16 April 2015

1980s theme: European hits

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This is the second part on my 1980s music theme posts series. I really love the music from the 1980s. If picking from the decades before my birth (in order to remove avoid any nostalgia value), I would pick the 1980s as my favourite decade in music. For me the 1980s represent colourful and happy music. And also awesome rock music, like I said in my previous post. I have so many favourites from the 1980s that this 1980s theme series could go on and on.

Because of the seemingly unlimited list of my 80s favourites, I have had hard time picking just few songs to feature. In the first part, the music was more focused on rock music. Now in this post there is a theme of European music. I have picked 80s songs from three European countries: France, Italy and Finland. They vary in genre and in the overall feeling, but they all have had fame in their time and beyond.

So, let's get going on with the songs:

First up is a French singer called Corynne Charby. She was active in music and acting scene in the 80s before deciding to devote herself to her family leaving the limelight. Her biggest success was around the years 1986 and 1987. She was not that well-known abroad, but few of her singles became hits in France. This includes the song above, Boule De Flipper.

Boule De Flipper was released in 1986. The song remained in the French charts for 16 weeks and sold quite respectfully. I am not exactly sure how the properly translate the name of the song, but a flipper ball / pinball, would probably do? A ball in the pinball game? Anyways, the song is a electronic pop song and at least according to translations the lyrics seem quite depressing. This is likely the best known song from Corynne.

This is one of my ultimate top favourites from the 1980s. Especially the music; I simply love the sound, there is something bright in it, but overall it is highly dark. I feel the music deep in my spine. And Corynne's interesting voice just adds up to this feeling. The feeling I get is mostly apathy. The music video is very 80s style and probably done with minimal budget, but I actually like it a lot. In all its simplicity it fits the song great.

Another song from France. This one is by Veronique Jannot and it is called Aviateur. Veronique's musical career places in the eighties; She released music throughout the 80s, but only one song before and none after (according to Wikipedia). Besides singing she is an actress and started acting already in 1973 when she was a teen. She is still active in acting.

Aviateur was released in 1988. The name translates into Aviator. Since the song is sung in French (which I do not speak) and I have not found a translation of the lyrics (I prefer not to translate with Google Translate beyond few words), I do not know what the lyrics say. I do not find it necessarily though and with the title you can great very interesting stories about what you think the lyrics mean. The genre I suppose to be pop and easy listening.

I really love the sound of this song. It is so smooth and light. The music and Veronique's voice just make a perfect, harmonic combination. There is something very nostalgic in the song: Maybe partly thanks to the title, it somehow gives me the vibes of childhood memories. The music video I find to be very fitting to the song. I love whenever there is a storyline in the video and the colour scheme just fits perfectly to the song.

Next up is a song that might be the best known out of all these song in this post: Boys (Summertime Love) by Sabrina. Sabrina, also known as Sabrina Salerno, is an Italian singer (plus actress, model, host, etc. as per usual). She released her first single in 1986 and is still an active singer, ie. releasing a cover of Blondie's 80s hit Call Me together with another famous 80s singer Samantha Fox, who was back in the 80s considered as Sabrina's rival thanks to their similar styles.

Undoubtedly Sabrina's fame is highly thanks to her naughty style rather than her singing capabilities (without insulting those since I actually like her singing). The song Boys (Summertime Love), which is also known as Boys Boys Boys, is known for the song itself, but also for the very famous music video. In the video Sabrina is hanging out by and in the pool and is famously wearing a bikini top that shows her nipples throughout the video. The popularity of the song can not be all thanks to the video, since it charted all around Europe, including hitting number one in France and Switzerland. The song has been covered numerous times through the years.

I myself do not care for nipples in music videos (it seems to be impossible to talk about this song without multiple mentions of Sabrina's bodice area...), but this song I find great. It is very summery and fun. And highly catchy. I really like the shade that Sabrina's voice has. Without being interested in catching a glimpse of Sabrina's nipples, the music video does not really offer anything interesting. But I suppose it fits the song and at least at has helped in its part in the making of this song famous.

Moving on to a totally different kind of song. Also from Italy, comes Toto Cutugno. He became active in singing in the start of the 1970s and is still a singer; His most recent album was released in 2010. In the 70s he was part of a group called Albatros. For international audience he is known for winning the 1990 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Also, his song L'Italiano (above) gained success worldwide.

L'Italiano, also known as L'Italiano (Lasciatemi Cantare), was released in 1983. The title means The Italian. The song was very famous in the 80s, but also gained fame in 2006 when Toto performed it in a concert celebrating Italy's win at FIFA World Cup. The song has also lived in multiple covers, including one by Finnish singer Kari Tapio called Olen Suomalainen, which is ├╝ber-famous in Finland. The song has also been covered including in Indian and Arabic, which tells about how wide the song did spread.

I find Toto's voice very interesting. The music is dramatic and deep, and with Toto's voice it makes a strong impression. There is something actually creepy in the overall sound. It is fairly easy-going, even though it is so heavy and kinda dark. I really like this song overall, but the music especially much.

Time for the last song. This one comes from Finland as promised: Autiotalo by Dingo. Dingo is a rock band, that is one of the most popular ones in Finland. They have had multiple successful songs in Finland and the band's most successful years place in the mid-80's. Besides the huge success of the band, the singer Neumann has become one of the biggest names in Finland's music industry history.

Dingo's best known and most successful hit is Autiotalo. The song was released in 1984 and two years later there was also an English version of this song called The House Without A Name. Autiotalo means Deserted House. The song is a rock song and tells a love story, which can be a bit surprising considering the name. The beginning of the chorus says: "And hand in hand we walk to deserted house", which kinda tells the main point of the lyrics.

The lyrics are surprisingly romantic, though there is preferences that make the lyrics fit better into a rock music. And in the end of course it is revealed that the couple has broken up, so that it is not completely sentimentality. Music-wise it has a very common Finnish rock music sound, though in my opinion a lot better than average. It is actually very easy to understand why this song became so popular and has remained so popular to the day. It is one of the classics of Finnish music, deservedly.

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