Venus – Shocking Blue

THIS DAY IN MUSIC……………………………………….on February 7th of 1970 Shocking Blue, a three man, one woman band from Holland, had the top single in America with “Venus”. It made #8 in the UK. The group’s guitarist Robbie Van Leeuwen wrote this song. The group is from The Netherlands, which led to an interesting translation problem when Shocking Blue lead singer Mariska Veres sang the English lyrics. Van Leeuwen wrote the first line down incorrectly: what was supposed to be “A goddess on the mountain top” he wrote as “A goddness on the mountain top,” and that’s exactly how Veres sang it. Most listeners didn’t notice, and the many cover versions corrected the error, but the result was a #1 hit with a misspoken first line thanks to a typo. This was produced by Jerry Ross, who also produced another Dutch group, Tee Set, who performed “Ma Belle Amie”. In the US, both this and the Bananarama cover version reached #1, making it one of the few songs to do so. Strangely, in the UK both Shocking Blue and Bananarama reached #8 with “Venus” and both spent 13 weeks on the chart with the song. In Shocking Blue’s home country, this never made it to #1. After its success in the States, the song was re-released, but climbed no further that #3 on the Dutch pop chart.