It’s EUROVISION DAY!!!!
When you aren’t listening to the absolute best songs of this year’s contest ahead of the main events, you should also be getting caught up in a blissfully nostalgic sonic haze of the past classics. If not, then let us help you with that. From a Scandi perspective of course.
We’ve gone through ALL of the Nordic entries to have been brought to the Eurovision Song Contest stage this century, given them all a jolly good ranking in order of excellence, and decided that the Top 40 are REALLY where it’s at.
Here they all are in a pretty ph’nom Spotify playlist. And here they all are with those all important visuals;
40: THE WORRYING KIND
(The Ark – Sweden 2007)
A camp explosion of glam rock culminating in a tits-out climax. A triumphant pop song. And that it doesn’t make it into the Top 10 Swedish ESC entries this century is merely a measure of how good Sweden is at this lark. But yes – more to come from the Swedes in this list…
(Alexander Rybak – Norway 2009)
A cheeky Court Jester performance resulted in Alexander Rybak becoming the King of Eurovision at the end of the last decade. One of the most infamous winners of all time, his simplistic and old fashioned tune cast a spell over both East and West, young and old.
38: HOLD ON, BE STRONG
(Maria Haukaas Storeng – Norway 2008)
Maria delved deep into her soulful vocals and flawlessly delivered this bluesy ballad for the ages. Everything about it was pure class, and it rose deservedly to the top five of the scoreboard.
37: IF I WERE SORRY
(Frans – Sweden 2016)
Sweden have been sending some of the most contemporary songs to ESC in recent years. And none more so than this gem, which went on to become the biggest chart and radio hit all across Europe, of any of the songs from last year’s contest. Yes, even that winner…
(Norma John – Finland 2017)
One of the best songs that Finland have ever sent to the contest. And subsequently one of the greatest injustices to have taken place there.
35: WHEN SPIRITS ARE CALLING MY NAME
(Roger Pontare – Sweden 2000)
A local hero took to the stage and charmed the rest of Europe into submission. 7th place is superb for a song that is nothing like what any of its voters would ever hear in their homes. Proving that it’s an undeniable tune and a half.
34: OPEN YOUR HEART
(Birgitta – Iceland 2003)
This was noticeably dated by about four years even back then, never mind now! And yet fourteen years on, we’re still obsessed.
33: FLY ON THE WINGS OF LOVE
(Olsen Brothers – Denmark 2000)
That the vocoder wasn’t implemented into more ESC entries in the wake of this triumph, was nothing short of criminal. Thankfully, the use of the key change still lives on today though.
32: NEVER LET IT GO
(Afro-Dite – Sweden 2002)
Deserves a place on this list for Gladys Del Pilar’s ad-libs alone. “We’ee’el be sha-ay-ay-king“. Yes Gladys, yes we will.
31: DRAMA QUEEN
(DQ – Denmark 2007)
Three costumes in three minutes, an impeccable key change in the voice of another gender, and THAT glory note at the end. We credit Denmark with the reason for the semi final qualification shake-up the following year.
(Svala – Iceland 2017)
Iceland deserved to have gotten their best result in years with this one. Svala had a killer song, and the stunning vocal needed to deliver it. But unfortunately, the country sit out the grand final for the third year in a row.
29: LOSE CONTROL
(Waldo’s People – Finland 2009)
This might well have been higher, could we have heard anything over that relentless screech from the lead singer the whole way through. Christ! ‘Lose Control’ is a massive banger, albeit ruined on stage on the night by a massive bell-end.
28: LEAVE ME ALONE
(Hanna Pakarinen – Finland 2007)
A classic Finnish entry. We were and still are AGOG that this didn’t at all trouble Serbia for the win in 07. But it’s one of the finest songs and performances the Finns have ever sent to the contest.
27: VALENTINE LOST
(Eiríkur Hauksson – Iceland 2007)
A Gothic, cinematic, EPIC of a ballad. It wasn’t tailored to appeal to our tastes at all, but a decade later and we’re still massively in love with it.
26: I CAN’T GO ON
(Robin Bengtsson – Sweden 2017)
If there’s a better staged song on tonight in Kyiv, we’ll be shocked, stunned, and in adoration. ‘I Can’t Go On’ is an almighty record on its own merits, but coupled with that staging – well, it’s *perfect emoji*.
25: MY HEART GOES BOOM
(Charmed – Norway 2000)
You know you’re in for a treat when there’s a “boom” in a song’s title. And even more so if that song is a Eurovision song. TBH even more so if that Eurovision song is a Nordic Eurovision song.
(Silvia Night – Iceland 2006)
With Silvia Night being a character creation of a comedienne, if you’re in on the joke, it’s brilliant. If you’re not however, it’s pretty shit. We were most definitely in on the joke. Europe on the other hand…
23: IF I HAD YOUR LOVE
(Selma – Iceland 2005)
With references ranging from ‘Toxic’ by Britney Spears, to a James Bonf theme tune, you could be forgiven for thinking that the concept of this song was a mess. We still however, haven’t forgiven Europe for believing the execution of this was a mess.
