28
July
2020

Eurovision 1974: Italy’s Gigliola Cinquetti in focus

Gigliola Cinquetti at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest

1974 saw the return of Gigliola Cinquetti to Eurovision. France, an early favourite that year, withdrew from the competition on the same week Eurovision took place. The first Italian winner in 1964, had a good chance to win again in Brighton. In the end, she finished second after Sweden’s ABBA.

For the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974, RAI, the Italian Broadcaster, internally selected Gigliola Cinquetti. Gigliola, was already well known in Eurovision as she won the contest in 1964 with the largest ratio between the first and second place to this date. Gigliola sung the song (Yes) in Brighton. On the night of Eurovision she scored 18 points and came in second place. After Eurovision 1974, Gigliola recorded the song in English, French, German and Spanish.

Contents

  • 1 Sì – opinions from fans
  • 2 A mini Biography to Gligliola Cinquetti

Gligliola Cinquetti performed in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 1974. For her 1974 performance she was dressed in blue accompanied by four backing vocalists. The song is a ballad about waiting for the loved one. In Sì, Gigliola says that she is ready to say yes to feel new emotions and feeling in love.

Mario Panzeri, Daniele Pace, Lorenzo Pilat and Corrado Conti wrote .

Sì – opinions from fans

In order to find out what Eurovision fans today think of this Italian entry from 1974, we asked our Eurovision Fan Panel. It includes team members as well as fans from all over the world.

🇩🇰 Charlotte J. – I am really mixed when it comes to this one. Gigliola sings it beautifully, the orchestra supports it well… but in my opinion, the backing singers destroys it. Every time they kick in, I feel like shouting ‘Shut up, let Gigliola handle it alone. Had this song, which finished second, beaten ABBA’s Waterloo, it would have been unfair.

🇨🇿 Josef Š. This is one of my favourite Italian Eurovision songs, and one of the best Eurovision classics. I would lie if I say I like it. That’s not true. I love it! I adore it! The melody, the mystic atmosphere, the lyrics in terms of how well sung this song is. Also what I love are those backing vocalists and the harmonies they produce. This is truly one of my Eurovision gems and a song that always makes me cry, that good it is even after 46 years. ❤️

🇳🇱 Frank S. – Si…..that was my first reaction after listening to the Italian contribution after so many years. I mean – in general – how can you not love Italian songs? They have something mystical and mesmerising, and so does this song. Gigliola was one of the absolute favourites for the victory prior to the grand final itself and she almost did it! It would have been a deserved win despite the fact that no one could neglect Sweden’s Waterloo. A very deserved runner up for 1974 in my eyes! Now back to the song as I cannot get enough of the melody and – sigh – a live orchestra…..Si….

See alsoEurovision 1974: The United Kingdom’s Olivia Newton-John in focus

🇨🇴 🇫🇮 Álvaro S. – Although 1974 was meant to be Abba’s year, Si would have been a worthy winner. The music evolution of Gigliola from the innocent girl that won the festival in 1964 to this more mature, deep version of herself is stunning. The melody in the chorus is so touching. Another masterpiece Italy gave us.

🇭🇺 Valgelis M. – Definitely for once again not my cup of tea. I believe that there were better songs in that year like Abba’s Waterloo and Greece’s κρασί θάλασσα και το αγόρι μου. I found it boring and even annoyed me in some seconds , no offence. I prefer the Italy in the late contests to be honest and not in the past ones.

🇨🇿 Josef Š. This is one of my favourite Italian Eurovision songs, and one of the best Eurovision classics. I would lie if I say I like it. That’s not true. I love it! I adore it! The melody, the mystic atmosphere, the lyrics in terms of how well sung this song is. Also what I love are those backing vocalists and the harmonies they produce. This is truly one of my Eurovision gems and a song that always makes me cry, that good it is even after 46 years. ❤️

See also16 fans about their favourite Eurovision country

🇫🇮 Martti I. –  Many fans are happy for the win by Abba, but I am not one of those. Si, is and was, a superb powerful song and for me this is the winner. It’s an evergreen and became a hit in the original version and by hundreds of covers. 50 years later, it still works and sound fresh. A real unique pearl. Sometimes the best doesn’t win, but like in the ’70’s many of the Eurovision entries became hits, If only that would be the case even today. Grazie Gigliola, grazie.

🇹🇷 Güneç N. – I have been a fan of Gigliola since my childhood. As per Si, it’s a very minimal piece yet with deep emotions performed extremely elegantly on stage. Gigliola always looks stunning on stage. And I love her beautiful, peaceful voice.

🇬🇧 Michael O. – This was not one of my favourites that year as I already had the Netherlands and of course Sweden to route for. However once the English version was released in the U.K I really liked that version. I grew fond of the song after the contest when it no longer posed a threat to Sweden, and in conclusion its a classy atmospheric song that I still like today. But I’m glad it didn’t win.

Enjoy Gigliola Cinquetti’s performance from the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest in the embedded video. Below the video, you can read more about Gigliola Cinquetti.

EuroVisionary

A mini Biography to Gligliola Cinquetti

Gligliola Cinquetti was born in Verona Italy. When Gligliola won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1964 with her song Non ho l’età, she was only 16 years old. She was the youngest Eurovision winner at that time, a record she kept until 1986 where 13 year old Sandra Kim from Belgium won.

In 1964, her winning song almost tripled the number of points of the runner-up, a record she will most likely maintain with the current voting rules. She competed a second time in 1974 and although she did not win she ended in a close second place. Her song reached the Top 10 in the UK charts. This makes her one of the few Eurovision artists outside of the UK that entered the Top 10 with a non-winning song.  Moreover, there is a cover version of in Finnish (Niin) which also made the top 10 in Finland.

Gigliola Cinquetti is also a TV presenter and an actress. She presented the Eurovision Song Contest 1991 together with Toto Cutugno. Her last studio album 20.12 was released in 2015.

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