Wow! They really got it! ‘Venus’ was the track that became the start of the collaboration with Stock Aitken Waterman. Original members Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey and Keren Woodward rocked the charts with the successful Shocking Blue cover back in May 1986.
Bananarama – Venus
Formed in The Hague back in 1967, Shocking Blue was a Dutch rock act. While they did have numerous hits such as ‘Love Buzz’ and ‘Inkpot,’ the Billboard Hot 100 ‘Venus’ was the biggest achievement. The group went on to sell more than 13.5 million records by 1973, when it decided to disband in 1974.
The group was founded in 1967 by Robbie van Leeuwen. it’s interesting to note that ‘Venus’ “only” peaked at No.3 in the Netherlands upon its release in 1969.
Shocking Blue – Venus
Yet, there were other covers of Shocking Blue songs. Nirvana released ‘Love Buzz’ as a debut single in 1988. And the same track was covered by The Prodigy in 2004 for the album Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned under the name ‘Phoenix.’
The Bananarama Road to Success
Bananarama achieved a giant success in 1986 with its cover.
‘Venus’ was actually part of Bananarama’s repertoire for several years before they finally decided to record it. While originally planning to record a disco version with producers Steve Jolley and Tony Swain, they resisted the idea. Instead the idea came Stock Aitken Waterman’s way, becoming the first collaboration with the group.
Following the single ‘Do Not Disturb,’ ‘Venus’ was the second single off the album True Confessions. Two additional singles – ‘More Than Physical’ and ‘A Trick of the Night’ – was also released as singles. The album peaked at No.15 on the Billboard 200, while reaching No.46 on the UK albums chart.
Finally released, the success was immediate. ‘Venus’ reached No.1 in the US, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Switzerland, Mexico and South Africa. It peaked at No.8 in their home country UK.
This was the start of a fruititious collaboration, as Bananarama continued to work on the Wow! album with Stock Aitken Waterman. in 1989, a limited release of ‘Megarama ‘89’ was released, where a remix of the track appeared. A re-recorded version appeared on the 2001 set Exotica and it was also remixed by Marc Almond on Drama (2005).