Rare is the Eurovision winning country that doesn’t play safe on the follow-up. “Puppet On A String” had given Britain its first victory, and “Congratulations” keeps things unflinchingly upbeat. (It pulled in a very close second on the night). The pull of “Puppet”‘s strings actually harm “Congratulations” as a record, though. The body of the song trundles along agreeably on a rhythm track straight out of Cliff’s beat group days, but the trilling orchestral flourishes – more typically Eurovision, and successful for Sandie – don’t really mesh with it. They seem fancy and intrusive, and the arranger loses me completely for the big slowdown behind the final chorus. Cliff does a professional job though, even on the somewhat obnoxious chorus that the song is remembered for. His Eurovision experience was obviously a happy one, as he had another go five years later, and the appearances cemented his position as a family favourite and helped extend his career to remarkable length.

Score: 3

[Logged in users can award their own score]