22: GIVE ME YOUR LOVE
(Fame – Sweden 2003)
Ah yes – we’re getting into those upper echelons of the list where the Swedish schlagers come into play. ‘Give Me Your Love’ deservedly granted Sweden one of their many, MANY, Top 5 finishes this century.
(Tooji – Norway 2012)
A Middle Eastern flavoured, bass-driven banger. If this had competed in any year other than the banger-loaded 2012, well – we might still be featuring songs from Tooji on Scandipop today. We aren’t.
20: HARD ROCK HALLELUJAH
(Lordi – Finland 2006)
The most bizarre song and performance combination that has ever been sent to ESC. And yet it turned into one of the most iconic. Finland’s place in the Eurovision hall of fame is forever guaranteed because of these lot and their strangely lovable hard rock Hallelujah.
19: ONLY TEARDROPS
(Emmelie DeForest – Denmark 2013)
A drum-banging, whistle-blowing, celtic-styled, ethno-belter. With no shoes on.
18: MY HEART IS YOURS
(Didrick Solli-Tangen – Norway 2010)
Someone clearly had the idea of rewriting ‘You Raise Me Up’ for the Eurovision stage. But actually ended up improving on it. Don’t @ me.
17: IS IT TRUE
(Yohanna – Iceland 2009)
A classic ballad performed beautifully. Over 60 years of ESC and that’s still to this day what does better in the results than most styles. This is one of the better examples of that.
16: LA VOIX
(Malena Ernman – Sweden 2009)
In hindsight this really was an utterly ridiculous concoction – a classical music piece performed over a dramatic dance beat. But Christ it’s an essential listen. As knockout as Melodifestivalen 2009 was – we would still have ‘La Voix’ as Sweden’s Eurovision entry that year. Modern ESC history just wouldn’t be the same without it.
15: A MONSTER LIKE ME
(Mørland & Debrah Scarlett – Norway 2015)
Morbid ballads aren’t really what one would associate with this contest. Which probably helped it stand out so much in its year. But two years on, and it’s still a stunner of a track that we keep coming back to.
14: IN MY DREAMS
(Wig Wam – Norway 2005)
Glam-Metal has never sounded so good. But then Glam-Metal has never sounded so schlager either.
13: VEN A BAILAR CONMIGO
(Guri Schanke – Norway 2007)
Scandi schlager has a bizarre habit of tragically aping latino pop cliches. And it’s a habit we hope it never grows out of. After all you certainly wouldn’t find this song anywhere else in the world. Nope – not even in the Latino lands themselves. They have much better taste.
12: JE NE SAIS QUOI
(Hera Björk – Iceland 2010)
A large voiced diva belting out a Eurodance banger. It’s what so many of us look to the Eurovision Song Contest to provide us with. And THIS is when they come up splendidly with the goods;
11: THIS IS MY LIFE
(Euroband – Iceland 2008)
What you get when you cross a late noughties Eurovision album with an early noughties Clubland compilation. Amazing.
(Måns Zelmerlöw – Sweden 2015)
The contest is a whole different game now to what it was even a decade ago. And nothing sums that up more than this song winning the whole thing in 2015. Eurovision had never been more mainstream than the three minutes MZW had on stage then.
(Sanna Nielsen – Sweden 2014)
Bombastic balladry delivered by an incomparable vocal, and showered in dramatic spotlights. It’s a level of OTT that is really only allowed without question in a Eurovision context. Which is why us fans have it so good.
08: IT HURTS
(Lena Philipsson – Sweden 2004)
Before there was the mic drop, there was the routine with the mic stand. It peaked in May 2004 though, and hasn’t been improved upon since. Legendary.
(Carola – Sweden 2006)
Carola here, singing about the strength of her title as the Queen of Schlager. The main flaw of Eurovision 2006 was that the stage simply wasn’t wide enough for Carola to show Europe just how she can commandeer it.
06: IN A MOMENT LIKE THIS
(Chanee & N’Evergreen – Denmark 2010)
A timeless melody. An educated key change execution. An extra mature cheese.
05: LISTEN TO YOUR HEARTBEAT
(Friends – Sweden 2001)
If this had have been the ABBA single it sounds like it could well have been in a different era, then it would have made it onto ABBA Gold.
04: I FEED YOU MY LOVE
(Margaret Berger – Norway 2013)
Not just Norway’s best Eurovision entry this century – but their greatest ever contribution to the contest. This futuristic electropop stunner shook the contest to its very foundations, and sent it hurtling into a modern era that it has started to embrace full-scale only recently.
(Eric Saade – Sweden 2011)
This was LITERALLY glass-shatteringly amazing. That it didn’t win in its year was, and still is, a rotten travesty.
(Charlotte Perrelli – Sweden 2008)
A blueprint for brilliant schlager music. Transcending the time frame we’ve imposed on this list, ‘Hero’ is one of the all time greats in the schlager genre.
(Loreen – Sweden 2012)
If we do this list again in a quarter of a century, and there’s been a better song than this in that period – well we’re all in for a stonking great big massive treat, aren’t we! One of the best moments in music AND television. Like, ever.