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  • Writer's pictureKyriakos Tsinivits

Every Eurovision song to chart in New Zealand

Songs from the Eurovision Song Contest started charting on the New Zealand music charts all the way back in 1960. The first being a cover of Domenico Modugno’s ‘Volare’ sung by Bobby Rydell.

Since then there have been a few connections between the contest and New Zealand. Back in the 1990’s a guitar instrumental version of Mocedades' 1973 Spanish Eurovision entry ‘Eres Tú’ was used in an advertising campaign by the Bank of New Zealand.

More recently the Eurovision Song Contest has been broadcast in Aotearoa (the Māori name for New Zealand) from 2009 to 2011 by Triangle Stratos and from 2014 to 2016 via BBC UKTV.

New Zealand even once got a mention at a Eurovision Grand Final!

Back in 2012 the hosts gave a shout out to television viewers from Australia and New Zealand, “We send a very special welcome to our fans and viewers in Australia and New Zealand. The Eurovision Song Contest has never been as close to you as this year.” Unfortunately that was a year Eurovision wasn’t broadcast in New Zealand.

Here at Aussievision we found a strong connection between New Zealand and Eurovision and that is through the music charts. We have complied all the Eurovision songs and Eurovision cover songs in Eurovision history that have charted in New Zealand.

The official NZ Music Charts is the weekly New Zealand top 40 singles and album charts, complied by Recorded Music NZ, formerly the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ). The current charts are complied from both physical and digital sales data from music retailers across New Zealand.

Before 1975 the music charts in New Zealand were complied by magazines, record stores and radio stations based on regions on an ad-hoc basis.

Our list comprises music chart data from the following:

  • Lever Hit Parades music data taken from from 1960 to 1966. The Lever Hit Parades were featured on the New Zealand government radio stations that were run commercially. The lists were complied by Lints NZ Ltd and sponsored by the Lever Brothers. These charts were poll driven and started in the 1950’s.

  • New Zealand Listener chart taken from from 1966 to 1974. These charts were run by NZ Listener Magazine. They were not sales based but by voting from their readers. The list was later renamed POP-O-METER.

  • RIANZ charts from and from 1975 onwards. In 1975 a sales based music chart was created complied by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. In the future it would go on to be renamed the Official New Zealand Music Chart.

We ranked the Eurovision songs in order of their peak positions and duration on the New Zealand music charts.

Our list covers all 19 songs that we found that charted on the Lever Hit Parades, New Zealand Listener chart, RIANZ charts and the Official New Zealand Music Chart as per the and databases. Our list included 14 original Eurovision entries (shown with an asterisk *) and four artists who covered Eurovision songs over the last six decades.

Interestingly for the Australian readers we can reveal two Eurovision entries with very strong Aussie connections that have charted in New Zealand and made our list.

We have included videos to all the top 10 ranked songs.

Let’s begin!

19. Nicole - ‘A Little Peace (Ein bißchen Frieden)’ - 1982 *- No. 34 - 1 week at peak - 5 weeks on chart (RIANZ)

18. Dschinghis Khan - ‘Dschinghis Khan’ - 1979 *- No. 33 - 1 week at peak - 3 weeks on chart (RIANZ)

The single released in New Zealand was the English version ‘Genghis Khan’.

17. Gina G - ‘Ooh Aah… Just a Little Bit’ - 1996 *- No. 28 - 1 week at peak - 7 weeks on chart (RIANZ)

Australian Gina G has appeared only one time on the New Zealand singles music chart. Her 1996 Eurovision hit song for the United Kingdom, 'Ooh Aah... Just a Little Bit’, peaked at No. 28 on the RIANZ single chart. It is the most recent Eurovision entry to chart in New Zealand. It faired better in the UK where it charted at No. 1 and in Australia at No. 5, on their music singles charts.

