Friday, June 11, 2021

Eurovision 2021: The Rotterdam Reboot

Eurovision 2021. It happened. So the singers weren't facemasked, singing to us from their own kitchen but we didn't have a crazy two-week Eurovision invasion either. 

But there was a live audience and I was lucky to be at the Jury Final, sitting on a stones throw from Hurricane's Green Room  Box. !
So my plan of meeting you all there for a chat and a party didn't materialize but I salute all the hard working people who made Rotterdam 2021 happen. Eurovision is here to stay. (And accidentally it also saved Rock!)

And so is the Eurovision Collectors Guide’s Rotterdam Collection 2.1, the Reboot if you will. 
Here we will be following all the artists and their songs, releases (physical and digital), versions and unmissable trivia like charts, discographies, some preselection goings-on and useful links for listening and shopping.

26 artists from 2020 got another chance this year but we supported everyone equally as long as they deliver the goods. As usual I’m counting on your help. Just drop a comment or contact us via our facebook. 
(Comments are moderated to avoid spam and can take some time to be published, and please don’t be anonymous)

In 2020 the Rotterdam contest was not to be but it still produced 41 entries and some cool mixes, versions and a few albums. You can read all about that here at the original Rotterdam Collection
We also have a public Facebook page with all kinds of Eurovision release news. Follow us or give us a like.
Here's a list of links to the other Collections (2009-2020), the latest Eurovision Collectors Guide 1956-2020 and Eurocovers est. 2006..

Very Special thanks to Rick for all the help I could possibly need :), 
Plus +++ Thanks to all who left comments! 
All pages updated with karaoke and instrumental info.
Thanks Krzysztof!

Latest updated posts on top....
Italy - Festival Sanremo  without audience, 2CD out now. Sanremo 7"/LP/CD releases updated. Zip it and listen to Måneskin, ESC version out now. Måneskin wins eurovision 2021! LP in various colours.
Netherlands - Dawning of a new era for Jeangu Macrooy? Remixes out now
Belgium - Hooverphonic out with the new, in with the old, The Wrong Place out now, Vinyl single out now, new album Hidden Stories on May 7. Remix out June 10.
Let's Get Physical - This year's releases you can actually hold, touch and smell.... Four preselection compilations, 1 vinyl, updates. Various new compilations for this season. (NL, GB, BE Updated), coveralbum
France - Listen to the songs, France decided et Voilà, Une Chanson update.
Ukraine - Go_A  return_A with a song, It's ШУМ (Shum) after all! Why a new Shum was needed. More versions and remix
Latvia - Samanta Tīna is still breathing and The Moon Is Rising, Updated, Acoustic version out now
Norway - Watch the MGP 2021, all songs out now, TIX wins, #1 hit
Lithuania - Oh well, let's try again, The Roop sets Discoteque On Fire. Remix Out Now! or not. New real remixes out now. And another.
Serbia - Hasta La Vista, Hurricane are  Back! with Loco Loco, updated, Acoustic version, English version, Second English version out now
Iceland -Who's your Daði? (part II) What's another 10 years? Chromeo remix on May 21, Welcome EP
Sweden - Melodifestivalen 2CD out now. Tusse's #1 hit, Acoustic version, "Excuse My French" Version out now
Spain - Blas Cantó's National Final with two songs, Choices. Voy A Quedarme wins. English version I'll Stay, Versión Acústica out now. Duet with James Newman out May 18
Poland - Rafal takes us for a ride, single out now, new radio edit
Germany - Jendrik Sigwart doesn't feel hate, single out now! Actually releases a "layed back" (sic) version.
Ireland - Story Of My Life, the sequel. Maps out now, Remix out now
Slovenia - 60th anniversary, celebrate with Ana Soklič, Amen, Hallelujah, Glorious. Can I get an Amen?, Yes! Six of them
Croatia - DORA 2021 Albina's Tick-Tock, EP out now we got Versions! DORA 2021 CD out now. New remix out now
San Marino - Senhit's #FreakyTripToRotterdam part II, Adrenalina (now) ft. Flo Rida! Two versions out now.
Finland - All UMK songs out now, Go to the Dark Side with Blind Channel. #1 hit, promo info
Portugal - 55th Festival da Canção, listen to the songs, The Black Mamba's win, FdC CD on March 19. Promo info
Australia  - Don't adjust your TVset, Montaigne and the Amazing Technicolour Song, has to stay home
Azerbaijan - Efendi: Mata Hari's Game Of Desire, Cleopatra gets an honorable mention. Watch now, Slow version 
Moldova - Natalia Gordienko gives us some Sugar, Russian version out now
Israel - Eden Alene songs, Set Me Free, out now, revamp out now
Denmark - Listen to the DMGP songs now, Practice your Danish with Fyr og Flamme. #1 hit
Bulgarija - Victoria Georgieva picked a song a song. EP out now. Eurovision edit
Russia - Russian Woman to Rotterdam, single out now
Malta - Destiny's fate, Excuse her french
Georgia - Tornike Kipiani returns as he is and brings us You.
Albania - Anxhela Peristeri, listen to Karma, Old Festivali's updated, single out now withdrawn. New version digital single out now. Fest 59 album out now
North Macedonia - Vasil Garvanliev confirmed: Here I Stand is the Eurovision song, Out now
United Kingdom - James Newman get's the glow ahead. Listen to Embers.
Greece - Stefania - Last dance now!
Switzerland - Gjon’s Universal Tears
Austria - Vincent Bueno fighting the system, can I get an Amen (too)?
Estonia - Listen to the Eesti laul songs, Lucky Boy Uku gets another chance
Romania - Roxen poors another drink and gets Amnesia
Cyprus - Elena Tsagrinou - El Diablo out now
Czech Republic - OMG, Ben's Back!
Armenia = OUT
Belarus with presidential approval, that'll teach em. EBU not happy, Belarus = OUT

