Eurovision Song Contest 1974

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Eurovision Song Contest 1974
ESC 1974 logo.png
Dates
Final6 April 1974
Host
Venue The Dome
Brighton, United Kingdom
Presenter(s) Katie Boyle
Musical director Ronnie Hazlehurst
Directed by Michael Hurll
Executive supervisor Clifford Brown
Executive producer Bill Cotton
Host broadcaster British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
Website eurovision.tv/event/brighton-1974 OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Participants
Number of entries17
Debuting countriesFlag of Greece (1970-1975).svg  Greece
Returning countriesNone
Non-returning countriesFlag of France.svg  France
  • ESC 1974 Map 2.svg
         Competing countries     Countries that participated in the past but not in 1974
Vote
Voting systemTen-member juries distributed ten points among their favourite songs.
Winning songFlag of Sweden.svg  Sweden
"Waterloo"
1973  Eurovision Song Contest  1975

The Eurovision Song Contest 1974 was the 19th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, held on 6 April 1974 in the Dome in Brighton, United Kingdom. Organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and host broadcaster the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), and presented by Katie Boyle, this was the fifth time that the United Kingdom had staged the contest.

Contents

Although Luxembourg had won the 1973 contest with the song " Tu te reconnaîtras " by Anne-Marie David, which made Luxembourg the presumptive host in 1974, the Luxembourgish broadcaster Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de Télédiffusion (CLT) opted not to host the event in 1974 as they had staged the contest in 1973, following their win in 1972. Spain, which had placed second the previous year, also declined the opportunity to stage the contest. The Israeli broadcaster IBA, and the British broadcasters the BBC and ITV, all subsequently made bids to stage the contest, with the BBC ultimately winning out. This was the fourth time that the BBC had staged the contest after another broadcaster declined the opportunity, having done so previously in 1960, 1963 and 1972.

Entries representing eighteen countries were submitted for the contest, with Greece making its first appearance. However, France ultimately did not participate as the contest coincided with the death of French president Georges Pompidou, and with a national day of mourning scheduled for the date of the contest the French broadcaster ORTF deemed participating in the event to be inappropriate. The voting system used between 1971 and 1973 was scrapped, and was replaced by the system last used in 1970, with ten people in each country awarding one vote to their favourite song.

The winner was Sweden, with the song "Waterloo", composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, written by Stig Anderson and performed by ABBA. Italy and the Netherlands placed second and third respectively, followed by a three-way tie for fourth place between Luxembourg, Monaco and the United Kingdom. It was Sweden's first contest win. After previous success within European markets with "Ring Ring", with which ABBA had attempted to represent Sweden at Eurovision in 1973, "Waterloo" gave the group their first global hit, and their Eurovision win was a launching point for ABBA to become one of the world's best-selling music artists. Olivia Newton-John, who represented the United Kingdom at this event, would also go on to achieve worldwide success in the years following the contest.

Location

The Concert Hall of the Dome, Brighton - host venue of the 1974 contest Brighton Dome - geograph.org.uk - 4388776.jpg
The Concert Hall of the Dome, Brighton – host venue of the 1974 contest

The 1974 contest was held in Brighton, United Kingdom. It was the fifth time that the United Kingdom had hosted the contest, having previously done so in 1960, 1963, 1968 and 1972. [1] The selected venue was the Dome, completed in 1805 and originally built for the Prince Regent as stables and a riding school for his personal use. Sold by Queen Victoria in 1850, the stables were converted into a concert hall and assembly rooms in 1867, and the riding school into a market for corn merchants in 1868. [2] [3] The concert hall could normally seat up to 2,102 people, but for the contest some seating was removed for the commentator booths and technical equipment, leaving space for an audience of just over 1,000 people. [4] [5]

Among the other venues considered to stage the event by the BBC were the Royal Opera House and Royal Albert Hall in London, the latter of which had previously staged the 1968 contest. Both venues proved to be unavailable however, with the broadcaster then looking outside of the capital for potential venues. The Dome was then ultimately selected, and this choice was announced publicly by the BBC and EBU in July 1973. [4]