16. Måneskin - ‘Zitti e buoni’ - 2021 *- No. 26 - 1 week at peak - Hot 40 Singles

‘Zitti e buoni’ peaked on the Hot Singles Chart at No. 26 after the Italian band won Eurovision in 2021. Måneskin managed to gain chart success with their cover 'Beggin'' reaching No. 3 and remaining on the chart for 24 weeks and 'I Wanna Be Your Slave' peaked at No. 21 and stayed on the chart for 10 weeks.

15. Cliff Richard - ‘Power to All Our Friends’ - 1973 *- No.11 - 1 week at peak - 4 weeks on chart (Listener)

14. Brotherhood of Man - ‘Save Your Kisses For Me’ - 1976 *- No. 9 - 1 week at peak - 13 weeks on the chart (RIANZ)

13. Emilio Pericoli - ‘Al Di La’ - 1962 - No. 8 - 1 week at peak - 1 week on the chart (Lever Hit Parades)

Emilio Pericoli was an Italian singer who in 1962 entered Sanremo and also released a cover of 'Al di lá’ by Betty Curtis, which won Sanremo the year before in 1961, and finished 5th at Eurovision. The song ranks at No.13 in our list charting at No. 8 on the Lever Hit Parades. Pericoli’s rendition sold over one million copies world wide.

12. Dana - ‘All Kinds of Everything’ - 1970 *- No.8 - 1 week at peak - 8 weeks on chart (Listener)

11. Matt Monro - ‘Walk Away’ - 1964 - No. 6 - 1 week at peak - 2 weeks on the chart (Lever Hit Parades)

Matt Monro represented the United Kingdom at the 1964 Eurovision Song Contest with ‘I Love the Little Things’ which finished runner up. He managed international success in the 1960’s and 1970’s. He scored three singles on the Lever Hit Parades with ‘Portrait of My Love' and ‘My Kind of Girl’, which both peaked at No. 5, and ‘Walk Away’ which peaked at No. 6. ’Walk Away’ is an English version Eurovision cover of ‘Warum nur, warum?’ which was the Austrian entry from 1964 by Udo Jügens.

10. Clodagh Rodgers - ‘Jack In the Box’ - 1971 *- No. 6 - 1 week at peak - 8 weeks on the chart (Listener)

‘Jack In the Box’ is the 1971 Eurovision entry from the United Kingdom by Clodagh Rodgers. In New Zealand ‘Jack In the Box’ peaked No. 6 on the Listener chart. She also charted with two other hits ‘Come Back and Shake Me’ and ‘Lady Love Bug’ which both peaked at No. 10 on the Listener chart.

9. Bobby Rydell - ‘Volare’ - 1960 - No. 5 - 1 week at peak - 2 weeks on the chart (Lever Hit Parades)

Bobby Rydell’s ‘Volare’ is the first Eurovision associated song we found to have charted on a music chart in New Zealand. It is one of many covers of Domenico Modugno’s 'Nel blu dipinto di blu’ 1958 Italian Eurovision entry which came third, but went on to be a global hit along with its many covers from many artists across the globe. Four years later Bobby Rydell had another hit ‘Forget Him’ which peaked at No. 4. It also peaked at No. 4 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

8. Lulu - ‘Boom Bang-a-Bang’ - 1969 *- No.5 - 1 week at peak - 7 weeks on chart (Listener)

7. Paul Mauriat & His Orchestra - 'Love is Blue (L'amour est bleu)' - 1968 - No. 4 - 2 weeks at peak - 11 weeks on chart (Listener)

Paul Mauriat & His Orchestra’s instrumental cover of Vicky Leandros’ 1967 Eurovision entry ‘L’amour est bleu’ given the English title of ‘Love is Blue’ charted around the world reaching No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart for five weeks, and peaked at No. 4 on the Listener chart in New Zealand.

Paul Mauriat is a French orchestra leader and conductor Le Grand Orchestre de Paul Mauriat who released easy listening songs. The instrumental of 'Love is Blue (L'amour est bleu)' was written by French composer André Popp who also wrote two other Eurovision songs with lyricist Pierre Cour, the Eurovision winning song ‘Tom Pillibi’ in 1960 and ‘Le chant de Mallroy’ the 1964 French entry by Rachel.

