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22nd November 2022
Dutch psychedelic rock group "Shocking Blue", part of what is known as the "Nederbeat" sound, released this song in 1969. Written by guitarist band member Robbie van Leeuwen, it was a no.1 hit in 14 countries (including Canada & the USA - where it was the first Dutch band to do so), and made the top ten in over 10 other countries:
"Venus" applied new lyrics, while using the music from another track, "The Banjo Song" by The Big 3 (1963). It also uses an opening guitar riff similar to "Pinball Wizard" by The Who (1969).
The song has been covered many times, most notably by British female trio "Banarama" in 1986. They hit the no.1 spot in 6 countries including the US, and the top ten in 10 other countries. The song was remixed in 1989, rerecorded in 2001 for their "Exotica" album, and remixed by Marc Almond (of Soft Cell) in 2013.
Other covers include: Dutch DJ Pieter Gabriel (for the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest), and British metal band Neonfly ft. Dani Divine (2021).
The most notable remix is from Dutch dance producers Bisiach, Christian Hornbostel, & Mauro Ferrucci (aka BHF) with "Venus '90." This managed a couple of top 100 chartings, but it was also released as an instrumental (under the alias "Don Pablo's Animals") which got to no.4 in the UK.
Other remixes include: the Jonny Albrecht "Deep House" version (2017), and the DJ Vini Remix (2021):
"Venus" by Shocking Blue was sampled for the "Stars on 45 Beatles Medley" in 1981:
The song was also used by Gillette in a 2000 advertising campaign for the introduction of their new razor for females, "Venus."
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