1991 is one of my very favorite Eurovision years. There are 3 songs in this edition of the contest that would have been my favorite winner *ever*, had they only won. (I probably don’t have to add that the actual winner is not among them, but there I said it.)
My 1991 “winners” are Iceland, France and Spain, and I always struggle really badly when having to rank them. Today I have decided to slide back to Sergio Dalma, and his beautiful “Bailar Pegados”. I’m not sure what it is with this song, but ever since the first time I heard it, it has touched my heart. Back in 91 I had no idea what the lyrics meant, but I still loved it.
Some years later I realized the Eurovision version was missing a verse, and the full version only made me love it even more.
Verás la música después
te va pidiendo un beso a gritos
y te sube por los pies
como algo que no ves
o que nunca se ha escrito
(You see, music then starts clamouring for a kiss, and it climbs up through your feet, like something you can’t see and that has never been written)
Even when I listen to the long version, I sometimes wish it had ten more verses, cuz I always feel it ends too quickly.
I like a lot of the Spanish Eurovision entries, but “Bailar pegados” is my favorite, by actual miles!
Over the years I have aquired quite a collection of Sergio’s albums. Even though I don’t love all his songs as much as I do “Bailar pegados”, there is something in his voice that speaks directly to my heart. It’s smooth and rough at the same time, and it just overflows with emotions. Also, the aesthetic quality is substantial…
I’m a bit different from the majority of Eurovision fans when it comes to returning artists. Even though I love many of the artists I’ve discovered through the contest, I’d rather be introduced to new voices from all over Europe instead of hearing the same ones over and over. There are a couple of exceptions to this rule, however, and I have often said that I would love for Sergio to return. Lately though, I’m not so sure. It would take a proper masterpiece to outshine “Bailar pegados”, and I’m afraid I would end up disappointed.
What the others think
Simply put – one of Spain’s best. Often within the fandom, Spain’s participation can be boiled down to a single cliche catchphrase: ‘Can spain win?’ or ‘Spain can win?’. However, with no evidence whatsoever I think the formation of that phrase started in the early 90s where Spain was at its strongest. I can’t help but feel that if 1991 wasn’t such a strong year – this song could’ve easily won. I really enjoy the rich timbre of Sergio’s voice. It’s almost like a primal growl concentrated into a passionate ballad. Please Spain, can we have more of this??
Spain have admittedly been VERY hit-or-miss for me during their history at the contest. Although “Bailar Pegados” lacks many of the usual fixtures of a typical Spanish entry that I respond well to (fabulous women, Iberian instrumentation), I think this is a strong showing. It’s almost egregiously 90s, but I can’t deny that this is a well delivered ballad. It builds nicely and carries a sense of nostalgia, which is strange since I wasn’t even close to being born in 1991, but still. Let’s face it, Bandido was a tough act to follow and this is NOWHERE near that level of excellence, but this is Spain in their element, which we haven’t really seen since 2012…
Not a strong vintage Spanish entry, but perfectly respectable. “Bailar pegados” is charming yet aimless and a little predictable. The counterplay of Sergio’s vocal and the oboe and brass give a nice balance to the verses and help this ballad stand out from the bulk of ‘80s production styles that still dominated in 1991. A fourth place finish feels rather generous, but this ballad stands the test of time better than most from that contest.
“Bailar Pegados” is one of the first songs I have memory of. Way before I even knew of the existence of Eurovision, so it is easy to understand I have a soft spot for this. It’s a memorable, timeless ballad impeccably performed by a solid vocalist. Sergio Dalma has a very recognisable voice and he brings the perfect balance of Latin passion and sweetness necessary to make it perfect. I know this is sacrilege in some corners of the fandom, but neither Sweden nor France deserved to win 91. Spain did. They were ROBBED!
What is your opinion of “Bailar pegados” and Sergio Dalma? And do you agree that 1991 is a great year? What’s your favorite Spanish entry? Share your opinions on social media @escxtra And make sure to come back for another slideback to another Eurovision classic next Sunday!