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1967 - 1974


beat, pop



Shocking Blue

Band from The Hague that reaches worldwide fame with the song Venus, which becomes a pop classic. Shocking Blue's sound is characterised by the sensual voice of singer Mariska Veres and the catchy pop tunes written by guitarist/composer Robbie van Leeuwen. The band is regarded as a typical singles band, ...
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Martin van Wijk   gitaar
Cor van der Beek   drums
Klaasje Van Der Wal   basgitaar
Robbie van Leeuwen   gitaar, zang
Mariska Veres   zang

Former members

Leo van de Ketterij   gitaar
Henk Smitskamp   basgitaar
André van Geldorp   gitaar
Michel Schreuder   drums
Fred de Wilde   zang
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Mentioned in the biography of

1935   Lajos Veres
1947   Dick Bakker
1967   Hu And The Hilltops
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Biography Shocking Blue

Band from The Hague that reaches worldwide fame with the song Venus, which becomes a pop classic. Shocking Blue's sound is characterised by the sensual voice of singer Mariska Veres and the catchy pop tunes written by guitarist/composer Robbie van Leeuwen. The band is regarded as a typical singles band, although their albums have stood the test of time remarkably well.


After leaving the Motion guitarist Robbie van Leeuwen forms Shocking Blue. The group's first singer is Fred de Wilde (ex-Hu & the Hilltops). The first single Love Is In The Air, released by Polydor.

Hu And The Hilltops Robbie van Leeuwen The Motions


Singer Mariska Veres replaces De Wilde after the release of the band's debut album Shocking Blue and second single Lucy Brown Is Back In Town, which is a small hit. Veres, daughter of the Hungarian violin player Lajos Veres, has already recorded several solo singles and was formerly in bands like Danny And His Favourites and Bumble Bees. She is discovered at the Jazz Festival in Loosdrecht. She can first be heard singing with the band on the hit single Send Me A Postcard.

Lajos Veres


After the hit single Long And Lonesome Road the band's next single is Venus, with which the band will score an international chart topper. The song is compiled of 'clever filching': the riff is derived from the Who's Pinball Wizard, the guitar solo from Get Back by the Beatles and the chords are quite similar to that of She's Not There by the Zombies. Small wonder, that the song is an instant classic. After the summer Shocking Blue only occasionally performs in the Netherlands (the first edition of the Pinkpop festival), because of a busy international touring schedule. In the meantime, the band has its first number one hit in the Netherlands with the song Mighty Joe.


Shocking Blue Venus attracts the attention of Jerry Ross from the American Colossus label. He immediately releases it as a single and in February 1970 it reaches the number one spot in the American charts. Venus is the first Dutch record that reaches the top slot in the American charts, but later that year Ross is also successful with the George Baker Selection (Little Green Bag reaches number 21) and Tee-Set (Ma Belle Amie reaches number five). The song is re-released in The Netherlands and again becomes a hit. The band embarks on an extensive tour of Europe and the US while Never Marry A Railroad Man reaches number one in the Netherlands and number three in Japan. The ballad Hello Darkness enters the top 10. In the meantime, the band records two excellent new albums: At Home and Scorpio's Dance.

George Baker Tee-set


The single You enters the top 10 and Shocking Blue tops the bill at the second Pinkpop festival. Henk Smitskamp replaces Klaasje van der Wal who's fed up with being on the road all the time. For a short time second guitarist Leo van Ketterij also joins the band. Shocking Blue tours Israel and Japan. Blossom Lady reaches number two in the Dutch Top-40 and Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind is also a big hit for the band. Unfortunately, the band does not manage to score another US hit.


Inkpot is a big hit in Europe and the band embarks on a tour of Europe, Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan. But it becomes clear that the band has difficulties in continuing its successes: Rock In The Sea and Eve And The Apple do not make it into the Top 10.


Oh Lord is Shocking Blue's last hit record. Let Me Carry Your Bag is the band's first record in five years, that doesn't make it into the charts. Robbie van Leeuwen no longer performs with the band, but is only active behind the scenes. He is replaced by Martin van Wijk. It's the beginning of the end for Shocking Blue.


When This Is America also fails to enter the charts Shocking Blue decides to call it quits. The group releases one more single called Gonna Sing My Song. Mariska Veres embarks on a solo career and Robbie van Leeuwen forms a new band: Galaxy Lin. The band scores only one hit (Long Hot Summer) and releases two albums. Then Van Leeuwen forms the studio band Mistral, which is a reasonably successful synthi-pop band. Cor van Beek and Henks Smitskamp join Livin' Blues and score a Top 10 hit with Boogie Woogie Woman. Leo van de Ketterij later turns up in the gospel scene and also works as a composer.

Galaxy-Lin Livin' Blues Mariska Veres Mistral


Shocking Blue, with Veres and Van Leeuwen, is reformed.


A second reunion. In the following years there will be several different, and not very successful line-ups of the group, often only with Mariska as original bandmember.


Between 1983 and 1996 Robbie van Leeuwen lives in Luxembourg not showing the least bit of interest in music. When Banarama covers Venus and scores a number one hit in the US, Robbie's a rich man. Shocking Blue's music remains in the centre of the attention. In 1988 Nirvana covers Love Buzz, which is released on the band's debut single.


Mariska Veres sings with the Shocking Jazz Quintet.

The Shocking Jazz Quintet


Mariska Veres again performs with a reincarnation of Shocking Blue, but without any of the other original members (Van Beek has died and Van der Wal has quit pop music altogether). Robbie van Leeuwen produces the band's single Body And Soul.


Veres continues performing with Shocking Blue. The band's line-up is now as follows: Veres, her partner André van Geldorp, Michel Schreuder, Michael Eschauzier and Paul Heppener.


Shocking Blue and the Buffoons perform at a '60s festival in Groningen, the Netherlands.

The Buffoons


From February 14-25 Shocking Blue featuring Mariska Veres and the UK's Fortunes perform live in eight Dutch theatres. Mariska Veres sings Venus at the 'Haagse Beatnach' at Parkpop.


In August Mariska Veres is special guest during several Margriet Eshuijs shows. On Saturday December 2 Mariska Veres dies of cancer at the age of 59.

Margriet Eshuijs


There is a Mariska Veres tribute at the 18th edition of the 'Haagse Koninginnenach' on April 29. Several bands play a Shocking Blue song to honour her.

Discography Shocking Blue

In the discography you will find all recordings that have been released listed chronologically. We restrict ourselves to the title, the type of audio, year of publication or recording, label, list of guest musicians, plus any comments on the issue.

Photos Shocking Blue

Audio/Video Shocking Blue

Video Shocking Blue

Hello Darkness
Hello Darkness
Grootse plannen
Grootse plannen
Eerste hit
Eerste hit
De grens over
De grens over
Blossom Lady
Blossom Lady
Commercieel bandje
Commercieel bandje
Never Mary A Railroad Man
Never Mary A Railroad Man
Complete Interview
Complete Interview
Op zoek naar een opvolger
Op zoek naar een opvolger
Het einde
Het einde
Shocking Blue in Wild Wes...
Shocking Blue in Wild West dorp (1972)
de platenkast van Mariska...
de platenkast van Mariska Veres(jr, music scene 23, 1994)
Venus by Shocking Blue
Venus by Shocking Blue
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