Host selection

The 1973 contest was won by Luxembourg with the song "Tu te reconnaîtras" performed by Anne-Marie David, which according to Eurovision tradition made Luxembourg the presumptive host of the 1974 contest. [6] [7] The country had staged the event on three previous occasions, in 1962, 1966 and 1973, each time in Luxembourg City. [8] As Luxembourg had also hosted the event the previous year, the Luxembourgish broadcaster Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de Télédiffusion (CLT) declined the opportunity to stage the event for a second consecutive year due to the financial strain such an undertaking would entail. [2] [4] Spain, which had come second the previous year, was also considered for the event, however the Spanish broadcaster Televisión Española (TVE) also turned down the opportunity to stage the 1974 contest; Spain had previously hosted the event in 1969. [4] [9]

The contest organisers, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), originally asked the BBC, as the participating broadcaster for the country which came third, not to make an offer at this initial stage, in order to determine if other participating broadcasters were willing to stage the event. [4] Of the four previous events held in the United Kingdom, three of these had been staged in place of the previous year's winning country, specifically the 1960, 1963 and 1972 events. [1] [10] Two offers were subsequently made, from the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) and from the BBC's commercial rival ITV. Concerns were raised about the prospect of Israel hosting the event; the country had just joined the contest in 1973 and it was felt some countries would not be prepared to accept an Israeli-held contest. [4] [11] Israel was also some distance geographically from the core of Western European nations which participated in the event at this time, and IBA still lagged behind many European broadcasters from a technological perspective. A successful ITV bid would have effectively barred the BBC from participating, as only one broadcaster from a given country can participate in the event, resulting in the BBC submitting a counter-offer which the EBU accepted on 7 June 1973. [4]

Participating countries

Eurovision Song Contest 1974 Participation summaries by country
Gigliola Cinquetti (pictured in 1966) had previously won the contest in 1964 for Italy, and competed again at this year's event. Gigliola Cinquetti (1966).jpg
Gigliola Cinquetti (pictured in 1966) had previously won the contest in 1964 for Italy, and competed again at this year's event.

A total of eighteen countries submitted entries to compete in this edition of the contest, comprising all seventeen countries which had participated in 1973, and Greece, which was making its first appearance in the contest. [2] [4] Turkey had also expressed an interest in competing, but the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation had been too late in submitting their request to the EBU and were subsequently informed that, as the scoreboard with space for eighteen countries had already been constructed, its planned entry would not have been possible. [4] Ultimately, however, only seventeen participating entries were performed at the contest, as France made the decision to withdraw from the event due to the death of French president Georges Pompidou on 2 April. With the state memorial service and a national day of mourning scheduled to be held on the same day as the contest, it was deemed by French broadcaster Office de Radiodiffusion Télévision Française (ORTF) that competing in and broadcasting the contest would be inappropriate. France would have been represented by the song "La Vie à vingt-cinq ans", written by Christine Fontaine and to have been performed by Dani, with Jean-Claude Petit scheduled to conduct the orchestra during the performance. [2] [12] [13]

Among the participating artists were a number of acts which had competed in the Eurovision Song Contest in previous years: Italy's Gigliola Cinquetti had previously won the contest in 1964 with the song " Non ho l'età "; Romuald, representing Monaco at this contest, had previously represented both Monaco and Luxembourg, in 1964 and 1969 respectively; and Norway's Bendik Singers, supporting Anne-Karine Strøm at this event, had represented Norway in the previous year's contest, with Strøm having also been a member of the group in that contest. [12] [14] [15] [16]

Production and format

The Eurovision Song Contest 1974 was produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Bill Cotton served as executive producer, Michael Hurll served as producer and director, John Burrowes served as designer, and Ronnie Hazlehurst served as musical director, leading the BBC Concert Orchestra. [2] [20] A separate musical director could be nominated by each country to lead the orchestra during their performance, with the host musical director also available to conduct for those countries which did not nominate their own conductor. [12]

