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Author Topic: Shocking Blue - Venus  (Read 1629 times)

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alexis

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Shocking Blue - Venus
« on: March 08, 2009, 02:07:55 AM »

Do you like this song?

mJqh6au7Ol0
(Don't mind the invisible guitar cords!)

I like the whole vibe, the best parts of the song to me are:

1, 2, and 3!) The opening guitar chord. Completely awesome!! I don't recall ever hearing it on another song ... anyone else?

4) The harmonies. And re: the lead vocal ... geez, no wonder I hard such a hard time singing it, it was a GIRL!

5) The piano.

It sounds very Beatle -y to me ... what do you folks think?


Here it is live!
 
gf3h8CoWC14
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Re: Shocking Blue - Venus
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2009, 03:08:40 AM »

I've always loved the song. Its a tune that I always warm up on the drums with. That and 'Liar, Liar' from the Castaways.

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Re: Shocking Blue - Venus
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2009, 08:23:42 PM »

Just a minute, it was only yesterday that I wrote I was listening to them on TV and it was the first time I had seen them on TV! Very nice of you to mention them!  :) I like the song! It`s a masterpiece.
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Re: Shocking Blue - Venus
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2009, 07:28:18 AM »

"Venus" is one of the most obvious cases of plagiarism in pop music history, but somehow Robbie van Leeuwen never got sued for it. It's almost exactly like "The Banjo Song" by The Big 3.
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alexis

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Re: Shocking Blue - Venus
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2009, 10:04:56 AM »

Quote from: 56
"Venus" is one of the most obvious cases of plagiarism in pop music history, but somehow Robbie van Leeuwen never got sued for it. It's almost exactly like "The Banjo Song" by The Big 3.

Anybody want to give a link to the Banjo song?
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Re: Shocking Blue - Venus
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2009, 02:14:11 PM »

Quote from: 56
"Venus" is one of the most obvious cases of plagiarism in pop music history, but somehow Robbie van Leeuwen never got sued for it. It's almost exactly like "The Banjo Song" by The Big 3.

those germans always get away with it
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Joost

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Re: Shocking Blue - Venus
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2009, 03:25:44 PM »

Quote from: 1789

those germans always get away with it

They're Dutch.
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Re: Shocking Blue - Venus
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2009, 03:56:44 PM »

Quote from: 56

They're Dutch.

yes i know
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tkitna

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Re: Shocking Blue - Venus
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2009, 10:39:51 PM »

Quote from: 568

Anybody want to give a link to the Banjo song?


http://www.box.net/shared/glgj37bx7p#

Yes, its probably the most blatant act of plagerism i've ever heard.

alexis

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Re: Shocking Blue - Venus
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2009, 11:31:11 PM »

Quote from: 373

http://www.box.net/shared/glgj37bx7p#

Yes, its probably the most blatant act of plagerism i've ever heard.



Wow, thanks tkitna.

I have to say that if I were on the jury, I would have to think long and hard about that one.

Part of me says that what makes the song "Venus" unique is that opening chord and it's variations during the rest of the song. "Banjo" doesn't have anything like that.

But once you get past that part ... the endlessly repeated guitar riff on "The Banjo Song" seems just like the piano I like so much on "Venus" ... the "Susanna" break in "Banjo" is (?) identical to "She's got it!!" in "Venus", it's even preceded once by the same (Beatles-like!) scream in "Venus".

Hey tkitna, what's the story behind "The Banjo Song", and who is this a recording by?

Thanks!
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Re: Shocking Blue - Venus
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2009, 01:19:09 AM »

Well, here's the biography behind the Big 3 (the band who played the Banjo Song).

Remembered today mostly for featuring a pre-Mamas & Papas Cass Elliot, the Big Three recorded a couple of pleasant pop-folk albums around 1963. Elliot was flanked by notable partners Tim Rose (who went on to become a minor but noteworthy singer/songwriter in the late '60s, most famous for performing the version of "Hey Joe" that provided a loose blueprint for Jimi Hendrix's) and James Hendricks. The Washington, D.C. trio were typical of many of the acts working the East Coast coffeehouse circuit in the first half of the '60s, stressing clean and full harmonies, somewhat in the mold of the Kingston Trio. The Big Three were a little (but not much) funkier than the Kingstons, and also occasionally made stabs at a more pop-oriented sound with full band instrumentation. Most of their material, though, was solidly in the acoustic stream, and their repertoire emphasized then-contemporary versions of folk standards, although they did compose some of their own material (which was usually by Rose). The Big Three disbanded in 1964, when Rose left to go solo; Elliot and Hendricks joined Zal Yanovsky and Denny Doherty in the short-lived folk-rock precursors the Mugwumps, which in turn helped spawn two of the biggest folk-rock groups, the Mamas & the Papas (with Elliot and Doherty) and the Lovin' Spoonful (with Yanovsky).

There was a DJ who's name was Leo Blokhuis. He interviewed The Shocking Blues Robbie Van Leeuwen (who composed Venus) and asked him of the similarities to the Banjo Song. Evidently Leeuwen said he dug the Big 3 and was embarrassed about ripping the song off, but also added that all blues tunes sound the same so why care. Here, he pretty much admitted to copying the song and he got away with it. I guess Tim Rose (wrote the Banjo Song) and the Big 3 gave him a free pass. After all, the Banjo Songs lyrics were ripped off from Stephen Fosters 'Oh! Suzanna' so what comes around goes around I guess. Thats all I could find.

