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Cliff Richard and General Franco: the 1968 Eurovision mystery
May 12, 2008 7:34 AM   Subscribe

It's the story that has Britain in uproar*: Cliff Richard and General Franco: the 1968 Eurovision mystery. Did General Franco scupper the judging? Exhibit A: Cliff's UK entry, Congratulations. Exhibit 2: Spain's winning entry by Massiel, La la la. For added measure, exhibit iv: here's Cliff's 1973 entry, which believe it or not also did not win, Power to all our Friends (though Cliff's spectacular moves should not sway your opinion on the controversy* in any way). [*not really].
posted by nthdegx (34 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
He sure was the proto-Austin Powers in that Congratulations song. And what a horrible song.
posted by chococat at 7:39 AM on May 12, 2008


I don't know who or what this is about, but damn, that is one awful song, sung by a smug homunculus in a ridiculous suit.
posted by DU at 7:43 AM on May 12, 2008


Eurovision fever, catch it NOW!!
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 7:45 AM on May 12, 2008


As seen on Have I Got News For You?
posted by Acey at 7:46 AM on May 12, 2008


Acey, did you hear about Brian Blessed's wife?
posted by nthdegx at 7:55 AM on May 12, 2008


Crazy fun though it is to witness firsthand the social phenomenon known as Eurovision Fever, 99% of the music is really not my bag, baybee.

And actually, that 1% isn't really my bag either, but just really, really makes me laugh.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:09 AM on May 12, 2008


Every time I see something from the Eurovision contest, I am reminded that I will never, so long as I live, really understand Europeans. How a continent that produces wonderful chocolate and great beer can also be enraptured by the schlockiest, schmaltziest so-called music escapes me. The US still invades other countries, while the Europeans have chosen to sublimate all that aggression into song competitions.
posted by Forktine at 8:14 AM on May 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Cliff Richard's top 50 Bible stories
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:15 AM on May 12, 2008


ah, yes, 1968, who could forget?
posted by pyramid termite at 8:16 AM on May 12, 2008


Oh and Cliff was robbed!
(You know he was once called the British Elvis...? No, don't laugh.)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:17 AM on May 12, 2008


I'd side with Franco if it meant the end to Cliff Richards' career.

While one is egomaniac who took it upon himself, unelected, to inflict pain on generations of his countrymen the other was.. ah fuck it, I can't find anything endearing or witty to say about Franco's legacy.

I just don't like Cliff Richard. At least Franco had the good grace to do his nastiness in Spain, and largely before I was born.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:22 AM on May 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


You saw him dance, though, right, guys?
posted by nthdegx at 8:26 AM on May 12, 2008


Oh Cliff, sometimes it must feel as if you really are a cliff
And fascists keep trying to push you over it!

posted by porn in the woods at 8:52 AM on May 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


He's got his own range of fine wines too (warning... has cliff singing) ... he truly is a renaissance man!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:55 AM on May 12, 2008


... a smug homunculus in a ridiculous suit.

My granny hated Cliff Richard; she called him a "smarmy creep". I like your description even better.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:06 AM on May 12, 2008


I will never, so long as I live, really understand Europeans. How a continent that produces wonderful chocolate and great beer can also be enraptured by the schlockiest, schmaltziest so-called music escapes me. The US still invades other countries, while the Europeans have chosen to sublimate all that aggression into song competitions.

Uhh...American Idol much? And you don't even have the chocolate or beer.
posted by chococat at 9:10 AM on May 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


we have the beer - we just keep the good stuff for ourselves and let you have the lousy stuff
posted by pyramid termite at 9:21 AM on May 12, 2008


Is that the least convincing argument in the history of metafilter?
posted by biffa at 9:25 AM on May 12, 2008


Look out! Cliff!
posted by unsupervised at 9:27 AM on May 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


He's got his own range of fine wines too

On Gordon Ramsay's programme last year The F Word he gave Cliff Richard a blind tasting of red wines, after which Cliff Richard declared his own wine was shit. Before being told it was his own wine.

So not so fine, then.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:38 AM on May 12, 2008


The real shame of Eurovision 1968 is that perpetual nul-point nation Norway's entry didn't win. Enjoy the musical stylings of Odd Børre and his song, Stress. Very, very NFSW.
posted by grounded at 9:42 AM on May 12, 2008



So not so fine, then.


I can't find it now, but there was an hilarious interview with Sir Cliff soon after this happened where he can out with some ridiculous excuse over being tricked by being given strong flavored wines first or something.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:47 AM on May 12, 2008


Damn, I love this post.
posted by JanetLand at 9:56 AM on May 12, 2008


Cliff's finest hour... during his controversial 'dark' period. Budding singers take note... this is a master class in using your hands to get the lyrics over.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:08 AM on May 12, 2008


On July 3, 1996, Sir Cliff took all of Centre Court hostage at Wimbledon, seizing on a rain-delay to sing a medley of his hits. What follows is impromptu Cliff awesomeness in a plaid sport coat that deserves it own legend. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4 (interview).
posted by grounded at 10:37 AM on May 12, 2008


On July 3, 1996, Sir Cliff took all of Centre Court hostage at Wimbledon, seizing on a rain-delay to sing a medley of his hits.

My God grounded...your first link defines the Dutch chills!
posted by Jody Tresidder at 10:45 AM on May 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Uhh...American Idol much? And you don't even have the chocolate or beer.

That show is a European import. We have good beer (and have had for centuries, thanks to early European immigrants), but the good chocolate at the grocery store comes from Ye Olde Europe. Supposedly there is good US chocolate, but not easily found in my local store.
posted by Forktine at 10:48 AM on May 12, 2008


Enjoy the musical stylings of Odd Børre and his song, Stress. Very, very NFSW.

Uh Oh. I liked it, and don't understand what NFSW means -- was that a typo for NSFW? (not that I see why it would be that, either)
posted by JanetLand at 10:59 AM on May 12, 2008


Europeans have the best dance music, though. I love all of it. Even Jump Trance.
posted by empath at 1:16 PM on May 12, 2008


Norway Fails Song Win!
posted by wemayfreeze at 1:38 PM on May 12, 2008


Best Eurovision song evar!!!11!one!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:21 PM on May 12, 2008


Best Eurovision song evar!!!11!one!

WE HAVE TO LOSE THAT SAX SOLO!
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 11:45 AM on May 13, 2008


Scandalous!
posted by ob at 2:09 PM on May 13, 2008


How a continent that produces wonderful chocolate and great beer can also be enraptured by the schlockiest, schmaltziest so-called music escapes me.

This is how it works for me:

Picture Europe in the early 80's. The EU was a small private club and there wasn't much cultural interchange between the countries - except for the UK which would fortunately invade our television channels with fabulous series like the Jewel in the Crown and Bridesehead Revisited. We'd watch the occasional eastern european stop motion animation. And that's about it. Yes, we'd compete between each other in the European Football Cup. Yes, there were the sillyJeux Sans Frontières (which, btw, deserves a whole post itself). But the only way to know what the heck did norwegian sound like, what was considered a cool frock in Greece, what did the people from Yugoslavia looked like and to be reassured that our own country wasn't the kitchiest in Europe was to watch Eurovision. For me it was the only time I thought of myself of being a European and of actually having a bond with all these crazy foreigners. Also, it was funny to see how neighboring countries would give each other high marks even when their songs sucked (more than the others, that is).

These days, I watch it for kitsch value. And for the nostalgia.

Also, let's not forget Abba.
posted by lucia__is__dada at 9:17 AM on May 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


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