18
Mar 09

NICOLE – “A Little Peace”

FT + Popular71 comments • 5,147 views

#500, 15th May 1982

In the world of Marvel and DC Comics, the 100th, 200th (etc) issues of a title were considered real milestones. To maximise sales of these anniversary specials, the companies would often use them to launch particularly big storylines: deaths, marriages, epic battles. But often this meant that the run of issues immediately before the anniversary were especially poor – the title would be in a holding pattern, putting out meaningless and unmemorable issues to kill numbers before the big one, and following it would become a chore. If the long-awaited 500th issue also turned out to suck – well, you can imagine how frustrating that was.

Anyway, here’s Nicole, Eurovision winner, earnest German lass, 500th UK Number One. Singing a song about peace – who could object to that? Not the Eurovision juries, who must also have appreciated the absolutely thumping key change at two minutes and the flowery string arrangement throughout. I’ve never been able to shake off a basic cynicism whenever a Eurovision entrant plays the peace card – of course every Song Contest entry is calculated but this seems such a clumsy gambit. Judging by the way the tactic has withered since the introduction of Eurovision democracy I’m not alone in this.

The only thing that stops Nicole’s song being completely dreadful (in fact raising it all the way to quite dreadful) is the way she redeems the key change with the yearning counter-melody of “we are feathers on the breeze / sing with me my song of peace”. It doesn’t make sense, but nor does her apparent belief that a leaf falling from a tree will be better off if there is someone below. Otherwise this is feeble fare – a crass bid for campfire immortality at the youth outreach group.

2

Comments

  1. 1
    Alan on 18 Mar 2009 #

    WELL DONE TOM.

    (at least)

  2. 2
    lonepilgrim on 18 Mar 2009 #

    it’s an extraordinary achievement to have reviewed so many songs to such a high standard.
    I hope as the number of responses have expanded that they have helped to raise your game.
    I’m happy to say that I have almost no memory of this song and have no desire to find out more.

  3. 3
    Alan on 18 Mar 2009 #

    you must at least remember Tracy Ullman’s “Rissole” on Three of a Kind (nb, this maybe a false memory)

  4. 4

    for some reason — which i cannot identify and doubt i could defend if i did — i have always been really fond of this song: i don’t think camp-singalong is an intrinsically flawed aim, actually, perhaps because the very very first records i “owned” (ie bought by friends of my parents for them to play for me) were by wally whyton

    (ps well done tom, yes)

  5. 5
    rosie on 18 Mar 2009 #

    Well done from me, too, Tom, on reaching the halfway mark

    But I really don’t mind this at all. I have the German language version – Ein bißchen Frieden – alongside the English version and I prefer that one. Partly that’s because I have very little German so I can more easily tune out the lyric (I sometimes think I’d like Wagner a lot less than I do if I could understand the libretti, which are less than towering poetry I understand). The other is that the song is clearly written around German sounds. Nicole embraces and kisses that sibilant in the contantly repeated “bißchen” in a way that is completely lost in the rendering “a leedle peas”

    I’m going to go all Janice Nicholls on you and say oi’ll geev eet foive.

  6. 6
    Billy Smart on 18 Mar 2009 #

    I don’t mind this. When I was nine I quite liked the way that I could follow what was going on, and it remains one of the tiny number of pop songs that my mother has ever expressed approval of (other examples, ‘Tahiti’ by David Essex, ‘Louise’ by the Human League and – bafflingly – ‘One’ by Metallica – “This is better than usual. Is it Indian?”)

    That said, I’m not so foolish as to make any great claims for it. Bardo wuz robbed! Kraftwerk, The Jam and (arguably) The Fizz apart, 1982 may thus far be one of the most undistinguished years we’ve travelled through.

  7. 7
    Tom on 18 Mar 2009 #

    You’re right – camp singalong isn’t an intrinsically flawed aim, as anyone who has been lucky enough to be near our tent circle at Glastonbury will surely attest.

    #2 totally – I’m a bit embarassed by how slapdash some of the early reviews are: I think things have got a lot better since a) people started commenting and b) I realised I should stop worrying about trying to hit every talking point or being ‘definitive’ as the marvellous mechanical comments organ would pick up the slack. Now I just try and focus on a couple of the things that interest me about a song, which keeps things nice and concise.

