During this past week and a half, Norway has enjoyed a period of unseasonally hot weather; between 25 and 29 degrees celcius. Tomorrow is Norway’s birthday, or rather the 204th birthday of the Nowegian constitution, which means that this week’s throwback will be Norwegian. These two facts brought me back to 1998 and Lars Fredriksen’s entry “Alltid sommer (Always Summer)”.
In 1998, something entirely unique happened in Melodi Grand Prix. The winning entry, “All I Ever Wanted Was You“, was performed in English. However, due to the language rule it had to be translated to Norwegian for Eurovision.
This is a very happy and summery song, not only because part of the title is “sommer”. I don’t listen to this song very ofte, but every time I do, it makes me smile! It gives me a warm and happy summer feeling inside, and I think I need to add it to some of my summer playlists.
Lars Fredriksen is still active on the Norwegian music scene, as part of Oslo Gospel Choir. He also performs quite a bit locally, especially at funerals and other private events. He’s also a popular food blogger.
What the others had to say…
This was one of the upbeat ‘feel good songs’ of the 1998 contest. Lars is certainly a good performer, having captured the audience within the first few seconds and keeping us engaged throughout. The only downside to this was the awful styling choice, in which Lars performs in a heavy weight beige sweater!
An upbeat radio friendly 90’s tune with a lot of breezy feels and a Ronan Keating vibe. “Alltid Sommer” might not be the most successful Norwegian entry in that decade but it certainly is one of those that deserve a bit more recognition among fans. If we were to judge a track on how radio friendly it was way back then, there is no doubt that Lars and his entry would be way up there.
Eurovision 1998 being my very first Eurovision experience and the first edition of the contest I saw in full, blurs my objectivity when it comes to judging the entries. “Alltid Sommer” is among the five songs from that year I still have on my Eurovision playlist and that’s not going change anytime soon.
I hadn’t actually listened to this song before now – I’ll admit, my knowledge of Eurovision pre-2000 even disappoints myself sometimes. I really like this though, it’s so uplifting and you can’t help but smile listening to it! There’s no need for a big staging with this song so I’m glad that they’ve kept it simple, just with Lars singing alone…this really makes me want to start listening to pre-2000’s Eurovision more – I’m clearly missing out on quite a few gems!
Today we have over 30 degrees here in Portugal, so a song called “Always summer” sounds like the perfect song to listen today. I have to confess that in such a strong year like 1998, I never gave much attention to the Norwegian entry, and probably this was the first time that I listened to it in full. 1998 was probably the turning point of a decade full of ballads. And I’m not complaining, because for me ballads are never too much. For some reason the 90’s are my favourite Eurovision years. However, it was great to see countries like Norway, The Netherlands, UK… bringing some fresh air to the contest. Actually, even though Croatia was my big favourite (what a surprise), Norway is for me miles better than the actual winner. Yeah, not a very popular opinion but “Diva” is for me one of the worst winners ever. About the language, I’m a big defensor of the national languages, so I prefer the norwegian version to the english one, even without listening to the english one. (Doesn’t sound very mature, I know). Happy Birthday, Norway!
Next week’s throwback will take us to quite a different part of the continent, and also to a different part of the Eurovision history. It is Dan’s turn to share a Eurovision memeory with you, and that’s all we’re gonna tell you!
So, what do you think about “Alltid sommer”? Does it give you the warm summer feeling, or does it leave you cold? And do you prefer the Norwegian or English version?