The 202ONE logo (top) is from the official store's T-Shirt for which they overprinted the useless 2020 stock as a limited edition. I bought one.
The 2021 Eurovision logo used in the background is created by CLEVER°FRANKE for EBU / UER
Check out their work on this and the 2020 logo here, with some fun animations and other stuff. 

The Netherlands - Jeangu Macrooy - Birth Of A New Age

23 - 11 pts, not in semi
Jeangu Macrooy was to represent the host nation with his introspective song Grow. He'll came back in the 2021 contest. 

His song Birth Of A New Age is written by Pieter Perquin (a.k.a. Perquisite) and Jeangu Macrooy himself. The song is performed in English and Sranantongo (Surinamese).
It was revealed on March 4 and is available through all your usual digital suppliers.
Here's the official video or  Watch and listen here (live version introduction)

A remix, the Mason remix, was released on June 11. (digital release)
Macrooy's style is described as Nu Soul but has elements of Jazz and Pop.
His 2017 single High On You was a #1 hit in Suriname (his birth country)

remix image

Jeangu Macrooy released two handful of singles and four albums so far:
- Brave enough (2016 mini album, digital only)
- High on you (2017, LP and CD)
- Horizon (2019, LP and CD)
- Live (2019, digital only)

Birth Of A New Age
- digital 4-3, Rotterdam 2CD
Birth Of A New Age - Mason remix
Birth Of A New Age - Mason extended remix
- remixes digital release 11-6
Birth Of A New Age - karaoke 
- karaoke on the official karaoke album (digital)

Dutch top 40 (in March): 37, 39, -
Birth.. did not chart in the Dutch singles top 100 until Eurovision week.
Dutch top 100 (Dutch Charts): 83, 30, 84, -
Surinam top 40 (Natio40) 27, 11, ?,  5, 5, ?....
Grow, Live versions image

Jeangu Macrooy WebsiteFB, Shop2020 

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Belgium - Hooverphonic - The Wrong Place

19 - 74 pts / 9 - 117 pts in semi 1
Hooverphonic moved on to the 2021 contest after the 2020 edition was cancelled. However they changed the line up. Release Me vocalist Luka Cruysberghs has been thanked for her services and Alex Callier and Raymond Geerts brought back Geike Arnaert into the fold. Geike was Hooverphonic's second singer (from 1997 to 2009).
Signed vinyl single

The song for 2021 is titled The Wrong Place and was released on March 4. Here's the video
It is written by Alex Callier and Charlotte Foret.

