Was anyone else aware that One-Hit Wonder band Shocking Blue was actually an AWESOME band?

Dutch band Shocking Blue had an international hit in 1970 with the song “Venus”.
It was a hit again in 1986 when it was covered by Bananarama.

I saw a 20 song “Best of” compilation yesterday. The CD was pretty cheap so I picked it up as a curiosity. HOLY CRAP this band was awesome! The songwriting was top notch, all the musicians were excellent/had great chemistry with one another/arranged the songs in tasteful and interesting ways, and the lead vocalist SHOULD be counted as one of the greatest from the era.

Who knew?
No, seriously, who here knew and didn’t tell me!?!?!?!?!?

I’ll post more of my thoughts after I’ve listened to the CD a bit more, but I’d love to hear from anyone who may already have been a fan of this band for years.

To jog anyone’s memory, here’s their version of Venus (Youtube Link)

I’m not ready to rank my favorites yet, but here’s one that stood out to me right away Never Marry a Railroad Man (Youtube link)

68-73 was an incredible 5 years in music. I would like a copy of this album.

Yeah, they did rock. I had a girlfriend who was into them at one point, but I was originally made aware of them by other folks covering their songs.

My favorite by them is Love Buzz. Nirvana covered it, but Dallas’ Lithium X-mas covered it about the same time (and I think covered it better).

Yeah - I’ve played their version in bands - fun. The lead singer, Mariska Veres, had a great voice and a style that worked for her. When I heard more of their stuff, I was suprised they weren’t bigger.

Ahh, but Lithium X-mas was using a Steely Dan to play the lead part, giving the title an extra entendre. :slight_smile:

I’m surprised Shocking Blue weren’t bigger, either. They’re kind of ahead of their time, but not so far that you’d think they’d have a hard time selling it in the late 60’s.

I also doubt that many people realize that Leo Sayer’s first two albums are awesome and eclectic and very much his own sound.

Then he fell to the Dark Side of Adult Contemporary Hell.

Not a surprise, Nirvana always felt like they’d lifted a little from Lithium Xmas.

Any European Dopers wish to comment? Shocking Blue was a Dutch band; did they have other hits over there?

There are a lot of bands considered to be one-hit wonders by American standards, but had lengthy careers in other countries.

And of course, Shocking Blue never, ever heard this track:


Well, they were fairly successful here in the Netherlands until they split up in the 70’s. There were a few reunions (with some other band members), but it really sort of ended when Mariska Veres died in 2006.

I was born in the 80’s, so I’m kinda looking at wikipedia;).

Honestly, they are one of the Dutch bands from that period that did pretty well for the domstic audience. Similar to the more successful Golden Earring … that most foreigners only know from Radar Love, but have had dozens of Albums and are still touring regularly and selling out (I’ve seen the a bunch of times myself). I guess this is sort of typical for many European bands, one big hit internationally… but a pretty steady carreer at home.

Absolutely. Remember Falco? Americans only remember him for “Rock Me Amadeus”, but in Germany he had a long acclaimed career. There’s even a critically praised documentary on him.

Yeah, and I only heard about that and heard the song in the past couple of years - probably through you. It’s like Venus is the Born the Way rock version of their Express Yourself folk version…kinda. :wink: :cool:

“Twilight Zone” a.k.a. “When The Bullet Hits The Bone” was a moderate hit in the U.S. and is a semi-staple of classic rock radio. They had a few other good songs (including “Candy’s Going Bad”, numerous mediocre ones and a few that stand out for their hilarious, execrably bad lyrics. as in “She Flies On Strange Wings”:

Lonely is the night without you
just at lonely as the shepherd without sheep

Uh, right. :dubious:

Bananarama did a pop version of this. It just didn’t have guts. The original hits you in the soul.

Yup - have loved Shocking Blue since the late 80s. Well after their heyday. My favorites might be “Mighty Joe” and “Picking Tomatoes.”

ETA - and for some strange reason “Send me a Postcard” gets stuck in my head a LOT

Send Me a Postcard has a great, driving groove to it.

Status Quo is probably known best for “Pictures of Matchstick Men”.
They are still around and play really good old rock & roll.

That could explain it. :slight_smile:

Dutch singer Sandra van Nieuwland released a cover of Venus last year that was pretty popular in parts of Europe. She recorded it in a minor key, turning it into a whole new song, give it a listen:
Sandra van Nieuwland - Venus (Official Photovideo)

I love that song and for that very reason.

Holy fuck that SMOKES! SMOLDERS, even! Pay attention folks: that is how you do a cover version!