||Iceland - Beathoven - Sókrates (Icelandic)
Music/Lyrics: Sverrir Stormsker/Sverrir Stormsker
Despite the title, there is nothing philosophical about Iceland’s third entry. The verses consist almost entirely of the names of famous people such as John Waine and Michael Caine.
| Tommy Körberg
||Sweden - Tommy Körberg - Stad I Ljus (Swedish)
Music/Lyrics: Py Bäckman/Py Bäckman
Conductor: Anders Berglund
Better known for its up-tempo, bouncy songs, Sweden sent a fine ballad and Tommy, appearing in the Eurovision for the second time, had one of the best voices of the 1988 contest.
||Finland - Boulevard - Nauravat Silmät Muistetaan (Finnish)
Music/Lyrics: Pepe Willberg/Kirsti Willberg
Conductor: Ossi Runne
The smiling Finnish band lifted the mood of the audience with their upbeat pop song. They ran on to the stage with arms in the air encouraging the audience to clap along from the start, and the scene was set for the next three minutes.
| Scott Fitzgerald
||United Kingdom - Scott Fitzgerald - Go (English)
Music/Lyrics: Julie Forsyth/Julie Forsyth
Conductor: Ronnie Hazlehurst
Written by Julie, the daughter of Sir (well, he should be) Bruce Forsyth, Go is a beautiful ballad which was complimented well by Scott’s suitably melancholy voice. The string arrangement adds to the atmosphere of the song. Runner up was the least it deserved.
||Turkey - MFÖ - Sufi (hey Ya Hey) (Turkish)
Music/Lyrics: Mazhar, Fauat, Özkan/ Mazhar Alanson
Conductor: Turan Yukseler
There is an infectious rhythm driving through the second of MFÖ’s eurosongs. It’s very catchy and even the ‘hey-ya’s’ don’t distract from one of the best of Turkey’s offerings.
| La Década
||Spain - La Década - La Chica Que Yo Quiero (Made In Spain) (Spanish)
Music/Lyrics: Enrique Piero/Francisco Dondiego
Conductor: Javier de Juan
The chirpy Spanish group gave a chirpy rendition of this up-tempo tune. The performance lifted the appeal of a song which would otherwise have blended unnoticed into the pack.
| Gerard Joling
||The Netherlands - Gerard Joling - Shangri-la (Dutch)
Music/Lyrics: Peter de Wijn/Peter de Wijn
Conductor: Harry van Hoof
Gerard gave his all as he belted out his infectious foot tapper of a song. It even edges towards the anthemic later on.
| Yardena Arazi
||Israel - Yardena Arazi - Ben Adam (Hebrew)
Music/Lyrics: Boris Dimitshtein/Ehud Manor
Conductor: Eldad Shrem
The host of the 1979 contest picked up the microphone to sing a song whose pace is slow at first, but increases bit by bit so that at the end, it’s difficult to keep up with if you’re singing along.
| Céline Dion
||Switzerland - Céline Dion - Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi (French)
Music/Lyrics: Atilla Sereftug/Nella Martinetti
Conductor: Atilla Sereftug
This is where one of the most successful careers of the last 30 years was born. Nella and Atilla had given her the type of ballad which would become her trademark. What a difference one point makes!
| Jump the Gun
||Ireland - Jump the Gun - Take Him Home (English)
Music/Lyrics: Peter Eades/Peter Eades
Conductor: Noel Kelehan
The hosts entered a soft rock ballad whose theme is along the lines of The Righteous Brothers He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother. It was a credible defence that was unlikely to win.
| Maxi and Chris Garden
||Germany - Maxi and Chris Garden - Lied Für Einen Freund (German)
Music/Lyrics: Ralph Siegel/Bernd Meinunger
Conductor: Michael Thatcher
The Germans employed the slightly gimmicky services of a mother/daughter duo. They both played piano and sported insincere smiles as they sung their Song For a Friend.
||Austria - Wilfried - Lisa Mona Lisa (German)
Music/Lyrics: Wilfried Scheuz, Klaus Kofler/Wilfried Scheuz, Klaus Kofler
Conductor: Harald Neuwirth
A rather unkempt looking Wilfried may well have felt aggrieved at scoring no points. His heartfelt ballad to a mysterious woman is by no means the worst song of the contest.
| Hot Eyes
||Denmark - Hot Eyes - Ka' Du Se Hva' Jeg Sa' (Danish)
Music/Lyrics: Soren Bundgard/Keld Heick
Conductor: Henrik Krogsgaard
There were six people on stage when the song started, but Kirsten was so heavily pregnant, there may well have been seven by the time this Danish europop song finished.
| Aphroditi Fryda
||Greece - Aphroditi Fryda - Kloun (Greek)
Music/Lyrics: Dimitris Sakislis/Dimitris Sakislis
Conductor: Haris Andreadis
The rock edged intro gave way to a more broad European style when a nervous looking Aphroditi started singing. Despite that, it’s all a bit unmemorable.
| Karoline Krüger
||Norway - Karoline Krüger - For Vår Jord (Norwegian)
Music/Lyrics: Anita Skorgan/Erik Hillestad
Conductor: Arild Stav
Candleabra adorned the piano at which Karoline sat, surrounded by her backing singers. The combination created the right atmosphere for Norway’s ballad.
||Belgium - Reynaert - Laissez Briller Le Soleil (French)
Music/Lyrics: Joseph Reynaerts, Dany Willem/ Joseph Reynaerts, Philippe Anciaux
Conductor: Dany Willem
Loaded with haunting atmosphere, Laissez Briller Le Soleil (Let the Sun Shine in Your Heart) could be dark and depressing (in a good way) if it had a different theme to the one suggested by the title. The mood remains throughout, supplemented by the backing vocals.
| Lara Fabian
||Luxembourg - Lara Fabian - Croire (French)
Music/Lyrics: Jacques Cardona/Alain Garcia
Conductor: Régis Dupré
Lara brought a bit of class to the evening with a beautiful, thoughtful ballad. The presentation was effectively simple and Lara was vocally flawless.
| Luca Barbarossa
||Italy - Luca Barbarossa - Ti Scrivo (Italian)
Music/Lyrics: Luca Barbarossa/Luca Barbarossa
Luca was third in the Sanremo festival in 1988 with a very challenging song, especially lyrically. Perhaps deciding that it would have been too much for a European audience, Luca’s rote this for the Eurovision. It has a more internationally appealing theme. The style is more soft rock than Italian.
| Gérard Lenorman
||France - Gérard Lenorman - Chanteur De Charme (French)
Music/Lyrics: Gérard Lenorman/Gérard Lenorman, Claude Lemesler
Conductor: Guy Matteoni
The very French Gerard certainly had ‘le charme’ but not the song to contend for victory. It could make up the numbers on an album, but no more than that.
||Portugal - Dora - Voltarei (Portuguese)
Music/Lyrics: José Calvário, José Niza/José Calvário, José Niza
Conductor: José Calvário
Voltarei is the second, and far and away the best of Dora’s entries. It’s a very dramatic and emotional ballad which demonstrates that when Portugal gets it right, it gets it very right indeed. Not for the first time, a fantastic song went above the heads of the jurors.
| Srebrna Krila
||Yugoslavia - Srebrna Krila - Mangup (Serbo-Croat)
Music/Lyrics: Rajko Dujmic/Stevo Svikic, Rajko Dujmic
Conductor: Nikica Kalogjera
There are hints of desperation and anger in Srebrna Krila’s song, which is essentially a pop tune. The lead singer gives a spirited performance.