A limited edition vinyl single will available on 23-4. It will include The Wrong Place and its instrumental version.
(Universal 0602435 788562)
Details and (pre) ordering here  (Sold Out) at Music Station (signed copies, one per order) and here at MusicMania (one per order but they keep bumping up the price). Velvet NL, MusicOnVinyl NL.
Please note the Eurovision Collectors Guide does not bear any responsibility for availability, price changes, delivery charges and import taxes, just trying to help you out a bit.
Also check out the comments below for more details.

The Wrong Place is also on the new Hooverphonic album Hidden Stories, out on May 7.
It is released on CD, LP and limited edition blue vinyl with litho.

A remix is released on June 10. The Hairglow French Crop Mix. (digital)

Who's yer 'phonic?
Hooverphonic started out in the Trip Hop era but later on their orchestral arrangements created a more film-score sound. They also dabbled in some psychedelica and retro-pop.
The scored 35 top 100 hits in Belgium and a few made it to other charts (5 in Italy!).
Mad About You (2000) is probably their most known song from the early era.
In 2015 they scored a #3 hit with Badaboum. Sadly not a cover of the Minouche Barelli classic but it features Émilie Satt of Madame Monsieur fame.

They have release almost 20 albums, the latest being Looking For Stars with previous (4th) singer Luka, which is their 14th top 10 album in the Belgian charts.
Looking For Stars is released on CD, LP and cassette. 
If you want a brief history of the first 20 years you can check out the 2018 compilation album Hooverphonic Top 40 (2CD) or 2016 collection The Best Of Hooverphonic (2CD/3LP)

We shine a light on the 2020 entry Release Me here at the 20/20 Collection.
Hidden Stories

The Wrong Place
- digital single, Rotterdam 2CD, Vinyl single, album Hidden Stories
The Worng Place - The Hairglow French Crop Mix.
- digital 10-6
The Wrong Place - instrumental
- vinyl 7" b-side, instrumental also on the official karaoke album (digital)

The Wrong Place enters the Flemish Belgian charts at #7. 2020's Release Me made it only to #21.
Belgium Flemish Ultratop 50: 7, 23, 28, 35, 37, 39, 48, 35, 42, 28, 10, 1, 5, 29
The Wrong Place charted in Wallonia in Eurovision week
Belgium Wallonia Ultratop 50: 39, 27, 42, 39
Netherlands single top 100: 89, -

2020 remixes

Links and sources
Hooverphonic WebsiteFB, 2020
Geike Arnaert Facebook

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Italy - Måneskin - Zitti E Buoni

Congratulazioni Måneskin! Congratulazioni Italia!
Måneskin are the winners of the 65th Eurovision Song Contest
1st place with 524 pts

Veni, Rocki , Vici: Måneskin are the winners of the 71st  Sanremo Festival with the song Zitti E Buoni (Shut up and be good). The band have confirmed they'll do Eurovision and it is Zitti E Buoni for Rotterdam.
The song is written by the band themselves: Damiano David, Victoria De Angelis, Thomas Raggi and Ethan Torchio.

The Sanremo journey was not a run race for Måneskin. On the first night the demoscopic jury (made up by music fans voting from home) only had it 7th and they ended only 15th after all the songs (on two nights) were judged.
They did better with the press jury (4th night) ending 2nd, moving them up to 5th in the overall list.
The final night they ended 2nd with the televoters resulting in a place in the three-song superfinal.
Up against Eurovision stars Ermal Meta and Francesca Michelin with Fedez, they won the press jury and televote in this last but were 3rd with the demoscopic jury.

Single version image

Zitti E Buoni
 was released as a digital single on March 3. It can also be found on the Sanremo compilation 2CD (see below).

The Eurovision version, a mere ten seconds shorter, was released on March 16.
It also has a tiny lyric change to keep it family friendly. (Non sa di che cazzo parla changed into Non sa di che cosa parla)

Teatro d’Ira Vol.I
The original version is also included on the new Måneskin album Teatro d’Ira Vol.I out on Sony since March 19. (CD: Sony 194398 72892)
The album is released on CD, LP and limited edition orange transparent vinyl LP exclusive to
A purple vinyl LP , a lime transparent one and a transparent violet edition were released on April 16.
And if you want more vinyl, their previous albums have also been re-released on LP.
Il Ballo Della Vita (2018) is out on blue vinyl. (originally on red vinyl and picture disc.
Mini album Chosen (2017) is out on transparent blue vinyl. (originally also on Red vinyl)

Zitti e Buoni - Eurovision version
- digital release 16-3, Rotterdam 2CD
Zitti e Buoni - original version (explicit)
- Sanremo 2CD, album Teatro d’Ira Vol.I (LP/CD), digital 3-3
Zitti e Buoni - karaoke (= instrumental) of ESC version
- karaoke/instrumental on the official karaoke album (digital)

If Måneskin isn't loud enough for you a metal coverversion by Melodicka Bros ft all kinds of people was released on March 17 (digital).

