In which we arrive at what is perhaps the Ultimate Eurovision Song. Everything you want and need from a Eurovision winner is present and correct: stupidly catchy, key changes a-plenty, two guys and two girls, a memorable dance routine… and the whole thing as camp as Christmas.
Making Your Mind Up, by Bucks Fizz (their 1st of three #1s)
3 weeks, 12th April – 3rd May 1981
Not that, mind you, I’m claiming this as the best Eurovision chart-topper. Oh no, no, no. There’ll always be ‘Waterloo’ (and Gina G further down the line…) But if you shoved a microphone in someone’s face and screamed ‘Name a Eurovision act!’, half the British population, of a certain age, would say Bucks Fizz.
It starts with a chugging glam-rock drumbeat, and then in come some chugging glam guitars and you suddenly realise that we’re in the midst of a mini glam revival, what with this coming hot on the heels of Shakin’ Stevens’ rockabilly and an actual glam band’s belated #1. Meanwhile the lead guitars are kind of new-wave – seriously, detach them from the rest of this and they wouldn’t sound out of place on a Police record.
You gotta speed it up, And then you gotta slow it down… Not to suggest that this is anything other than a cheese-fest, though. And the lyrics verge from incredibly dumb to bizarrely suggestive. I have no idea if they were trying for innuendo with lines like: Don’t let your indecision, Take you from behind… and You gotta turn it up, Then you gotta pull it out… or if my mind is simply in the gutter.
(Apparently ‘Making Your Mind Up’ was released without a picture sleeve in the UK. Very 1960s…)
For the third time in eight years, a two-guys/two-girls combo won the Eurovision Song Contest. While Bucks Fizz were not ABBA, I’d say they were a step up from Brotherhood of Man. They were only formed a couple of months before entering the contest, but this smash kicked off several years’ worth of hits. And if the song wasn’t enough to win the contest, the band had a trick up their sleeve. In the 3rd verse, on the line: If you wanna see some more… the boys ripped the girls’ long skirts off to reveal much shorter skirts underneath! The continent gasped! I mean, the word ‘iconic’ is overused these days, but…
I have to say that, as revealing as the girls’ costumes were, watching the performance in full for the first time I can say that the boys’ white trousers weren’t leaving much to the imagination either. Bucks Fizz (even their name is ridiculous…) will be back atop the charts soon. Until then, you have two options: roll your eyes and pretend you’re too cool for school; or whip out your scandalously short mini-skirt and go for it. Make your mind up!