Croatia’s Euro 2012 came to a gallant end when they were pipped to a quarter-final place by eventual runners-up Italy, purely on the basis of having scored less goals against Ireland (but conceded less too … don’t even get me started on how wrong goal difference is as a means of separating teams level on points)
Croatia (formerly part of Yugoslavia of course) has a fine tradition of pop music – here’s a few examples.
First up is Ivo Robic. He was a singer in that fine, melancholy, Euro MOR style known as schlager. Ideally, you have to be over 40 and a little bit drunk to appreciate schlager music.
He wrote and performed this song. You may recognise the tune – it was translated for Frank Sinatra into that song about a dog.
Ivo had a massive international career, making it big in Germany and France. What a voice – if he’d sung in English then he would have been huge over here too.
Novi Fosili were a pop group from Zagreb. This was the 1987 Yugoslavian Eurovision Song Contest entry, which criminally only finished fourth. John Peel played it on the radio. I swear I am not making this up.
This actually marked the start of Peel being featured as part of the BBC’s Eurovision coverage as an ironic counterpart to Terry Wogan.
And from around the same era, Laibach got a bit of attention in the U of K with their heavily ironic (one hopes) fascistic takes on pop songs.
Once you’ve heard this take on jaunty 80s classic “Live Is Life”, originally done by Austrian hair-metal rock/popsters Opus, you will never be able to listen to the original again.
They also did a number on Queen’s “One Vision”.
I could go on and on about Laibach … great band, and without them there would be no Rammstein.
Depends on your POV as to whether you think this is a good thing, I suppose.
Finally, for balance, a Croatian hip-hop band called Elemental.
Oh, and if you don’t believe that “Strangers In The Night” is about a dog, check out the bit right at the end when Frank sings :
“Scooby dooby doo, be dooby dooby
Scooby dooby doo, be dooby dooby …”
(* sigh *) Ja ću dobiti moj kaput …