Italy top 100 (FIMI): 14, 2*, 3, 3, 4, 6, 11, 8, 15, 22, 19, 24, 2, 2, 2
- *Måneskin were held off the #1 spot by Sanremo runners up Francesca Michelin with Fedez.
Switzerland top 100: 57, - re-entry: 2, 3, 6
Netherlands singles top 100: 1, 2, 2
Netherlands Top 40: 24, 19
Sweden top 100 (Topplistan): 1, 4, 6
U.K. top 100 (OCC): 17, 25, 41
Ireland top 100 (IRMA): 14, 12, 25
Norway top 40 (VG lista): 2, 2, 4
Germany top 100 (ODC): 9, 11, 23
Finland top 20 (IFPI): 2, 1, 1
France top 200 (SNEP): 116, 107
Austria top 75: 3, 2
Spain top 100: 16, 17
Portugal top 200: 7, 4
Belgium (Flanders Ultratop) top 50: 9, 2, 2
Belgium (Wallonia Ultratop) top 50: 43, 50
Denmark top 40 (Tracklisten) 18, 20

Links and sources
Måneskin Website Facebook

Eurovision version image

Sanremo 2021
This year's Sanremo festival was held from 2 to 6 March. But with covid trouble overshadowing: The contest went ahead as planned but without a live audience.
A 2CD release is out now (from March 5). It includes all 26 songs of the competition plus the eight finalists of the newcomers section

Most Sanremo 2021 artists have new albums out. See the list below has all the tracks and their CD and LP releases to be expected from March 5 and later. (dates added after the record company)
Two Three vinyl singles have been spotted so far (see below list 07 and 08), also a 12"inch single from one of the youngsters (34). The Madame 7"inch was released on May 5 (04 on the CD)

2021 Sanremo entries and their 7"/CD/LP releases
01. Francesca Michielin e Fedez - Chiamami per nome
  - Michielin CD/LP Feat (Fiori dagli spazi) (Sony 5-3)
  - is a re-issue of Feat (Stato di natura) from 2020
02. La Rappresentante Di Lista - Amare
  - On CD/LP My Mamma (Woodworm/Sony 5-3)
03. Måneskin - Zitti e buoni
  - CD/LP/LP (clear orange vinyl) Teatro d’Ira Vol.I (Sony 19-3)
04. Madame - Voce  (Updated)
  - Vinyl 7" coloured has acoustic and instrumental version, exclusive released May 5
  - CD/LP (clear vinyl) Madame (UNIM1 19-3)
05. Colapesce Dimartino - Musica leggerissima
  - CD/2LP I Mortali2 (Sony 19-3) 
   - is a re-issue of 2020 LP I Mortali.
06. Gaia - Cuore amaro
07. Aiello - Ora
  - CD/LP Meridionale (Sony 12-3)
08. Irama - La genesi del tuo colore
09. Noemi - Glicine
  - CD/LP Metamorfosi (Sony CD 5-3, LP 12-3)
10. Random - Torno a te
  - CD/LP (light blue vinyl) Nuvole (Visory records 2-4)
11. Ermal Meta - Un milione di cose da dirti
  - CD/LP Tribù Urbana (Sony 12-3)
12. Annalisa - Dieci
  - CD Nuda 10 (Warner 12-3)
  - is a re-issue of 2020 album Nuda
13. Lo Stato Sociale - Combat Pop
  - 2CD / 3LP Attentato alla musica Italiana (UNIM1 CD 12-3, LP 19-3)
14. Fulminacci - Santa Marinella
  - CD/LP/LP (blue vinyl) Tanta care cose (Machiste / Artists First 12-3)
15. Willie Peyote - Mai dire mai (La locura)
  - 7"inch vinyl single (coloured)  (Virgin int. 26-3)
16. Coma_Cose - Fiamme negli occhi
  - CD/LP (red vinyl) Nostralgia (Asian Fake 16-4)
  - LP comes with Virtual Fan Experience (whatever that is)
17. Fasma GG - Parlami

