1960 Contest Song Reviews: Italy and France

Italy’s Renato Rascel follows up two years of Domenico Modugno with “Romantica” (Romantic). I’m trying not to be too hard on songs in these early years because I realise it was a different time and so on, but find next to nothing to like in this particularly sappy ballad about love. The music is uninspiring, Rascel’s voice isn’t much better, and all in all this is a big step back from the last two Italian entries. I can only hope his live performance is better, although I listened to his live at Sanremo for this review, so I’m not holding my breath.

For the French entry, Jacqueline Boyer sings “Tom Pillibi”, a song which tells the story of the titular character, a fantastical man with great wealth, many talents, and beloved by all — his one flaw being that he’s a liar, so probably none of his claims are true. It’s a pleasant change to see a different kind of storytelling in a Eurovision song. It sounds like it came from a musical, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because the song shifts enough to keep listeners engaged. My only criticism is that the vocals sound a bit like the kind of “child-like” delivery I disliked in the United Kingdom’s 1959 entry. However, Boyer is very young (18 at the time) and therefore can be forgiven for this — and in any case, I’ll have to wait and see for the actual performance.