Sunday, December 28, 2014

Albania - I'm Alive - Elhaida Dani

Promo
17 - 34 pts / 10 - 62 pts in semi 1

Elhaida Dani won the 53rd Festivali i Këngës with her song Diell (Të Kërkoj) ((Sun) Ask yourself and the singer represents Albania in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna.

But Elhaida Dani went to Vienna with a new song I'm Alive, written by ZzapnChriss (=Arber Elshani and Chriss Lekaj) and Sokol Marsi. The original winner was withdrawn. (see below).
Listen to I'm Alive here at Eurovision.tv's Youtube.
The song is released through most digital sources.

An Albanian version Një Jetë was released on May 3.
Watch and listen here

A promo CD/DVD set is issued by RTSH.
The CD features 10 tracks, but it's actually only five and all are included twice.
1. Një Jetë - Albanian Version
2. I'm Alive - Instrumental Version
3. I'm Alive -  Drum ‘n’ Bass Remix
4. I'm Alive -  English Version
5. I'm Alive -  Karaoke Version
6. I'm Alive -  Instrumental Version
7. I'm Alive -  Drum ‘n’ Bass Remix
8. I'm Alive -  English Version
9. I'm Alive -  Karaoke Version
10. I'm Alive -  Albanian Version
The DVD is actually a DVD-rom and it contains photos, lyrics, biogs, the video to the song, a ‘making of the video’ documentary, a travelogue of Albania and a greeting to fans from Elhaida (though this last one doesn’t seem to have any sound!)


Digital release image
Versions
I'm Alive - Eurovision version
- on the official Vienna 2CD
Një Jetë - Albanian
- video
I'm Alive - Drum 'n' Bass remix
I'm Alive - Instrumental
I'm Alive - Karaoke version
- on the official karaoke album, digital release
- all above versions on the promo set.

Diell
One of the authors of the original song, Aldo Shllaku, has decided to withdraw Diell from the Eurovision competition because of unexpected changes made in the song he was not informed about by RTSH. He views this as a "violation of copyright and professional ethics".
The original song is written by Aldo Shllaku, Viola Trebicka and Sokol Marsi.

In 2013 Elhaida Dani won The Voice of Italy and released a 6-track EP including her radio hit Baciami Basta and tracks recorded at The Voice.
In 2011 she entered FiK with the song Mijëra Vjet (Thousand years), but ended last in the final with 0 points.

Links and sources:
Watch the live performance at RTSH's YT
Elhaida Dani FB and Website
Thanks to Nigel.


Lest we forget: Albania's recent entries
2014 - Hersi Matmuja
2013 - Adrian Lulgjuraj and Bledar Sejko
2012 - Rona Nishliu
2011 - Aurela Gaçe
2010 - Juliana Pasha
2009 - Kejsi Tola

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Belarus - Time - Uzari and Maimuna

Digital Release Image
12 - 39 pts in semi 1

Uzari and Maimuna (Юзари И Маймуна) won the Belarus national final and will represent their country in Vienna.
The song they won the final with is called Time.

A new version is recorded for Eurovision and has been released through digital sources.
Listen to the new version at Eurovision TV

"This year, Belarus’ representatives are not going to take any music CDs to Eurovision. Instead, the promo package will include such souvenirs as hourglass-shaped memory sticks and magnets." (from TVR.by)
So there's no cdsingle or promo this year for Belarus. A USB stick, USB card and USB watch have popped up.

USB card
Versions
Time - Eurovision version
- on the official Vienna 2CD
Time - original version
- first digital release
Time - Karaoke version
- on the official karaoke album, digital release

Uzari (Yuri Navrotski, Юрый Наўроцкі) already participated in the Belarus selections in 2012 (with a song titled The Winner, but only ending 5th) and in 2013 (8th with Secret).
For Vienna he teams up with violinist Maimuna for the song Time written by Yuri Navrotsky himself and Svetlana Geraskova.
Geraskova also co-wrote the 2011 entry I Love Belarus.


Pic from TVR.by
Links and sources
TVR, some more details are here
Uzari and Maimuna FB
Thanks to Jean-François
Thanks to Kath Lockett at Uzari and Mumainu HQ.

