Open main menu

"Venus" is a song by Dutch rock band Shocking Blue, released as a single from their second studio album, At Home (1969). Written by Robbie van Leeuwen, the song topped the charts in nine countries. In 1981, it was used to open the "Stars on 45" medley.[2] In 1986, English girl group Bananarama covered "Venus" for their third studio album, True Confessions, reaching number one in six countries. The composition has been featured in numerous films, television shows and commercials, and covered dozens of times by artists around the world.

"Venus"
Shocking blue venus Dutch vinyl.jpg
Cover art for one of the Dutch releases
Single by Shocking Blue
from the album At Home
B-side"Hot Sand"
Released2 October 1969 (1969-10-02)
Format7-inch
StudioSoundpush, Blaricum, Netherlands
Genre
Length3:06
LabelPink Elephant
Songwriter(s)Robbie van Leeuwen[1]
Producer(s)
Shocking Blue singles chronology
"Lucy Brown Is Back in Town"
(1968)
"Venus"
(1969)
"Mighty Joe"
(1969)
Audio
"Venus" on YouTube

Contents

Shocking Blue (original)Edit

 
Shocking Blue in 1970

BackgroundEdit

Released in late 1969 as a single from the group's second studio album, At Home "Venus" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on 7 February 1970. On 28 January 1970, it was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales in excess of one million copies in the United States.[3] Worldwide, the single has sold over 7.5 million copies.[4]

The song's lead vocals are performed by Mariska Veres. The song's music and lyrics were written by Robbie van Leeuwen, the band's guitarist, sitarist and background vocalist, who also produced along with record producer Jerry Ross. Van Leeuwen originally miswrote the line "...the goddess on the mountain top..." as "...the godness on the mountain top...", so Veres sang it this way on the recording of the song. This was corrected in later versions.[citation needed] The Hohner electric piano on the single was played by Cees Schrama.[citation needed]

Van Leeuwen was inspired by "The Banjo Song", a composition by Tim Rose, for The Big 3, that set Stephen Foster's lyrics to "Oh! Susanna" to a completely new melody.[citation needed]

BHF/Don Pablo's Animals remixes Edit

"Venus" was remixed and re-released by dance producers The BHF (Bisiach Hornbostel Ferrucci) Team in May 1990. Titled "Venus '90", the remix featured a hip house rhythm and samples. "Venus '90" reached number 78 on the UK Singles Chart and number 49 on the Australian ARIA Singles Chart.[5][6] An instrumental version was also released independently under the producer's alias, Don Pablo's Animals, without referencing Shocking Blue. The instrumental version became the highest-charting version of the song, peaking at number four on the UK Singles Chart.[7]

ChartsEdit

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[3] Gold 1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Bananarama versionEdit

"Venus"
 
Single by Bananarama
from the album True Confessions
B-side"White Train"
Released19 May 1986
Format
RecordedDecember 1985
StudioOdyssey, London
GenreDance-pop
Length3:50
LabelLondon
Songwriter(s)Robbie van Leeuwen
Producer(s)Stock Aitken Waterman
Bananarama singles chronology
"Do Not Disturb"
(1985)
"Venus"
(1986)
"More Than Physical"
(1986)
Music video
"Venus" on YouTube

BackgroundEdit

"Venus" had been a part of Bananarama's repertoire for several years before they actually recorded it. The group's three members, Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey, and Keren Woodward, had the idea of turning the song into a dance music tune, but they were met with resistance from their producers at the time, Steve Jolley and Tony Swain. Bananarama brought the idea to the production trio of Stock Aitken Waterman, and it became Bananarama's first collaboration with them.

Dallin, Fahey, and Woodward had nearly completed recording their third studio album, True Confessions, with Jolley and Swain. Stock, Aitken and Waterman also resisted the idea because they believed that "Venus" would not make a good dance record. After persistence by the women, SAW relented. Bananarama's "Venus" peaked at number one in the United States, Australia, Finland, New Zealand, Switzerland, and South Africa, while reaching number two in Germany and the top 10 in Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and their native United Kingdom (number eight on the UK Singles Chart). It also topped the US Hot Dance/Disco chart for two weeks.[36]

The collaboration on "Venus" led Bananarama and SAW to work together on the group's follow-up album Wow! the following year.

