The Dutch singer scored several hit singles with Shocking Blue during the late 60’s and early 70’s including “Venus”
Remembering The Shocking Blue’s Unique Singer Mariska Veres On Her Birthday
Mariska Veres was one of the most recognizable female voices in Rock, she was also the first Dutch proper Rock star when her band Shocking Blue achieved worldwide success in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Mariska was born Maria Elisabeth Ender on October 1st, 1947 in The Hague, Netherlands. She begun as a child demonstrating interest by music, by the time she was in her teens she already had been in several garage rock bands. In 1968 she was invited to join the Psychedelic Rock group Shocking Blue to replace lead singer Fred de Wilde who had to join the army, just one year later Shocking Blue were having a worldwide hit with “Venus”. Mariska beautiful and accented vocals along with her striking appearance which featured kohl-rimmed eyes, high cheekbones, and long jet black hair turned Shocking Blue quickly into a Rock sensation. Coming from the Netherlands neither Mariska or the band thought they would achieve the high level of success they did. “Venus” reached No.1 in several countries around the world, including the U.S Hot 100, worldwide sold over 7.5 million copies. The distinctive Psychedelic Rock Shocking Blue made brought them a large cult following, with songs such as “Never Marry a Railroad Man”, “Mighty Joe”, “Send Me A Postcard”, “Daemon Lover”, “Hot Sand” and “Love Buzz” among many others. Their songs were also notably covered by other artists over the years, in 1986 with the song “Venus” that earned Bananarama a No.1 hit single and in 1988 “Love Buzz” that became Nirvana’s first single and included on their debut album “Bleach” in 1989. When Shocking Blue split up, on 1 June 1974, Veres continued in a solo career until the band was reunited in 1984. Mariska started the jazz group The Shocking Jazz Quintet in 1993, and recorded an album ‘Shocking You’ with jazz versions of pop songs from the 60’s and 70’s. From 1993 to 2006 she performed in another reincarnation of Shocking Blue and also recorded an album with Andrei Serban in 2003, named ‘Gypsy Heart’, going back to her Romani roots. Mariska passed away from cancer on December 2nd, 2006 at the age of 59 in The Hague, Netherlands. Her songs, vocals and looks had and continue to have a big impact on female Rockers to this day and Shocking Blue period with Mariska during the 60’s and 70’s was their best one. Her first two albums with Shocking Blue, “At Home” from 1969 and “Scorpio’s Dance” from 1970, are often regarded as their best ones generating the string of classic Psychedelic hit songs that endure to this day.
Listen to some of the Shocking Blue best songs compiled by Pop Expresso on Spotify
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