Check out these Belorussian Eurovision stars
2014 - TEO
2013 - Alyona Lanskaya
2012 - Litesound
2011 - Anastasia Vinnikova
2010 - 3+2 ft. Robert Wells
2009 - Peter Elfimov

Sunday, November 30, 2014

San Marino - Chain Of Lights - Michele Perniola and Anita Simoncini

Digital Release Image EP
16 - 11 pts in semi 2

Michele Perniola and Anita Simoncini represent San Marino in Vienna.
The song is titled Chain Of Lights.
It's written by Ralph Sieger and John O'Flynn a.k.a. Bernd Meinunger.
Watch and listen to the Eurovision version here at Eurosong records or check out the 4 minute original version here.


Both youngsters have already graced the Junior Eurovision stage. Michele Perniola in 2013 (10th place) and Anita Simoncini in 2014 (with the group The Peppermints, 15th).

Promo
EP
A digital EP with four versions has been released through itunes
01 Chain of Lights 4:11
02 Chain of Lights (Radio Version) 4:06
03 Chain of Lights (ESC Version) 3:01
04 Chain of Lights (ESC Instrumental) 3:01

The promo includes the same four version plus press material like biographies, photos and video.

Versions
Chain of Lights - ESC Version
- on official Vienna 2CD, digital EP
Chain of Lights
Chain of Lights (Radio Version) 
Chain of Lights (ESC karaoke)
- karaoke also on official karaoke album, digital release
- all on digital EP mentioned above.

Press release photo
The Songwriters:
For composer Ralph Siegel it's his 23th Eurovision entry. He co-wrote 12 entries for Germany, three for Luxembourg and one for Switzerland, Montenegro and now the fourth for San Marino.
His best result is of course Ein Bisschen Frieden by Nicole penned with Bernd Meinunger, the winner of the 1982 contest and a #1 hit in many European countries.
It's the 19th Eurovision for John O'Flynn a.k.a. Bernd Meinunger but his first for San Marino.
Chain Of Lights is the 17th entry for the songwriting duo Siegel/Meinunger together, .


Links and sources
Chain Of Lights Facebook
SMTV news
Michele Perniola FB
Thanks to Şenol from INFE/Eurovisiondream
Thanks to Marcus at The Euphonica productions

Check out more about San Marino's recent entries
2014 - Valentina Monetta III
2013Valentina Monetta II
2012 - Valentina Monetta I
2011 - Senit

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Malta - Warrior - Amber

Digital Release Image
11 - 43 pts in semi 2

The Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2015, already held on the 22nd of november (2014), was won by Amber (Amber Bondin) and the song Warrior.

Warrior is written by Elton Zarb and Matthew Mercieca Muxu. Watch and listen here at Pbs Youtube
A new version is recorded for the contest. Watch and listen here at the official Eurovision Youtube channel.

The digital release features the new version and an instrumental version. Both are also on the promo cds.
Promo
Amber already entered the Maltese selection every year since 2011 and reached the final every time.
2011: Catch 22 (13th place)
2012: Answer with your eyes (3rd)
2013: In control (4th)
2014: Because I have you (4th)

2nd DRI
Versions
Warrior - Eurovision version
- on the official Vienna 2CD
Warrior - Karaoke (Instrumental)
- on the official karaoke album, digital release
- both on digital single
Warrior - Original version
- Has been on the TVM website, video clip

Links and sources
TVM Eurovision pages
Amber FB
Thanks to Jean François

Remember these Maltese entries?
Picture from Ambers Facebook
2014 - Firelight
2013 - Gianluca Bezzina
2012 - Kurt Calleja
2011 - Glen Vella
2010 - Thea Garrett
2009 - Chiara III

Netherlands - Walk Along - Trijntje Oosterhuis

digital release image
14 - 33 pts in semi 1

Trijntje Oosterhuis represents the Netherlands at 2015 contest with a song penned by Anouk. (Anouk Teeuwe). Production is by Tobias Karlsson

The song, presented on December 11, is titled Walk Along.
Digital release was on December 12.

A 1-track promo cd-r was distrubuted at the presentation of the song.
Another 1 track promo was issued by Warner Music Benelux for Radio use.
The promo for Vienna is a 2-disc set.
One disc has the song, the other is a cd-rom with video, photo's and press material.

promo
Versions
Walk Along - Eurovision version
- on the official Vienna 2CD
Walk Along - Karaoke
- on the official karaoke album, digital release.

