ARTIST: Shocking Blue
TITLE: Greatest Hits of Shocking Blue
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: US / UK Charted: Long and Lonesome Road (#75 US), Venue (#1 US, #3 UK), Mighty Joe (#43 US, #45 UK), Never Marry a Railroad Man (#102 US)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Love Buzz (thanks to Nirvana)
LINEUP: Mariska Veres, Robbie van Leeuwen, Klassje van der Wal, Cor van der Beek. Later on, Leo van der Ketterij, Henk Smitskamp, Martin van Wijk all subbed in for van der Wal and van der Beek. Fred de Wilde sang on one cut pre-Veres
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Dutch band with only one US / UK has a remarkably deep singles catalog.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: For all intents and purposes, the real story of Shocking Blue began when leader Robbie van Leeuwen turned the vocal slot to the striking Mariska Veres. Veres’ voice and look gave Shocking Blue a unique place in the marketplace, and the songs composed by van Leeuwen were higher quality than most European pop/rock at the time.
The singles all had an intriguing sound, even for the time, with electric guitar, sitar and organ all in the fore, yet nothing really sounded exactly like. Before “Venus”, they had big hits in the Netherlands with “Send Me a Postcard” and “Long and Lonesome Road” (my personal favorite, as Veres still has a lot of Dutch in her English).
The band had 11 Top 10 hits in France, and 13 Top 20 hits in their home country. We only really knew one, and it’s a classic, but we should have known more.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: “Love Buzz” was on Nirvana’s Bleach in a remarkably different arrangement. Also, Veres’ striking long black hair was allegedly a wig (!)
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No. But if you’re really into them, they have a collection of A-sides and B-sides that’s full to the brim.
GRADE: A-: One-hit wonders aren’t usually this good or have this much depth.