#27: Orchestras, Synthesizers, and Lulu

Orchestras used to be a requirement at the Eurovision Song Contest. In this episode, we take a look at the evolution of live (and “live”) music at the competition.

We’re getting close to having a final-ish guest list for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest with 40* countries confirming their interest.1 Yes, it’s still a Facebook Maybe at this point and there are still three countries who have been invited but haven’t responded. RETURN OUR CALLS, MOLDOVA.

After we check in with the Irish boycott situation and Cher’s foray into Abba’s catalog, we dive into the history of the music of the Eurovision Song Contest. Orchestras used to be a thing for the first 20 years of the competition. Once backing tracks were introduced in the mid-1970s (Hi again, Abba!), it was only a matter of time before Eurovision would catch up with a more modern pop sound. … I mean, 25 years? We’re now 20 years beyond that revolution and we’re still encountering new sounds that run afoul of Eurovision’s definition of a song. It’s beyond fascinating.

Get ready for a teach-in and grab the moment to listen to this episode!

Episode Summary



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  1. Armenia confirmed after we recorded.  
About the Author
We are a pair of Americans trying to make sense of the Eurovision Song Contest.