The Eurovision Song Contest 1974 was the 19th edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest.

It was held in the seaside resort of Brighton on the south coast of the United Kingdom. The BBC agreed to stage the event after Luxembourg, having won in both 1972 and 1973, declined on the grounds of expense to host the contest for a second consecutive year.[1]

The winner of the Contest was Sweden with the song "Waterloo" which was performed by ABBA, who went on to become one of the most popular recording acts of all time. Sweden's win was their first.[1] Katie Boyle returned to host her fourth Eurovision Song Contest (after hosting the 1960, 1963 and 1968 contests).


Brighton Dome, United Kingdom – host venue of the 1974 contest.

Brighton is the major part of the city of Brighton and Hove (formed from the previous towns of Brighton, Hove, Portslade and several other villages) on the south coast of Great Britain.

The venue which hosted the 1974 Contest was the Brighton Dome, an arts venue that contains the Concert Hall, the Corn Exchange and the Pavilion Theatre. All three venues are linked to the rest of the Royal Pavilion Estate by an underground tunnel to the Royal Pavilion in Pavilion Gardens and through shared corridors to Brighton Museum, as the entire complex was built for the Prince Regent (later George IV) and completed in 1805.


A two-night preview programme, Auftakt für Brighton (Prelude for Brighton), was coordinated by the German national broadcaster ARD broadcast at the end of March and was hosted by the journalist Karin Tietze-Ludwig. It was the first "preview"-type programme to be broadcast in many European countries simultaneously (traditionally each national broadcaster puts together their own preview programme).[2] The programme was also notable in being the European television debut for the winners, ABBA, who were peculiarly credited in previews as "The Abba".[1]


The United Kingdom was represented in the contest by the (British-born) Australian pop singer Olivia Newton-John, who finished in fourth place with the song "Long Live Love". As noted by author and historian John Kennedy O'Connor in his book The Eurovision Song Contest – The Official History, Olivia disliked this song and preferred others from the UK heat, but "Long Live Love" was chosen as the UK's entry by a public postal vote.[3]

France had been drawn to sing at No. 14 (after Ireland and before Germany) with the song "La vie à vingt-cinq ans" ("Life At 25") by Dani, but as a mark of respect following the death of the French President, Georges Pompidou, during Eurovision week, French broadcaster ORTF made the decision to withdraw the entry. Since President Pompidou's funeral was held the day of the contest, it was deemed inappropriate for the French to take part. Dani was seen by viewers in the audience at the point the French song should have been performed. For the same reason, the French singer Anne-Marie David, who had won the first place for Luxembourg in 1973, could not come to Brighton to hand the prize to the 1974 winner.[1][3] In her absence, the Director General of the BBC and President of the EBU, Sir Charles Curran, presented the Grand Prix.[citation needed]

Malta had selected Enzo Guzman with the song "Paċi Fid Dinja" (Peace in the World) to represent them, but withdrew from the contest for unknown reasons. Malta would return to the competition in 1975.[1]

Italy refused to broadcast the televised contest on the state television channel RAI because the contest coincided with the intense political campaigning for the 1974 Italian referendum on divorce, which was held a month later in May. RAI felt that Gigliola Cinquetti's song, which was entitled "", and repeatedly featured the word "si" (yes),[4] could be accused of being a subliminal message and a form of propaganda to influence the Italian voting public to vote "yes" in the referendum. The song was not played on most Italian state TV and radio stations for over a month.[3]

Portugal's entry "E depois do adeus" was used as the first of the two signals to launch the Carnation Revolution against the Estado Novo regime. Played on a Portuguese radio station late in the evening of 24 April 1974, the broadcasting of the song alerted the rebel, largely left-wing captains and soldiers to prepare to begin the successful military coup. The second song to be broadcast, marking the actual start of military operations of the coup, was Grândola, Vila Morena by Zeca Afonso (but with no Eurovision Song Contest connection). John Kennedy O'Connor described "E depois do adeus" as "the only Eurovision entry to have actually started a revolution" (which is quite ironic as the song came in last), while Des Mangan suggests that other Portuguese entries (he mentions "Se Eu Te Pudesse Abraçar" (1998)) would not be likely to inspire coups.[3]