  8. 8
    Billy Smart on 18 Mar 2009 #

    #2 Watch. A week of Yazoo’s ‘Only You’ – certainly a better remembered song.

  9. 9
    Tom on 18 Mar 2009 #

    #5 yes I wondered if the Ger. language one was better – it often is. I really love German as a sung pop language – there’s a great example coming up of course which the bunny precludes me mentioning by name.

  10. 10
    Billy Smart on 18 Mar 2009 #

    Ha! Nicole was, by the narrowest possible margin, NOT a one hit wonder.

    August 1982’s prophetically-titled ‘Give Me More Time’ managed one week at #75.

  11. 11
    Billy Smart on 18 Mar 2009 #

    TOTP Watch: Nicole performed ‘A Little Peace’ on Top of the Pops twice;

    29 April 1982. Also in the studio that week were; Hot Chocolate, Bardo, Yazoo and Monsoon. Richard Skinner was the host.

    13 May 1982. Also in the studio that week were; Duran Duran, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, The Fun Boy 3 and The Associates (yes!), plus Zoo’s interpretation of ‘Girl Crazy’. Dave Lee Travis was the host.

  12. 12

    what is the name of the typeface her name is in?

  13. 13
    Pete Baran on 18 Mar 2009 #

    Bardo were SO robbed. And yet I think you are being a little harsh here on poor old Nicole. Admittedly a lot more wholesome back then compared to her turn in the Pussycat Dolls, there was a winsome charm to this. Coupled with the fact that my sister was learning guitar and looked a bit like her I thought this was alright*. I was also most impressed that she could sing it in so many languages when she won, which shows a degree of overconfidence now looking back at it.

    *Also I thought One Step Further was the best single ever. If this beat it, my youthful logical brain worked out, it must CLEARLY be better, for Eurovision was like SCIENCE.

  14. 14
    Billy Smart on 18 Mar 2009 #

    Light Entertainment Watch: Just one appearance during Nicole’s brief time in the spotlight;

    SUMMERTIME SPECIAL: with Les Dawson, The Anderson Sisters, Dollar, Roger Kitter, Nicole, Rodolf Reyes (1982)

  15. 15
    Tom on 18 Mar 2009 #

    Campfire Sans

  16. 16
    rosie on 18 Mar 2009 #

    Billy Smart @ 8: Now that would have been a number one to stir the loins! (Bunny notwithstanding. ) I first heard it in the Kelsey-Kerridge sparts hall where I was learning to play squash, and I turned to my companion and said “who the fuck’s that?” or words to that effect. It was the most wonderful thing I’d heard in years.

    Such a shame we won’t get to discuss Basildon’s finest, the wonderful Alison Moyet. She turned up on Late Junction last week, performing with great aplomb in fields a long way removed from Vince Clark’s electronic noise-making machine!

  17. 17
    LondonLee on 18 Mar 2009 #

    Tip of the hat to Tom for getting this far. Is there a stopping point or are you just going to keep pushing that rock up the hill until the day comes when you catch up to the latest #1, I’m not good at maths but I guess that would be years down the line.

    Anything to avoid talking about this record.

  18. 18
    SteveM on 18 Mar 2009 #

    #12: It looks very similar to Dolphins
    http://www.1001fonts.com/font_details.html?font_id=626

    or Candice (which may be the original):
    http://www.linotype.com/88768/candiceregular-font.html

  19. 19
    LondonLee on 18 Mar 2009 #

    And I can’t name that typeface but it looks several years behind the times, like it’s wearing flares or something.

    Edit: Well done Steve. That yellow background on the page makes it look like an old Letraset catalogue, the one with the “fancy” typefaces in it.

  20. 20
    will on 18 Mar 2009 #

    Re Billy at 6. Yes, my mother expressed admiration for this song too. I remember her commenting that it was not surprising that the German entry was a song about peace, since in the event of a nuclear conflagration between the superpowers they would be the first to be wiped out.

  21. 21
    Tom on 18 Mar 2009 #

    #17 – If the singles chart stops then that’s a stopping point. Otherwise I’m hoping to catch up by the time I’m 40 (4 years away) and do 6-monthly updates afterwards until civilisation or I come to a stop.