CD 2
01. Francesco Renga - Quando trovo te
02. Max Gazzè e La Trifluoperazina Monstery Band - Il farmacista
  - CD/LP La matimatica dei rami (UNIM1 9-4)
03. Malika Ayane - Ti piaci così
  - LP (white vinyl) Malifesto (UNIM1 26-3)
04. Bugo - E invece sì
  - CD Bugo Bugatti Christian (Mescal 5-3)
  - also includes Sincero ft. Morgan (Sanremo 2020)
05. Arisa - Potevi fare di più
06. Ghemon - Momento perfetto
  - CD/LP/LP (red vinyl) E Vissero Feriti e Contenti (Carosello 5-3)
  - is a re-issue of 2020 album Bugo Christian Bugatti
07. Gio Evan - Arnica
  - 2LP Mareducato (UNIM1 12-3)
08. Extraliscio feat. Davide Toffolo (Tre allegri ragazzi morti) - Bianca luce nera
  - 2CD/2LP È Bello perdersi (Betty Wrong/Sony 5-3)
09. Orietta Berti - Quando ti sei innamorato
  - 7"inch vinyl single (Gapp Music 5-3)
  - CD/2LP La mia vita e' un film (Gapp Music 5-3)
+ Nuove Proposte (The newcomers section)
10. Avincola – Goal!
  - CD Turisti (Leave Music 26-2)
11. Davide Shorty – Regina
  - CD Fusion a metà (The Orchard, digital 5-3, expanded CD 30-4)
12. Dellai – Io sono Luca
13. Elena Faggi – Che ne so
14. Folcast – Scopriti
15. Gaudiano – Polvere da sparo
16. Greta Zuccoli – Ogni cosa sa di te
17. Wrongonyou – Lezioni di volo
  - 12"inch single, also has acoustic version (Carosello, 100 copies made 2-3)
  - The 12"inch also includes a cardboard aeroplane kit.
  - CD Sono Io (Carosello 12-3)

Here's a list of pre Sanremo speculation drama preceding the contest: 
- The organisation is not on schedual to organize a safe event (that didn't stop 1991), even without audience. 
- Gli ABBA's reunion is planned for Sanremo 2021 (I love that one), snubbing Melodifestivalen.
- The whole show could be done from a totally isolated cruiseship (as if preparations for that can be done in time...)
- Postponement until April or May. This would make it outside the Eurovision time limit although rules are made to be broken. Plus: A month or two won't make it any safer.
- Cancellation.
- The government should decide
- A Eurovision entry will be sought outside the Sanremo 2021 realm
- "No Al Festival di Sanremo" campaigns against holding the festival at all because of the virus, deaths, money etc. 
- So, Diodato after all?
- Sanremo shows are too long
- Italy withdraws from Eurovision for another 14 years (I made that one up)

Diodato won 2020's Sanremo Festival with Fai Rumore and was planned for the Rotterdam contest. His page at the original Rotterdam Collection is here.

Let's Get Physical 2021

Advance image DVD
In the words of the great 20th century philosopher and Eurovision star Olivia Newton John:
Let's get physical.

Here's a quick run-down of this years physical releases, CDs, LP's, 7"vinyls and cdsingles.
Only the ones available in the shops or via websites are here, promo stuff (if any) is in each country's section.

Belgium's Hooverphonic released a limited edition 7"inch vinyl single. The also have a new album out since May 7.
Promo's have been spotted of: France, Serbia, Israel, Finland, Azerbaijan, Albania, Portugal, San Marino, Cyprus

The Official 2CD was released on April 23 
The digital version was released on April 17 along with the collection of karaokes/instrumentals.
The DVD (3 discs) is planned on June 25.

Links go the country's pages
The first CD to be released this year is the album of Croatia's DORA 2021 selection.
Italy's Sanremo festival compilation 2CD is out now
Sweden's Melodifestivalen 2CD is out now.
Portugal's Festival da Canção 2021 CD is out March 19

Artists albums
Italy's Måneskin have their album Teatro d’Ira Vol.I out on 19-3. CD, LP and limited edition transparent orange vinyl. Other colours were released in April.
You can also find the details on all the Sanremo physical releases of 2020 in the Italy section. I've sorted it all out, including all the vinyl colours and release dates, so you don't have to. 
Belgium's Hooverphonic release their new album Hidden Stories on LP, Blue vinyl and CD. Out May 7.