Walk Along - the album
Trijntje Oosterhuis will release her new album on May 15. It's titled Walk Along and of course includes the Eurovision song of the same name. All songs are written by Anouk.
Just like Trijntjes last album Wrecks We Adore, Walk Along is produced by Anouk, Tore Johansson and Martin Gjerstad. Johansson and  Gjerstad also produced Anouks 2013 album and worked with international superstars like Sophie Ellis Bextor, Franz Ferdinand, Tom Jones, Mel C. the Cardigans
See full tracklist and album sleeve below.

For the third time in a row the Netherlands are going for an internally selected household name. Trijntje Oosterhuis has been a successful singer since the early 90’s when she broke through with Total Touch, a band with her brother Tjeerd Oosterhuis, mainly giving us 90s dance music.
Total Touch released two best selling albums of which their debut Total Touch sold over 500.000 copies. The band enjoyed six top 40 hits (and even a No. 86 in Germany) before calling it a day. Tjeerd went on as a producer (and as Mr. Edsilia Rombley) and Trijntje started a solo career.
All 12 of her solo albums reached the Dutch charts. 

Trijntje is most associated with jazz and soul music, she recorded several albums for the legendary Blue Note label including No. 1 album The look of love - The Burt Bacharach Songbook.
After Total Touch Trijntje reached the single charts 21 times, as a solo singer but also in collaborations with the likes of Marco Borsato, Lionel Richie, Candy Dulfer, Lange Frans and The Opposites. And if there's a multi-artist charity song to be unleashed upon the people, Trijntje will never let us down.

In 2012 Trijntje released Wrecks We Adore, her 2nd solo album to reach #1 in the charts.
The album was written and produced with Anouk, Tore Johansson and Martin Gjerstad
Swedes Johansson and Gjerstad are of course the co-writers of Anouk’s Birds and producers of her Sad Singalong Songs album tying in with Eurovision 2013.

Trijntje is currently active as one of the Ladies Of Soul. A live project together with Edsilia Rombley (NL Eurovision 1998 and 2007), Candy Dulfer (Saxophone), Berget Lewis and Glennis Grace (NL Eurovision 2006). The Ladies revive the soul classics with a live orchestra and are very successful with their shows.
Their 2014 album Live At The Ziggo Dome reached No. 2 in the Dutch album charts.
Trijntje was a judge/coach on The Voice Of Holland (season 3, 4 and 5).

Charts:
Walk Along enters the Dutch sales top 100 at No. 7 but tumbles to 62 in the second week and falls out of the charts the next. Re-enters for one week at 90 in Januari.
Netherlands sales top 100: 7, 62, -, 90, -, 56, -

Links and sources:
Trijntje Oosterhuis website and FB
Avrotros Songcontest website
Anouk at the Malmö collection

More Netherlands at Eurovision:
2014 - Common Linnets
2013 - Anouk
2012 - Joan Franka
2011 - 3JS
2010 - Sieneke
2009 - De Toppers

Tracklist Walk Along
1. The Choice I've Made
2. I Believe In You
3. Weather In April
4. One Way Or Another
5. I Don't Miss You
6. Broken Alone
7. Pick It Up Slowly
8. What Can I Say
9. My Everyday Angel
10. Your Soul Is Gone
11. Walk Along
(Warner Music Benelux 5054196612658)

Macedonia - Autumn Leaves - Daniel Kajmakoski

Digital release image (Amazon)
15 - 28 pts in semi 2

The first song to be selected for the Vienna contest is Macedonia's entry Lisja Esenski (Лисја есенски, Autumn leaves) by Daniel Kajmakoski (Даниел Кајмакоски).
The song was written by Joacim Persson, Aleksandar Mitevski and Daniel Kajmakoski.

The song is recorded in English with a new arrangement and was performed in English at the contest.

You can listen to both versions here at Daniels website

Daniel was on the stage by U.S. R'n'B group MERJ. MERJ features three members formerly from Blackstreet, best know for their 1996 hit No Diggity. (The song that ended the Macarena's 14 weeks residence at No. 1 in the U.S. charts).

There was no cdsingle for promotion in Vienna but a USB card with Electronic Press Kit (EPK) was handed out.
The USB card includes press info, photos, the music video (which doesn't play?) and the song + instrumental version in wav format (Note the USB has an instrumental version while the karaoke album has a karaoke version with backing vocals). 
Finally, there are also music videos of Daniel's covers of Džuli and What's Another Year.
Thanks to Lior for posting this on our facebook.

