Saturday, 10 January 2009

1980 Johnny Logan: What's Another Year?

In 1980, 'What's Another Year' must have seemed a strange choice for a Eurovision entry, let alone a winner.* Whereas success in the past relied on a strong, bouncy tune and/or nonsense lyrics that cut across all language barriers, 'What's Another Year' is rather a maudlin track that offers very little for anybody with no grasp of English (yes there's a nice saxophone intro, but that wasn't in the Eurovision version). But there again, for those with a grasp of English, it doesn't offer too much more; that big stickered tear on the cover is pretty symbolic of what was in the grooves.

"I've been waiting such a long time,
looking out for you. But you're not here. What's another year? What's another year for someone who is getting used to being alone?"....and so it goes on. I have vivid memories of Johnny gazing mournfully at every camera he ever sang the song into, willing every woman from nine to ninety to come and show him what he's been missing, if not in person then at least by buying his record. Which they did, by the skipfull. 'Inoffensively harmless' is the best you can say about this surface slick but emotion free creation, like a 'John The Baptist' to James Blunt's 'Jesus Of Shite'. Logan's voice is too flat and forgettable to make the song his 'own' and I think any number of X Factor winners could make a better fist of it. And that says it all really.

* Despite winning the Eurovision Song Contest (twice) under cover of the Irish flag, Logan (or Sean Sherrard to his mother) was actually born in Melbourne, Australia.

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