A new mix of the track appeared as B-side to the 1989 limited release "Megarama '89" in Germany and France. Bananarama has since re-recorded the track for their 2001 album Exotica and it was later remixed by Marc Almond, with re-recorded vocals, and included on their 2005 album Drama.

Music videoEdit

The music video, directed by Peter Care, with choreography by Bruno Tonioli, received extensive play on MTV and video channels across the world, and presented Bananarama in various costumes, including a she-devil, a French temptress, a vampiress, and several Greek goddesses. In one sequence of the video, Sandro Botticelli's painting The Birth of Venus is adapted as a tableau vivant. The video marked a pivotal shift towards a more glamorous and sexual image for the girls that contrasted with the tomboyish style of their earlier work.

Track listingsEdit

  • UK / US / Canadian 7-inch single

UK: London Records NANA 10 / US: London Records 886-056-7 / Canada: London Records LDS 227 / Australia: Liberation Records LS 1789

  1. "Venus" – 3:30
  2. "White Train" – 3:50
    S.Dallin/S. Fahey/K. Woodward/P. Bishop/P. Seymour

+ some copies released in picture disc format NANPD 10

  • UK / Australian 12-inch single

UK: London Records NANX 10 / Australia: Liberation Records LMD 474

  1. "Venus" (extended version) – 7:23
  2. "Venus" (dub) – 8:15
  3. "White Train" – 3:50
  • 2nd UK 12-inch single

London Records NANXR 10

  1. "Venus" (the Hellfire mix) – 9:20 #:remixed by Ian Levine
  2. "Venus" (Hellfire dub) – 6:55
  3. "White Train" – 3:50
  • 3rd UK 12-inch single

London Records NAXRR 10

  1. "Venus" (the Fire And Brimstone mix) – 6:35 #:remixed by Stock, Aitken & Waterman
  2. "Venus" (Hellfire dub) – 6:55
  3. "White Train" – 3:50
  • US 12-inch maxi single

London Records 886 088-1

  1. "Venus" (the Hellfire mix) – 9:20
  2. "Venus" (the Fire & Brimstone mix) – 6:55
  3. "Venus" (extended version) – 7:23
  4. "Venus" (dub) – 8:25
  • CD video single
  1. "Venus" (extended version) – 7:23
  2. "True Confessions" (edit) – 4:09
  3. "A Trick of the Night" (edit) – 4:07
  4. "More Than Physical" (U.K. single version) – 3:40
  • Other versions
  1. "Venus" (the Greatest Remix edit) – 3:40
    Included on the 1989 U.K. CD single "Cruel Summer '89", remixed by Phil Harding and Ian Curnow
  2. "Venus" (the Greatest Remix) 7:43
    Included on the 1989 German CD single "Megarama '89", remixed by Phil Harding and Ian Curnow
  3. "Venus" (2001 version)
    Included on the album Exotica
  4. "Venus" (Marc Almond's Hi-NRG Showgirls mix) 6:02
    Included on the 2005 album Drama, remixed by Marc Almond
  5. "Venus" (from the soundtrack Sugar & Spice: Stuck in the 80's)

Credits and personnelEdit

Credits adapted from the liner notes of True Confessions.[37]