  22. 22
    Tom on 18 Mar 2009 #

    #20 When I was last in Germany my colleague and host drove me back to Hamburg airport. On hearing I wrote about pop music he gave a delighted cry and turned on the CD player, which was playing the Best of Fischer Z. I then spent the 30 minute drive hearing about the many virtues of Fischer Z, who were apparently very big in Germany because of their habit of making serious new wave concept albums about the Cold War. My colleague had met the band on several occasions and seemed baffled that they had not, as yet, made an appearance in my writing.

  23. 23
    Erithian on 18 Mar 2009 #

    A landmark for you, Tom – yes, congrats on getting halfway to where we were about four years ago!! – and even more of a landmark for me. Having just discovered how to place the stork symbol on this forum (on “Wonderful Land”) now would be the time for me to place the exploding cherry symbol.

    For yes, that particular life experience – slightly late in life at 19, perhaps, but there you go – is associated with this record. Not because “it” happened while the record was number one, but because it happened during the Eurovision Song Contest! Yes, my first time happened on ESC night – in a tent in a field just outside Edale, at the southern end of the Pennine Way, with Eurovision playing on a transistor radio. Happy days. I do remember thinking that “One Step Further” (hey, what an appropriate title for what we were doing!) wasn’t robbed because the performance sounded like the worst screech-fest for a UK Euro entry this side of Jemini.

    It was quite a year for the Germans, with this and Kraftwerk going all the way (stop it!) and do you remember Trio stopping at 2 with “Da Da Da (Ich Lieb Dich Nicht)”, which was irresistible or irritating depending on your viewpoint? Trio appeared on TOTP a few days after West Germany reached the World Cup semi-final because England failed to beat Spain in the group stage – the band placed a football with the words “Thank You” on a table in front of them. Cheers guys.

    I later learned that on the German TV show “Wetten, Dass?” (the original of “You Bet” which ran for a few series in the UK) Trio had failed a challenge and their forfeit was to make a record with Nicole. I’d love to have heard that.

  24. 24
    lonepilgrim on 18 Mar 2009 #

    On the German theme, I recall seeing Can performing ‘I want more’ on TOTP back in 1976 and was struck by how alien they appeared compared to the other acts. IIRC they were dressed like a bunch of professors moonlighting as second-hand car salesmen (or vice versa).
    re#22 it never fails to surprise me how different tastes in pop music are in Europe. There seems to be far less focus on the image of the artist and more on melody and lyrics – although that is probably a gross generalisation. I remember travelling in Germany in 1983 and having to listen to Mike Oldfield’s ‘Moonlight shadow’ as what seemed like every second record played on the local radio.

  25. 25
    rosie on 18 Mar 2009 #

    lonepilgrim @ 24: There seems to be far less focus on the image of the artist and more on melody and lyrics – although that is probably a gross generalisation

    That seems like the right way round to me. Perhaps I’m a German changeling.

  26. 26
    Conrad on 18 Mar 2009 #

    “And its nice to hear an actual song win for a change”.

    TV on the Top 40 countdown. What??????

    Re 14, Roger Kitter = The Brat, the man behind “Chalk Dust”, The Umpire Strikes Back from later in the summer.

    And congrats Tom on Number 500.

  27. 27
    Billy Smart on 18 Mar 2009 #

    Re #24: Can performed ‘I Want More’ on the Top of the Pops transmitted on August the 26th, 1976. Also in the studio that week were; Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Robin Sarstedt, Acker Bilk, Cliff Richrd and Gallagher & Lyle, plus no less than three appearances by Ruby Flipper, interpreting ‘You Should Be Dancing’, ‘Morning Glory’ and ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’. Noel Edmonds was the host, presenting Can with the immortal words “This band are a wow in their native Germany!”

  28. 28
    Conrad on 18 Mar 2009 #

    I don’t recall watching Eurovision in 1982 but I have read that Bardo were gripped by nerves and didn’t perform anywhere near their best. I think the backing was also not as slick or exciting as the recorded version, so as Erithian says (surprised he noticed;)) it is maybe not so surprising that they didn’t win.

    It was in Harrogate wasn’t it?

  29. 29
    wichita lineman on 18 Mar 2009 #

    Re 28: Eurovision should all be mimed. Enough of this rockist ‘chops’ nonsense. And then we can retrospectively award the ’82 trophy to Bardo.

