Shocking Blue: Greatest Hits
Best known in America for the rollicking hit single “Venus” (later covered with great success by Bananarama), Shocking Blue, with the alluring Mariska Veres on lead vocals, were a top-flight garage-psych rock outfit who had a staggering amount of first-rate material. Each of their studio albums features something to recommend and this Greatest Hits collection is the real deal. “Never Marry a Railroad Man,” “Hello Darkness,” “Out of Sight Out of Mind,” “Send Me a Postcard,” “Long Lonesome Road,” “Hot Sand” and “Love Buzz” are among the greatest pop tunes of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Multi-instrumentalist Robbie van Leeuwen brings his guitar and sitar playing up to maximum effect, delivering true power and textural subtlety. Veres pulls out all the stops for the whipsaw smarts of “Shocking You.” She rules the stage with an authority that no one can mess with. “Eve and the Apple” throws a manic keyboard in pursuit of Veres’ hot-chick defiance. “This America” shows the Dutch group reaching out to the U.S.A. Except “Venus” would be their only blockbuster here in the States. Our loss.