Jan 13, 2015

491/917 Izhar Cohen: Ole ole (Israel 1985)

In 1985 Israel used a seemingly perfect recipe to create a perfect eurosong. Put together the singer who won the contest in 1978 with the composer who made the winning song of the 1979, add some singing dancers and make the song and the choreography emulate the two preceeding and higly succesful Israeli entries. In the preview video the song looked and sounded like a given winner. What could go wrong?

Quite a few things actually. Olé olé (written by Kobi Oshrat, who had composed Hallelujah six years previously) surely was a irresistibly catchy song and Izhar Cohen was still, seven years after his Eurovision victory, charismatic performer. Although the singing and dancing worked well together for Israel in 1982 and 1983 (Israel did not take part in 1984), this time the elements fitted together with unease. With a breath taking dance steps the backing group had hardly time to sing their few lines in tune, and the result sound more like shouting than singing. The wide white smiles that the group was able to present during their other activities did not look genuine anymore and the feeling "do we have to this again" could be read on their lips.

Watching the Gotheburg contest today the overall performance by the Israeli enseble seems ok, but I remember that in 1985 my reaction was quite similar,  "the same thing again?". I may not have been the only one who thought that too much is too much, and that the entry was far from the perfection I was expecting after seeing the preview video. The song finally settled at 5th position, which must have been some kind of disappointment to the Israeli delegation, which was looking for the victory by the team that had secured the two previous victories.

I find the song a bit dated but still an enjoyable track, of which I prefer the studio version.

My points 3/5.

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