    Nicole was a sweetie, this is no better or worse than All Kinds Of Everything, and I’d give it an extra point for “leedle”. Maybe that’s how the supermarket chain’s name should be pronounced.

    Well done Tom, this is a mighty achievement.

  30. 30
    SteveM on 18 Mar 2009 #

    Miming would certainly have helped Gemini, but also Seb Tellier and the Germans last year.

  31. 31
    thevisitor on 18 Mar 2009 #

    I tell you who would have definitely given Nicole 1 out of 10 – Kojo. Representing Finland in the same year’s contest with Bomb Out, Kojo’s lyrics railed against the proliferation of “nuclear shit” on the global political agenda. I seem to remember that when Nicole won and Kojo didn’t, he called her a “stupid virgin.” Not to her face, thankfully.

    Re 29: It might be better if Eurovision vocals were mimed, but the Contest has really gone downhill since they did away with the orchestra. Even the crap songs used to have arrangements that made them sound as good as they could possibly be, and it was a nice throwback to the 60s when anyone making a pop record could whistle up an orchestra to play on it, presumably because in a post-Beatles age, there were still loads of bandleaders kicking around, gifted enough to bolt a big arrangement onto a tune at short notice.

    While I’m gassing, heartening to see so much love for Bardo out there. There really is nothing wrong with that song, is there? It’s a miniature pop masterclass, complete with weird not-quite-where-you’d-expect-it-to-go key change. You can tell that everyone who worked on that song felt really, really excited about it – enough for Neil Tennant, reviewing in Smash Hits, to exclaim, “That’s definitely not the last we’ve heard of Bardo.”
    Ahem…

  32. 32
    wichita lineman on 19 Mar 2009 #

    Re 31: Intrigued that you say “while I’m gassing…” I was reminded this afternoon that the “biz” used to – and maybe still do – refer to the Gas territories: Germany, Austria, Switzerland. I should add that this was a term dreamt up by German-speaking Europe, so don’t even think about a punchline… Peter Goodlaws and Malice Cooper, espesh.

  33. 33
    Malice Cooper on 19 Mar 2009 #

    Did somebody call ?

    I always liked this. It has the same rhythm as the goosestep

  34. 34
    Malice Cooper on 19 Mar 2009 #

    Bardo were not “gripped by nerves” . Their voices simply didn’t match. She tried to belt it out as if it was a west end show song and he sang as flat as a pancake. The recorded version is superb but live it was horrible.

    Nicole’s follow up single was actually very nice too “Give me more time” (Gib’ mir noch zeit) which struggled to one week at number 75. Song writer Ralf Siegel can no longer get into the German selection so he writes for other countries. This year’s Montenegrin song is his “doing”. I upset him badly at Eurovision a few years ago in Israel when he made a ridiculous ploy of wearing a yarmulke (cap)as he thought it would get more votes from the home nation. He proclaimed he would be “writing a song for Germany again next year” and I suggested it could be “Hooray Hooray it’s a holi holi caust”

    I just have such a way with words….

  35. 35
    Malice Cooper on 19 Mar 2009 #

    An interesting comment happened during the voting that year when Austria proceeded to vote. Up to that point Germany had got a least 8 from every country except Luxembourg who gave them nothing. Austria started with “Germany 1 point” and Wogan remarked “They’ll invade Austria tomorrow”

  36. 36
    Doctor Casino on 19 Mar 2009 #

    Bravo on the milestone, Tom! I think you wear it much better than Nicole. This blog has been a great entertainment and source of musical discoveries over the last few years; I couldn’t today compare this song unfavorably to “Lily The Pink” (which I also didn’t like) if not for this. That seems like pretty weak praise, so sometime I’ll have to go back over the list and figure out exactly how many songs I love today that I’d never heard of except through this exercise.

    Aside from just bringing the songs up, of course, you’ve discussed them in a consistently entertaining manner and often a very thought-provoking one. It’s a good run so far…here’s to the remaining lot!

