Sunday, 2 September 2012

Eurovision Song Contest 1974


Date: April 6, 1974
Venue: The Dome, Brighton, UK
Presenter: Katie Boyle
Orchestra: BBC Television orchestra
Conductor: Ronnie Hazlehurst
Director: Michael Hurll
Scruteneer: Clifford Brown
Host broadcaster: BBC
Price presenter: Sir Charles Curran
Interval act: - The Wombles
Duration: 1 hour, 49 minutes
Number of entries: 17
Debuting countries: Greece
Returning countries: -
Withdrawing countries: France, Malta
Winning Song: Waterloo - ABBA, Sweden
Voting system: Each country had 10 jurors who could all give 1 vote to their favourite song.


01. Finland: Carita Holmström - Keep me warm (13th place, 4 points)
02. UK: Olivia Newton John - Long live love (4th place, 14 points)
03. Spain: Peret - Canta y sé feliz (9th place, 10 points)
04. Norway: Anne-Karine Strøm feat. Bendik Singers - The first day of love (14th place, 3 points)
05. Greece: Marinella - Krasí, thálassa ke t' agóri mou (11th place, 7 points)
06. Israel: Kaveret - Natati La Khayay (7th place, 11 points)
07. Yugoslavia: Korni Grupa - Generacija '42 (12th place, 6 points)
08. Sweden: ABBA - Waterloo (1st place, 24 points)
09. Luxembourg: Ireen Sheer - Bye bye I love you (4th place, 14 points)
10. Monaco: Romuald - Celui qui reste et celui qui s'en va (4th place, 14 points)
11. Belgium: Jacques Hustin - Fleur de liberté (9th place, 10 points)
12. The Netherlands: Mouth and MacNeal - I see a star (3rd place, 15 points)
13. Ireland: Tina Reynolds - Cross your heart (7th place, 11 points)
14. Germany: Cindy & Bert - Die Sommermelodie (14th place, 3 points)
15. Switzerland: Piera Martell - Mein Ruf nach dir (14th place, 3 points)
16. Portugal: Paulo de Carvalho - E depois do adeus (14th place, 3 points)
17. Italy: Gigliola Cinquetti - Si (2nd place, 18 points)

Mouth and MacNeal

The Eurovision Song Contest 1974 was the 19th Eurovision Song Contest. It was held in the seaside resort of Brighton on the south coast of the United Kingdom. The BBC agreed to stage the event after Luxembourg, having won in both 1972 and 1973, declined on the grounds of expense to host the contest for a second consecutive year.

Katie Boyle came back to host her fourth Eurovision Song Contest (she also hosted the contest in 1960, 1963 and 1968). ABBA sang the song Waterloo, which was written by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Stig Anderson. The group went on to become one of the most popular recording artists of all time. Along with 1988 winner Celine Dion, ABBA are among the few Eurovision winners to achieve international superstar status. Sweden's win was their first.


The venue which hosted the 1974 Contest was the Brighton Dome, an arts venue that contains the Concert Hall, the Corn Exchange and the Pavilion Theatre. All three venues are linked to the rest of the Royal Pavilion Estate by an underground tunnel to the Royal Pavilion in Pavilion Gardens and through shared corridors to Brighton Museum, as the entire complex was built for the Prince Regent (later George IV) and completed in 1805. Originally the Concert Hall was the Prince Regent's stables with the Corn Exchange being a riding school.


A two-night preview programme, Auftakt für Brighton (Prelude for Brighton), was coordinated by the German national broadcaster ARD in February and was hosted by the journalist Karin Tietze-Ludwig. It shares two special distinctions in that it was the first preview-type programme to be broadcast in many European countries simultaneously (traditionally each national broadcaster puts together their own preview programme), and also in that it aired nearly six weeks before the actual Contest, the earliest-ever airing of preview week. The programme was also notable in being the European television debut for the winners, ABBA, who were peculiarly credited in previews as The Abba.

Participating countries

Seventeen nations took part in this year's contest. Greece made their début, while France and Malta withdrew.

Returning artists

Three artists returned to the contest this year. Gigliola Cinquetti winner of the 1964 Contest participated again for Italy, Romuald Figuier who also participated in the 1964 Contest for Monaco, as well as in 1969 Contest for Luxembourg and Norway's Bendik Singers also returned after last participating in Eurovision Song Contest 1973.


Notable incidents:

The United Kingdom was represented in the contest by the British born Australian pop singer Olivia Newton-John, who came fourth with the song Long Live Love. As noted by author and historian John Kennedy O'Connor in his book The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History, Olivia disliked this song and preferred others from the UK heat, but Long Live Love was chosen as the UK's entry by a public postal vote.

France had been going to enter this Eurovision with the song La vie à vingt-cinq ans by Dani, but they withdrew after the French President, Georges Pompidou, died in the week of the contest. Since his funeral was held the day of the contest, it was deemed inappropriate for the French to take part. Dani was seen by viewers in the audience at the point the French song should have been performed, after the Irish and before the German entry. For the same reason, the French singer Anne-Marie David, who had won the first place for Luxembourg in 1973, could not come to Brighton to hand the prize to the 1974 winner.

 Carita Holmström

Malta withdrew from the contest for unknown reasons, but had selected Enzo Guzman with the song Paċi Fid Dinja to represent them. The singer has confirmed this to be the case. Malta returned to the competition in 1975.

Italy refused to broadcast the televised contest on the state television channel RAI because of a song sung by Gigliola Cinquetti which coincided with the intense political campaigning for the 1974 Italian referendum on divorce which was held a month later in May. Despite the Eurovision contest taking place more than a month before the planned vote and despite Cinquetti going as far as winning second place, Italian censors refused to allow the contest and song to be shown or heard. RAI censors felt the song which was titled Sì, and which contained lyrics constantly repeating the word SI (yes) could be accused of being a subliminal message and a form of propaganda to influence the Italian voting public to vote "YES" in the referendum. The song remained censored on most Italian state TV and radio stations for over a month.

Portugal's entry E depois do adeus was used as one of the two signals to launch the Carnation Revolution against the Estado Novo regime. The song alerted the rebel captains and soldiers to begin the coup and the tanks of the left-wing military coup to move in. John Kennedy O'Connor describes it as the only Eurovision entry to have actually started a revolution, while Des Mangan suggests that other Portuguese entries would not be likely to inspire coups.

Sweden won the contest with a score of 24 points, representing just 15% of the possible available vote. Such a low percentage has never been achieved since, but it is still higher than the 12% achieved by each of the four winners in 1969. This was the first time when four countries came last with 3 points.

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