Each participating broadcaster submitted one song, which was required to be no longer than three minutes in duration. [6] [21] As with the previous year's event, artists were able to perform in any language, and not necessarily that of the country they represented. [7] [22] A maximum of six performers were allowed on stage during each country's performance. Each entry could utilise all or part of the live orchestra and could use instrumental-only backing tracks, however any backing tracks used could only include the sound of instruments featured on stage being mimed by the performers. [6] [23] [24]

Rehearsals in the contest venue began on Tuesday 2 April, involving technical rehearsals with the production team, the orchestra, and tests of the voting system and scoreboard. This was followed by rehearsals with the competing acts over subsequent days. The first rehearsals for all countries were held over two days on 3 and 4 April, with each participating act having a 50-minute slot on stage to perform through their entry with the orchestra without their stage costumes. A second round of rehearsals, this time in costume, was held for all acts on 5 April, with each country given 20 minutes on stage, followed that evening by a complete run-through of the whole show, including dummy voting. Further technical rehearsals were held on the morning of 6 April, and a second full dress rehearsal was held that afternoon; this rehearsal was also recorded for use as a back-up in case technical failure meant the contest could not go ahead as planned. [4] [5]

Security in Brighton was tight in the lead-up to, and during, the contest, due to the threat of actions by Irish republican militants. [4] [25] There was an increased police presence, and tanks could be seen in the streets of Brighton during the week of the contest. [4] [26] The contest presenter Katie Boyle also recalled being ferried in bulletproof coaches between the hotel and the contest venue, each time taking a different route. [4]

Voting procedure

Due in part to the closeness of the voting in the previous year's contest, a new voting system was planned to be introduced for this event, which incorporated elements from the two previous voting systems used in the contest: each country's jury would comprise ten members, which would be based in their own country, with each member awarding between one and five votes for each song, with no abstentions allowed and without the option to vote for their own country's entry. This would have resulted in each country potentially awarding a maximum of 50 votes and a minimum of 10 votes to any other country's song; with eighteen planned participating countries, this would have meant that the highest possible score any country could have received was 850, and the lowest possible score was 170. In case of a tie between two or more countries for first place, these acts would have performed again and each country not involved in the tie would have had one vote each to determine the winner. A lottery element to the voting, in order to add greater suspense, was also devised: the order of the voting would have been determined on stage during the voting segment, with cards being drawn at random to decide the order in which countries would vote. [4]

During rehearsals however, it quickly became apparent to the organisers that they had misjudged how long it would take to conduct this new voting system, as well as mounting concerns that any issues with totalling the scores live could exacerbate the problems. Although a computerised system to calculate each country's total had been investigated, this was rejected for cost reasons. Ultimately the contest's executive producer Bill Cotton took the unilateral decision to abandon the proposed voting system and, given the jury structure of ten people had already been established and jury members had most likely already been recruited by the broadcasters, determined that the only alternative was to revert to the scoring system last used in 1970: each of the ten jury members had one vote to award to their favourite song. The lottery aspect of the voting system was, however, retained, although due to timing and sound quality reasons this draw was held before the contest by the EBU's scrutineer Clifford Brown. [2] [4] [27]

Contest overview

Prior to the event, Dutch duo Mouth and MacNeal were considered among the favourites to win the contest. Een portret van het duo, Bestanddeelnr 926-8394.jpg
Prior to the event, Dutch duo Mouth and MacNeal were considered among the favourites to win the contest.

