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Cut from a different cloth


Shocking Blue

January 30, 2008 by garry

I was hanging out with Fos in a bar the other night when the DJ slapped on a super rad-sounding '60s song that seemed vaguley familiar. No matter how hard I tried, though, I couldn't quite dredge up its title or the artist's name to save my life. "Straight out of 1968!" I thought to myself. Fos consulted with the DJ and found out the song is called "Send Me a Postcard" by a Dutch band called Shocking Blue.

The next day, I conducted a Google search, and sure enough, the song was recorded in 1968. I nailed it! Seems the band existed from 1967 to 1974, and, unbeknownst to me, wrote that famous song "Venus" that became a number one hit in the United States in 1970. (Unfortunately, "Venus" also went on to be ruined in the '80s by some lame dance pop group that I really don't care to name.)

And then there are the YouTube videos. Quite a few versions of "Venus" exist, and there's even a completely out-of-sync one for "Send Me a Postcard" that a fan assembled from "Venus" excerpts and photos. I wish they would have filmed a real one for "Postcard" back in the day! With its crystal clear female vocals shot through with raw fuzz guitar, that song absolutely slays! And as if all that weren't enough, the lead singer is a total ultra fox!

Timeframe: Pre-Altamont.

Public Impact: Although, as mentioned above, Shocking Blue produced a #1 hit with "Venus" in the United States, in subsequent decades, their legacy has slipped back into obscurity here, even despite a reunuon or two. Considering the high quality of their music, the fact that Shocking Blue never became well-known in the U.S. is simply, well, shocking. But, through word of mouth, their rock will always roll on.

Learn more about Shocking Blue at:



Alex Gitlin




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