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"Shocking Blue": the first Dutch breakthrough on the world music scene

Shocking Blue is one of the most important bands in the Netherlands. The team is known for its hit "Venus" and the extraordinary voice of Mariska Veres.

"Shocking Blue": the history of the group, albums, Mariska Veres, the revival of the band, famous cover versions  

"Shocking Blue" - a rock quartet from the Netherlands, performing music in various musical styles from rhythm and blues to psychedelic rock and folk rock. Behind short time of its existence (1967–1974) musical team, led by guitarist and songwriter Robbie van Leeuwen has been successful in international charts.

The group "Shocking Blue" at one of their performances
The group "Shocking Blue" at one of their performances

History of creation

History "Shocking Blue" is inextricably linked with the musician Robbie van Leeuwen. In the first half of the 1960s, under the influence of British rock, young guitarist rushed about in search of new musical directions. Having tried many teams, he became participant fashionable in those days of the group "Motions"who played rhythm and blues. As a result conflict with vocalist Rudy Bennet young guitarist left group and started search musical associates.

In composition the group he created were invited vocalist Fred de Vilde, drummer Cornelius van der Beck and bassist Clashe van der Shaft. IN name "Shocking Blue" (literally translated as "shocking blue"), musicians borrowed Erica's phrase Claptontaken from the single Strange Brew, later substituting instead of "electric" - "shocking".

In initial the group succeeded release two singles and one album. Their first track "Six Young Riders" remained unnoticed. A year later, the label «Pink Elephant" released the band's second single, titled "Luce Brown Is Back in Town", who took the 21st position in Dutch musical hit parade.

 

Debut album release

"Shocking Blue" is the first and only studio album groups recorded with participation his first vocalist Fred de Wilde. The record was released on the label «Polydor Records" in 1967. Originally an album didn't have no titles. A year later, in the background successful release of the group's second album "Shocking Blue At Home", the debut album was reissued in Germany on the label «Karussel". It was then that the call appeared on its cover "Beat With Us" ("Beat with us"), which became informal album title. Later released in Japan, in other countries the record appeared only towards the end 1980s.

Robbie van Leeuwen became author words and music for most of the songs, he wrote his compositions in the style popular at that time rhythm and bluesfocusing on music London rock bands The Who and Small Faces. After some time Robbie told his colleagues that the group's chosen style doesn't suit them. His dreams were directed towards West, to a distant American metropolis San Francisco, where at that time the musical chaos, were born and mixed different directionssuch as hippie, psychedelia, rock and roll. Of all this musical diversity, teams began to appear with a new, original music: "Moby Grape", "Grateful Dead" and others. These Californian musicians were decided dress Robbie and his team.

Shocking Blue CD "Beat With Us"
Shocking Blue CD "Beat With Us"

New soloist

Success and global acknowledgement came to the group only a year later, with the arrival of a new member in the team Mariska Veres. The time has come for vocalist Freddy de Wilde to go serve in armyso he had to leave group. Robbie van Leeuwen looking for in its place a new one candidacy. The owner impressive, completely different from the rest of the voices noticed manager team at the musical party. Mariska already had enough an experience: by that time she had already work in several groups and even recorded a track Topkari in solo performance.

 

Specific performance and possession original voices, largely determined the unique style groups. The first song she performed Venusincluded in the album "At Home" topped the list hits many European countries. Interestingly, in the homeland, in The Netherlands, the hit was awarded only Third places. IN Soviet Union the song was known as "Shizgara" (on the line "She's got it"), literally translated "she got it." By a hit is considered Robbie van Leeuwen, although all of it, with the possible exception of the text, is very similar to the song "Banjo Song", American folk group "The Big 3"issued six years earlier. Robbie himself confessedthat was influenced by the work of this musical trio.

Success 

Thanks to Venus the band's album was doomed to success. In subsequent years, musicians released more seven albums. They all enjoyed great popularity and were leaders sales in both Japan and European countries. Writing new hits demanded big amount of time, therefore, along with new songs, the group performed cover versions their old hits. This was made possible thanks to the extraordinary popularity team. For more than three years, the group has successfully toured around the world, by 1973 they were sold about 13.5 million records.

For all the time of creative activities team has undergone significant changes. First in 1972 gone bassist Clasche van der Wal, who devoted himself to creativity in the group five out of seven years the existence of the team. A year later Robbie van Leuven also temporarily left musical associates. Cause served depressioncaused by colossal loads and against their background dissatisfaction success and fame of the group. Final the crisis in the team happened to leaving marishki Vereswho decided to start solo career. After that, the musicians have not released anything. worthy, and finally the group fell apart.

Cover of the single "Venus" by Shocking Blue
Cover of the single "Venus" by Shocking Blue

Attempts to revive the musical group

Attempts revival groups were undertaken by former musical colleagues repeatedly. In the late 70s, Robbie tried recreate band, they even recorded a song Louise. Unfortunately, release the track failed and an attempt to revive the group not crowned success. Temporary the reunion of the team took place at the end of 1984 at the festival "Back to the Sixties", where the musicians played two successful concert. In the 90s Mariska Veres collected new the composition of the group and with the permission of Robbie called her "Shocking Blue". The team recorded a single "Body And Soul", produced by the former leader groups.

 

Covers

In 1986 year thanks to the successful cover of the British trio "Bananarama" on a hit Venus, the song was returned to peak American charts. It is noteworthy that in England this performance, like the original itself, took only eighth a place. Cover version of another famous song "Love Buzz" was successfully performed by the group Nirvana. Ukrainian team Quest Pistols successfully used in a hit "I'm tired" tune from "Long and Lonesome Road" 1969 and as a result ended up on top Ukrainian hit parade.

It is noteworthy that the unforgettable "Shizgara" alive and relevant today. IN contemporary In the world of advertising, we often hear a hit on television Venus in a video from Gillette.

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