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A decade of song: Eurovision winners through the years (1970-1979)

21 October 2017 at 09:00 CEST
ABBA won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest for Sweden. Unknown
In the series 'A decade of song' we take a trip down memory lane and look back on all winners of previous editions of the Eurovision Song Contest. It's time for the 1970s — an iconic decade for Europe's favourite TV show.

The 1970s produced some of the contest's most memorable winners, some of whom are still household names today. We are sure you remember ABBA, Teach-In, Gali Atari and Milk and Honey. Before we dive into the archives and look back at the winners of the 1970s, check out our video compilation of áll Eurovision winners up to date:

1970 - Dana (Ireland)

The 1970 Eurovision Song Contest was hosted in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, after a four-way tie the year before. The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France and Spain all got 18 points in 1969, but the Netherlands was chosen to host the following contest. Finland, Norway, Sweden and Portugal were so unhappy with the rather unusual result of the year before that they decided to withdraw from the contest. Therefore, only 12 countries travelled to Amsterdam to participate. Needless to say the Eurovision Song Contest was in a challenging situation.

It was Dana from Ireland who took home the winner's trophy. Her song All Kinds Of Everything won with 38 points and gave Ireland's its first of seven victories in the contest. 

1971 - Séverine (Monaco)

1971 was the first year in which Ireland hosted the Eurovision Song Contest. After a year of absence Finland, Norway, Sweden and Portugal returned to the contest and Malta made its debut. A new voting system was introduced: Two jury members - one of them had to be younger than 25 - were asked to award between 1 and 5 points to each song, except their own entry.

Monaco's Séverine won the contest with the song Un Banc, Un Abre, Une Rue. She had a very successful career after the Eurovision Song Contest, especially in Germany. 

1972 - Vicky Leandros (Luxembourg)

Monaco won the contest in 1971, and thus we went to... No, we didn't go to Monaco, but ended up in the United Kingdom. Monaco was unable to provide a suitable venue and the 1972 Eurovision Song Contest instead was hosted in the Scottish city of Edinburgh. The contest was broadcast live to Asia for the first time, so viewers from Japan, Taiwan, The Philippines, Hong Kong and Thailand could join the Eurovision train as well.

Vicky Leandros, who represented luxembourg, won the contest with her song Après Toi with 128 points. It sold millions of copies and Vicky Leandros appeared in TV-shows all over Europe. Not only Après Toi became very popular, runner-up Beg, Steal Or Borrow by The New Seekers (United Kingdom) also made its way in the charts.

1973 - Anne-Marie David (Luxembourg)

With Vicky Leandros' win in 1972, the Eurovision Song contest travelled to Luxembourg. It was their third occasion to host the contest and show it to millions of viewers, and the contest was only 18 years old! An important rule changed in 1973: the participants could sing in whatever language they wished. This rule remained in place until 1976 before being re-introduced in 1999.

Luxembourgh did their job well, and won the contest again. They were the first country to win the contest twice in a row. Tu Te Reconnaitras by Anne-Marie David, was the winning song of the 1973 Eurovision Song Contest, and even though it was a popular song, the Spanish entry became more popular. Eres Tu performed by Mocedades became a huge international hit all over Europe. 

1974 - ABBA (Sweden)

The 1974 Eurovision Song Contest wasn't hosted in Luxembourgh, even though the country had won the year before. Due to financial reasons they weren't able to host the contest, and therefore it travelled to the United Kingdom again.

Greece participated for the first time and sent their national star Marinella. France understandibly withdrew a couple of days before the contest, because the French president, Georges Pompidou, died in the week of the contest. 

1974 was the year in which Swedish band ABBA won the contest with their song Waterloo. It was Sweden's first win and they immediately delivered success. Waterloo became a huge international hit and the Eurovision Song Contest was the starting point of their highly successful career. 

1975 - Teach-In (The Netherlands)

The 20th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest took place in Stockholm, Sweden where a total of 19 countries participated. 

The Netherlands took the trophy with Teach-In performing their song Ding-A-Dong. It was their fourth, and to date, last time that they had won the contest. The song became quite popular all over Europe, reaching 13th place in the UK singles chart and top three places in the Netherlands, Switzerland and Norway. 

1976 - Brotherhood of Man (United Kingdom)

And again, the Eurovision Song Contest travelled to the Netherlands. After hosting the contest in Hilversum and Amsterdam, it was now The Hague's turn to organise the event. A total of 18 countries participated in the 1976 edition of the contest, with Sweden, Turkey and Malta withdrawing. Greece and Austria returned to the contest. 

The representatives for the United Kingdom, Brotherhood of Man, won the 1976 contest with their song Save Your Kisses For Me. The song sold almost six million copies worldwide.

1977 - Marie Myriam (France)

Brotherhood of Man won the contest in 1976 and the contest crossed the North Sea from The Hague to London, where the 1977 Eurovision Song Contest was held. The song contest was supposed to take place on the 2nd of April, but it did not take place until 7th May because the camera crew and technicians went on strike. 

The rule of performing in one's national language was brought back to the song contest although Germany and Belgium were allowed to perform in English because their entries had already been chosen before the rules changed.

France's representative, Marie Myriam, won the contest and gave France its fifth, and to date, last victory. Marie sung L'Oiseau Et L'Enfant and received 136 points, leaving the United Kingdom's

Lynsey de Paul and Mike Moran behind in second place. 

1978 - Izhar Cohen and The Alphabeta (Israel)

The Eurovision Song Contest crossed the North Sea again and landed in Paris, France for the 1978 Eurovision Song Contest. A record 20 countries participated. Denmark returned to the contest after an 11-year absence. Turkey also participated, and no country withdrew from the previous year.

Izhar Cohen and The Alphabeta from Israel won the contest with their song A-Ba-Ni-Bi. It was Israel's first victory and when it was obvious that Israel would win, the broadcasting company of Jordan stopped the live broadcast claiming they had technical difficulties. A day later they presented the song from Belgium - which came second - as the winning song.

1979 - Gali Atari and Milk and Honey (Israel)

For the 1979 Eurovision Song Contest, it had to travel a bit further; outside the geographical area of Europe even. With Izhar Cohen and The Alphabeta winning in 1978, the contest travelled to Jerusalem, Israel where 19 countries participated. In an unfortunate course of events, Turkey withdrew from the contest because quite a few Arab countries put pressure on them not to go to Israel. 

At some point during the thriller voting, Spain was in the lead with 1 point, ahead of Israel. But the Spanish gave 10 points to Israel, giving them their second victory. Gali Atari and Milk and Honey's Hallelujah became a Europe-wide hit with top-10 placements in nine countries.

Gali Atari and Milk and Honey close this edition of A Decade of Songs. Next week we will look back at the winners between 1960 and 1969. 

Do you want to read previous editions of A Decade of Song?