The contest was held on 6 April 1974, beginning at 21:30 (BST) and lasting 1 hour and 49 minutes. [2] [12] The contest was presented by the British television presenter and actress Katie Boyle, who had previously presented the contest in 1960, 1963 and 1968. Having hosted the contest four times, Boyle holds the record for most contest appearances as a presenter as of 2024. [2] [30] [31] Following the confirmation of the eighteen planned participating countries, the draw to determine the running order (R/O) of the contest was held on 5 December 1973; prior to its withdrawal, France was scheduled to perform in fourteenth position, between the entries from Ireland and Germany. [4] [12]

The interval act was a pre-recorded video montage featuring the Wombles, a novelty pop band based on the children's characters of the same name, in various locations across Brighton. [32] [33] [34] The medallions awarded to the winning songwriters were presented by the Director-General of the BBC and the President of the European Broadcasting Union, Charles Curran. [32] [34]

The winner was Sweden represented by the song "Waterloo", composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, written by Stig Anderson and performed by ABBA. [35] It was Sweden's first contest win. [27] [36]

Results of the Eurovision Song Contest 1974 [37] [38]
R/OCountryArtistSongPointsPlace
1Flag of Finland.svg  Finland Carita "Keep Me Warm"413
2Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom Olivia Newton-John "Long Live Love"144
3Flag of Spain (1945-1977).svg  Spain Peret "Canta y sé feliz"109
4Flag of Norway.svg  Norway Anne-Karine and the Bendik Singers "The First Day of Love"314
5Flag of Greece (1970-1975).svg  Greece Marinella "Krassi, thalassa ke t' agori mou"711
6Flag of Israel.svg  Israel Poogy " Natati La Khaiai "117
7Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg  Yugoslavia Korni Grupa "Generacija '42"612
8Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden ABBA "Waterloo"241
9Flag of Luxembourg.svg  Luxembourg Ireen Sheer "Bye Bye I Love You"144
10Flag of Monaco.svg  Monaco Romuald "Celui qui reste et celui qui s'en va"144
11Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium Jacques Hustin "Fleur de liberté"109
12Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands Mouth and MacNeal "I See a Star"153
13Flag of Ireland.svg  Ireland Tina Reynolds "Cross Your Heart"117
14Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Cindy and Bert "Die Sommermelodie"314
15Flag of Switzerland (Pantone).svg   Switzerland Piera Martell "Mein Ruf nach dir"314
16Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal Paulo de Carvalho " E depois do adeus "314
17Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Gigliola Cinquetti " "182

Spokespersons

Each country nominated a spokesperson, connected to the contest venue via telephone lines and responsible for announcing, in English or French, the votes for their respective country. [6] [39] Known spokespersons at the 1974 contest are listed below.

Detailed voting results

Jury voting was used to determine the points awarded by all countries. [37] The announcement of the results from each country was conducted in a predetermined order chosen at random, with the spokespersons announcing their country's votes in English or French in performance order. [4] [32] The detailed breakdown of the points awarded by each country is listed in the tables below, with voting countries listed in the order in which they presented their votes.

Detailed voting results of the Eurovision Song Contest 1974 [44] [45]
Total score
Finland
Luxembourg
Israel
Norway
United Kingdom
Yugoslavia
Greece
Ireland
Germany
Portugal
Netherlands
Sweden
Spain
Monaco
Switzerland
Belgium
Italy
Contestants
Finland4211
United Kingdom1414112113
Spain10121213
Norway3111
Greece7142
Israel11212213
Yugoslavia611112
Sweden2451221121315
Luxembourg14221311112
Monaco142111211212
Belgium10325
Netherlands151113211131
Ireland112121221
Germany3111
Switzerland3111
Portugal312
Italy18211511241

Broadcasts

Broadcasters competing in the event were required to relay the contest via its networks; non-participating EBU member broadcasters were also able to relay the contest. Broadcasters were able to send commentators to provide coverage of the contest in their own native language and to relay information about the artists and songs to their television viewers. [21]

As well as the participating nations, which, with the exception of Italy, all broadcast the contest live on television, the contest was also reportedly aired, live or deferred, by broadcasters in Algeria, Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, France, Hungary, Japan, Jordan, Iceland, Morocco, Poland, South Korea, the Soviet Union, and Tunisia. In addition to television coverage, participating broadcasters in Belgium, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom were also reported to have relayed the contest via radio. [4] Although the script for the contest's opening remarks by Katie Boyle suggested that around 500 million viewers were expected to watch and listen to the contest, the EBU later put the actual estimated figure for the total audience at 231 million. [4]

Known details on the broadcasts in each country, including the specific broadcasting stations and commentators are shown in the tables below.