Other compilations 
Below are three new Eurovision compilations. Only 14 tracks have made it to all three compilations in the same version. (Waterloo, Only Teardrops. All Kinds Of Everything, Arcade, Beg Steal Or Borrow, Save Your Kisses For Me, Making Your Mind Up, My Number One, Hold Me Now, Why Me?, Hard Rock Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Un Banc, Un Arbre, Une Rue, Ding A Dong)
Vicky Leandros' 1972 winner is included in a different version on each set.

Top 40 Hitdossier Songfestival (Netherlands)
It's Eurovision songs from the Dutch Top 40 perspective, also has four Dutch National Songfestival songs. It also includes the 2021 entry Birth Of A New Age. (see picture below for tracklist).
3CD's, out on May 7 (Sony Music)
I've spotted one big error though, a non-Eurovision track which was a hit in the Netherlands, did you see it?
Update: A few oddities. 
L'Oiseau et l'Enfant features in the 1988 re-recording
Captured By A Lovestorm is the Hurricane remix
Fernando & Filippo is the so called False Organ version
De Troubadour is a 3 minute edit which first appeared in 1996
You And Me (Joan Franka) is the first version without the added fiddles.
A Ba Ni Bi is featured in Hebrew which was never commercially released as a single.
Sieneke's Sha La Lie is featured in the first version as released on the first cdsingle. (Thanks Frank)
Eres Tu and Love Shine A Light are missing, even though they were both  big hits (#3 & #4 resp) and you'd expect Katrina to be there after last years tribute show. (Thanks Eric)
Cent Mille Chansons by Frida Boccara is not her Eurovision entry but it was a hit in the Netherlands in the same year. Ooops

Now That's What I Call Eurovision (U.K.)
This is a 3CD from a U.K. angle with mainly Eurovision songs that were chart hits in the U.K.. Includes several English versions. Out April 30 (Now That's What I Call Music)
Tracklist in the 2nd picture.
No mistakes or odd recordings here, it's nice to have the English versions of some of the big songs. Also has two songs from 2020.

Eurovisie hits (Belgium)
This one was released in September 2020. Eurovision hits with a Belgian ear. Includes several Belgian entries, some big winners and quite a few Dutchies too. Tracklist in 2nd picture.
2CD  (Universal)
Update: A few oddities. 
Après Toi is included in a re-recording from 2005
'n Beetje features in the first released version.
Every Way That I Can is included in the first version (which was also on the official Estonia CD). The winning Eurovision version was a (later) remix by Galleon

Songfestival: Nederlands trots in een nieuw jasje 
(Dutch pride in a new jacket) is a celebration of Dutch Eurovision entries recorded by some of today's popular Dutch singers. Tracklist and more here at Eurocovers.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Cyprus - Elena Tsagkrinou - El Diablo

16 - 94 pts / 6 - 170 pts in semi 1
Cyprus’ entry for 2021 is El Diablo by Elena Tsagkrinou (Έλενα Τσαγκρινού). The song is written by Jimmy Thornfeld, Laurell Barker, Oxa (Cleton Sia) en Thomas Stengaard
Even though the title is in Spanish the song is in English.
The song was be revealed on February 24. 
The digital release was on February 28. 
A digital album collecting Elena's earlier releases is out now. It's called El Diablo The Album and is available through all your digital stores and streamers. (Panik records)

A promo cds was made. I nicked this picture from Elena's Facebook

El Diablo
- digital release 28-2, Rotterdam 2CD
El Diablo - karaoke
- karaoke on the official karaoke album (digital)

2020 singer Sandro Nicolas was thanked for his services.

Netherlands singles top 100: 31, 61
Sweden top 100 (Topplistan): 20, 30, 44
U.K. top 100 (OCC): 86, -
Ireland top 100 (IRMA): 60, -
Norway top 40 (VG lista): 13, 16, 18
Finland top 20 (IFPI): 7, 6, 9

Links and sources
Elena Tsagrinou: Facebook, Instagram

Azerbaijan - Efendi - Mata Hari

20 - 65 pts / 8 - 138 in semi 1
Samira Efendi (Samirə Əfəndiyeva) was to represent Azerbaijan in the 2020 Contest and she's one of the artists continuing her Eurovision adventure in 2021.

