S2-E10 Venus

Mariska Veres (chanteuse de Shocking Blue)

Pour ce 10e épisode, nous allons évoquer rien de moins que la déesse de la beauté ! 

S2-E10 Venus

You can find a summary in English below.

Le clip des Shocking Blue est ici
Celui des Bananarama est là
Pour écouter the banjo Song par the big 3 c’est par ici
Les WHO à la télévision en 1969

For my Friends who don’t speak French a summary in English. I hope it can help to follow what I say :

For this 10th episode, we are going to talk about nothing less than the goddess of beauty!

Sample of  Venus Bananarama cover

Oh, the 80s! Ah, Bananarama! The Bananarama group consisted of three women, Siobhan Fahey, Keren Woodward and Sara Dallin. They were  longtime friends and not a prefabricated girl band. They started their career in 1981. It was ex-Sex Pistols Steve Jones and Paul Cook who made them record their first demo. Instead of looking for vocal harmonies as is often the case when there are several singers, the originality of three girls is to sing in unison. During their first recordings, they sang simultaneously with a single microphone. Success was there with songs such as « Cruel Summer », « Shy Boy » etc. In 1986, their album True Confessions, which contained Venus, was produced by the famous trio SAW, for Stock Aitken & Waterman. They were very influential producers in the 80’s in a dance music oriented style that has been referred to as EuroBeat. The trio of girls contacted the trio of producers, following their work on « You spin me Round » from Dead or alive in 1985. Under their leadership, Bananarama recorded Venus in 1986, bringing a hit from 1970 up to date.

Sample of  the original version

The original version of Venus is due to a Dutch group Shocking Blue of which it was the only international hit. The song’s success is due in part to the charismatic singer Mariska Veres, who cultivated a resemblance to Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane, of whom she was a great admirer. It’s hard to resist her charm when she sings « I am your Venus, I am your fire, your desire »

But the music signed by the band’s guitarist Robbie van Leeuwen is obviously a masterstroke. We recognize the title from the intro and its guitar riff. Specialists will tell you that it is very clearly taken from Pinball Wizard by The Who released the previous year!

Let’s listen to the pinball wizard introduction.

Preview Pinball Wizard

Ah yes, that’s clear. We don’t wonder WHO (ahahah) inspired the Dutch guitarist.

The other musical borrowing is from the title ‘The Banjo Song’ of the trio of greenwich Village The big 3 whose lyrics took up those of Oh Susanna which dates from 1848 and which is very famous in the USA. 1848 may evoke Poulain chocolate for the French, but for the Americans it is the discovery of gold in California and the beginning of the famous Golden Rush.

Let’s listen to the Banjo Song

OK ! Susanna, she’s got it!

Like what, one of the most emblematic songs of the 80s draws part of its origins from a song written during the golden rush, more than 130 years earlier! Like gold diggers, artists sometimes find the right nugget for their cover.

Before slipping Mariska’s voice in your ears, see you soon for a new episode of Ils Ont Repris Ma Chanson.