How have Irish Eurovision winners fared in the official UK charts? And how do recent Eurovision winners compare?
Johnny Logan’s Eurovision winners got to No. 1 (What’s Another Year – 1980) and No. 2 (Hold Me Now – 1987) in the UK charts. That record is not too shabby in fairness. Dana also made No.1 in 1970 with “All Kinds of Everything” and actually had five other Top 40 hits in the UK between 1971 and 1976, probably making her one of the most successful Eurovision acts in terms of UK chart performance.
As for the other Irish winners, Linda Martin’s Why Me made No. 59 in 1992 but Niamh Kavanagh got to No. 24 with In Your Eyes the following year (the strongest chart performance of the 1990s winners) while Eimear Quinn made No. 40 with The Voice in 1996. But Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan’s Rock and Roll Kids does not seem to have charted.
The last Eurovision winners got to the following positions in the official UK charts: Only Teardrops: No. 15 in 2013, Euphoria: No. 3 in 2012, Running Scared: No. 61 in 2011, Satellite: No. 30 in 2010 and No. 10 in 2009. The 2005, 2007 and 2008 winners do not seem to have charted, though Lordi did get to No. 25 in 2006 and Ruslana got to No. 47 in 2004.
Other notable charting Eurovision winners over the past two decades include Dana International’s 1998 winner Diva which got to No. 11 and Charlotte Nilson’s 1999 winner Take Me To Your Heaven which reached No. 20, as well as Katrina and the Waves’ 1997 winner Love Shine A Light, which peaked at No. 3 in the UK single charts.
Earlier contest winners have fared somewhat better. Bucks Fizz’s Making Your Mind Up scored a No. 1 hit in 1981, while the following year saw the English version of Nicole’s 1982 winner (A Little Peace) reached No. 1 in the charts. Milk & Honey’s 1979 winner Hallelujah reached No. 5. Corrine Hermes’ 1983 winner did not chart however, while The Herreys’ Diggi Loo-Diggi Ley only got to No. 46 in 1984 and the following year saw Bobbysocks’ Let It Swing fare only slightly better, reaching No. 44 in the charts.
Some of the other UK Eurovision entries have enjoyed some chart success over the past twenty years, with Scooch’s Flying The Flag For You reaching No. 5 in 2007, Precious’ Say It Again reaching No. 6 in 1999, Love City Groove’s er Love City Groove reaching No. 7 in 1995, Daz Sampson’s Teenage Life reaching No. 8 in 2006, Jessica Garlick’s Come Back reaching No. 12 in 2002, James Fox’s Hold On To Our Love reaching No. 12 in 2004, Jemini’s Cry Baby reaching No. 15 in 2003 and Imaani’s Where Are You attaining the same chart position in 1998 and Sonia’s Better The Devil You Know doing likewise in 1993, Blue’s I Can reaching No. 16 in 2011, Javine’s Touch My Fire reaching No. 18 in 2005, Frances Ruffelle’s Lonely Symphony reaching No. 25 in 1994, Jade Ewen’s It’s My Time reaching No. 27 in 2009, Lindsay Dracas’ No Dream Impossible reaching No. 32 in 2001, Nicki French’s Don’t Play That Song Again reaching No. 34 in 2000, Engelbert Humperdinck’s Only Love Will Set You Free reaching No. 60 in 2012 and Andy Abraham’s Even If reaching No. 67 in 2008.
But the most successful of these entries – and indeed the most commercially successful Eurovision entry in terms of UK chart success over the past two decades – was Gina G’s Ooh Aah…Just A Little Bit which got to No. 1 in the UK charts in 1996 and remained in the UK charts for 25 weeks.
The most successful Eurovision winner, in terms of UK chart success, of course is ABBA, with nine No. 1’s and ten other Top 10 hits between 1974 and 1982. Though even their record is probably surpassed by Cliff Richard, who would (I think) be the most commercially successful Eurovision act as measured by UK chart position. Though still didn’t help him beat “La La La” in 1968…
Although Celine Dion has probably been one of the most commercially successful Eurovision winners and has attained two No. 1 hits in the UK charts to date, her 1988 Eurovision winner, Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi failed to chart.