It’s over two weeks since my return from Gran Canaria, but with a very chilly cold snap gripping the UK, it seems a good time to bring you my favourite songs from the next big 5 country – Spain. As befitting a big 5 country, with two wins, four runners up spots, and the second longest run of uninterrupted Eurovision appearances (after the UK), this top 5 has become a top 10…
For one of Eurovision’s most enduring countries (and with the most fanatical of fans), Spain hasn’t seen as much success as you might have expected (but has come close on many occasions); however, it’s not been a struggle to find enough songs for a top 10 and even with the expanded list, several good songs have missed out. Viva España!
10. David Civera “Dile que la quiero” (2001, 6th place, 76 points)
Remarkably, David is the only solo male artist in my top 10 – but perhaps given the strong history of Spain’s solo female performers at Eurovision, perhaps it shouldn’t be such a surprise. David earns his place in my top 10 with a typically Spanish flavoured uptempo song – and the sixth place this achieved is yet to be surpassed by subsequent Spanish entries.
9. Bravo “Lady, Lady” (1984, 3rd place, 106 points)
Bouncing back from a nul points last place for Spain in 1983, their 1984 entry scored a surprise third place for Spain. A big commercial success in Spain, it’s far less Spanish in flavour than some in this list, but it’s a good song, with a very catchy chorus (very Eurovision) and is Spain’s second best result since 1980.
8. Lucía Pérez “Que me quiten lo bailao” (2011, 23rd place, 50 points)
Guilty pleasure time! This didn’t achieve much success in terms of the result it got in the contest, but it’s so upbeat and so Spanish, I can’t not include it! Always a good one for the dancefloor at Eurovision themed nights…
7. Ruth Lorenzo “Dancing in the Rain” (2014, 10th place, 74 points)
A familiar face to UK viewers, having finished fifth in the 2008 series of the UK’s X Factor, Ruth’s powerful vocals took Spain to the top 10 and it’s the most recent Spanish entry to achieve that result. Ruth was a popular act at the London Eurovision Preview Party, giving a stunning performance of “Nessun Dorma“.
6. Anabel Conde “Vuelve conmigo” (1995, 2nd place, 119 points)
I feel this song is perhaps overlooked or poorly remembered by many people, but it’s a gem and the best result Spain has had since 1979 (!). It’s a great 90s midtempo pop ballad (and a great chorus of course!), and once again, Spanish female solo artists leading the way in getting the best results for their country.
5. Salomé “Vivo cantando” (1969, winner, 18 points)
The second of Spain’s two winners, Salomé shared victory with three other countries (including Lulu for the UK). Delivered with energy and an increasingly frenetic pace as the song progresses, it’s a Eurovision classic. As is the incredible outfit Salomé wore – it was designed by Manuel Pertegaz, weighed 14 kg, and was made of small chalk blue porcelain cylinders. Also notable about the performance was that Salomé chose to dance on the spot during certain parts of the song. Dancing was against Eurovision Song Contest regulations at the time but she wasn’t penalised (others had done that as well) and it adds to the energy and performance of the song. Still remains Spain’s most recent win…
4. Azúcar Moreno “Bandido” (1990, 5th place, 96 points)
I think this was quite a revelation for Eurovision at the time – a flamenco-influenced modern dance track. It paid off, with an impressive fifth place. At the actual contest itself, there was a false start with the backing tracking starting in the wrong place, leading the sister duo of Azúcar Moreno to walk off the stage – but a couple of minutes later they returned and the performance went without any further problems. A memorable moment for sure, but ultimately it’s the song that sticks in my mind!
3. Massiel “La, la, la” (1968, winner, 29 points)
Spain’s first winner, this Eurovision classic famously beat Cliff Richard’s “Congratulations” into second place by a single point. Massiel was not the planned original singer, but was asked just a few days before the contest to learn and perform the song, after the original singer was denied the request to sing the song in Catalan (at the time a suppressed language in Franco’s Spain). Massiel flew back from Mexico, learned and rehearsed the song in just a few days – and the rest is Eurovision history!
2. Pastora Soler “Quédate conmigo” (2012, 10th place, 97 points)
Anyone who knows much about the songs I like most from Eurovision will not be surprised to see this Spanish entry near the top of my favourite entries from that country. It’s a super ballad, and Pastora’s vocal performance is aweing – the key change, that Eurovision stalwart, is particularly stunning. This was one of the best results for Spain in recent times, yet I still hold it deserved higher – I do recall that it got 8 points from the UK which pleases me!
1. Mocedades “Eres tú” (1973, 2nd place, 125 points)
One of Eurovision’s finest songs, only the amazing Anne-Marie David prevented this from winning the highly competitive 1973 contest. The following year, it became one of the few Spanish-language songs to reach the top 10 in the United States – almost unheard of for a Eurovision song to do so well in the US market, let alone a non-English one. Mocedades continue to exist and perform to this day (though with a changed line up, not all the original members are still alive and like Bucks Fizz, there are two different versions of the band…)
What did you think of my Spanish top 10? Who would you have included that I left out? And would have had the same top 3 as I did? Let me know in the comments!