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1970s-80s Finland: Land Of Exceptionally Awful Singing And Dancing

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FINLAND is the Land of the Midnight Sun; but in the 70s and 80s it was The Land of Batshit Crazy Songs and Incomprehensibly Bad Choreography. As these videos illustrate, dancing was done with an absolute poverty of rhythm and skill. And what the Finns lacked in dancing, they made worse by singing.

Of course, I say this with tongue firmly planted in cheek (you’d be hard pressed to find a country without its share of musical embarrassments in the 70s and 80s). That being said, these are so insanely awful they are surely the cream of a very dubious crop. Take a look and listen – I guarantee you’ll be sorry you did.

 

 

With nearly 3.5 million views on YouTube, you may have seen this video already. The choreography is madness, the lyrics are awful “How can I be sure you’re not pretender?!”)… yet, I can’t stop watching it.

 

 

This Finnish cover of The Village People’s “YMCA” (Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) = Nuorten Miesten Kristillinen Yhdistys (NMKY) in Finland). The short shorts, the spastic dancing, the knee-high tube socks…. It’s almost too much to take in at once. I recommend watching in increments with frequent breaks.

 

 

 

This is how they did the “Robot” in Finland… by moving as awkwardly as humanly possible.

 

 

 

What in God’s Holy Name is going on here? I know it’s from 1989, I know it’s Finnish, and I know that my mind has been irreparably scarred.

 

 

 

Please share this piece of Finnish insanity; don’t be selfish – the world needs to see this.

 

 

 

 

Because you can never have too much Mikko Alatalo.

 

 

 

 

Plump Fredi has a nice voice, I suppose. It’s the giddy bouncing that makes me uncomfortable.

 

 

 

 

Words fail me. As with nearly all of these, I’m left slack-jawed and asking, “What did I just see?”

 

 

 

 

The audience seems utterly unimpressed by this creepy girl’s performance. Not sure the significance of the lovebirds among the Jim Morrison poster… but then, I haven’t an explanation for any of the videos in this list. Probably best left a mystery.

 

 

 

 

I stand corrected. I take it all back. The Finns are dancing machines that cannot be stopped! Finland: Land of Disco Dynamite!

  • Petri Rissanen

    Fredi’s giddy bouncing comes from the song. It’s name is “Pylly vasten pyllyä – pump pump” which translates as “butt against butt – bump bump” 🙂 I think it was a Eurovision song contest participant.

  • Hannu Mikkola

    All of these “entertainers” were very famous then and still. Mikko Alatalo is sitting in the finnish parlament. Danny, Fredi, Erkki and Armi are legends. Bat & Ryyd was a humour duo which made maybe two albums don’t know don’t care but still everyone from a certain generation knows them. And the last disco dance video was from a tv show which teached dancing and there were two hosts Åke Blomqvist and Aira Samulin if I remember correctly. Nothing to say about Niki Soraya and the YMCA cover…

    And the creepy little girl Jonna whole name Jonna Tervomaa has grown in to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NU0gVUVI6v0

  • Hilkka Lätti

    We call it MYÖTÄHÄPEÄ. Try to spell that.

  • Tonde_jkl

    You forgot this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZCm9o-9Ukc. Pirkka-Pekka Petelius : Pimpparauta

    • … and I wish it had stayed forgotten. (wiping sweat from brow) That was rough.

  • NorthernDragon

    All I want to say is that “Minttu sekä Ville” by that creepy little girl is one of the cutest love songs done in our music history. The lovebirds there are representing the people being sung about (song name: Minttu is a girl’s name, Ville a boy’s). I was born way after the release of this song and still every single person even from my generation and after seems to know the song. A lot of these are humorous songs… But nothing explains the first one, that’s simple torture to anyone.

  • SkeptiGal

    I don’t know much about Finns, but I can think of two explanations for these vids: #1 it’s dark by 3 pm in the winter, so what else is there left to do but: #2 drink a lot of alcohol.

  • NoPasaran

    This ain’t nothing. I lived in East Germany in the 80’s. The only thing that makes any of THIS worse than any of THAT were that they knew they were too deprived to display any pretensions.

  • You done goofed

    Bat & Ryyd is a comedy duo

  • Kanakotka

    You really need to get some concept and background understanding to understand the vast majority of these. While there are horrific ones, like the first 3, the vast majority is in the lyrical agility and the capability of the language… which is pretty much unintelligible to the majority of foreign people, even if they were able to speak finnish at a passable level.

    For instance the song “Kolmen konstin timpermanni” has more puns, double-entendres and folklore woven into it than you can shake a stick at.
    Hannu Mikkola admirably englihtened you of the rest.

    Bat & Ryyd is certainly extremely unintelligible aswell if you don’t understand the language.

  • Miko the Squiz

    Finnish mainstream pop was depressing enough throughout the 70s, 80s, and 90s – there just wasn’t the knowhow to produce anything creditable – never mind the novelty acts that didn’t even bother to make an effort.

    In terms of strange and ugly underground/marginal art-damaged noise, though, the concentration of talent and imagination in such a small population was startling.

    Check out Sielun Veljet (in their English-language guise as L’amourder) bringing Western decadence and subversive art to the USSR, rewarded with the least amount of amusement ever displayed by Russian security guards:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOfLoD6Rx7g