to see the bartender’s face. This is the party song of the decade (literally) and such a jam. I also laugh every time I see the trumpet player using his instrument as a guitar. This entire song is just a bundle of fun.
#55 – Niamh Kavanagh – In Your Eyes (Ireland, 1993)
This is the BEST host country entry in Eurovision history, and it shows by how she won with the largest point total ever at the time (She won with 187 points, the second highest total at that time was Belgium 1986 with 176 points). My gosh the vocal talent this woman has is unbelievable. And if you don’t agree with me then I’m sorry you’re wrong.
Well that’s it for this installment of the Eurovision 250 list. Tune back in tomorrow as I reveal songs #40-54 on my list!
- Songs 70-84
- Songs 85-99
- Songs 100-114
- Songs 115-129
- Songs 130-144
- Songs 145-159
- Songs 160-174
- Songs 175-189
- Songs 190-204
- Songs 205-219
- Songs 220-234
- Songs 235-250
What do #YOU think of my picks? Is there something you disagree with? Let us know in the comments, social media, or our forum!