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Venus (song)

Venus (song)

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Image:Shocking Blue Venus.jpg
Single by Shocking Blue
B-side(s) "Hot Sand"
Released 1970
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded 1969
Genre Pop / Rock
Label Colossus Records
Writer(s) Robbie van Leeuwen
Producer(s) Robbie van Leeuwen
Chart positions
  • #1 (U.S., France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain)
  • #3 (Netherlands) #8 United Kingdom
Shocking Blue singles chronology
bo?= "Venus"
"Mighty Joe"
Image:Banana v.jpg
Single by Bananarama
from the album True Confessions
B-side(s) "White Train"
Released May 1986
Format 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl
Recorded 1985
Genre Pop / Dance
Label London Records
Writer(s) Robbie van Leeuwen
Producer(s) Stock Aitken Waterman
Chart positions
  • #1 (U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Mexico, Switzerland)
  • #8 (UK)
Bananarama singles chronology
"Do Not Disturb"
"More Than Physical"

"Venus" is a song by the band Shocking Blue, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on February 7, 1970.


[edit] Covers

On July 18, 1981, Dutch act Stars on 45 reached number one with a medley which included the opening guitar riff from "Venus" (itself borrowed from The Who's Pinball Wizard.) Five years later, British girl group Bananarama covered the song and likewise scored a major hit worldwide: the song was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week of September 6, 1986 and it was also the top single of 1986 in Australia. This makes it the only song in the history of the Billboard charts to hit number one three times (albeit the Stars on 45 song only included a portion of it).

When auditioning for the Spice Girls in the early '90s, Victoria Beckham recorded a version of the song for a demo tape, never intending for it to actually be released. However, the original recording has since leaked onto the internet.

The winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2004, Ruslana, has recorded this song. Norwegian act Erlend Co?=ye also recorded part of the song in a medley on his album that was part of the DJ-Kicks series.

Japanese singer Hitomi has also covered this song in the "Japanese Girl" single as a B-side in 2005. It was also used as a Gillette Venus razor song, featuring Hitomi herself on a rock of a lagoon in Hawaii. (A different version was also included in North American ads by the same company.)

[edit] Bananarama version

"Venus" had been a part of Bananarama's repertoire for several years before they recorded it. Group members Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey, and Keren Woodward had the idea of turning the song into a dance music tune, but they met with resistance from their producers at the time, Steve Jolley and Tony Swain. Undaunted, the women brought the idea to the production trio of Stock Aitken Waterman (SAW), who had just recently scored a global hit producing Dead or Alive's "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)".

Dallin, Fahey, and Woodward were nearly completed recording their third album True Confessions with Jolley and Swain, and being fans of the Dead or Alive track, they sought out the SAW team in order to make their version of "Venus" sound like "You Spin Me Round". Ironically, 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, and the result was a worldwide smash. Bananarama's "Venus" went to number one in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Mexico, and South Africa. It hit number two in Germany and Hong Kong and was a top ten success in Italy, Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Venezuela, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and their native U.K.

The music video to the song received extensive play on MTV across the world and presented Bananarama in various costumes including a devil, a French temptress, a vampire, and Grecian goddesses. The video marked a pivotal shift towards a more glamourous and sexual image that contrasted with the tomboyish style of their earlier work.

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

Bananarama has since re-recorded the track for their 2001 album Exotica and the 1986 version was recently remixed by Marc Almond and included on their 2005 album Drama.

[edit] TV/Movie occurrences of this song

[edit] Shocking Blue version

[edit] Bananarama version

[edit] Hitomi version

  • featured in commercials for Gillette Venus razors in Japan

[edit] Charts

Image:Bananarama Venus picture disc.jpg
(l.-r.) Dallin, Fahey and Woodward on a picture disc 7-inch single of "Venus", showing images and costumes worn by the trio in the music video.

[edit] Bananarama version

Chart (1986) Peak
Australia singles chart 1
Canada singles chart 1
Mexico singles chart 1
New Zealand singles chart 1
South Africa singles chart 1
Switzerland singles chart 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Hot Dance Club Play 1
Germany singles chart 2
Hong Kong singles chart 2
Belgium singles chart 3
Venezuela singles chart 3
France singles chart 4
Italy singles chart 4
Netherlands singles chart 4
Norway singles chart 4
Finland singles chart 5
Austria singles chart 6
Portugal singles chart 6
Spain singles chart 7
UK singles chart 8
Sweden singles chart 9
Ireland singles chart 12
Denmark singles chart 14
Japan singles chart 43
Preceded by:
"I Want You Back" by The Jackson 5
Billboard Hot 100 number one single (Shocking Blue version)
February 7 1970
Succeeded by:
"Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" / "Everybody Is a Star" by Sly & the Family Stone
Preceded by:
"Higher Love" by Steve Winwood
Billboard Hot 100 number one single (Bananarama version)
September 6 1986
Succeeded by:
"Take My Breath Away" by Berlin
Sara Dallin | Keren Woodward
Siobhan Fahey | Jacquie O'Sullivan
Studio albums: Deep Sea Skiving | Bananarama | True Confessions | Wow! | Pop Life | Please Yourself | Ultra Violet / I Found Love | Exotica | Drama
Compilations: Greatest Hits Collection | Greatest Remixes Collection | Bunch of Hits | Master Series | The Essentials | The Very Best of Bananarama | Venus and Other Hits | Really Saying Something: The Platinum Collection | The Twelve Inches of Bananarama
Singles: Aie a Mwana | T'ain't What You Do (It's the Way That You Do It) | Really Saying Something | Shy Boy | Cheers Then | He's Got Tact | Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye | Cruel Summer | Robert DeNiro's Waiting | Rough Justice | King of the Jungle | Hot Line to Heaven | The Wild Life | Do Not Disturb | Venus | More Than Physical | A Trick of the Night | Set on You | I Heard a Rumour | Love in the First Degree | I Can't Help It | I Want You Back | Love, Truth and Honesty | Nathan Jones | Help! | Cruel Summer '89 | Megarama '89 | Only Your Love | Preacher Man | Long Train Running | Tripping on Your Love | Movin' On | Last Thing on My Mind | More, More, More | I Found Love | Every Shade of Blue | Take Me to Your Heart | Careless Whisper | If | Really Saying Something (Solasso Remix) | Move in My Direction | Look on the Floor (Hypnotic Tango)
Related articles
Jolley & Swain | Stock Aitken Waterman

Venus (song)

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