The song for 2021 is titled Mata Hari and is released on March 15. 2020's Cleopatra gets a mention and  a musical nod (tiny sample) as well. And there's even a mention of The Army Of Lovers. (plus a tiny sample of Crucified)
The song is in English but has a small part in Azerbaijani in the backings "Yalan da mən,  yanan da mən,  yaman da mən" translating as "I am a liar, I am on fire, I am evil".

The song is written by Luuk van Beers and Tony Cornelissen, who were also behind 2020's Cleopatra, and Amy van der Wel.
We also know Tony Cornelissen from Cascada's Glorious (Germany 2013)

Half of Mata Hari sort of leaked (apple music) before the official reveal. The single was released on March 16 through several digital sources.
A promo cds is issued. it includes
1. Mata Hari
2. Mata Hari - karaoke
3. Cleopatra (the 2020 song)

The slow version of Mata Hari was presented on April 14 (here's the video) and the release is on April 25.

Here's the 2020 post about Cleopatra, Efendi's 2020 song.

Mata Hari
Greta Garbo portrayed her in 1931, Anne-Karine introduced her to the Eurovision community in 1976, We all know Hari Mata Hari and now the ill fated dancer turned spy is back.
We don't get enough songs named after historical (i.e. long dead) persons and this is Mata Hari's second appearance. (equalling Socrates, Casanova and Maria Magdalena)
Coincidentally the first Mata Hari was also in a contest in the Netherlands, so that's fitting as she was Dutch (Frisian). 
Mata Hari (Malay for Sun) was framed! and they still haven't found her head. Legend has it that she  had the outfit she wore on her execution (in 1917) especially made for the occasion. Now if that isn't classy. But you can study your wiki's for that and more yourself.

Mata Hari
- digital 16-3, Rotterdam 2CD
Mata Hari - slow version
- digital release 25-4
Mata Hari - karaoke
- karaoke on the official karaoke album (digital)

Netherlands singles top 100: 44, 76
Sweden top 100 (Topplistan): 47, 93
Norway top 40 (VG lista): 21, 31

Links and sources
Samira Efendi FBInstagram 2020
Cleopatra 2020

Albania - Anxhela Peristeri - Karma

21 - 57 pts / 10 - 112 pts in semi 2
Karma by Anxhela Peristeri is the winner of the 59th Festivali I Këngës (Fest'59) and is the song for the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest. The song will be performed in Albanian. I don't know if there will be a revamp but the original version is well within Eurovision limits (3 minutes).
The song is written by Kleda Bahiti (music) and Olti Curri (lyrics). 
New version release image

21 - 56 pts / 10 - 112 pts in semi 2
Karma initial digital release image 
The digital single of the original version was released on January 26. But it was already  withdrawn a few day later and replaced with other Anxhela song(s) on that release date.
The new version is revealed on March 1. This was released on March 9 along with the karaoke version. (Universal, digital)
The original  RTSH Youtube audio is still here.

Two or more promo's have been made (Details wanted....)
I'm actually confused so help me out. 

The promo in hard case has this tracklist
1. Karma - original Albanian version
2. Karma - Albanian remix feat. Hyodyne
3. Karma - acoustic version
4. Karma - orchestral version (or instrumental)
5. Karma - karaoke (with backing vocals)
The promo used in Rotterdam came in a gatefold cover

One promo cds includes five versions of Karma
1. Karma - Albanian version
2. Karma - karaoke version
3. Karma - instrumental version
4. Karma - orchestral version
5. Karma - acoustic version

Another one also has five versions
1. Karma - Albanian version
2. Karma - instrumental version
3. Karma - instrumental remix
4. Karma - instrumental mix with Hyodine
5. Karma - Albanian remix

Anxhela Peristeri (or just Anxhela) already participated once in the Albanian Festivali i Këngës in Albania's pre-Eurovision years. In 2001 she ended 23rd with Vetem Ty Te Kam, a duet with Alfred Meminaj. She participated in all the major music festivals in Albania since then and won the popular Kënga Magjike in 2017.
Anxhela released her debut album Anxhela Për Ju (Anxhela for you) in 2004. She also recorded songs in Greek, English and Italian.
In 2020 she released the digital singles Dashi and Lujta.