Versions
Autumn Leaves - English Eurovision version
- on official Vienna 2CD
Lisja Esenski - original Macedonian version
- at Soundcloud, Skopje CD
Autumn Leaves - Karaoke
- on the official karaoke album, digital release
Autumn Leaves - Karaoke
- on USB stick.


All songs from the 2014 Skopje fest have been issued on CD by MRT (MKRTV). Don't know if it's available in any shop or if it's just promo material. A limited number is available at BeaRecords
Thanks to Frank!


Links and sources:
MKRTV
Daniel Kajmakoski FB and fanclub FB.
Thanks to Frank, to Jean-François and to Lior.

Picture from radio MK
Macedonia's recent Eurovision songs
2014 - Tijana Dapčević
2013 - Esma and Lozano
2012 - Kaliopi
2011 - Vlatko Ilievski
2010 - Gjoko Taneski and Billy Zver
2009 - Next Time

Montenegro - Adio - Knez

Digital release image
13 - 44 pts / 9  - 57 pts in semi 2

Montenegro entrant Knez (Nenad Knežević) was the first artist announced for the Vienna Eurovision Song Contest.

On Februari 18 it was announced that  Željko Joksimović is writing the song for Knez.
March 11: The song is titled Adio and is written by Željko Joksimović, Dejan Ivanovič and Marina Tucaković.

Knez may have been the first artist to be announced for Vienna but he was the last last to present his song.
Watch the video at Eurovision.tv's youtube.
The song is released through most digital sources.

1st 1 track promo
An early promo with 1-track audio and video was issued and used for promotion at the Amsterdam Eurovision In Concert event.
The promo used in Vienna also includes the French and English versions and the instrumental version.
French and English versions can be heard here at RTCG's Eurovision pages
A promo album The Magic Of balkan was also issued. It includes the Serbian original of Adio and other songs. It is not to be confused with Knez' 2012 album with the same titles.


Vienna promo
Some avid fans may remember Knez from his 2004 attempt to get to the Eurovision stage. His song Navika entered Beovizija, the selection for Serbia-Montenegro. He finsihed 17th.
Navika can be found on his 2005 album Vanilla.

Versions
Adio - Eurovision version
- on the official Vienna 2CD
Adio - French version
Adio - English version
- to be released, at RTGC website
Adio - Karaoke (Instrumental)
- on the official karaoke album, digital release
- all on 2nd promo cds.

Promo album
Charts
Sweden Digilistan top 60: 54, -

Coverversions
Two coverversions of Adio were recorded in Finnish. Both songs are Hyvästi which translates as Goodbye or, indeed, Adio.

The first one is recorded in 2015 and is by Aki Samuli and Susanna Heikki. This can be found on Samuli's album Tahdon (I do, Sony, also on CD) and also on Heikki's album Valoja (Lights, Sony, also on CD).
The second one from 2016 is by Kalle Jussila who released his version on the album Onnellinen Mies (A happy man). (digital release, don't know if there's a CD)
Special thanks to Immo for this.

Links and sources:
Knez FB
RTCG news and Eurovision pages
Željko Joksimović
Special thanks to Jean François.

Montenegro's recent Eurovision history:
2014 - Sergej Ćetković
2013 - Who See ft. Nina Žižić
2012 - Rambo Amadeus
No participation in 2010 and 2011
2009 - Andrea Demirovic

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Vienna Collection


39 countries were confirmed participation in Vienna, but on Februari 10 a surprise country was added: Australia. It's a one-off participation to celebrate 60 yaers of Eurovision. Now let's make 'em win.....
Serbia and Cyprus return after one year absence. The Czech Republic last participated in 2009, but they're back and hope to get some more points than the 10 they scored in their three participations in total.

Quick links to all countries:

Ukraine opts out this as they're having more pressing matters to deal with.
Bulgaria, Croatia, Bosnia Hercegovina and Slovakia will probably be back someday, but their bank managers say no for Vienna..
Turkey still doesn't like us very much.
Check out the recent entries of our absent friends here:
Ukraine: 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009
Bulgaria: 20132012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009
Croatia: 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009
Bosnia-Hercegovina: 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009
Turkey: 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009
Slovakia: 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009