Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Beat of Shocking Blue

Hailing from the Netherlands, psyche-pop, folk-tinged foursome Shocking Blue achieved critical success in 1970 with their No. 1 hit, "Venus," later made popular in 1986 by the all-female English trio, Bananarama. Only recently have I discovered them, although I was familiar with "Venus" as a kid, I wasn't familiar with frontwoman's Mariska Veres' magnetic appeal. Her vocals are a near-match for Grace Slick, and her glossy girlish look is classic; Robbie van Leeuwen (guitar/vocals), Cor van der Beek (drums) and Klaasje van der Wal (bass) completed the lineup.

Shocking Blue also wowed fans with songs like "Send Me a Postcard," "Don't Marry a Railroad Man," and "Inkpot." Morrissey featured "Inkpot" and "Mighty Joe" (video featured below) in his pre-show music on his current tour in support of "Years of Refusal."

Before disbanding in 1974, the band sold 13.5 million albums. Sadly, Veres passed away from cancer in December 2006 at the age of 59.

For the indie purists out there, Nirvana covered Shocking Blue's "Love Buzz," which is included on Bleach. "Love Buzz" is also sampled in the Prodigy song, "Phoenix." Ladytron featured "Send Me a Postcard" on their 2003 compilation, Softcore Jukebox.

Shocking Blue - "Mighty Joe"

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