Shocking Blue

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Shocking Blue
Popgroep Shocking Blue gaf persconferentie in verband met succes van plaat Ve, Bestanddeelnr 923-1956.jpg
Shocking Blue in 1970
Background information
OriginThe Hague, Netherlands
Genres
Years active1967 (1967)–1974 (1974)
(reunions: 1979, 1980, 1984)
Labels
Past members

Shocking Blue was a Dutch rock band formed in 1967 in The Hague. It was part of the movement in the Netherlands that got generally known under the name Nederbeat. The band had a number of hits throughout the counterculture movement during the 1960s and early 1970s, including "Send Me a Postcard" and "Venus", which became their biggest hit and reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and many other countries during 1969 and 1970. The band sold 13.5 million records by 1973 but disbanded in 1974.[2] Together with Golden Earring they are considered as the most successful Nederbeat-band, as far as the criterium is scoring hits abroad and especially in the United States. Because of their international ambitions, their lyrics were in English, and were eventually improved for successful cover versions of "Venus," like that of Bananarama.

History[edit]

Shocking Blue were founded in 1967 by The Motions guitarist Robbie van Leeuwen. Other members of the group at this time were Fred de Wilde, Klaasje van der Wal (1 February 1949 – 12 February 2018)[3] and Cor van der Beek (9 June 1949 – 2 April 1998). They had a minor hit in 1968 with "Lucy Brown is Back in Town". When De Wilde was the band's lead singer, the band originally had a sound that was described as cross between The Beatles and Brothers Four. De Wilde left in 1968 after joining the Dutch army, and van Leeuwen was introduced to Mariska Veres, singing at that time with a club band. He persuaded her to take over the vocals, and the group recorded a worldwide hit with the song "Venus", which had entered the Veronica Top 40 hit parade at position #12 the 12 July 1969 and had peaked at number three on 26 July 1969 in the Netherlands. The song was released in the United States and the United Kingdom at the end of the year and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1970. It subsequently sold 350,000 copies in Germany and topped the U.S. chart for three weeks, the first song from the Netherlands to do so. It sold over one million copies there by January 1970 and received a gold record awarded by the Recording Industry Association of America. Global sales exceeded five million copies.[2] Other hits include "Send Me a Postcard" in late 1968 and "Long and Lonesome Road" (often mistakenly named as "Long Lonesome Road") in 1969.[4]

"Venus" was followed by "Mighty Joe" (flip-side "Wild Wind") in 1969 and "Never Marry a Railroad Man" (flip-side "Roll Engine Roll") in 1970, both of which sold over a million records. The latter became a top-ten hit in several countries around the world.[2][5] Later songs were successful in Europe, Latin America, and Asia, including "Hello Darkness", "Demon Lover" (1970), "Shocking You", "Blossom Lady" and "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" (1971), "Inkpot", "Rock in the Sea" and "Eve and the Apple" (1972) and "Oh Lord" (1973), but they failed to make the charts in the U.S. or U.K.

Klaasje van der Wal left towards the end of 1971, following their first trip to Japan (which spawned a live album). In 1974, Robbie Van Leeuwen quit, and Mariska Veres left later that year, leading to the band's split. Veres enjoyed a solo career until 1982. Her singles "Take Me High" (1975) and "Lovin' You" (1976) were popular mainly in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. She also released the singles "Tell It Like It Is" (1975), a cover version of Dusty Springfield's "Little By Little" (1976), and "Too Young" (1978).

Shocking Blue reformed with its most famous line-up in 1979 and recorded "Louise" as their first single since their break-up in 1974. The song was never released. They did, however, perform live in 1980 with earlier songs such as "Venus" and "Never Marry a Railroad Man". They attempted another comeback in 1984 and recorded "The Jury and the Judge" with "I Am Hanging on to Love" as the B-side in 1986.

Drummer Cor van der Beek died on 2 April 1998 at age 49 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Mariska Veres died of gallbladder cancer on 2 December 2006 at age 59 in The Hague, Netherlands.[6][7] Bassist Klaasje van der Wal died on 12 February 2018 at age 69.[3]

Cover versions[edit]

Members[edit]

Former members

Timeline[edit]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Shocking Blue also known as Beat with Us (German title) (1967)
  • At Home (1969)
  • Scorpio's Dance also known as Sally Was a Good Old Girl (Japanese title) (1970)
  • The Shocking Blue (1970)
  • Third Album also known as Shocking You (1971)
  • Inkpot (1972)
  • Live in Japan (1972)
  • Attila also known as Rock in the Sea (Japanese title) (1972)
  • Eve and the Apple (Same as Attila with one different track) (1972)
  • Ham (1973)
  • Dream on Dreamer (Same as Ham, but with 3 different songs and 6 alternate versions) (1974)
  • Good Times (1974)

