20 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Best known in America for the rollicking hit single “Venus” (later covered with great success by Bananarama), Shocking Blue, with the alluring Mariska Veres on lead vocals, were a top-flight garage-psych rock outfit who had a staggering amount of first-rate material. Each of their studio albums features something to recommend and this Greatest Hits collection is the real deal. “Never Marry a Railroad Man,” “Hello Darkness,” “Out of Sight Out of Mind,” “Send Me a Postcard,” “Long Lonesome Road,” “Hot Sand” and “Love Buzz” are among the greatest pop tunes of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Multi-instrumentalist Robbie van Leeuwen brings his guitar and sitar playing up to maximum effect, delivering true power and textural subtlety. Veres pulls out all the stops for the whipsaw smarts of “Shocking You.” She rules the stage with an authority that no one can mess with. “Eve and the Apple” throws a manic keyboard in pursuit of Veres’ hot-chick defiance. “This America” shows the Dutch group reaching out to the U.S.A. Except “Venus” would be their only blockbuster here in the States. Our loss.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Best known in America for the rollicking hit single “Venus” (later covered with great success by Bananarama), Shocking Blue, with the alluring Mariska Veres on lead vocals, were a top-flight garage-psych rock outfit who had a staggering amount of first-rate material. Each of their studio albums features something to recommend and this Greatest Hits collection is the real deal. “Never Marry a Railroad Man,” “Hello Darkness,” “Out of Sight Out of Mind,” “Send Me a Postcard,” “Long Lonesome Road,” “Hot Sand” and “Love Buzz” are among the greatest pop tunes of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Multi-instrumentalist Robbie van Leeuwen brings his guitar and sitar playing up to maximum effect, delivering true power and textural subtlety. Veres pulls out all the stops for the whipsaw smarts of “Shocking You.” She rules the stage with an authority that no one can mess with. “Eve and the Apple” throws a manic keyboard in pursuit of Veres’ hot-chick defiance. “This America” shows the Dutch group reaching out to the U.S.A. Except “Venus” would be their only blockbuster here in the States. Our loss.

TITLE TIME
3:03
3:10
3:07
2:56
3:01
3:36
2:47
2:40
2:59
2:43
2:31
2:53
2:41
2:51
3:27
2:57
2:44
2:39
3:46
3:59

About Shocking Blue

Formed in 1967 by former Motions guitarist Robbie van Leeuwen, the Dutch quartet Shocking Blue originally had a lineup of VanLeeuwen on guitar, lead vocalist Fred DeWilde, bass player Klaasje Van der Wal, and drummer Cornelius Van der Beek, and the initial configuration of the band had a minor homeland hit with “Lucy Brown Is Back in Town” a year later in 1968. Things really got moving, though, when DeWilde was replaced by sultry singer Mariska Veres, whose sexy presence and solid singing brought the band a second Netherlands hit, “Send Me a Postcard,” and then a huge international smash with “Venus” in 1970 after the group had signed to Jerry Ross' Colossus Records imprint. Although Shocking Blue's albums (1968’s Shocking Blue, 1969’s At Home, 1970’s Scorpio’s Dance, 1971’s 3rd Album, 1972’s Inkpot, 1972’s Attila, 1973’s Dream on Dreamer, and 1974’s Good Times) featured progressive rock elements and inventive arrangements thanks to VanLeeuwen's writing and production skills, the band was essentially marketed as a pop singles unit, and while they scored several subsequent hits in their homeland, none of the group’s releases approached the massive saturation success of “Venus.” Veres left Shocking Blue in 1974 to pursue a solo career, and while there have been various reunions and different touring incarnations of the band over the years (including a version fronted by Veres in the '90s), its creative history ended then. VanLeeuwen later re-surfaced in the folk/jazz group Galaxy-Lin, while his most famous composition, “Venus,” continued to see play on oldies stations. Veres died of cancer in 2006 at the age of 59. ~ Steve Leggett

  • ORIGIN
    The Netherlands
  • FORMED
    1967

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