  37. 37
    lonepilgrim on 19 Mar 2009 #

    here’s the link to that Can TOTP performance
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0nfjguTclg
    and no, they don’t look like ‘a bunch of professors moonlighting as second-hand car salesmen’ – I don’t know where that idea came from

    the song sounds peculiarly timeless – I can imagine it fiiting in with todays charts and not sounding like a 70s tune – it sounds ripe for use in a movie soundtrack Tarantino style

  38. 38
    vinylscot on 19 Mar 2009 #

    #14 & #26 Roger Kitter = also Captain Alberto Bertorelli out of “Allo Allo”

    Well done Tom, an amazing feat… which is more than this record is. A cynical, but obvious Euro-winner. I don’t agree that it is no worse than “All Kinds of Everything”, as at least Shane and Sinead managed to redeem that one!

  39. 39
    peter goodlaws on 19 Mar 2009 #

    Bat in the air, Tom. Well done.

    I have to admit to have had a crush on Fraulein Nicole, although I think in retrospect that she certainly had not yet indulged in the activities enjoyed on a maiden voyage by Popular’s very own Kentish Manc during the night of her triumph. This seemed to have been confirmed by her follow-up, “Give Me More Time”, although this might, of course, referred to a lad who was a little too quick off the mark for her liking. She looked like the girl next door, but they’re usually the worst (or the best, depending on how you look at it!)

  40. 40
    peter goodlaws on 19 Mar 2009 #

    I’ve just seen a pic of Nicole from last year. She is now 44 and looks very nice.

    Tom – One of my chaps once harked on about Fischer Z and played me a track called “The Worker”, which I think charted here. I was expecting a punkish political rant but it was soft and melodious with a rather sad litle story behind the lyric. He also gave me a blast of “Prime Time” by The Tubes, which for me really hit the spot.

  41. 41
    rosie on 19 Mar 2009 #

    I have to say that, for what it’s worth, the Nicole on this sleeve looks quite a stunner to me and what’s more, the stunningness isn’t liable to be washed off.

  42. 42
    lonepilgrim on 19 Mar 2009 #

    she now looks very glam and slightly scary on her website, like a teutonic Celine Dion:
    http://www.nicole-4-u.de/

  43. 43
    Conrad on 19 Mar 2009 #

    She looks like she’s lived and loved. A touch of the Bonnie Tylers as well as Celine

  44. 44
    peter goodlaws on 19 Mar 2009 #

    # 43 – I think you’re right. She’s clearly had more than a little piece now…(see what I did there?)

  45. 45
    DV on 19 Mar 2009 #

    My recollection is that this was the last Eurovision winner to be a big UK hit.

  46. 46
    crag on 19 Mar 2009 #

    Well done on the half century, Tom! Great work!

    We’re really getting into real Proustian rush territory for me by now- i have various TOTP based recollections here- Nicole recieving a plaque or somesuch from Paul Gambicinni(?) for her achievement, the Fun Boy Three performance mentioned by Billy above which was when 9 year-old me realised for the first time that TOTP was mimed and weirdest of all a “hilarious” skit on the edition before Eurovision showing a video of the “French Euro Entry” ( In reality, France declined to take part in ’82) which consisted basically of a French rewrite of Making your Mind Up by a Fizz lookalike group- oh how we all laughed(or rather i would have if i understood it at the time…)
    Did this REALLY happen or did i just dream it??

    Btw i’d give this a 4- i cant decide if its sweet in a nothingy kind of way or nothingy in a sweet kind of way…

  47. 47
    Erithian on 20 Mar 2009 #

    DV #45 – I was just thinking about that this morning – no subsequent Eurovision winner has reached number 1, and the only UK Eurovision entry to do so was [muffled by bunny] who was Australian anyway.

    Nicole did a French version of this which was a big hit in, well, France (“La paix sur terre, c’est ma prière…” see http://en.lyrics-copy.com/nicole/la-paix-sur-terre.htm ) – although she wasn’t anything to do with the Nicole in the Renault Clio ads… the one who bizarrely finished up with Bob Mortimer.

  48. 48
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 20 Mar 2009 #

    bob mortimer is dapper and cute

  49. 49
    Patrick on 20 Mar 2009 #

    The French version was a huge hit in Quebec. I remember my 5th grade teacher praising it. I had no idea until now that there was an English-language version, much less that it had hit #1 in the UK.

  50. 50
    peter goodlaws on 20 Mar 2009 #

    # 47 – That stuff with Nicole and Papa was more than a little worrying but at least he didn’t lock her up in the spare room for twenty odd years.

