A few years ago I posted nothing but Shocking Blue songs the entire weekend…when I was doing 2-3 posts a day. I received great feedback on their material. Most people have only heard Venus and some Nirvana fans have heard Love Buzz that they covered.
This is a band that I found when I first started to blog. I always liked their hit Venus but their other songs are just as good or better to me. The stringy guitar song Mighty Joe and the melodic Never Marry a Railroad Man are great songs.
They were a band out of the Netherlands with a sensational singer named Mariska Veres who hit internationally in 1970. She sounded like Grace Slick to me…maybe a little stronger. Robbie van Leeuwen was the guitar player who wrote the songs.
Shocking Blue successfully combined Beat music and R&B with psychedelic elements of the time like sitar and odd production techniques. Robbie didn’t mind if the band included a few covers, as it took the pressure off him to constantly come up with new material. “We wrote a lot of our own stuff and the radio DJs preferred us to do original songs, but we had so many albums to do the band had to fill in with a few covers. It was quite exhausting writing all the lyrics and song myself”.
They were together from 1968-1974. Shocking Blue was known as a one-hit-wonder with Venus but their other songs were big hits in the Netherlands.
They were not smooth…they were raw… hence why I like them. Venus is probably my least favorite…maybe because I’ve heard it too much and it’s been covered a few times by different artists.
I like finding artists that have been largely forgotten. I never knew about Shocking Blue…with the exception of Venus until 3 or 4 years ago. I do listen to some new music on Youtube but I like digging and finding good bands that deserve attention. To me they are new…
Mariska sadly died in 2006. With her voice, I’m shocked she didn’t have a more successful solo career.
Never Marry a Railroad Man