For this week’s episode of Carbon Copy, we look at Luxembourg’s entry to the Eurovision Song Contest in 1967! The song was called ‘L’amour Est Bleu’. It was composed by André Popp, with lyrics by Pierre Cour and sung by Vicky Leandros. The song did not win the contest and was only placed 4th! Since then, the tune has steadily traveled all over the world!
Let us start with the earlier versions.
The same year the song made its debut, Paul Mauriat released an instrumental version of the song, titled ‘Love Is Blue’, with an orchestral arrangement featuring harpsichord, rock guitars and drums. It was part of the album called ‘Blooming Hits’ and topped the charts in 1967.
Across the globe, Ryoko Moriyama released a Japanese version of the song in the same year!
The next few years saw a steady stream of multi-lingual versions.
The Chinese version, by Betty Chung, from her 1968 album called ‘Wild Flame’.
The Spanish version of the song, sung by Raphael, in a film he starred, called El Golfo, in 1969.
A significantly spruced up and flamboyant variant of the original in Italian, by Maurizio Arcieri, in 1969!
There’s even a Finnish version from the early 70s, called ‘Rakkaus on sininen’, by the Finnish singer Jukka Kuoppamäki!
If so many countries are interested in the song, could India be left behind? Of course not! The difference, of course, is that in many of these local versions, the record label behind the singers negotiates the deal with the original copyright owners (in French) to bring out new, other language variants. And gets appropriate local artists to do ‘cover’ versions.
In India, such practice started very, very late… in the 2000s after a couple of filmmakers bore the brunt of lawsuits from copyright owners.
Back in 1970, AVM, the well-known Tamil/South Indian production company produced a Telugu film titled Chitti Chellelu. The music for the film was composed by Saluri Rajeswara Rao. Among the many hit songs from the film, one song clearly stood out – ‘Ee Reyi Theyanadi’, sung by S.P.Balasubrahmanyam and P.Susheela. The song is the first Indian version of ‘L’amour Est Bleu’! The mukhda is exactly similar to the original French song, but antara, as usual, takes on a different, very-Indian route.
The song is so popular that it was re-used in a 2003 Telugu film called Johnny, produced, directed and starring Pawan Kalyan. The music was then credited to Ramana Gogula, and the song was sung by Hariharan and Nanditha.
Between these 2 Telugu sojourns, the original (finally!) song also caught the attention of Bappi Lahiri! The film was Aaj Ke Shahenshah (1990). In the song, ‘Hum Dono Akele Hon’ (picturized on Chunky Pandey and Sonam, sung by Bappi Lahiri and Anuradha Paudwal), Bappi uses the original as-is for the mukhda, and interestingly, his antara sounds a bit like the one in the Telugu version. He, of course, changes the bridge between the antara and the mukhda, while also adding a lot more Bollywood style musical layers.
For a song placed 4th in the 1967 Eurovision contest, it sure has attracted a LOT of attention from the many corners of the world!