Participating countries

Seventeen nations took part in this year's contest. Greece made their début, while France withdrew during the week of the contest after the sudden death of French President Georges Pompidou.[1]


Each performance had a conductor who maestro the orchestra.[5]

Had France taken part in the contest, its entry would have been conducted by Jean-Claude Petit.[6]

Returning artists

Three artists returned to the contest this year. Gigliola Cinquetti winner of the 1964 Contest participated again for Italy. Romuald Figuier who also participated in the 1964 Contest for Monaco, as well as in 1969 Contest for Luxembourg. Norway's Bendik Singers also returned after last participating in Eurovision Song Contest 1973.[1]


Draw Country Artist Song Language[7] Place Points
01  Finland Carita "Keep Me Warm" English 13 4
02  United Kingdom Olivia Newton-John "Long Live Love" English 4 14
03  Spain Peret "Canta y sé feliz" Spanish 9 10
04  Norway Anne-Karine Strøm feat. Bendik Singers "The First Day of Love" English 14 3
05  Greece Marinella "Krasi, thalassa ke t' agori mou"
(Κρασί, θάλασσα και τ' αγόρι μου)
Greek 11 7
06  Israel Kaveret "Natati La Khayay" (נתתי לה חיי) Hebrew 7 11
07  Yugoslavia Korni Grupa "Generacija '42" (Генерација '42) Serbian 12 6
08  Sweden ABBA "Waterloo" English 1 24
09  Luxembourg Ireen Sheer "Bye Bye I Love You" Frencha 4 14
10  Monaco Romuald "Celui qui reste et celui qui s'en va" French 4 14
11  Belgium Jacques Hustin "Fleur de liberté" French 9 10
12  Netherlands Mouth & MacNeal "I See a Star" English 3 15
13  Ireland Tina Reynolds "Cross Your Heart" English 7 11
14  Germany Cindy & Bert "Die Sommermelodie" German 14 3
15   Switzerland Piera Martell "Mein Ruf nach dir" German 14 3
16  Portugal Paulo de Carvalho "E depois do adeus" Portuguese 14 3
17  Italy Gigliola Cinquetti "" Italian 2 18


a. ^ Contains some words in English.


Total Score ESCFinland.svg ESCUnitedKingdom.svg ESCSpain.svg ESCNorway.svg ESCGreece.svg ESCIsrael.svg ESCYugoslavia.svg ESCSweden.svg ESCLuxembourg.svg ESCMonaco.svg ESCBelgium.svg ESCNetherlands.svg ESCIreland.svg ESCGermany.svg ESCSwitzerland.svg ESCPortugal.svg ESCItaly.svg
Contestants Finland 4 1 2 1
United Kingdom 14 1 1 4 1 1 2 1 3
Spain 10 2 1 3 1 1 2
Norway 3 1 1 1
Greece 7 2 4 1
Israel 11 2 1 2 1 2 3
Yugoslavia 6 1 1 1 1 2
Sweden 24 5 1 2 2 1 1 3 1 2 5 1
Luxembourg 14 1 1 2 2 1 1 3 1 2
Monaco 14 2 1 1 1 2 2 1 2 1 1
Belgium 10 2 5 3
Netherlands 15 1 1 2 1 3 3 1 1 1 1
Ireland 11 1 2 2 1 2 2 1
Germany 3 1 1 1
Switzerland 3 1 1 1
Portugal 3 1 2
Italy 18 2 5 2 1 1 4 1 1 1

International broadcasts and voting

The two-person jury system used for the previous three contests was abandoned, with a resurrection of the 10-person jury system with one vote per juror, last used in 1970, returning. This was the final time it was used. Unusually, a separate draw was made for the order in which the participating countries would vote. In all previous contests either nations had voted in the same running order as the song presentation or in the reverse of that order. It wouldn't be until 2006 that the voting sequence was decided by draw again. Finland, Norway, Switzerland and Italy drew the same position in both draws. Countries revealed their votes in the following order:[1][8]

