Eurovision 1978: Luxembourg’s Baccara in focus

When Baccara represented Luxembourg at the Eurovision Song Contest 1978, they were at the top of their music career.  The Spanish duo sung their disco song ‘Parlez-vous Français?’. In their 2020 reviews of the song, Eurovision fans find themselves comparing this to their most famous single ‘Yes Sir, I Can Boogie’.

For the Eurovision Song Contest 1978, the Luxembourg broadcaster organised their second national selection. The Spanish duo entered to the competition. Four other songs were in the competition to represent the Grand Duchy.  Baccara had already gained international recognition for their disco singles Yes Sir, I Can Boogie and Sorry I am a Lady before their Eurovision participation.

Baccara performed Parlez-Vous Français (Do you speak French?) in Paris. For the night of the contest, María wore a black dress while Mayte was wearing a white dress. During their performance the duo danced around the scenario. The lyrics of Parlez-Vous Français? are written as a conversation between two friends. In the song, Mayte, who went on vacations on the beach explains to María the importance of speaking French. The song received 73 points and ended up in 7th place at the end of the night.

According to Mayte, she was spending her time on the beach when a blue eyed man approached to her and asked her if she spoke French. German songwriters Frank Dostal and Peter Zentner wrote the lyrics for Parlez-Vous Français?. Dostal is also the songwriter behind the duo’s most well known singles.

Parlez-Vous Français? – opinions from fans

In order to find out what Eurovision fans today think of this Luxembourg entry from 1978, we asked our Eurovision Fan Panel. It includes team members as well as fans from all over the world.

🇨🇴 🇫🇮 Álvaro S. – Two Spanish girls representing Luxembourg in 1978 and singing in French with an accent is something one does not have every year. And the fact that they genuinely seem to enjoy their performance makes this song outstanding. I actually think the live version of this song is better than the studio.

🇩🇰 Charlotte J. – I am too young to remember this at Eurovision. I was only two years old in 1978. But I grew up in a family listening to ABBA, Boney M – and Baccara. As such they are the sound of my childhood. This song has become a classic for a reason: It’s catchy, well performed, vocally strong. Not the best Baccara song, but certainly one of the best Eurovision entries in the late 1970’s. I love it ♥️

🇬🇧 🇹🇭  John E. – Comfort music light, frothy, enjoyable but easily forgotten. Heavily choreographed, I think the Spanish duo had hoped for better than seventh place. I think the song suffered from being too much like their earlier hit Yes Sir, I Can Boogie. A bit of light relief, fun to watch and listen to but nowhere close to being a winner.

🇸🇪 Jill R. – I don´t like that Baccara competed for Luxembourg instead of their home country Spain, but I do like the Spanish vibe in Parlez-vous Français?. The song is a bit too similar to their hit Yes Sir, I Can Boogie though, but they are both really good songs. Parlez-vous Français? has a very catchy melody. The performance is charming and fun thanks to the elegant ladies in Baccara. They both have good voices and they interact very well together on stage; in the choreography, their singing and their facial expressions. I would have placed it in second place right behind A-Ba-Ni-Bi.

🇬🇧 Ashleigh K. – What a treasure this song is. It’s so nice to see women having fun, not trying to be sexy or controversial or doing anything too over the top but just singing and enjoying themselves.

🇮🇪 John D. – Many were expecting Baccara to have a song as good as their earlier hits Sorry, I’m A Lady and the massive Yes sir I Can Boogie. It was the favourite going into the contest but it did well to finish 7th with top marks from Spain (of course), Portugal and Italy. At best it was just a B side. It is a nice piece of nostalgia however.

🇲🇹 Amira M. – The 1978 entry for Luxembourg was a bright and joyful song which seems to be written in a conversation style to make it more positive and original.The performance was well synchronised and they used the stage very well.Their voices were also strong and matched the overall tone. I have to say I miss when the eurovision had an orchestra even though I didn’t live these times.

🇬🇧 Michael O. – Good old Baccara, the Spanish ladies sent to Paris to give Luxembourg its fifth win, so what went wrong? I said at the time if they didn’t win, that would be them finished in the UK and indeed it was. Still I suppose it was a poor copy of Yes Sir I Can Boogie, but I wanted it to win.

🇫🇷 Bernard D. – The Baccara duo is exceptional. Everything here is pleasure, charm and happiness! The very current music in 1978, the song that starts with a girlish dialogue, their dance steps, it’s so catchy and smoothly conducted. This pada pada pada and this final! But why didn’t they win ??? The votes of the French-speaking countries for Luxembourg were pitiful. Mais au fait: Parlez-vous Français?

Enjoy Baccara’s performance from the 1978 Eurovision Song Contest in the embedded video. Below the video, you can read more about them.

Baccara- a mini biography

Mayte Mateos and María Mendiola is a Spanish pop, disco and Spanish folk duo. In 1977 they formed Baccara. Mayte and María met each other when they were working as ballet dancers in TVE, the Spanish broadcaster. The duo initial name was “Venus”. Baccara’s name comes after the name of a rose.

In 1977 their single Yes, Sir I Can Boogie became a success in Europe. Baccara became the first Spanish artist to come first in the UK’s list for best selling singles. One year later they represented Luxembourg at the Eurovision Song Contest and finished in 7th place.

Mayte participated at the Swedish Melodifestivalen in 2004 with the song Soy Tu Venus. The duo are still active although they perform separately, both using the name Baccara.

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