The Fest 59 album
For all you Fest lovers, the album with all 25 songs is now available in digital download stores. 
It was released on March 12 through Universal. 
They have included the new (ESC) version of Karma instead of the original Fest'59 version.

2020 singer Arilena Ara did not participate in the Fest'59.

Karma - Eurovision version
- March 1 reveal, - digital release March 9, Rotterdam 2CD
Karma - Original version
- temporary digital release + videos
Karma - Eurovision version karaoke
- digital release March 9,  also on the official karaoke album (digital)
+ these tracks from the promo's, I don't know if any are doubles (the same versions)
Karma - instrumental version
Karma - orchestral version
Karma - acoustic version
Karma - instrumental remix
Karma - instrumental mix with Hyodine
Karma - Albanian remix

Debut CD Anxhela Për Ju
Links and sources
FiK History pages with pictures. Albania's Festival i Kënges was launched in 1962! and now you can see what 11-time winner Vaçe Zela
looks like.

The old Festivali's Updated
The Festivali I Këngës (FiK) has been used as the selection for the Eurovision Song Contest ever since Albania entered with Anjeza Shahini's The Image Of You in 2004. But the Festivali i Këngës already started in 1962 and is of course an acclaimed music festival in its own right.

In 2016 RTSH released most old Festival i Këngës entries through digital shops (Amazon ,iTunes) and Spotify. Unfortunately the winners of 1968, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 aren't available anymore (in any version) on Spotify (at least over here) or any other digital outlet.
I updated the spotify playlist (below) with all the Albanian Festivali I Këngës winners up to 2020 still available (so you don't have to). It starts in 1962. 1964's disqualified winner is also included as well as one of the other two winners. 1970 had two winners as well.
The 1967 winner is missing and several recent Eurovision entries are no longer available.
Some old winners are in versions by the second (non winning) singer. (up to 1984 most songs were performed twice by different singers).
Still, It's a magnificent trip through Albania's amazing and sometimes grim Festival history. (Check your Wiki's). A special thanks to Thomas! ------------

Note: I know Spotify can be a bit crappy. Sometimes it plays the playlist in a mixed order, or mixes it with other songs, don't blame me. 
I just think Spotify can be a handy tool to preview some music and do some vault-digging.

And in the end it's buying music that supports your artists (or in this case, RTSH), not streaming. 

Israel - Eden Alene - Set me free

17 - 93 pts / 5 - 192 pts in semi 1
Israel chose Eden Alene (עדן אלנה‎) who won her initial (2020) Eurovision ticket by winning the Rising Star contest. She is one of the 26 artists moving on to 2021.
She will be performing Set Me Free in the Rotterdam contest. The song is written by Noam Zaltin, Ido Netzer, Amit Mordechai and Ron Carmi.

First version single
A new version of Set Me Free was released on March 26.  

A promo cds in a fold out cover was issued.
It has the Eurovision and karaoke versions.

Set Me Free, Ue La La and La La Love have been released as digital singles / tracks on January 26 (A.M Music productions.)
A new version / mix was made for the contest. This Eurovision version was released on March 26 and replaced the original one in most (all?) digital outlets.

Nine songs were presented (in demo versions by other singers) to select three songs for Eden. Ue La La, Set Me Free and La La Love were chosen to proceed to the final HaShir Shelanu L’Eurovizion 2021 on January 25.

Eden Alene won the 2017/2018 edition of X-factor Israel and released a few digital singles including a coverversion of Brotherhood Of Man's Save Your Kisses For Me, the 1976 Eurovision winner. (Listen to that here)

Eden's Eurovision 2020 song was Feker Libi (My love) written by Doron Medalie and Idan Raichel.
You can read all about the various recordings, mixes and composer versions here at the Rotterdam20/20 Collection.

Set Me Free - Eurovision version
- digital release 26-3, Rotterdam 2CD, promo cds
Set Me Free - single version
- original digital 26-1 release now replaced with Eurovision version
Set Me Free - Eurovision karaoke
- karaoke on the official karaoke album (digital), promo cds
Set Me Free - Demo by undisclosed artist
- Audio tube on the net

Netherlands singles top 100: 78
Sweden top 100 (Topplistan): 78

Links and sources
Eden Alene FacebookInstagram


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