The song “Venus” was originally recorded by Shocking Blue in 1969
The hypnotic, psychedelic, anthemic, TV commercial-favourite, “Venus” was written by Robbie van Leeuwen (b.1944) of Dutch band Shocking Blue (1967-1974), along with producer Jerry Ross (1933-2017) in 1969 for the band’s second album, “At Home”. “Venus” was the second single turned out and would top the US chart selling more than a million copies. “Venus” was a huge international hit as well, reaching No.1 in Australia, Canada, France, Spain, Switzerland and Belgium, as well as charting top five throughout most of the rest of the world, including the UK (No.3), ultimately becoming the band’s biggest and best selling song, as well as their signature tune.
Seventeen years later, “Venus” was back on top of the US chart, this time courtesy of British girl group Bananarama, who covered the song with the help of producers Stock Aitken Waterman for their third studio album, “True Confessions”. They also returned “Venus” to the top of the chart in Canada, Australia and Switzerland as well as taking it top ten in over twenty countries worldwide. “Venus” became and remains their biggest hit Stateside and you would think the song would of been just as big in their home country, wouldn’t you? “Venus” stopped at No.8 on the UK singles chart, nevertheless, giving them their first top ten hit since “Robert De Niro’s Waiting”, two and a half years earlier.
But…which one is the best? SHOCKING BLUE’s original or BANANARAMA’s cover?