Sunday, May 27, 2012

25. United Kingdom - Love Will Set You Free - Engelbert Humperdinck

25 - 12 pts / not in semi

Engelbert Humperdinck for the U.K.. The BBC  surprised friend and foe with their choice for the Baku contest.

After a long wait (Eurovision fans are an impatient lot) Love Will Set You Free was the last song of the 2012 contest to be presented to the masses.
The U.K. entry is written by Martin Terefe and Sacha Skarberk (see below).
Listen here at the BBC or here at the official Youtube.

Engelbert Humperdinck is certainly the most known singer this year, although some of you under 40's may not have heard of the 75 76 year old singer, although you'll problably hum along to his golden tunes effortlessly. (see below for some Eurovision connections and EH trivia)

A cdsingle is released on Conehead records (Cone 42) May 7 in the U.K.
Love Will Set You Free is recorded with the Nashville Recording Orchestra with James Bryan on guitar.
Love Will Set You Free ♫
Too Beautiful To Last*
My Way*
* Both extra tracks are taken from the 2009 album Legacy Of Love recorded with the Prague Symphony Orchestra.

Love Will Set You Free enters the UK charts at #64.
UK top 100: 64, 76, 60, -

Love Will Set You Free is also be included on a new compilation album titled Release Me. It will include the biggest Engelbert Humperdinck and favorite tracks. The album is out on May 15 (Universal 5338776)

Update: Nice: Russian Eurovision singer and megasuperstar Philippe Kirkorov (Фили́пп Кирко́ров) supports Engelbert Humperdinck (Энгельберт Хампердинк) (link)

Love Will Set You Free - Original version ♫
Love Will Set You Free - karaoke version

What's in a name?
What's In A Name is the title of the Engelbert biography written with Katie Wright. To coincide with Eurovision and the re-launch of EH to the worlds consiousness, the book is now re-issued in paperback format. (Virgin books ISBN-13: 9780753541104)
The book was first issued in 2011 (Ebury Press), don't know if content has been added with Eurovision round the corner......

Baku Collection Frontpage

Ware Liefde Maak Jou Vry (True love sets you free) is the title of an Afrikaans coverversion to be released by Steve D. (Steve Van Deventer) Watch his Facebook to find out more.

Trashy cover to avoid
Amazon (and other digital sources?) are already cashing in by releasing cheap cover and karaoke versions of the song way before any official release. It's done onder the well-intended-sounding moniker of A Tribute To Engelbert Humperdinck, but I say avoid.
If you really want to do a tribute I'm sure you should be able to come up with something sincere.
In the past few years many anonymous coverversions have been popping up through digital outlets like Amazon, but I don't think they went as far as releasing it before any official release.

Not That Easy To Forget
Humperdinck, whose real name is Arnold George Dorsey scored his first million selling hit Release Me in 1967 and for a good part of a decade the world smash hits kept coming: There Goes My Everything, The Last Waltz, Am I That Easy To Forget, Les Byciclettes De Belsize to name a few. After a good decade the hits dried up a bit, but Engelbert has kept his true fans and has always been selling out his shows.

And some other facts: His record sales are estimated over 125 million.
Just like that other 'biggest name ever' the U.K. sent, Sir Cliff Richard, Engelbert Humperdinck was born in India.
He released two singles under the name Gerry Dorsey in 1966 including a cover of Dommage Dommage.
In Germany, where he has a loyal fanbase, he best known as Engelbert, without the Humperdinck, probably because Engelbert Humperdinck is the name of a 19th century German composer, whose name E.H. adopted.

E.H. also enjoyed popularity in the USSR / Russia where he's Энгельберт Хампердинк.
He recorded a song called Lesbian Seagull (For the Beavis and Butthead movie) and owns the piano that used to belong George Gershwin.
In 2007 Engelbert performed on the annual live extravaganza that is De Toppers Live.

His most recent album is Released from 2010, which includes reworkings of some of his old songs and coverversions like Wonderful Tonight and We've Got Tonight.

Current tour
You can catch Engelbert Humperdinck live Chile, South Africa, Lebanon and the US this summer. Check out all the tourdates here.

The songwriters:
Sacha Skarbek wrote songs with and for just about every other trendy artist from the past decade (including several that had been rumoured for Baku): Adele, Jason Mraz, Duffy, Joss Stone, Charlotte Church, Lana Del Rey, Beverly Knight, Samantha Mumba, James Blunt, Gareth Gates, German Eurovision stars No Angels, and Dutch singers Waylon and Ilse De Lange.
Martin Terefe's list is equally impressive: Mary J. Blige, A-Ha (incl. their final single), Craig David, James Morrison, K.T Tunstall, Eric Gadd, Mutya Buena, fellow Eurovision 2012 songwriter Jamie Cullum, and again Mraz, Knight, Gates and Church.

links and sources
BBC Eurovision pages
Engelbert Humperdinck official website
Peter Koelewijn website

Humperdinck and Eurovision
Engelbert Humperdinck recorded two Eurovision songs and (at least) two with a preselection connection.

In 1968 he scored a worldwide hit with A Man Without Love, a cover version of Quando M'Innamoro, #6 of the Sanremo contest of the same year. The original versions were performed by Anna Identici and by The Sandpipers. (single on Decca)

In 1971 he covered Clodagh Rodgers 'Song For Europe' song Another Time, Another Place. Another single and a modest hit in several countries. (single on Decca).
Clodagh Rodgers had her own national final in 1971 with six songs. Another Time, Another Place ended 4th and she took the winner Jack In The Box to a 4th place in the Dublin Eurovision Song Contest.

In 1997 he recorded the CD A Little In Love (Dino records). Top-man of Dino records and long time friend Tony Berk teamed Humperdinck up with Dutch singer and producer Peter Koelewijn to record an album with English versions of Dutch contemporary classics.
It features popular hits from the 80’s and 90’s and also includes In Love With You, a coverversion of the Netherlands’ 1984 Eurovision entry Ik Hou Van Jou, originally by Maribelle.
Another song on the album is The Little Café By The Harbour, a Dutch evergreen written by Sha La Lie composer Pierre Kartner a.k.a. Father Abraham.
A Little In Love reached #29 on the Dutch album charts and stayed ten weeks on the list. In Love With You was also released as the second song on the cdsingle release of the title track.
The album was also released in Germany as Romantic Songs (EMI) but was discontinued when a project with dance re-recordings of E.H. classics was launched.

The last song to mention was recorded in 2003, but it is the oldest Eurovision related song of the lot. Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu), well known to Eurocovers readers and everyone else, ended up on his album Definition Of Love (Hip-O records). Volare, written and originally performed by Domenico Modugno, didn't win Eurovision but is the best selling Eurovision single and most covered Eurovision song of all time.

United Kingdom recent entries:
2011 - Blue
2010 - Josh Dubovie
2009 - Jade Ewen

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