Quality or not

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A lot of people critisize the Eurovision song contest of not delivering songs of a high standard or of “quality”. It is at least unfair to say that and the reasons are plenty. First and foremost, it is a song CONTEST and not anything else. Then as everything else, lets not forget that the music industry worldwide is not the best place for “quality music seekers”.  The Eurovision contest is merely a contest of entertainment through music and especially a family and friends evening.

On the other hand and to be fair, personally as a music and theatre producer, I did come across some songs that had that flair of quality within them and that is primarily the reason that these songs are still being sung by many and are considered to be of “quality”.

A few that come straight in my mind are Italy’s “Gente di mare”, “Nocturne”, “Si la vie est cadeau”, “The Voice”, “Apres toi”, “Non ho l’ eta”, “All kinds of everything” and many more.

Gigliola Cinquetti singing “Non ho l’ eta” in 1964.

That goes to show that even within a song contest there may be a few songs that will rich that quality of music which can surpass the boundaries of the competition.  Even today, everyone knows many of the above mentioned ones and others like “Euphoria”, “What’s another year”, “A ba ni bi”, “Julie” etc.

It is by no means a phenomenon to have a non winner song making it far better than the winning one. It actually proves that the winning song had that “catchy tune” which wins audiences at once. And then there are those other songs that carry the stamina to last time from generation to generation and to be considered an “immortal” or “quality” song.

Umberto Tozzi and Raffaele Riefoli(Raf) with "Gente di mare" in 1987

To me the term “quality” and “commercial” song is actually the same thing. A today’s commercial song if it can last the stress of time and becomes a song that is passed on year after year, then definitely acquires the title of a quality tune. 

By Alexis Sofocleous