ChartsEdit

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[71] Platinum 10,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "VENUS". GEMA – Members — Online Database – Musical Works. GEMA. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  2. ^ Grein, Paul (6 September 1986). "Chart Beat". Billboard. Vol. 98 no. 36. p. 6. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 21 August 2019 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ a b "American single certifications – Shocking Blue – Venus". Recording Industry Association of America. 28 January 1970. Retrieved 21 August 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  4. ^ "Shocking Blue: huge success around world". Billboard. Vol. 84 no. 49. 2 December 1972. p. 40. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 21 August 2019 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ "Shocking Blue – Venus '90". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Shocking Blue: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  7. ^ "Don Pablo's Animals: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  8. ^ Kent 1993, p. 273
  9. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Shocking Blue – Venus" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  10. ^ "Ultratop.be – Shocking Blue – Venus" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  11. ^ "Ultratop.be – Shocking Blue – Venus" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  12. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 6118." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  13. ^ a b Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin – levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  14. ^ "Toutes les Chansons N° 1 des Années 60's". InfoDisc (in French). Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  15. ^ a b "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Venus". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  16. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Shocking Blue" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  17. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Shocking Blue – Venus" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  18. ^ "Search listener". Flavour of New Zealand. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  19. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Shocking Blue – Venus". VG-lista. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  20. ^ "SA Charts 1965–1989 (As presented on Springbok Radio/Radio Orion) – Acts S". The South African Rock Encyclopedia. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  21. ^ a b Salaverrie, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Madrid: Fundación Autor/SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  22. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Shocking Blue – Venus". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  23. ^ "The Shocking Blue Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  24. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 Singles – Week ending February 14, 1970". Cash Box. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  25. ^ "100 Top Pops" (PDF). Record World. Vol. 24 no. 1180. 24 January 1970. p. 43. ISSN 0034-1622. Retrieved 21 August 2019 – via American Radio History.
  26. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Shocking Blue – Venus". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  27. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1970s". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  28. ^ "Jahreshitparade Singles 1970". austriancharts.at (in German). Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  29. ^ "RPM's Top 100 of 1970". RPM. Vol. 14 no. 20/21. 9 January 1971. p. 13. ISSN 0315-5994. Retrieved 21 August 2019 – via Library and Archives Canada.
  30. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1970" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  31. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1970". dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  32. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1970". The South African Rock Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  33. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1970/Top 100 Songs of 1970". Music Outfitters. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  34. ^ "The Cash Box Year-End Charts: 1970 – Top 100 Pop Singles". Cash Box. 26 December 1970. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  35. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts – 1970" (in German). Offizielle Deutsche Charts. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  36. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974–2003. Record Research. p. 28.
  37. ^ True Confessions (liner notes). Bananarama. London Records. 1986. RAMA 3.CS1 maint: others (link)
  38. ^ Kent 1993, p. 25
  39. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Bananarama – Venus" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  40. ^ "Ultratop.be – Bananarama – Venus" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  41. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0731." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  42. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard. Vol. 98 no. 41. 11 October 1986. p. 77. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 21 August 2019 – via Google Books.
  43. ^ "Danish Singles Chart". B.T. (in Danish). 26 September 1986.
  44. ^ "European Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 3 no. 34. 30 August 1986. OCLC 29800226. Retrieved 21 August 2019 – via American Radio History.
  45. ^ "Lescharts.com – Bananarama – Venus" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  46. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Bananarama" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  47. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Bananarama – Venus" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  48. ^ "Charts.nz – Bananarama – Venus". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  49. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Bananarama – Venus". VG-lista. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  50. ^ "SA Charts 1965–1989 (As presented on Springbok Radio/Radio Orion) – Acts B". The South African Rock Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  51. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Bananarama – Venus". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  52. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Bananarama – Venus". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  53. ^ "Bananarama: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  54. ^ "Bananarama Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  55. ^ "Bananarama Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  56. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 Singles – Week ending September 13, 1986". Cash Box. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  57. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Bananarama – Venus". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  58. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – National Top 100 Singles 1986". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  59. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1986 – Singles" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  60. ^ "Top 100 Singles of '86". RPM. Vol. 45 no. 14. 26 December 1986. p. 5. ISSN 0315-5994. Retrieved 26 December 2016 – via Library and Archives Canada.
  61. ^ "Hot 100 of the Year 1986 – European Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 3 no. 51/52. 27 December 1986. OCLC 29800226. Retrieved 21 August 2019 – via American Radio History.
  62. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1986" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  63. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1986". dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  64. ^ "Top Selling Singles of 1986". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  65. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1986". The South African Rock Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  66. ^ "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1986". hitparade.ch (in German). Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  67. ^ "Hot 100 Songs – Year-End 1986". Billboard. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  68. ^ "Hot 100 Songs – Year-End 1986". Billboard. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  69. ^ "The Cash Box Year-End Charts: 1986 – Top 100 Pop Singles". Cash Box. 27 December 1986. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  70. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts – 1986" (in German). Offizielle Deutsche Charts. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  71. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Bananarama – Venus". Music Canada. 27 October 1986. Retrieved 21 August 2019.

BibliographyEdit

External linksEdit