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions
US
[10]
UK
[11]
AUS
[12]
NED
[13]
NOR
[14]
GER
FRA
NZ
BEL
JPN
CAN
1967 "Love Is in the Air" / "What You Gonna Do"
1968 "Lucy Brown Is Back in Town" / "Fix Your Hair Darling"
"Send Me a Postcard" / "Harley Davidson" 10 4
1969 "Long and Lonesome Road" / "Fireball of Love" 75 17 72[15]
"Venus" / "Hot Sand" 1 8 1 3 2 2 2 1 15 1[16]
"Mighty Joe" / "Wild Wind" 43 43 43 2 5 15 22[17]
1970 "Never Marry a Railroad Man" / "Roll Engine Roll" 40 1 5 12 6 4 19
"Sally Was a Good Old Girl" / "Long and Lonesome Road"
"Hello Darkness" / "Pickin' Tomatoes" 4 44 12
1971 "Shocking You" / "Waterloo" 10 45 21
"Serenade" / "Sleepless at Midnight"
"Blossom Lady" / "Is This a Dream" 78 2 41 3
"Out of Sight, Out of Mind" / "I Like You" 6 5
1972 "Inkpot" / "Give My Love to the Sunrise" 97 5 12 4
"Rock in the Sea" / "Broken Heart" 14 31 21
Eve and the Apple / When I Was a Girl 15 18
1973 "Let Me Carry Your Bag" / "I Saw You in June"
"Oh Lord" / "In My Time of Dying" 14 6
1974 This America / I Won't Be Lonely Long 16
"Dream on Dreamer" / "Where the Pick-Nick Was"
"Good Times" / "Come My Way"
1975 "Gonna Sing My Song" / "Get It On"
1980 "Louise" / "Venus"
1986 "The Jury and the Judge" / "I Am Hanging on to Love"
1990 "Venus '90" (UK only) 78
1994 "Body and Soul" / "Angel"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

Compilations[edit]

LPs

  • 1969 Sensational Shocking Blue (Discofoon)
  • 1970 The Shocking Blue (Colossus) [US #31]
  • 1971 Hello Darkness (Pink Elephant)
  • 1972 The Shocking Blue, Perfect Collection (Polydor)
  • 1972 The Best of Shocking Blue (Pink Elephant)
  • 1973 Shocking Blue's Best (Metronome)
  • 1973 With Love from... Shocking Blue (Capri)
  • 1978 The Shocking Blue Double Deluxe (Polydor)
  • 1980 Venus (Piccadilly)
  • 1981 The Shocking Blue Greatest Hits (CNR)
  • 1986 Best of Shocking Blue (CNR)
  • 1986 Classics (21 Records)
  • 2022 At Home (The Singles) (Music on Vinyl; RSD limited edition 10" pink vinyl)

CDs

  • 1986 The Best of Shocking Blue (Victor)
  • 1990 The Very Best of Shocking Blue (Red Bullet), (Arcade, 1993)
  • 1990 Shocking Blue 20 Greatest Hits (Repertoire)
  • 1990 Venus (Castle Communications AG)
  • 1994 A Portrait of Shocking Blue (Castle)
  • 1995 Shocking Blue The Golden Hits (Red Bullet)
  • 1997 Singles A's and B's (Repertoire)
  • 1997 Shocking Blue Grand Collection (A.R.O.)
  • 1998 Shocking You (Laserlight)
  • 2000 Shocking Blue Golden Collection 2000 (Lighthouse)
  • 2000 All Gold of the World Shocking Blue (Mekkophone & Castle Communications)
  • 2004 Shocking Blue Greatest Hits (Red Bullet)
  • 2017 The Blue Box (Red Bullet)

DVDs[edit]

  • 2004 Greatest Hits Around the World (Red Bullet)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Breihan, Tom (14 December 2018). "The Number Ones: Shocking Blue's "Venus"". Stereogum. Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  2. ^ a b c Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 267 and 285. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  3. ^ a b "Klaasje van der Wal, Haags popicoon, is overleden". Haag Media (in Dutch). Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Shocking Blue". Alex Gitlin. Retrieved 21 July 2010.
  5. ^ "Hits of The World". Billboard. 9 January 1971. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Mariska Veres, 59, Singer for Shocking Blue, Dies". The New York Times. 8 December 2006. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  7. ^ "News: Obituaries Mariska Veres Singer with Shocking Blue". The Independent. 5 December 2006. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  8. ^ Matos, Michaelangelo (30 September 2004). "Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned". Rolling Stone. Vol. 958. p. 190 – via Proquest.
  9. ^ de Waard, Peter (8 March 2018). "De mooie jongen van Shocking Blue, die al in 1975 zijn gitaar in de wilgen hing". de Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Shocking Blue - Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 1 December 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  11. ^ "SHOCKING BLUE - full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  12. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 273. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  13. ^ "Discografie Shocking Blue". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  14. ^ "Discography Shocking Blue". norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  15. ^ "RPM Top 100 Singles - June 27, 1970" (PDF).
  16. ^ "RPM Top 100 Singles - January 31, 1970" (PDF).
  17. ^ "RPM Top 100 Singles - April 25, 1970" (PDF).

External links[edit]