3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The "Eurovision Song Contest": The Official History (Paperback)
First released in 2005 to celebrate 50 years of The Eurovision Song Contest, this is a newly updated paperback version of that book.
Author John Kennedy O'Connor has wonderfully captured the spirit of this annual tele-visual kitsch fest in a lavishly illustrated book spanning the entire history of this much maligned show, now including the 2005 contest and a small section on the contest's semi-finals from the mid-nineties onwards.
Covering all the highs and lows of the competition and including intriguing and little-known backstage gossip and anecdotes, O'Connor's style is entertaining and provides a genuinely interesting and slightly ironic tribute to the contest and the stars and songs that have featured in it over the years. The book is divided into two distinct sections. The monochrome era of the show from 1956-1967 is covered in double page chapters; whereas the colour broadcasts from 1968 all get four pages each. The entries and results for every year are included alongside numerous and very rare colour and black and white photographs of the artists as well as artwork for all the winning singles, together with their international chart history. Most fun of all, O'Connor has compiled a fascinating "Eurofacts" section that covers all of the trivial statistics that fans crave and that intrigue the general viewers. If you want to know what colour scheme is best to wear if you want to win - you'll find it here! Most people know which nation won the most contests, but which country finished 16th most frequently? Which nation is best at choosing the winner, or worst for that matter? Who conducted the most number of entries and for the most number of nations? It's all here and a lot more.
I really enjoyed the this book and clearly the author really knows the contest inside out. He has successfully managed to produce an in depth look at the contest without taking it all too seriously and yet write a genuinely enthusiastic and fascinating history of the competition that everyone loves to hate. He's made it a very entertaining read.
Here's to another 50 years of fun!