Shocking Blue – Never Marry A Railroad Man

I’m sounding like one of those AM radio shows…It’s going to be a Shocking Blue weekend! I’ll post some more of their songs Saturday and Sunday. This song has an unusual chorus but it is very catchy.

Shocking Blue was a Dutch rock band formed in The Hague in 1967. They were known for the song Venus which reached #1 in the Billboard 100 in 1970. “Never Marry a Railroad Man” sold over a million records and became a top-ten hit in several countries around the world.

The song is not well known in America but is a great little song. The singer was Mariska Veres who sounded a bit like Grace Slick but with a maybe stronger voice. I found this group a few years ago while listening to Venus and explored their other releases. They did have more songs than Venus that were good.

There is not much info on Shocking Blues songs but I did find a Mariska Veres fan site that has this info…

Mariska was born in Hague, Holland.. Mariska, half-Hungarian and half-German, had often sung with her father, Lajos Veres, who played violin in a gypsy orchestra. She recorded the solo singles called “Topkapi”(1965) and “Dag en nacht” (1967) and had gained experience singing with different groups before she joined Shocking Blue. How did she meet Shocking Blue?

In 1968 Shocking Blue’s manager and music publisher attended a party celebrating the success of Golden Earring’s first number one song in Holland. A band known as the Bumble Bees, fronted by the strong and striking female singer, performed at the party, and the two men thought she would be a perfect addition to Shocking Blue. Robbie van Leeuwen, leader and founder of Shocking Blue, was immediately impressed by her vocal style, quite different from most local singers of the day. When Mariska was asked to join the Shocking Blue, she requested that they (the band members) would not start any relationships with her except professional one. She replaced de Wilde as a lead singer and, no doubt, became the eye- and ear-catching attraction of the band; her soul-tingled voice gave the music a distinct R&B sound.
Mariska obviously was an attraction for many fans of SB. It’s easy to imagine how many men and boys had fallen in love with Mariska, with her mystic aura, enigmatic smile, and long black hair (which was, sadly to say, a wig). People, mostly men of course, saw her a sex-symbol, which she was, but she could never cope with it. It was a disappointment for many of her fans when in the late seventies she got rid of her sexy image starting to wear long dresses and relatively short haircut.
In spite of her fantastic look Mariska was a pretty shy, a little naive person. She could not really deal with the snobbish Robbie (guitar player): once he shouted at her, she started to cry and phoned her mother, who in return called their manager. Sounds silly, but Mariska was surely not the wild woman everybody thought she was. Mariska also was “famous” for her lifestyle: she never smoked and she did not like alcohol. During those days of “sex, drugs, and rock and roll”, when SB toured the world, Mariska’s most favorite drink was tea.

After Shocking Blue disbanded Mariska started her solo career, which was not successful. She recorded a dozen of solo singles but the singles did not score well although most of them sounded (and still sound) great. Probably, she was not motivated enough, lacked a good manager, and luck was not on her side. In 1978 Mariska was featured in a single “Neon City” recorded by Mistral (Robbie’s group at that time). In 1979 Robbie was planning to reunite the group. They even recorded a single called “Louise” as a part of their come back project, but for some reasons this was cancelled and “Louise” was never released. Robbie van Leeuwen said in an interview that Mariska was the only reason the come back was off, but never said why. Probably, Mariska was just fed up with all the attention and was just overworked. Maybe because of this she does not like to recall the 70’s. In the late 80’s she performed with her group “Veres”. In the early 90’s she appeared on stage with The Clarks, and, in my opinion, their performances together were great. Mariska also sang with several jazz musicians, and even recorded CD with four jazz musicians in 1993 (Mariska Veres Shocking Jazz Quintet). In the fall of 1993 she founded a new band and, with Robbie’s permission, called it Shocking Blue. They recorded a single “Body And Soul” (1994), which was produced by Robbie.


Never Marry A Railroad Man

Have you been broken-hearted once or twice
If it’s yes how did you feel at his first lies
If it’s no you need this good advice

Never marry a Railroad man

He loves you every now and then
His heart is at his new train. No, no, no
Don’t fall in love with a Railroad man
If you do forget him if you can
You’re better off without him ah

Have you ever been restless in your bed
And so lonely that your eyes became wet
Let me tell you then one thing

Shocking Blue – Mighty Joe

The tone of this guitar gets to me every time. This song was the follow up to the #1 Venus and this made it to #43 in the Billboard 100. They are known as a one-hit-wonder but the truth is they had other hits all over the world just not in Billboard.

This song was written by guitarist  Robbie van Leeuwen who most all of Shocking Blue’s successful songs. The band formed in 1967 and broke up in 1974. They did regroup a few times in the 80s but never had the success of this period.

The members in this period were Mariska Veres vocals, Robbie van Leeuwen guitarist, Klaasje van der Wal bass guitar and Cor van der Beek drums.


Mighty Joe

Be careful girls
For Mighty Joe
Be careful!
He teaches you all that don’t know
He makes you cry
Before it’s through

And I bet you like it too
Did you hear about Mighty Joe?
Did you hear about Mighty Joe?
Beware when he is around
Mighty Joe with the bass voice!

Mighty Joe was here last year
I tell you!
Just like you
I had no fear
I fell for him

And then he made of me a woman
Sweet thing
Sweet thing
I love you
I love you
I love you so bad

He took my heart and in a sense

I swear he ain’t got no sense
When I said yeah
He’s gone to town
I warn you
He will let you down
Did you hear about Mighty Joe?
Did you hear about Mighty Joe?
Beware when he is around
Mighty Joe with the bass voice!

Shocking Blue with Mariska Veres

A band out of the Netherlands with a  sensational singer named Mariska Veres had a huge hit in 1970. She sounded like Grace Slick to me…maybe a little stronger. Robbie van Leeuwen was the guitar player who wrote the songs.

Their big hit worldwide was Venus that most people have heard. They had some great songs like Never Marry a Railroad Man, Mighty Joe, Love Buzz (which Nirvana covered). They were together from 1968-1974. They were known as a one-hit wonder with Venus but their other songs were hits in the Netherlands and were very good.

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

Mighty Joe

Love Buzz