    Renault Clio Nicole and BOB MORTIMORE?!! Christ, that sounds less likely than Kylie Minogue and Nicholas Witchell!

  51. 51
    Erithian on 20 Mar 2009 #

    I enjoyed the letter in When Saturday Comes in the early 90s, at the time when Jean-Pierre Papin was at his peak for Marseille, where the writer said that whenever the commentator shouted “Papin!” his dad replied “Nicole!”

  52. 52
    Alan on 20 Mar 2009 #

    Tom’s progress report (i know how much he wants this)

    #1 Al Martino – 16 September 2003

    #50 Anne Shelton – 24 October 2003 (1 month)
    #100 Anthony Newley – 20 May 2004 (7 months)
    #150 Gerry & Pacemakers – 19 November 2004 (6 months)
    #200 Beatles band – 14 March 2005 (4 months)
    #250 Garry Puckett – 17 August 2006 (17 months)
    #300 Tony Orlando et Dawn – 20 November 2006 (3 months)
    #350 Ray Stevens – 23 October 2007 (11 months)
    #400 Julie Covingtons – 28 May 2008 (7 months)
    #450 Specials – 20 October 2008 (5 months)
    #500 nicole – 18 March 2009 (5 months)

    overall averaging 2 reviews a week

  53. 53
    Erithian on 20 Mar 2009 #

    Or to put it another way (cut & pasted from Christmas)
    2003: No 66, Jerry Lee Lewis – Great Balls of Fire (Jan 58) – 66 reviewed from Sep-Dec
    2004: No 167, Peter and Gordon – A World Without Love (Apr 64) – 101 in the year
    2005: No 222, The Beatles – Eleanor Rigby/Yellow Submarine (Aug 66) – 55
    2006: No 302, T Rex – Get It On (Jul 71) – 80
    2007: No 362, Mud – Lonely This Christmas (Dec 74) – 60
    2008: No 477, Shakin’ Stevens – This Ole House (Mar 81) – 115

  54. 54
    peter goodlaws on 21 Mar 2009 #

    Tom…you’ve created a MONSTER!!!!!!

  55. 55
    Tom on 21 Mar 2009 #

    I’m aiming for 150 this year, by the way. But with a baby arriving in May that might go awry.

  56. 56
    LondonLee on 21 Mar 2009 #

    As the father of a two year old I can tell you it will.

  57. 57
    плoxaя on 20 May 2009 #

    Эх… :) Вы бы знали что про Вас пишут в других блогах :)

  58. 58
    mike on 21 May 2009 #

    My recollection is that this was the last Eurovision winner to be a big UK hit.

    Not so; Johnny Logan’s “Hold Me Now” reached #2 in 1987, Katrina & the Waves “Love Shine A Light” reached #3 in 1997, Dana International’s “Diva” reached #11 in 1998, Charlotte Nilsson’s “Take Me To Your Heaven” reached #20 in 1999, XTM & DJ Chucky’s Eurobosh cover of The Olsen Brothers’ “Fly On The Wings Of Love” reached #8 in 2003… and this year’s winner “Fairytale” by Alexander Rybak is at #3 in the midweeks.

  59. 59
    DietMondrian on 13 May 2010 #

    I recall my parents were indignant at this winning, as they thought it was a deliberate rebuke from the rest of Europe to the UK for our waging the Falklands War, which was about a month old at the time.

  60. 60
    Billy Smart on 9 Jan 2011 #

    Actually, on reflection, I think that ‘One Step Further’ by Bardo is one of the best pop things ever. Just look at the joyous and imaginative routine that they devised for it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCxIEP21gZM

  61. 61
    Pete on 25 Sep 2011 #

    The people upstairs must be shaking their head and wondering what kind of nonsense is he listening to now.

  62. 62
    malmo58 on 14 Jan 2012 #

    I live for the day when Tracey Ullman’s parody of this from Three Of A Kind (as ‘Rissole’) gets slung up on Youtube.

  63. 63
    James BC on 7 Apr 2014 #

    but I’ve never knowingly heard this song and it doesn’t sound very good to me. I should have come (might have been due) a couple of weeks later since Madness are one of my favourite groups.

