Let the battle commence! On one side you have Anna Vissi the greek pop godess and on the other you have the Swedish Ice Queen of dance music, Pandora. Anna Vissi is otherwise known as "Thea" (Goddess in greek) while Pandora, in Greek mythology, was the first woman on earth...
Both recorded On A Night Like This about the same time, Anna performed it first while Pandora released it on CD before anyone else. Both well established divas pegged On A Night Like This as the song that would launch them into international superstardom. Pandora recorded it so as to make her name in UK while Anna Vissi had hoped the song would take her to the US and TRL.
Promotional plans were created in the buildings of record companies with each artist probably dreaming of pop deliverance! For Anna Vissi On A Night Like This was to be the lead single from her first ever english language album Everything I Am. Previously selling absolutely-and we mean ABSOLUTELY-millions in her domestic market, Greece, this song was gonna shoot Anna into the stars. Anna was even a personal favourite of Tommy Mottola and this new album, with all the hitwriters, was Sony Musics attempt to fill the massive void left by the departure of Mariah Carey. Nothing could go wrong...not even Anna's "diva issues"...
In a colder area of Europe, Pandora was working on her new album No Regrets. Now Pandora hasnt sold as much as Anna Vissi but she does well and is big in Japan. She's probably elated that the same people who gave Cher her massive comeback album, the song writing/production team Rive Droite Music/Metro, are helping her out. On A Night Like This is gonna launch Pandora into the stratosphere. With famous hit writers on board record company interest in Pandora transpires and the first sphere for chart dominance would be the UK. Nothing could go wrong...not even Pandoras lack of funds...even the majors are interested!
Then..during the summer Anna Vissi+Pandora begin to hear On A Night Like This on the radio. Things are going as they should be. Or so they probably thought. Something wasnt quite right. Anna probably immediately knows it isnt her song whereas Pandora probably has to listen a bit closer to the speakers. Most probably.... for....
Another far more established artist has released it with an amazing video and sings it infront of one billion people at the Sydney Olympics thus making the song totally hers. Sony records can no longer use On A Night Like This as The Minogue/EMI have quite clearly blagged it for themselves. Moreover Rive Droite seemed to have gone with the artist who is guaranteed to sell more. Thus, Anna Vissi spits blood on her website stating that this Australian diva had no right to take HER song. Then she finds out that technically she also covered the song. Thus she hushes up. Anyway she has Sony who'll simply choose another song to make her American dreams come true....cut to 2006 and Anna Vissi is representing Greece in this years Eurovision.
Pandora is the most we feel sorry for just because shes less established and her version is exactly the same as Kylies. At least Anna Vissi's version was a completely new take whereas Pandoras original sounds is a carbon copy of Kylies even down to the pleasant harp strums in the verses. It also messed up the whole album as the UK record companies could not launch an artist on a song that was already in the charts. Pandora was also told through her fans on her website that someone else had covered her song which not only a caused major headache with the whole No Regrets project but also meant she was the last to know. This makes DONTSTOPTHEPOP sad. The record company basically froze her out. At least Anna V had the weight of Sony to back her up while Pandoras stardust plans were wiped. No one touched her in Europe. Thus, No Regrets was officially only released in Japan.
As Pandora puts it "me and Anna lost the game to Kylie". In the end neither won the cheese even though they both fought to the bitter end. For both Anna and Pandora, their albums that contained On A Night Like This bombed. However since Everything I Am, Anna Vissi returned to singing in Greek and gave us one of key albums of 2005, Nylon, which pushed Annas total album sales to 10 million throughout her career and eventually achieved success in the US when her 2004 song Call Me was no.1 on the Billboard dance charts. Not bad for a lass from Cyprus. Pandora has recently returned with her wonderfully titled 9 Lives LP which must be like her 14th album to date. She goes from strength to strength and is a musical force to be reckoned with.
The song itself isnt THAT good. It sounds like a poor Cher reproduction of the Believe album tracks Runaway and Taxi Taxi. At worst it sounds like a reject from the 1997 Girl LP by Dannii Minogue. On second thoughts its Ok but its not all gravy as Christina Milian would put it. We can see why Kylie tends to completely re-do the song on her live shows.
(Thanks to Nish+Alex)
Posted by Robpop at Sunday, February 05, 2006