Mariska Veres

Singer with Shocking Blue


Mariska Veres, singer and songwriter: born The Hague 1 October 1947; died The Hague 2 December 2006.

With its acoustic guitar intro, piano riff and haunting vocals by Mariska Veres - most memorably on the chorus, "I'm your Venus, I'm your fire, at your desire" - the single "Venus", by the Dutch group Shocking Blue, made the Top Ten across Europe in 1970, including the UK, and reached the No 1 spot in the United States. It turned the striking-looking Veres, with her big, blue kohl-lined eyes, high cheekbones and long jet-black hair (actually a wig), into a sex-symbol.

Shocking Blue followed up their worldwide hit with "Mighty Joe" and "Long and Lonesome Road", but remain forever associated with "Venus". It was covered at the time by Tom Jones, the Larry Page Orchestra and the Chipmunks, and revived to great success by Star Sound in 1981 and Bananarama in 1986. Two years later, Nirvana, the grunge band led by Kurt Cobain, recorded a fuzzy, menacing version of Shocking Blue's "Love Buzz ", a psychedelic track from their album At Home (1969).

Born in 1947 in The Hague, to Hungarian and German parents, Mariska Veres was the daughter of the gypsy violinist Lajos Veres, and often accompanied her father on the piano. She recorded a couple of solo singles before joining a group called the Bumble Bees.

In 1967 the guitarist and sitar-player Robby van Leeuwen formed Shocking Blue with the drummer Cor van der Beek, bassist Klaasje van der Wal and lead vocalist Fred de Wilde. The following year, the Bumble Bees performed at a party where Veres's stunning appearance and powerful vocals attracted the attention of Shocking Blue's manager and publisher. He talked van Leeuwen into having Veres replace de Wilde. "She had a very impressive voice, quite different from all the other girl singers," van Leeuwen recalled: "She was rather like Grace Slick from Jefferson Airplane. Once she joined, everything happened very quickly. The first single we did was " Venus" in 1969. In one year, everything we dreamed about happened. It sold millions around the world and gave other Dutch groups a belief in their own potential."

Shocking Blue released a further 15 singles and 10 albums, scoring hits including "Never Marry a Railroad Man", "Hello Darkness" , "Blossom Lady" and "Eve and the Apple" and broke up in the mid-Seventies. Veres embarked on a solo career, with occasional help from van Leeuwen. In the late Seventies, they considered reforming Shocking Blue, going as far as recording a track called "Louise", which remains unreleased, but they did play a couple of concerts in 1984.

Veres loved cats, didn't smoke, drink or do drugs and told the members of Shocking Blue when she joined that relationships were out. Reflecting on her early fame, Veres told the Belgian magazine Flair: "I was just a painted doll, nobody could ever reach me. Nowadays, I am more open to people. "

Pierre Perrone

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£13676.46 - £15864.28 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Re...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

Day In a Page

Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada
Birthplace of Arab Spring in turmoil as angry Tunisians stage massive sit-in over lack of development

They shall not be moved: jobless protesters bring Tunisia to a halt

A former North African boom town is wasting away while its unemployed citizens stick steadfastly to their sit-in
David Hasselhoff's new show 'Hoff the Record': What's it like working with a superstar?

Hanging with the Hoff

Working with David Hasselhoff on his new TV series was an education for Ella Smith
Can Dubai's Design District 'hipster village' attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?

Hipsters of Arabia

Can Dubai’s ‘creative village’ attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?
The cult of Roger Federer: What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?

The cult of Roger Federer

What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?
Kuala Lumpur's street food: Not a 'scene', more a way of life

Malaysian munchies

With new flights, the amazing street food of Kuala Lumpur just got more accessible
10 best festival beauty

Mud guards: 10 best festival beauty

Whether you're off to the Isle of Wight, Glastonbury or a local music event, we've found the products to help you
Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe

A Different League

Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe, says Pete Jenson
Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey - Steve Bunce

Steve Bunce on Boxing

Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf