Monday, August 6, 2018

Musical Monday - What's Another Year by Johnny Logan

#1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Never.
#1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Never.
#1 on the U.K. Chart: May 17, 1980 through May 24, 1980.

The Eurovision Song Contest is a massive event that most Americans don't even know exists. Every year, every participating country in Europe (and beyond - Australia and Israel have also participated for years) chooses a performance of a song as their entry in the competition. Over the course of the competition, the ranks of the competitors are winnowed down by popular votes cast by phone, until on one massive festival of glitter and near insanity the finalists all perform and are voted on by the public and judged by a panel of judges whereupon one entry is chosen as the winner. Once in a great while, the winner becomes a star: ABBA famously won with the song Waterloo in 1974. Celine Dion won for Switzerland in 1988 with the song Ne Partez pas Sans Moi. The Brotherhood of Man won for the U.K. in 1976 with Save Your Kisses for Me. Other winners have had their singular moment of glory on the Eurovision stage and then proceeded to fade from public view.

I say all of this because this song won the 1980 Eurovision song contest for Ireland before becoming a number one hit in the U.K. The video presented here is from Logan's performance in the finals of the 1980 Eurovision song contest. Logan is, in fact, the only individual to win the Eurovision song contest twice, winning it again in 1987 with the song Hold Me Now. This arrangement of the song was created by Bill Whelan, who would later go on to greater fame as the driving force behind Riverdance. The song hit number one on the charts in multiple countries, but like the Eurovision song contest itself, it went almost completely unnoticed in the United States - as far as I can tell, the song didn't even reach the charts in the U.S. This is simply more evidence of the insularity of American pop culture, and an indication of just how much goes on in the world about which the typical American is simply oblivious.

Previous Musical Monday: Geno by Dexys Midnight Runners
Subsequent Musical Monday: Funkytown by Lipps, Inc.

Previous #1 on the U.K. Chart: Geno by Dexys Midnight Runners
Subsequent #1 on the U.K. Chart: Theme from M*A*S*H (Suicide is Painless) by the Mash

List of #1 Singles from the Billboard Hot 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles from the Cash Box Top 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles on the U.K. Chart for 1980-1989

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