Shocking Blue

Shocking Blue was a Dutch rock band from The Hague formed in 1967. Their biggest hit, "Venus," went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1970, and the group disbanded in 1974.


The initial line-up consisted of:

In 1968, Mariska Veres (b. October 1, 1947 d. December 2, 2006) replaced Fred de Wilde as lead singer.


The group charted a world-wide hit with the song "Venus," which reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in February 1970. This was an entirely different song than Frankie Avalon's 1959 hit of the same name.

Before the breakthrough of "Venus," the group had a minor hit in 1968 with "Lucy Brown Is Back In Town". Once Mariska Veres took over the vocals two bigger hits followed, "Send Me A Postcard" in 1968/69 and "Long and Lonesome Road" (often mistakenly named as Long Lonesome Road) in 1969. "Hot Sand", the flip-side of "Venus" was also heavily plugged on Dutch radio.

Many more Dutch hits followed: "Mighty Joe" in 1969/70. In 1970 "Never Marry a Railroad Man" (flip-side "Roll Engine Roll") and "Hello Darkness". In 1971 "Shocking You", "Blossom Lady" and "Out of Sight Out of Mind". In 1972 "Inkpot" and "Rock in the Sea". "Eve and the Apple" in 1972/73 and finally "Oh Lord" in 1973. None of these songs charted in the US, however.

In 1974 female singer Mariska Veres left the group to start a solo career. Her only solo hit was "Take Me High" in 1975. From the 1990s, Veres toured with a new group under the Shocking Blue banner, with permission of her former bandmates.

On December 2, 2006 Dutch news service ANP reported that Mariska Veres had died from cancer at 59.

Cover versions

  • "Venus" was covered in 1970 by Greek pop band Olympians, with entirely different lyrics in Greek and retitled as "Το Κορίτσι Του Μάη" (To koritsi tou Mai - The girl of May).
  • "Venus" was also included as part of the Stars on 45 Medley (which put it at #1 in 1981).
  • British girl band Bananarama covered the song and took it back to #1 in (1986).
  • Estonian singer Tõnis Mägi covered the song in hard rock style.
  • Other covers have come from Russian band Mongol Shuudan, Steve Wynn on his 1997 album The Suitcase Sessions with members of Come. Lyrics and Japanese singer Yoko Nagayama (in 1986).
  • Nirvana covered Love Buzz for their first album Bleach (1989); it was also the "A" side of the band's first single, which was released in November 1988. The British group The Prodigy also sampled "Love Buzz" for their song 'Phoenix' on their 2004 album Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned.
  • Ladytron included the song 'Send Me a Postcard' on their compilation album 'Softcore Jukebox'.
  • "Venus" was remixed and re-released by dance producers 'The BHF (Bisiach Hornbostel Ferrucci) Team' in 1990, scoring the group a Top 10 hit in the U.K. and Australia 21 years after the release of the original. The remix featured a hip house rhythm and samples. Two versions appeared: An instrumental version credited to 'Don Pablos Animals' and a vocal version credited as 'Shocking Blue (BHF Remix)'.
  • Big Business released a cover of "Send me a Postcard" on their Tour EP III.



  • 1968 Beat With Us (Polydor, Karussell)
  • 1969 At Home (Pink Elephant)
  • 1970 Scorpio's Dance (Pink Elephant)
  • 1971 Third Album (AKA Shocking You, Pink Elephant)
  • 1972 Inkpot (Pink Elephant) - The official music of Mark Six
  • 1972 Inkpot (Polydor – West German release with several different tracks)
  • 1972 Live in Japan (Pink Elephant)
  • 1972 Attila (Pink Elephant)
  • 1972 Eve and the Apple (Same as "Attila" with one different track, Polydor)
  • 1973 Dream on Dreamer (Polydor)
  • 1973 Ham (Same as "Dream On Dreamer" with 3 different tracks, Pink Elephant)
  • 1974 Good Times (Pink Elephant)

All of these albums have been reissued on CD except "Beat With Us" and "Live in Japan." "Eve & The Apple" and "Ham" were not reissued as they feature tracklistings almost identical to "Atilla" and "Dream on Dreamer," respectively.


  • 1967 Love Is In The Air/What You Gonna Do (Polydor)
  • 1968 Lucy Brown Is Back In Town/Fix Your Hair Darling (Pink Elephant)
  • 1968 Send Me a Postcard/Harley Davidson (Metronome)
  • 1969 Long And Lonesome Road/Fireball Of Love (Metronome)
  • 1969 Venus/Hot Sand (Pink Elephant)
  • 1969 Mighty Joe/Wild Wind (Metronome)
  • 1969 Scorpio's Dance/Sally Was A Good Old Girl (promo)
  • 1970 Never Marry A Railroad Man/Roll Engine Roll (Metronome)
  • 1970 Hello Darkness/Pickin' Tomatoes (Metronome)
  • 1971 Shocking You/Waterloo (Metronome)
  • 1971 Serenade/ Sleepless At Midnight (Buddah)
  • 1971 Blossom Lady/Is This A Dream (Polydor)
  • 1971 Out Of Sight Out Of Mind/I Like You (Polydor)
  • 1972 Inkpot/Give My Love To The Sunrise (Polydor)
  • 1972 Rock In The Sea/Broken Heart (Polydor)
  • 1972 Eve And The Apple/When I Was a Girl (Polydor
  • 1973 Let Me Carry Your Bag/I Saw You In June (Polydor)
  • 1973 Oh Lord/In My Time Of Dying (Polydor)
  • 1973 Oh Lord/Everything That's Mine (Pink Elephant)
  • 1974 This America/I Won't be lonely Long (Polydor)
  • 1974 Dream On Dreamer/Where The Pick-Nick Was (Polydor)
  • 1974 Good Times/Come My Way (Pink Elephant)
  • 1975 Gonna Sing Me A Song/Get It On (Decca)
  • 1986 The Jury And The Judge/I Am Hanging On To Love (Polydor)
  • 1994 Body And Soul/Angel (Red Bullet)


  • 1986 Best of Shocking Blue (CNR)
  • 1986 Classics (21)
  • 1990 The Very Best of Shocking Blue (Red Bullet), (Arcade, 1993)
  • 1997 Singles A's and B's (Repertoire)

Audio sample


External links

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