For the third year in row, the song that won the Eurovision Song Contest also tops the UK singles chart. Unlike Bucks Fizz in 1981, though, the winner is not British. Nor Irish, as Johnny Logan was in 1980. Enter Nicole Hohloch, a seventeen-year-old German.
A Little Peace, by Nicole (her 1st and only #1)
2 weeks, 9th – 23rd May 1982
Just like a flower when winter begins… It’s jaunty, it’s cute, it’s pure Eurovision… Just like a candle blown out in the wind… And, oh no, I’m getting flashbacks… Just like a bird that can no longer fly… Dana flashbacks! Twelve years ago, another teenager won with a similarly saccharine slice of Eurocheese. ‘A Little Peace’ isn’t that bad – very few records are – but it still sticks in your throat.
The world is hard but, deep in her young heart, Nicole has a dream. A little loving, A little giving… For our tomorrow, A little peace… Straight on from ‘Ebony and Ivory’, it’s more happy-clappy ‘peace’ nonsense at the top of the charts. (Though I can tolerate this crap from naive schoolgirls far more than I could from Misters McCartney and Wonder, who should have known better…)
The nicest thing about this record is its gentle country lilt. It’s been a good while since we had a #1 that we could class as ‘country’. And I’d also like to mention Nicole’s excellent English. You’d think she was singing in her native tongue. (There is also a German version.) But, overall, this is a pretty forgettable record. And forgotten it pretty much has been – it’s nowhere to be seen on Spotify, for example.
At the time, though, this was huge. A first ever German Eurovision winner (perhaps the definitive sign that Europe had forgiven them for you-know-what?) and the biggest winning margin until 1997. Nicole continues to record and perform, she’s still only fifty-seven, though chart success outside of Germany has been limited. Plus, Nicole is already the 3rd German act to top the charts in 1982, after Kraftwerk and The Goombay Dance Band, and it’s only May!
Most significantly for us, ‘A Little Peace’ marks the 500th number one. Hurray! We are actually well over two-thirds of the way through our never-ending countdown! If only it were a slightly more auspicious song to mark the occasion. I’ll do a special post to celebrate this milestone in a couple of days, alongside some cover-versions of past chart-toppers, then it will be back to normal service. Thankfully, after two #1s and five weeks of preaching, the next number one is about, oh yes, randy schoolboys buying condoms…