ENTERTAINMENT
22/05/2021 05:00 BST

The Ultimate Eurovision: The Ultimate Playlist, As Chosen By Legends From The Song Contest

Featuring old favourites like ABBA and modern classics including Loreen, Måns Zerlmerlöw and Mahmood.

It has to be said that the arrival of this year’s Eurovision has been beautifully timed.

Not only has the annual celebration of joy and unity come along after a time when those are two things we need more than ever, it also coincides with lockdown measures easing across the UK.

That means we can finally have ourselves a long-awaited Eurovision gathering for this year’s final (provided we stick to the rule of six, of course). And let’s face it, what’s a Eurovision party without a Eurovision playlist?

In the lead-up to the competition, we asked some of Eurovision’s biggest icons for their favourite tracks from the contest’s 60-year history, which we’ve compiled into a handy playlist ready for the weekend.

Lehtikuva/Keld Navntoft/EPA/Shutterstock
Conchita Wurst, ABBA and Verka Serduchka

Here’s what they each had to say about their picks:

Euphoria – Loreen (Sweden, 2012)

Chosen by Daði Freyr

 

“This song changed a lot of people’s perspectives on Eurovision, and how you can use the platform to do different kinds of performances. It’s just an explosion of a pop song.

“And also the performance on the stage was really powerful. In order to do well in Eurovision, to have a good song is one thing, but you have to really capture a moment. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to do all the confetti and the pyro... you just need to capture the moment.”

Soldi – Mahmood (Italy, 2018)

Chosen by Måns Zelmerlöw

 

“Soldi stands out because Mahmood was so laidback and cool. When a song hits you as much as Soldi did, in a language you don’t understand, and you still sing along to it, that gives a singer extra points in my book. And the signature hand-clap [stands out].

“The fact that I was there that year makes it more special too, I think. When we went out afterwards, at every club we were at we just wanted to hear Soldi.”

Waterloo – ABBA (Sweden, 1974)

Chosen by Loreen

 

“Waterloo just reminds me of my childhood. We listened to it all the time, and I just loved the way ABBA dressed!”

Rise Like A Phoenix – Conchita Wurst (Austria, 2014)

Chosen by Cheryl Baker

 

“I think Conchita is fantastic. Rise Like A Phoenix is such a powerful song, and she sang it brilliantly. And I love that whole build-up to the chorus, the expectation of where’s it going to go, it’s wonderful.

“And, of course, Conchita was the phoenix, wasn’t she?”

Jan Jan – Inga & Anush (Armenia, 2009)

Chosen by Måns Zelmerlöw

 

“I just remember this very well, and I loved it so much. It had kind of traditional vibes, but was still very catchy. And it had a chorus in English, which makes things easier. They were really good.” 

Divine – Sébastien Tellier (France, 2008)

Chosen by Daði Freyr

 

“Sébastien Tellier was definitely an influence on me. He is, I think, the artist that I discovered through Eurovision and listened to the most afterwards. I just really enjoy his music in general, and I first heard about him through Eurovision.

“His song Divine is something different. It’s catchy, there’s a lot of emotion to it, but it’s still quirky and weird.”

Heroes – Måns Zelmerlöw (Sweden, 2015)

Chosen by James Newman

 

“I just think this i an absolute banger. It’s a really modern pop song and you can tell why it won Eurovision.

“The lyric is really inspiring and it’s just my kind of pop song. It’s a song about hope, I like songs with a bit of hope in them.”

Dancing Lasha Tumbai – Verka Serduchka (Ukraine, 2007)

Chosen by Daði Freyr

 

“This song [represents] so much of of what I love about Eurovision. It’s just fun and ridiculous and you don’t really see that anywhere else, especially on a huge stage with so much production. It’s just a crazy song, with crazy costumes and a crazy dance, it’s just fun.

“Also, I love how iconic Verka Serduchka is, and how the Eurovision community has really embraced her as a god of Eurovision.”

Birds – Anouk (The Netherlands, 2013)

Chosen by James Newman

 

“This is a really cool song, it kind of reminds me of The Carpenters.

“When the BBC first asked me to do Eurovision, they used this as an example of how a country has turned it around [at Eurovision]. Obviously [the UK wasn’t] doing too well in the competition, and they were like, ‘this is what The Netherlands did and this was the first song that got them on the journey to eventually winning’. So for me, it’s a really important song.”

Puppet On A String – Sandie Shaw (United Kingdom, 1967)

Chosen by Cheryl Baker

 

“I remember Sandie Shaw winning in 1967. I was a young girl then, and because I was a runner, I wanted to win an Olympic gold medal, that was my ultimate aim. But when I saw Sandie Shaw win the Eurovision, I thought, ‘oh my word, that’s what I want to do, I want to win the Eurovision Song Contest for my country’.

“And this young kid from Bethnal Green, east London, living in a council flat, with a dream like that, to think that it actually happened is pretty bloody fantastic, to be honest.”

Take a listen to our Ultimate Eurovision playlist in full below: