3.30.2006

Rocking You with SHOCKING BLUE

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A couple of years ago, I worked as a writer and assistant editor for a short-lived magazine published by MacWorld called Playlist. One part of my job was to fact check the celebrity iPod playlists we ran in the magazine. . . you know, making sure the artist's name is spelled right, making sure the song even exists, etc. It was kind of fun, especially when I'd be looking over playlists from Jack White or Rufus Wainwright and discovering all kinds of new music in the process.

One artist whose list surprised me was one of the drunken louts in the group Jet. Included in his list was a shout out to a Dutch group called SHOCKING BLUE. While researching his pick, I discovered that this was the band who had a hit in the '60s with "Venus." His choice was a song called "Send Me a Postcard." After a little scouring of the web, I found the song and was immediately blown away. Psychedelic bubblegum pop in the vein of QUESTION MARK AND THE MYSTERIANS or THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN, but with deep, powerful female vocals from sexy frontwoman Mariska Veres. "Not bad taste for a guy from Jet," I thought.

Regardless of the fact that they were one hit wonders in the U.S., the pathetic entry on the group at AllMusic.com is still less than the Shocking Blue deserve. "They generated enough hits in enough parts of the world to warrant a compilation on Rhino Records" is hardly a ringing endorsement.

The group was around for quite a while, but the absolute best place to start is by getting At Home, the same album that "Venus" appears on. Tonight I'm posting my own homemade EP, which includes 3 songs from that album. For regular readers, I already posted "Love Buzz" once before. For new readers, that is the original version of the song that NIRVANA would eventually make semi-famous on thier Bleach album.

If you like what you hear, happy hunting for the rest:

1. "Send Me a Postcard"
2. "The Butterfly and I"
3. "Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind"
4. "Love Buzz"
5. "Hot Sand"

FOR MORE ON TONIGHT'S POST:
- Learn more about Shocking Blue than you will at AllMusic right here.
- Another Blue page
- Some info on lead vocalist Mariska
- Buy Shocking Blue music at Amazon.com

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5 comments:

Patrick said...

am I the only one who hears Jefferson Airplane in Send Me A Posrtcard??

countrygrrl said...

this was a real head band with lots of soul...fab post..well remembered.

Anonymous said...

dylan, jones. hope you are doing well, and sorry i missed you last time you were in town. was jsut doing some surfing and whatnot, and came across this link:

http://www.mardy-bum.com/index.php?page=music/live

it is an artic monkeys fan site with TONS of live shows and radio sessions and whatnot. not quite so timely, i know, but better late than never, i guess...

Pastoor Poncke said...

Singer Mariska Veres died today at 59 in The Hague, Netherlands

Anonymous said...

Venus is one of the top 5 pop songs ever written. It's obvious that anyone who could write a song like that must have a few other ideas in his head as well.

I'm eager to track down these songs, now that the links have expired.