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Neil Blanks (Portsmouth, United Kingdom)

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"Eurovision Song Contest": 50th Anniversary - The Official History
"Eurovision Song Contest": 50th Anniversary - The Official History
by John Kennedy O'Connor
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Reference book for Eurovision., 12 May 2005
The writer of this particular book certainly knows his stuff. That's the first impression that I got from reading this work. The facts are well presented and it highlights what happened in each Eurovision Song Contest, except possibly 1956, it was a little bit vague in that area. However, considering the whole contest that year was mysterious to say the least, nobody knew how the voting system worked because it was done in secret, I can forgive him.
What could have been useful is a table on how each country voted in each year. That is made up for however by the facts and figures at the back of the book, including a top ten of all four voting systems given in percentage form. I found that a very helpful guide in many ways. It also gives a list of all the countries that have participated in Eurovision's entries, again a useful reference.
The book layout is colourful and presented in the right way. It can be used either as a reference book or as a casual read. As a celebration of Fifty years of Eurovision, I cannot fault it. It's a must have for all fans of the contest

Yakumo XL2 5.1 Channel Multi-region DVD Player [With Scart Lead]
Yakumo XL2 5.1 Channel Multi-region DVD Player [With Scart Lead]

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, While it lasted, 12 May 2005
Let me tell you for a start that I'm no expert in the field of DVD technology. However, as a layman, I feel that the Yakumo is a good buy. The picture quality is good, the instructions on how to set up the player is clear and very easy to understand. The remote control can be a little quirky, you do have have to press the button once or twice to get it to do what you want to do, however, it's not that bad once you get used to it. It plays DVD's from all regions, including Region 1, which was the main reason I got the product, and it plays them without you having to adjust the set up. Just slip it in, switch it on and off it goes.
The problem is, which is why I only gave it three stars, is that it's not long lasting. Mine packed up after nine months. I expect at least two maybe three years before I need to replace it. Would I replace it with the same type of make? Given the chance yes, and I have, or will have done, by the time you've read this.

Euro Vision: VOLUME 2
Euro Vision: VOLUME 2
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: 16.91

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Taste Of Eurovision At Its Best, 13 Jan 2003
This review is from: Euro Vision: VOLUME 2 (Audio CD)
To say that this CD is Eurovision at its best is an understatement. It has everything you ever wanted to know about the Eurovision Song Contest and more.
The choice of songs from the song contest is interesting. "Boum Badaboum" (that's the spelling on the CD cover) by Minouche Barelli is typical Serge Gainsbourg but a very unsual choice for something as traditional as the Eurovision Song Contest. However, it's not out of place in this CD as it is an example of the variation of styles that can appear in Eurovision.
It also has the classics such as Abba's Waterloo, both Cliff Richard's entries and the New Seekers' Beg Steal or Borrow as well as the unusual such as Barelli's number and Aminas' haunting "Le Dernier Qui A Parle....", the song which had the same number of points as Swedens' winner of that year (1991) but lost out due to having the least number of twelve points of the two. It also has Dana International's Diva in Hebrew as well as the efforts of other so called international who have tried their hand at Eurovision such as Baccara, Francoise Hardy, Matt Monro (spelt with an "e" at the end on the cover), Olivia Newton John, Kathy Kirby and Ofra Haza.
It would have been useful if more English versions of the songs had been found and placed on the CD, but that didn't spoil the enjoyment one bit.
If you are interested in the Eurovision Song Contest, then this CD is for you.

The Story of Eurovision
The Story of Eurovision
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 9.07

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Celebration of everything Eurovision, 29 Oct 2002
This review is from: The Story of Eurovision (Audio CD)
This is a well constructed piece of music history and is a fantastic celebration of everything that is Eurovision. The fact that it has the very rare English version of The Herreys "Diggi Loo Diggi Lei" is a god send. I now completely understand why they wore golden boots whilst performing the song during the contest they won. If you don't understand that, listen to the lyrics.
It has the musically "interesting" to the fantastic. For example, Conny Froboes' "Zwei Kleine Italiener" sounds like something Perry Como might have done during one of his christmas shows, whilst the excellent but haunting "Nocturne" by Secret Garden, Norway's 1995 winner, sounds a little out of place in Eurovision. Nethertheless both deserved inclusion in this compliation as examples of Eurovision at its best. What I really applaud the makers of this compilation for was the inclusion of The Shadows' "Let Me Be The One", probably one of the best songs never to win Eurovision and very difficult to find.
If you are interested in the Eurovision Song Contest, then I recommend that you buy this compilation.

Eurovision 1956/1999
Eurovision 1956/1999

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A taste of eurovision history at its best, 23 July 2002
This review is from: Eurovision 1956/1999 (Audio CD)
As a specialist CD it is certainly as good as anything I've ever heard. It has all the winners, most of them in their native tounges, with the exception of the 1957 winner, one of the 1969 winners and the 1983 winner. As a piece of history it also works as it gives us a good idea of how music has changed over the past five decades, from the typical crooner singing style made popular in the 40's and 50's to the more experimental sounds of today. What surprised me was that, especially on CD one, the more popular songs such as Abba's Waterloo, Milk And Honey's Hallelujah and Izhar Cohen and Alphabeta's A-ba-ni-bi was performed in English. Thank you to the people who decided that. It may help that some of the other songs could be released in English so that we can better appreciate the song. I know there are some out there, for example Nicole's Ein Bisschen Frieden, which was released as A Little Peace. I know because I've played it on my Hospital Radio show. The inclusion of the three bonus tracks especially Baccara's Parlez-Vous Francais was a good idea and well worth pursuing in any future releases.

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