Eurovision 1970: Italy’s Gianni Morandi in focus

A disappointing result for Italy, and it’s big crooner Gianni Morandi. Nevertheless, ‘Occhi Di Ragazza’ is still loved by many Eurovision fans. Though not all are impressed, this is to many of the best Eurovision entries from 1970.

Gianni Morandi came to the Eurovision Song Contest after being chosen internally by the broadcaster. The song was internally selected too. Where other countries used the Eurovision Song Contest to showcase upcoming talents, Italy in Gianni went for a household name with lots of experience.

At the Eurovision Song Contest, things didn’t go as expected. With only five points; two from Germany and Spain and 1 from Yugoslavia, the Italian entry Occhi Di Ragazza finished in a tied 8-9-10th place – out of only 12 participating entries that year.

Occhi Di Ragazza – opinions from fans

In order to find out what Eurovision fans today think of this Italian entry from 1970, we asked our Eurovision Fan Panel. It includes team members as well as fans from all over the world.

🇬🇧 Steve P. – Displaying not even a hint of nerves, Gianni (who is still a star in Italy) gave possibly the most relaxed performance in contest history, and certainly the most accomplished of the night. Somehow, it seemed to really suit the melodic, flowing nature of the song. How this song finished 8th is a mystery! Like a lot of Italian songs, Occhi di Ragzza is timeless, and it’s certainly better than the winner – mind you, most of the songs were! For me, this has always been the best song of that contest.

🇩🇰 Charlotte J. – I really love this one. Italy is one of my three favourite Eurovision countries, and among the many great songs, they have had, this is actually in my top 5. The studio version is stronger than his Eurovision performance, but I still think it should have scored much better than it did. Nothing could touch Ireland’s victory, but if it had been up to me (though, I wasn’t born yet), Italy would have landed a top 3 result.

🇮🇪 Paul K. – I always say every year, Italian songs always sound so good because the language itself sounds beautiful, and this is no exception. It’s a really nice song, it’s not something I would always listen to but every now and then I’d probably play it for myself. Italy always do a good job, and this is one of them. Good job Italia 👏👏

🇳🇱 Frank S. – Ok, I admit that even I sometimes completely miss a Eurovision song from the past. So, starting the Youtube video and waiting for the song to begin and…..Wow….It felt like the first time I went to beautiful Napoli in spring…..It is such recognizable music (very ‘70s) and a very nice and warm Italian voice! I simply loved it!!! Thank you for something completely unexpected.

🇬🇧 Louis E. – Italian entries in the 60s and 70s especially are a very mixed bag for me, and unfortunately this falls into the category of songs that really get on my nerves. It has that classy romantic Italian sound that’s nice once, but the beat and arrangement get incredibly tiring and repetitive throughout the song with practically no dynamic buildup – at 1 minute into the song I was already wanting it to end. The vocalist also plays around with the rhythm in such a way that really annoys me.

🇨🇿 Josef S. – Good classic, but this time maybe it’s already too much even for me even though I love Italian songs in general. Gianni Morandi sing it pretty well, but Occhi di Ragazza is not a song I would love to listen regularly. Let’s sum it up as a nice average. Not bad, but not great either.

🇬🇧 Michael O. – Despite there being only 12 songs, the 1970 contest was full of gems. This is typical of the Italian crooner style of its time, but unfortunately for Italy this year, there were three powerhouse females who dominated. However, the Italian entry is a decent enough ballad.

🇪🇸 Quique B. – Gianni has one of the most wonderful voices that have been in an Eurovision stage, one of the best european singers in history. A great honour to have his participation between eurovision entries.
His performance was perfect as always he is. He meritates to win but Occhi di ragazza, although being a very good song, it’s not te best in his repertory and in that year. Anyway I love him and also this wonderful song.

🇲🇹 Luke B. – This typical Italian song is a joy to hear. The strong voice of Gianni, coupled with the beautiful Italian language makes the song memorable and this was severely underrated on the night. Could be a victim of the voting system during this particular Eurovision and thank God that the system has been changed to how we know it nowadays!

Enjoy Gianni Morandi’s performance from the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest in the embedded video. Below the video, you can read more about him.

Gianni Morandi – a mini biography

When Gianni Morandi represented Italy at the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest and placed 8th, he was already a big star in Italy. He was born in 1944 with his father being active in the Italian Communist Party. As a result of that, as a child, some of Gianni’s first performances was for this party. But all that changed when his great voice was discovered, and he landed his first record deal.

He shot to big fame in 1962 with the song Fatti Mandare Dalla Mamma. In the 1960s alone, he released six albums and won several Italian festivals. As such, the disappointing result at the Eurovision Song Contest didn’t affect his career in Italy that much.

In 1987, he won the legendary Sanremo festival with the song Si Può Dare Di Più. In 1995, he placed second and in 2000, he came third. Later, he has also hosted this festival several times. Over the years, Gianni has released more than 30 albums, and he is still touring with his many well known hits.

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