Eurovision 2023 celebrates its LXVII edition in Liverpool. With it, 37 new songs. Hundreds of issues remain behind, many of which have gone down in history and others have fallen into oblivion. But, what has been the best song in the entire history of Eurovision?
In 2005, coinciding with the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Eurofestival, a gala was held in which the best song of all time to date was chosen. The selected ones were 14, taken from an internet survey among festival fans and other users. Among them, ‘Eres tú’ by the Basque group Mocedades or ‘Congratulations’, by the British musician Cliff Richards. But the big winner was none other than ‘Waterloo’ by the Swedish ABBA, who won the Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton in the spring of 1974.
Winner of this title or not, what is clear is that the theme of the Swedish ensemble is one of the most popular and best-matched themes of the festival, almost turned into a Eurovision anthem.
‘Waterloo’, also gave name to ABBA’s second studio album. Recorded in September 1973 and marketed from March 1974, the album launched to stardom in half the world, reaching number one in countries such as Spain, Mexico, Switzerland, Norway, Austria or the United Kingdom.
Anni-Frid ‘Frida’ Lyngstad, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Agnetha Fältskog (the name ABBA is an acronym made up of the first letters of each member’s name) landed in Brighton in April 1974 and stormed onstage to perform. defend Sweden with ‘Waterloo’.
The cheerful song that winked at the battle in which Napoleon was defeated and which bears the same name, competed with artists such as Olivia Newton-John (who came in fourth), the Italian Gigliola Cinquetti (who had won the festival in 1964 ) or Peret, representing Spain.
The voting system was based on the score received by juries from the 17 participating countries. Each national jury was made up of ten members and each of them gave a point to their favorite song. Sweden wins with 24 points (the highest points per country were the 5 points given by Finland and Switzerland. The United Kingdom, Greece, Belgium, Italy and Monaco did not give a single point to the Swedish team).
But ABBA’s great success does not lie only in the Eurovision victory. The festival served as a catapult for him to stardom, becoming, years later, one of the most successful pop music groups in history. His songs (and not just ‘Waterloo’) have been chanted, sung and covered by dozens of artists and recognized today by millions of people.