Shocking Blue

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Shocking Blue
Shocking Blue 923-1956.jpg

Shocking Blue in 1970
Background information
Origin The Hague, Netherlands
Genres Rock, nederbeat, psychedelic rock, blues rock, folk rock
Years active 1967–1974
Labels Pink Elephant, Polydor, Penny Farthing, Colossus
Past members Mariska Veres
Robbie van Leeuwen
Cor van der Beek
Klaasje van der Wal
Fred de Wilde
Henk Smitskamp
Leo van de Ketterij
Martin van Wijk

Shocking Blue was a Dutch rock band from The Hague, the Netherlands, formed in 1967. Their biggest hit, “Venus“, went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1970, and the band had sold 13.5 million discs by 1973, but the group disbanded in 1974 because Mariska Veres wished to start a solo career.[1]


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Shocking Blue was founded in 1967 by Robbie van Leeuwen. The group had a minor hit in 1968 with “Lucy Brown is Back in Town”. After Mariska Veres took over the vocals, the group charted a world-wide hit with the song “Venus“, which peaked at No. 3 in the Netherlands in 1969. The song reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in February 1970. It subsequently sold 350,000 copies in Germany, and topped the U.S. chart for three weeks, the first song from the Netherlands to do so. It sold over one million copies there by January 1970, and received a gold record awarded by the Recording Industry Association of America. Global sales exceeded five million copies.[1] The song was based on “The Banjo Song” (1963) by The Big 3.

Other hits include “Send Me a Postcard” in 1968/69 and “Long and Lonesome Road” (often mistakenly named as “Long Lonesome Road”) in 1969. Shocking Blue’s songs also received quite a large amount of radio airplay on Dutch channels.[2][3]

“Venus” was followed by “Mighty Joe” (flip-side “Wild Wind”) in 1969 and “Never Marry a Railroad Man” (flip-side “Roll Engine Roll”) in 1970, which both sold over a million records.[1] Later songs – including “Hello Darkness” (1970), “Shocking You”, “Blossom Lady” and “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” (1971), “Inkpot”, “Rock in the Sea” and “Eve and the Apple” (1972) and “Oh Lord” (1973) were successful in Europe, Latin America and Asia, but failed to chart in the U.S..

In 1974 Mariska Veres left the group to start a solo career until 1982. Her singles “Take Me High” (1975) and “Lovin’ You” (1976) were mainly popular in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Other known singles were “Tell It Like It Is” (1975), Dusty Springfield’s “Little By Little” (1976), and “Too Young” (1978). Most of these songs today are rare.

Shocking Blue made a comeback in 1979, and recorded “Louise” as their first single since their breakup back in 1974. However, the song was never released for unknown reasons. They did however, perform live with their earliest songs such as “Venus” and “Never Marry a Railroad Man” in 1980. They made another comeback in 1984, and later recorded “Jury and the Judge” with “I Am Hanging on to Love” on B-side, and yet another unreleased song “Time Is a Jetplane” in 1986.

Bananarama covered “Venus” in 1986, hitting number one in the US and the UK Top 10 (#8). Nirvana covered the Shocking Blue song “Love Buzz” as their debut single in 1988, and it also appeared on their 1989 album Bleach.

Mariska Veres died of cancer on 2 December 2006.


The initial line-up consisted of
Later members were



  • 1968 Shocking Blue (Polydor) also known as “Beat With Us” (German title)
  • 1969 At Home (Pink Elephant)
  • 1970 Scorpio’s Dance (Pink Elephant) also known as “Sally Was A Good Old Girl” (Japanese title)
  • 1971 Third Album (AKA Shocking You, Pink Elephant)
  • 1972 Inkpot (Pink Elephant) – The official music of Mark Six
  • 1972 Live in Japan (Pink Elephant)
  • 1972 Attila (Pink Elephant) also known as “Rock In The Sea” (Japanese title)
  • 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”, but with 3 different songs and 6 alternate versions, Pink Elephant)
  • 1974 Good Times (Pink Elephant)


  • 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)
  • 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 My Song” / “Get It On” (Decca)
  • 1980 “Louise” / “Venus” (promo)
  • 1986 “The Jury and The Judge” / “I am Hanging on to Love (Polydor)
  • 1994 “Body and Soul” / “Angel” (Red Bullet)



  • 1969 Sensational Shocking Blue (Discofoon)
  • 1971 Hello Darkness (Pink Elephant)
  • 1972 The Shocking Blue Perfect Collection (Polydor)
  • 1972 The Best of Shocking Blue (Pink Elephant)
  • 1973 Shocking Blue’s Best (Metronome)
  • 1973 With love from… Shocking Blue (Capri)
  • 1978 The Shocking Blue Double Deluxe (Polydor)
  • 1980 Venus (Piccadilly)
  • 1981 The Shocking Blue Greatest Hits (CNR)
  • 1986 Best of Shocking Blue (CNR)
  • 1986 Classics (21 Records)


  • 1986 The Best of Shocking Blue (Victor)
  • 1990 The Very Best of Shocking Blue (Red Bullet), (Arcade, 1993)
  • 1990 Shocking Blue 20 Greatest Hits (Repertoire)
  • 1990 Venus (Castle Communications AG)
  • 1994 A Portrait of Shocking Blue (Castle)
  • 1995 Shocking Blue The Golden Hits (Red Bullet)
  • 1997 Singles A’s and B’s (Repertoire)
  • 1997 Shocking Blue Grand Collection (A.R.O.)
  • 1998 Shocking You (Laserlight)
  • 2000 Shocking Blue Golden Collection 2000 (Lighthouse)
  • 2000 All Gold Of The World Shocking Blue (Mekkophone & Castle Communications)
  • 2004 Shocking Blue Greatest Hits (Red Bullet)


  • 2004 Greatest Hits Around The World (Red Bullet)

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