Long Live Love (song)

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United Kingdom "Long Live Love"
Eurovision Song Contest 1974 entry
Country United Kingdom
Artist(s) Olivia Newton-John
Language English
Composer(s) Valerie Avon & Harold Spiro
Lyricist(s) Valerie Avon & Harold Spiro
Conductor Nick Ingman
Finals performance
Final result 4th
Final points 14
Appearance chronology
◄ "Power to All Our Friends" (1973)   
"Let Me Be the One" (1975) ►

"Long Live Love" was the British entrant to the Eurovision Song Contest 1974 in Brighton, United Kingdom. It was sung by Olivia Newton-John in English.

The song's composers: Valerie Avon and Harold Spiro, had worked together as staff writers for Belwin Mills Publishing since 1970 and had placed songs with several artists: Newton-John had recorded the Avon/Spiro composition "Don't Move Away" as a duet with Cliff Richard with the track serving as B-side to Richard's 1971 hit "Sunny Honey Girl". "Long Live Love" was the third bid Avon and Spriro had made to have a song of their composing be the UK Eurovision entrant, having finished 4th in a field of six at A Song For Europe 1970 with "Can I Believe" while at A Song For Europe 1971 the Avon/Spiro composition "In My World of Beautiful Things" had finished 6th in a field of six.

As had been the norm for A Song For Europe since 1964 all nominated songs competing at A Song For Europe 1974 were performed by one artist who'd been selected by BBC-TV: Olivia Newton-John was the final solo artist to perform A Song For Europe duties under this format as after the Shadows were the BBC-TV's in-house artist of choice for A Song For Europe 1975 a multi-artist format was inaugurated with A Song For Europe 1976. (The single artist format would be revived for the A Song For Europe edition of 1992 and retained for the edition of 1993 and also that of 1994 with all three editions featuring solo acts, respectively Michael Ball, Sonia, and Frances Ruffelle.) Newton-John introduced one of each of the six nominated songs on a broadcast of Jimmy Savile's Clunk Click TV show: on a February 23, 1974 A Song For Europe 1974 TV broadcast the tally of viwers' mailed-in ballots was announced with "Long Live Love" the clear victor at 27,387 votes, the runner-up "Angel Eyes" - which was Newton-John's favorite - being 18,018.

Considered a strong contender for Eurovision 1974, "Long Live Love" was performed second on the night of the final (following Finland's Carita Holmström singing "Keep Me Warm" and preceding Spain's Peret with "Canta y sé feliz"). The conductor for the number was Nick Ingman and Newton-John was backed by a five woman chorale which included the Ladybirds, the trio who had sung backup for Sandie Shaw on her victorious performance of "Puppet on a String" at Eurovision 1967. At the close of voting "Long Live Love" had received 14 points to place in a three way tie for 4th in a field of 17, "Bye Bye I Love You" by Ireen Sheer singing for Luxembourg and "Celui qui reste et celui qui s'en va" by Romuald singing for Monaco also having accrued 14 points. Newton-John admitted post-contest: "I was never really happy with the song I had to sing."

In an unusual move Newton-John made recorded versions of all the songs she'd performed for UK Eurovision 1974 consideration, these tracks making up half of Long Live Love a December 1974 Olivia Newton-John album release, with "Angel Eyes" being utilized as the B-side of the single release of "Long Live Love."

In the British Isles "Long Live Love" charted in the UK with a #11 peak and reached #9 in Ireland: the track also afforded Newton-John a #11 hit in her adopted homeland of Australia. In anticipation of a boost from its expected strong Eurovision showing, "Long Live Love" was widely released throughout mainland Europe with the track having its highest global impact in Norway with a three-week chart peak tenure at #3, being kept from #1 by the chart-topping 1974 Eurovision victor "Waterloo" (ABBA) with first "Devil Gate Drive" (Suzi Quatro) and then "Seasons in the Sun" (Terry Jacks) at #2. However "Long Live Love" did not afford Newton-John widespread European success, otherwise charting only on Belgium's Dutch chart (#7) and in Finland (#9). Newton-John herself recorded a German-language version of "Long Live Love", while renderings in Norwegian and Finnish were recorded by respectively Gluntan (no) ("Det Er Et Sted") and Päivi Paunu ("Kun Rakastaa").

"Long Live Love" was succeeded as British representative at the 1975 contest by The Shadows "Let Me Be the One". Olivia Newton-John would be the last solo act to represent the UK at Eurovision until Eurovision 1985.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1974) Peak
position
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 11
Ireland Top Singles Chart 9
UK Singles Chart 11

Sources and external links[edit]

This article was based on informations from: Diggiloo net

  • Ewbank, Tim (2008). Olivia: the biography of Olivia Newton-John. London: Piatkus. p. 97-100. ISBN 978-0-7499-0984-0
Preceded by
Power to All Our Friends
United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest
1974
Succeeded by
Let Me Be the One