Shocking Blue

Psychedelic rock band Shocking Blue was formed in The Hague, Netherlands in 1967. The band is best-known for their hit single “Venus”, which has become a classic rock staple and has also been covered many times over the decades. The band was founded by guitarist Robbie van Leeuwen, who then recruited bassist Kaasje van der Wal, drummer Cor van der Beek, and vocalist Fred de Wilde. Shocking Blue released their first single, “Love Is in the Air”, in 1967 but it failed to chart. Their self-titled debut album was released in November, 1967. Their second single, “Lucy Brown Is Back in Town”, was released in 1968 and reached Number 21 on the Dutch Singles chart. Vocalist de Wilde left the band and joined the Dutch army. He was replaced by Mariska Veres. Shocking Blue’s fifth single was “Venus”, which was released in July, 1969, became an international hit. “Venus” reached the Number 1 spot in the U.S., Australia, Norway, France, New Zealand, and many other countries. Their second album, At Home, was released in September, 1969. Initially, the album did not contain “Venus”, but the song was added to later pressings and to the international versions of the album. The band continued to have hits in their homeland, but they only achieved minor success in other countries including France (1970’s “Never Marry a Railroad Man”, ‘71’s “Shocking You”, and 1972’s “Eve and the Apple” all reached Number 1). For the next few years, the band released a series of albums that earned critical success including Third Album (1971), Inkpot (1972), Eve and the Apple (1972), and Ham (1973). Guitarist and main songwriter Robbie van Leeuwen left the band in 1973. Shocking Blue called it quits after the album Good Times was released in 1974. The band attempted a few reunions over the years (1979, 1980, and 1984), but no new material was released. From 1986 to her death in 2006, Mariska Veres continued to perform, often using the name Shocking Blue, but without the participation of any other members.

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