Legacy

ABBA - TopPop 1974 5.png
Olivia Newton-John (1974).jpg
ABBA (left) and Olivia Newton-John both achieved considerable worldwide success after representing Sweden and the United Kingdom in the contests respectively.

The 1974 Eurovision Song Contest has retrospectively gained notability for a number of aspects, particularly due to the success of some of the competing acts, as well as political developments within Europe that have indirect links to this edition of the event. Two competing artists at this year's event in particular went on to sustained worldwide success after the contest: Sweden's ABBA and the United Kingdom's Olivia Newton-John.

The individual members of ABBA had made previous attempts to reach Eurovision, participating in Sweden's national selection, Melodifestivalen , several times, both as a group and individually. Anni-Frid Lyngstad participated in Melodifestivalen 1969, placing fourth with the song "Härlig är vår jord", while Benny Andersson competed in the same edition as a songwriter, placing second with the song "Hej clown" performed by Jan Malmsjö. Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus subsequently competed as a songwriting partnership in 1972, penning the Lena Andersson song "Säg det med en sång", which placed third. Following the formation of ABBA, the group (performing under the name "Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid") competed in Melodifestivalen 1973 with the song "Ring Ring", which ultimately placed third. While "Ring Ring" was popular within European markets, wider success for the group, particularly in English-speaking markets, proved elusive, and the group saw Eurovision as a launchpad for exposure among these markets, resulting in a further attempt to get to the contest in 1974. [80] [81] Although "Waterloo" had been written with Eurovision in mind, the group also considered submitting the song " Hasta Mañana " to Swedish broadcaster Sveriges Television (SVT), as the latter song was felt to be more in-line with the songs that had done well in Eurovision in previous years. Ultimately, however, "Waterloo" was chosen, given it was more likely to be unlike other entries submitted, and therefore would stand out more; "Hasta Mañana" was also mainly sung only by Agnetha Fältskog, whereas with "Waterloo" all four members of the group could give their vocals to the song. [2] [5] [81]

Following the group's win, "Waterloo" went on to top the charts in multiple European countries, including the UK singles chart, as well as reaching the top ten in the Billboard Hot 100. [5] [28] Long-term success for the group, however, did not materialise until the release of "SOS" in 1975, which allowed the group to shrug off a perception of being "one-hit wonders" and led to a string of hits through the rest of the 1970s and early 1980s which catapulted the foursome to become one of the best-selling music groups of all time. [81] [82] ABBA's international success within the global music scene, starting from their Eurovision win, additionally led to a large growth in the accessibility of Swedish pop music worldwide, with Sweden often considered a superpower in the realm of music export and claims made by the 2000s of being the third-largest exporter of music globally, behind only the United States and United Kingdom. [83] [84]

Olivia Newton-John was in the early stages of her career when she was approached by the BBC to represent the United Kingdom at Eurovision; she had achieved previous success in the charts in both the UK and US, particularly with country pop songs, and had been a frequent guest on the It's Cliff Richard show, fronted by two-time Eurovision entrant for the United Kingdom Cliff Richard. [28] [85] Newton-John had performed six songs at that year's A Song for Europe contest, with "Long Live Love" being chosen by the viewing public through postcard voting; although it was considered a favourite to win the contest, she later told the press after placing fourth that she felt the wrong song had been chosen and that she would have preferred to have performed a ballad. [5] [12] [85] Newton-John subsequently achieved considerable success in the United States and global recognition after starring in the film musicals Grease and Xanadu . [86] [87]

Following the contest, the Portuguese entry, " E depois do adeus " by Paulo de Carvalho, played a large part in the launching of the Carnation Revolution, which ultimately led to the overthrow of the authoritarian Estado Novo regime, setting Portugal along a path towards the reestablishment of democracy and ending the country's war with its African colonies. The broadcast of the song on radio in the evening of 24 April 1974 was used as a signal to alert rebelling officers in the Portuguese army to begin the coup, which kicked off overnight following the playing of another song, " Grândola, vila morena " by José Afonso, in the early hours of 25 April. [88] [89] [90]

