I was in a pub with some of my pals last night, drinking pints of tap water, as they had no grapefruit juice and they were playing ‘The Best of Shocking Blue’. Track after track of early 70’s goodness. We did not know who the band were, if it was a new album or old -we guessed Jefferson Airplane, Julie Driscoll, the backing sounded like the Doors. If you do not know about this band let me introduce them to you. They were Dutch and the girl singer Mariska Veres was in fact compared to Julie Driscoll and Grace Slick. Their biggest hit was called Venus, and came out in 1970, which unless you have been living on a Mountain top with the afore mentioned Venus you will know. I loved this song and remember buying an old copy of the single in a record shop at the top of the Holloway Road in the early 80’s. I also remember ( but no-one else will ) telling my half the world and my brief date at the time who was some sort of record producer, that I always wanted to do a cover of Venus by Shocking Blue, this was just in passing, over a meal, or something. About a year later, Bananarama were covering it, created by the the very same record producer…who by then was no longer a friend. One of those funny coincidences, or perhaps I sowed the seed. I sort of keep thinking what a good conversation to strike up with one of the Bananaramas when we are both in the same gym…but I think not. How to look completely barmy…not that I really care about looking mad, but I should like to keep my dignity intact.ha ha
Anyway, back to Shocking Blue, who were around at the same time as the marvellous and also Dutch Golden Earring, (check out my blog about their 50th anniversary) an other great band from the early 70’s ( except they are still together and fighting, fit sadly the vocalist from Shocking Blue Mariska Veres died on 2 December 2006, aged 59). Shocking Blue’s record company were called Pink Elephant, though I thought my single had a blue label on it, and another of their hits was called Lucy Brown‘s Back in Town. I have to say the album was fantastic and it is time they had a bit of a revival as they were not deserving of the label ‘one hit wonder’ that is for sure.
SONG OF THE DAY – Never Marry A Railroad Man – Shocking Blue
I would have been easy just to post a version of Venus, and the last time Mariska performed it( which is on youtube) before she died is lovely as the audience sing along to all the backing bit, and there is a massive band, great arrangement. I thought it would be good to introduce you to another of their songs.