6. ABBA - ‘Waterloo’ - 1974 *- No.3 - 1 week at peak - 10 weeks on chart (Listener)

The Kiwi’s love ABBA, A LOT. Maybe even more so than the Aussies, based on ABBA’s chart success in New Zealand. Over 20 songs have charted in New Zealand with six No. 1’s ‘Chiquitita’, ‘Dancing Queen’, Fernando’, ‘I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do’, ‘Money, Money, Money’ and ’S.O.S’. ‘Waterloo’ was an exception it only peaked at No. 3 in 1974, but it was the start of things to come.

5. Bucks Fizz - ‘Making Your Mind Up’ - 1981 *- No. 3 - 1 week at peak - 18 weeks on chart (Listener)

Three Bucks Fizz singles have charted in New Zealand in 1981, their Eurovision song ‘Making Your Mind Up’ at No. 3, ‘Piece Of The Action’ peaked at No. 31 and ‘The Land Of Make Believe’ at No. 44.

4. The New Seekers - ‘Beg Steal or Borrow’ - 1972 *- No.2 - 1 week at peak - 9 weeks on the chart (Listener)

The New Seekers were formed after the disbanding of the Australian band The Seekers from the 1960’s. In the new band there were two Australians Peter Doyle and Marty Kristian. They scored the United Kingdom’s seventh runner-up position at Eurovision in 1972 with ‘Beg, Steal or Borrow’ which was co-written by Australian Tony Cole. On the New Zealand Listener chart The New Seekers have eight song that charted with one No. 1, ‘Look What They’ve Done to My Song, Ma’, and three songs that peaked at No. 2, ’Pinball Wizard’, ‘See Me Feel Me’ and their Eurovision entry for the United Kingdom 'Beg, Steal or Borrow’.

3. Cliff Richard - ‘Congratulations’ - 1968 *- No. 2 - 3 weeks at peak - 9 weeks on chart (Listener)

Cliff Richard was no stranger to the New Zealand singles chart with over 30 singles. Four of his songs reached No. 1, they include ‘Please Don’t Tease’, ‘I Love You’, ‘The Young Ones’ and ‘Summer Holiday’. His runner-up Eurovision song for the United Kingdom, ‘Congratulations’ reached No. 2 for three weeks.

2. Mary Hopkin - ‘Knock, Knock Who’s There?’ - 1970 *- No. 1 - 1 week at peak - 11 weeks on chart (Listener)

Mary Hopkins had five singles chart in New Zealand with her runner-up Eurovision song for the United Kingdom, ‘Knock, Knock Who’s There?’, being her sole No. 1 single. The song also peaked at No. 1 in Singapore. In Australia, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Malaysia and Ireland ‘Knock, Knock Who’s There?’ reached No. 2 on their music singles charts. Her other most successful single in New Zealand is ‘Goodbye’ which peaked at No. 2.

1. Sandie Shaw - ‘Puppet on a String’ - 1967 *- No.1 - 3 weeks at peak - 8 weeks on chart (Listener)

‘Puppet on a String’ is the first and only Eurovision winning song to reach the No. 1 spot on the New Zealand singles chart. The single reached No. 1 in ten countries across the world, in Australia it reached the No. 2 spot. It even reached the top 5 in Malaysia, South Africa and Singapore. In New Zealand Sandie Shaw had seven singles that charted, with another No. 1 single in 1964 with ‘[There's] Always Something There to Remind Me’ which remained at its peak for a single week.

And there you have it all the Eurovision songs we managed to track down that have charted on the New Zealand music singles charts.

Are there any songs we missed? With such a vast catalogue of Eurovision covers out there we wouldn’t be surprised if there are more that landed in New Zealand. Let us know on our socials.

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