The Italian broadcaster Radiotelevisione italiana (RAI) did not air the contest for several months due to the content of its own entry. The contest coincided with the campaigning period for a referendum on abolishing divorce within the country, which was held one month after the contest, and there were fears that the Italian entry, " " ("Yes") by Gigliola Cinquetti, could have been seen as an attempt to sway the result of the vote. [4] [91] The contest was, however, available to watch in parts of northern Italy where transmissions of Swiss and Yugoslav Italian-language television were accessible. [92] [93] The contest was eventually broadcast on RAI in June, one month after the referendum. [54] [94]

Notes

  1. On behalf of the German public broadcasting consortium ARD [19]
  2. Delayed broadcast on 6 June 1974 at 21:45 (CEST) [54]
  3. Delayed broadcast on 9 April 1974 at 21:30 (CET) [64]
  4. Delayed shortened broadcast on 9 April at 20:30 (CET), lasting one hour and ten minutes and featuring only the participating entries, with no postcards, voting sequence or winner's reprise, followed by the announcement of the winner by Pierre Tchernia and a pre-recorded presentation of the planned French entry, "La Vie à vingt-cinq ans" by Dani. [74] [13]
  5. Delayed broadcast on 25 May 1974 at 21:45 (CET) [75]
  6. Delayed broadcast on 29 April 1974 [77]

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Sweden has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 62 times since making its debut in 1958, missing only three contests since then. Since 1959, the Swedish entry has been chosen through an annual televised competition, known since 1967 as Melodifestivalen. At the 1997 contest, Sweden was one of the first five countries to adopt televoting. Sweden has hosted the contest seven times: three times in Stockholm, three times in Malmö and once in Gothenburg (1985).

<i>Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest</i> Television programme

Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest was a television programme organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to commemorate the Eurovision Song Contest's fiftieth anniversary and to determine the contest's most popular entrant of its fifty years. Hosted by Katrina Leskanich and Renārs Kaupers, the event took place at Forum, in Copenhagen on 22 October 2005. The host was Danish broadcaster DR. Fourteen songs from the contest's first half-century, chosen through an internet poll and by a jury, contested the event.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sì (Gigliola Cinquetti song)</span> 1974 song by Gigliola Cinquetti

"" ("Yes") is a song recorded by Italian singer Gigliola Cinquetti, with music composed and Italian lyrics written by Mario Panzeri, Daniele Pace, Lorenzo Pilat, and Corrado Conti. It represented Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest 1974 held in Brighton, placing second. In order not to interfere with the campaigning for the 1974 Italian divorce referendum, the song was censored in Italy for several months.

The Swedish national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest was Melodifestivalen 1974. It was, by a runaway score, won by the group ABBA, comprising Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Agnetha Fältskog, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. Their song, "Waterloo", was written by Björn and Benny with Stig Anderson. It was originally written in Swedish, but for the ESC final, it was translated into English, which the rules allowed between the years 1973 and 1976.

Sweden participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. The Swedish broadcaster Sveriges Television (SVT) organised the national final Melodifestivalen 2018 in order to select the Swedish entry for the 2018 contest in Lisbon, Portugal. After a six-week-long competition consisting of four heats, a Second Chance round and a final, "Dance You Off" performed by Benjamin Ingrosso emerged as the winner after achieving the highest score following the combination of votes from eleven international jury groups and a public vote.

The United Kingdom participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 with the song "Storm" written by Nicole Blair, Gil Lewis and Sean Hargreaves. The song was performed by SuRie. The British entry for the 2018 contest in Lisbon, Portugal was selected via the national final Eurovision: You Decide, organised by the British broadcaster BBC. Six acts competed in the national final and the winner was selected through the combination of a public vote and the votes of an eight-member professional jury.

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