Massiel: La La La (1968)

 |   |  1 min read

Massiel: La La La (1968)

In 1968 middle-class, middle-aged (and some kids) Britain held a collective breath. That year the Eurovision Song Contest was being hosted at the Royal Albert Hall, after a bare-footed Sandie Shaw had won it the previous year with Puppet on a String.

This time success was assured because the committee had put up Britain's favourite pop star Cliff Richard . . . and the song chosen was Congratulations by the same team that had penned Puppet on a String, Phil Coulter and Bill Martin.

For the first time the ESC was being broadcast in colour so home viewers could get the full impact of the garishness that sparkle, twinkle, velour and satin can bring.

Cliff dressed for the ocassion too . . . although as you may see from the clip below, we now know where Austin Powers got his Swinging Sixties dress sense from.

So all the elements were in place . . . but Cliff came in second!

With 28 points he was one behind the 19-year old Spanish singer Massiel (real name María de los Ángeles Felisa Santamaría Espinosa) and her song La La La.

Oddly enough Massiel was not Spain's original choice, that honour was to go to Juan Manuel Serrat but he would only sing in Catalan and Franco's regime would have none of that nonsense.

So Massiel it was.

But really, if Serrat had sung this in Catalan who would have known? La La La still holds the ESC record -- possibly a world record -- for having the most number of "la-la's ".

A whopping 138, and doubtless they sound the same in Catalan.

Did I count them?

Of course not, that honour went to Des Mangan who wrote the wonderfully silly 2004 paperback This is Sweden Calling: Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About the European Song Contest But Were Laughing To Hard To Ask!

I recommend the book, but neither of these songs. 

 

 

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Lou Reed: Metal Machine Music (1975)

Lou Reed: Metal Machine Music (1975)

Metal Machine Music is the Lou Reed album that even many Lou fans haven't heard -- or did hear and said, "Never again". Many who bought this double album at the time (which now fetches... > Read more

Marc Ribot: The Wind Cries Mary (1990)

Marc Ribot: The Wind Cries Mary (1990)

Marc Ribot has long been the guitarist of choice for Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and others, but he was also in a couple of interesting if not influential bands of his own. Before being one of the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Various Artists; The Legacy of Disco

THE BARGAIN BUY: Various Artists; The Legacy of Disco

While you expect old folks, conservative preachers and bandwagon politicians to dump on pop music, it's always a bit of a surprise when the music world turns on its own. Punks railing against... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Paddy Burgin

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Paddy Burgin

Wellington's Paddy Burgin is a wonder with wood. He can make it speak and sing. Burgin fashions it into guitars, some of which he plays in his band Paddy Burgin and the Wooden Box Band whose album... > Read more