The table below shows the order in which votes were cast during the 1974 contest along with the spokesperson who was responsible for announcing the votes for their respective country. Each national broadcaster [with the exception of Israel] also sent a commentator to the contest, in order to provide coverage of the contest in their own native language. Details of the commentators and the broadcasting station for which they represented are also included in the table below.[1]

Voting order Country Spokesperson Commentator Broadcaster
01  Finland Aarre Elo[9] Matti Paalosmaa YLE TV1 and
02  Luxembourg TBC Jacques Navadic RTL Télé Luxembourg
03  Israel Yitzhak Shim'oni No commentator Iba
04  Norway Sverre Christophersen[10] John Andreassen NRK[10]
Erik Heyerdahl NRK P1
05  United Kingdom Colin-Ward Lewis David Vine BBC1[11]
Terry Wogan BBC Radio 2
Richard Astbury (British Forces Radio)[12]
06  Yugoslavia Helga Vlahović[13] Milovan Ilić TVB1
Oliver Mlakar TVZ 1
Tomaž Terček TVL1
07  Greece Irini Gavala Mako Georgiadou EIRT
08  Ireland Brendan Balfe Mike Murphy RTÉ Television
Liam Devally Radio Éireann
09  Germany Hanns Joachim Friedrichs Werner Veigel ARD Deutsches Fernsehen
10  Portugal Henrique Mendes Artur Agostinho RTP1[14]
11  Netherlands Dick van Bommel Willem Duys Nederland 2[15]
12  Sweden Sven Lindahl[16] sv: Johan Sandström SR TV1
sv: Ursula Richter SR P3[17]
13  Spain Antolín García José Luis Uribarri TVE1[18]
14  Monaco Sophie Hecquet[19] Pierre Tchernia Télé Monte Carlo
15   Switzerland Michel Stocker Theodor Haller TV DRS
Georges Hardy TSR
Giovanni Bertini TSI
16  Belgium André Hagon Georges Désir RTB
Herman Verelst BRT
17  Italy Anna Maria Gambineri Rosanna Vaudetti Secondo Programma

Non-participating countries


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Eurovision Song Contest 1974". European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  2. ^ "ABBA on TV – Melodifestivalen Rehearsal". www.abbaontv.com. 
  3. ^ a b c d O'Connor, John Kennedy The Eurovision Song Contest – The Official History Carlton Books, UK, 2007 ISBN 978-1-84442-994-3
  4. ^ Sì – Lyrics The Diggiloo Thrush
  5. ^ "Conductors 1974". 4Lyrics.com. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  6. ^ "Jean-Claude Petit's biography in 'And the conductor is...'". Retrieved 2017-01-01. 
  7. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 1974". The Diggiloo Thrush. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  8. ^ "Diggiloo Thrush – scoreboard 1974". diggiloo.net. 
  9. ^ a b Selostajat ja taustalaulajat läpi vuosien? (in Finnish) Viisukuppila, 18 April 2005
  10. ^ a b Dyrseth, Seppo (OGAE Norway)
  11. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 1974 BBC Archives
  12. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (2014). Songs For Europe – The United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest Volume Two: The 1970's. UK: Telos Publishing. p. 149. ISBN 978-1-84583-065-6. 
  13. ^ Sumnja od Jugolasvenskog glasanja Archived 8 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine. (in Serbian) OGAE Serbia forum, 8 September 2011
  14. ^ "Um Waterloo onde faltou Cambronne", Diário de Lisboa, 7 April 1974
  15. ^ "Nederlandse televisiecommentatoren bij het Eurovisie Songfestival". Eurovision Artists (in Dutch). 
  16. ^ Infosajten.com Archived 16 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ Leif Thorsson Melodifestivalen genom tiderna ["Melodifestivalen through time"] (2006), p. 108; Stockholm: Premium Publishing AB ISBN 91-89136-29-2
  18. ^ Uribarri comentarista Eurovision 2010 Archived 17 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine. (in Spanish) FORO FESTIVAL DE EUROVISIÓN
  19. ^ "Facets of Eurovision Song Contest 1975", Times of Malta, 31 March 1975

External links