    Nicole may have been a pioneer in one sense – was she the first singer to be known by just an ordinary first name? There had been Lulu and others before, but those were at least unusual names, whereas Nicole is completely unexceptional (maybe not to Germans though?). I hope Adele, Monica, Lloyd, Annie, Robyn, Louise, Emma, DJ Jean and the rest recognise the debt they owe her.

  64. 64
    PurpleKylie on 29 Aug 2014 #

    Excuse the late post, I’m just digging up on the old Eurovision #1s on Popular.

    This is my favourite entry of the 1982 contest. I of course refer to the original German version “Ein bißchen Frieden”, admittedly the English version makes it rather syrupy so I understand the really negative review Tom gave it here, but I think it’s a sweet, simple song that was performed very well on the show.

    I can’t believe that this was the last Eurovision winner to hit #1 here, maybe one day that’ll change but it might be a bit too much to ask…

  65. 65
    JLucas on 4 Apr 2015 #

    Nicole cropped up (alongside Johnny Logan, Brotherhood of Man and many others) at Eurovision’s 60th Anniversary Concert which was broadcast on BBC1 yesterday, looking remarkably well preserved. She got rather emotional after receiving one of the most enthusiastic ovations of the night.

    Must be the first time A Little Peace has seen a primetime outing in the UK in many a year.

  66. 66
    Lazarus on 4 Apr 2015 #

    Yes she did look pretty good for 51 – not that that’s any great age of course. I watched it with some foreboding, when I realised it was going to be the original performers reprising their winning songs I thought “oh, it’ll be mainly the recent ones then.” But there was a good mixture – we went back to 1973 with Anne Marie David – and it was quite entertaining to see the likes of Herreys and Bobbysocks again. The show itself isn’t until 23rd May though – it seems to get later every year. I’m sure the Eurovisions of my youth were held in April, and early April at that – the first June competition can’t be far away.

    Also, quite funny that the best they could do for France was to get the woman who finished 4th in 2001! Two points last year, you may remember.

  67. 67
    JLucas on 4 Apr 2015 #

    I think Natasha St Pier and Rosa Lopes (the Spanish singer whose entry only came 7th) were included because they’re still big names in their own countries. The show is broadcasting all over Europe so they have to be as inclusive as possible.

    Plus France haven’t actually won since 1977. Natasha was the last one to get close (and she should have won in my opinion).

  68. 68
    Jimmy the Swede on 6 Apr 2015 #

    Anne Marie David seems to have turned into Dana. They look quite similar, I think. Actually, I wonder why Dana didn’t perform “All Kinds..”. Back in the day (1973), I was totally smitten by Anne Marie, who was truly gorgeous. Nicole, nine years later, was a bit different. By then, I was 21 and Nicole 18. She was the ultimate girl-next-door and pretty as a picture. Seeing her today and she is a beautiful woman. Her eyes swelled up after she had sung and was clearly moved that the enormous cheering and appluase was all for her. Dear old BOM also played a blinder. Not sure, though, how a couple of comments the female co-presenter treated us to (“Homosexuals…” and “Graham is a queen”) would have gone down in some quarters.

  69. 69
    Erithian on 7 Apr 2015 #

    Oh I’m sure those remarks were pitched knowingly to the audience there Jimbo. Come to think of it, to represent France they could have had the Provence-born singer of their excellent 1979 entry, “Je suis l’enfant-soleil” – which finished 3rd – one Anne-Marie David.

    Last year I worked with the Luxembourg delegation at a major international event, and when it was all over I relaxed in the delegation office and YouTubed on their laptop their back-to-back Eurovision winners, the aforementioned AMD and Vicky Leandros’ “Après Toi” from the previous year. Good way to wind down.

    If I’m not mistaken there wasn’t a single mention of Cliff in the entire programme – odd.

  70. 70
    lockedintheattic on 7 Apr 2015 #

    They had a clip of Cliff singing Congratulations in one of the various clip-medley sections

  71. 71
    Jimmy the Swede on 7 Apr 2015 #

    It’s a good job they didn’t show Webby performing PTAOF in ’73. Not even his greatest admirers could have thought that dance was a good idea.

    Erithian – It wasn’t really the audience I had in mind! And yes, both of those back to back winners for Luxembourg were performed by non-native daughters – Anne-Marie being French and Vicky Greek.

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