Shocking Blue

Shocking Blue was a Dutch rock band from The Hague that was successful in the 60s and 70s.
The group was founded in 1967 by Robbie van Leeuwen, who, in his own words, had joined The Motions and wanted to set up a group with which he saw more opportunities internationally. Van Leeuwen recruited the group members from various corners of the Hague beat scene and initially chose a singer, Barry Hay, who had just left The Haigs. Hay, however, thanked and van Leeuwen spoke the historical words: "You will regret this". Finally Fred de Wilde became the singer and an LP was recorded for Polydor. Like the first single "Love is in the air", the album was moderately successful.

A year later, Shocking Blue switched to the newly established Pink Elephant label from Dureco. The first album released on that label was Lucy Brown's back in town. The single did well in the Top 40. When De Wilde got a call for military service in the middle of 1968, Van Leeuwen decided that he wanted to complete his group with a singer. At first Annet Hesterman was thought of, but it turned out she had just entered into a contract with another manager and thanked her. Later she was the singer of the Ro-d-Ys in Groningen for a short time. In Loosdrecht, Van Leeuwen and manager Cees van Leeuwen came across Mariska Veres, who performed there with The Motowns during a Golden Earring party. The contact was made through her mother.

Shocking Blue became the first Dutch group to achieve a number 1 hit in the Billboard Hot 100 of the United States with the single Venus.

The group had many other hits before they broke up in 1975. An attempt at a reunion was made in 1979, but it only lasted two years. Shocking Blue resurrected in a new composition in 1993 with Mariska Veres, but without Robbie van Leeuwen. This formation continued to perform until the death of Mariska Veres in December 2006.


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