Eurovision: Our 5 Recommended Reads

The 2023 Eurovision final is live from Liverpool on Saturday night and to celebrate, we’ve put together a curated list of books inspired by iconic Eurovision moments, songs and artists.

  1. ABBA’s ABBA Gold
Abba's Abba Gold

ABBA historically secured a victory for Sweden in 1974 with Waterloo – now widely considered one of the best Eurovision songs of all time.

This book, devoted to their Greatest Hits compilation, looks at the impact it had on the music world, and tells the stories behind some of the greatest pop songs ever recorded.

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  1. Vopli Vidopliassova’s Tantsi
Vopli Vidopliassova’s Tantsi

2022 was of course Ukraine’s year with their winning song: Stefania by Kalush Orchestra. They’ve also given us some legendary performances over the years. Go_A’s SHUM will forever be on our playlist, and who could forget Verka Serduchka giving us peak Eurovision with Dancing Lasha Tumbai?!

Next month we’ll be publishing Vopli Vidopliassova’s Tantsi in our 33 1/3 Europe series, which tells the story of a 1989 semi-official cassette release by the now-legendary Ukrainian punk band. Today, Tantsi continues to invite us to dance while we laugh (or cry) at the absurdities of everyday life.

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  1. Mercyful Fate’s Don’t Break the Oath
Mercyful Fate's Don't Break the Oath

One of the most memorable Eurovision moments was Lordi securing a win for Finland in 2006 with one of our favorite Eurovision songs, Hard Rock Hallelujah.

There’s no shortage of hard rock on the 33 1/3 list (special shout out to Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality, AC DC’s Highway To Hell, Metallica’s Metallica, Darkthrone’s A Blaze in the Northern Sky and Death Metal). For this list, we’re narrowing our recommendation down to Mercyful Fate’s Don’t Break the Oath. The book discusses the iconic 1984 heavy metal album recorded in Copenhagen, its relationship to Denmark, and its surprising success in the UK and US.

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  1. Madonna’s Erotica
Madonna's Erotica

Over the years Eurovision has amassed a huge LGBTIQA+ audience with many performers taking to the stage to challenge gender norms and share messages of inclusivity and tolerance.

In September we’ll be publishing Madonna’s Erotica. Author Michael Dango considers Erotica and its legacy by drawing both on the intellectual traditions at the center of today’s hysteria over critical race theory and “don’t say gay” and on his own experiences as a gay man too young to know the original carnage of AIDS and too old to grow up assuming he could get married.

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  1. Dustin the Turkey’s Irelande Douze Pointe
Irelande Douze Pointe Dustin the Turkey

Alright, alright… so there isn’t a 33 1/3 devoted to Ireland’s 2008 entry, Irelande Douze Pointe.

BUT – if you could give any Eurovision artist or song the 33 1/3 treatment – what would you pick? Let us know in the comments below.

3 thoughts on “Eurovision: Our 5 Recommended Reads”

  1. In 1978: Norway’s Jahn Teigen was last and the first artist to gain 0 points in the competition with the song “Mil etter Mil” (“Mile after Mile”). A result so bad he could only do one thing; turn it into a national success. The following album af his was of course called “This Years losers. The song is now a norwegian popclassic and Jahn Teigen cemented his place as one of Norway biggest artists….

    1. Well remembered – we’ve got a book on Serge Gainsbourg’s Histoire de Melody Nelson. And amazing Eurovision knowledge! What song did he write?

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