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Re: Shocking Blue - Venus
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2009, 07:26:44 AM »

Quote from: 373
There was a DJ who's name was Leo Blokhuis. He interviewed The Shocking Blues Robbie Van Leeuwen (who composed Venus) and asked him of the similarities to the Banjo Song. Evidently Leeuwen said he dug the Big 3 and was embarrassed about ripping the song off, but also added that all blues tunes sound the same so why care. Here, he pretty much admitted to copying the song and he got away with it. I guess Tim Rose (wrote the Banjo Song) and the Big 3 gave him a free pass. After all, the Banjo Songs lyrics were ripped off from Stephen Fosters 'Oh! Suzanna' so what comes around goes around I guess. Thats all I could find.

Leo Blokhuis wrote two very interesting books about the origins of some very well known songs. One chapter of one of those two books is dedicated to 'The Banjo Song'/'Venus'.
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alexis

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Re: Shocking Blue - Venus
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2009, 01:54:20 AM »

Quote from: 373
Well, here's the biography behind the Big 3 (the band who played the Banjo Song).

Remembered today mostly for featuring a pre-Mamas & Papas Cass Elliot, the Big Three recorded a couple of pleasant pop-folk albums around 1963. Elliot was flanked by notable partners Tim Rose (who went on to become a minor but noteworthy singer/songwriter in the late '60s, most famous for performing the version of "Hey Joe" that provided a loose blueprint for Jimi Hendrix's) and James Hendricks. The Washington, D.C. trio were typical of many of the acts working the East Coast coffeehouse circuit in the first half of the '60s, stressing clean and full harmonies, somewhat in the mold of the Kingston Trio. The Big Three were a little (but not much) funkier than the Kingstons, and also occasionally made stabs at a more pop-oriented sound with full band instrumentation. Most of their material, though, was solidly in the acoustic stream, and their repertoire emphasized then-contemporary versions of folk standards, although they did compose some of their own material (which was usually by Rose). The Big Three disbanded in 1964, when Rose left to go solo; Elliot and Hendricks joined Zal Yanovsky and Denny Doherty in the short-lived folk-rock precursors the Mugwumps, which in turn helped spawn two of the biggest folk-rock groups, the Mamas & the Papas (with Elliot and Doherty) and the Lovin' Spoonful (with Yanovsky).

There was a DJ who's name was Leo Blokhuis. He interviewed The Shocking Blues Robbie Van Leeuwen (who composed Venus) and asked him of the similarities to the Banjo Song. Evidently Leeuwen said he dug the Big 3 and was embarrassed about ripping the song off, but also added that all blues tunes sound the same so why care. Here, he pretty much admitted to copying the song and he got away with it. I guess Tim Rose (wrote the Banjo Song) and the Big 3 gave him a free pass. After all, the Banjo Songs lyrics were ripped off from Stephen Fosters 'Oh! Suzanna' so what comes around goes around I guess. Thats all I could find.

Good points there, thanks for the cool info tkitna! I wonder, assuming Big 3's "The Banjo Song" made any money, if the estate of Stephen Foster (who, I think, wrote Oh Susanna) would be able to win in court to collect it.

The lead singer for the Shocking Blue is awesome on record, but shockingly out of tune in the black and white live vid above. I wonder if they just were missing stage monitors in a loud venue, or she was having a bad day, or if maybe she couldn't sing all that well (studio magic, and all).

Mama Cass sounded alright on the Big 3 recording, but also not stellar, IMO. I remember reading that John Phillips kept her out of the Mamas and Papas for quite some time because she was always a half note flat, then it seemed like one day she woke up and could sing right on target.

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Re: Shocking Blue - Venus
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2009, 02:00:28 AM »

The "other" Big 3:

**************************************************************************
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Big_Three_(musical_group)

Years active      1961
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Re: Shocking Blue - Venus
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2009, 02:38:10 AM »

I remember when Venus was first released in late 1969.  I heard it on my car radio and thought she was claiming to be a male sex organ.  We thought the song to be pretty much a joke at the time.  There were more serious events going on in the world......and the Beatles were breaking up too!  Badfinger released Come And Get It at the same time.  When I first heard that song, on the same car radio, I was at first relieved as I thought it was a new Beatles song.  That's how I learned of Badfinger.  We didn't know that Paul wrote the song.

Today, I like Venus.  Good beat and I can finally hear the words clearly...my MGB had an AM radio!  I kind of like the live version better than the studio version, Alexis.  It's more bluesy and sounds like good club music.  Thanks for posting it!



Oh.....and they did rip off The Big 3 for sure!
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tkitna

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Re: Shocking Blue - Venus
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2009, 04:30:23 AM »

Quote from: 568
Mama Cass sounded alright on the Big 3 recording, but also not stellar, IMO. I remember reading that John Phillips kept her out of the Mamas and Papas for quite some time because she was always a half note flat, then it seemed like one day she woke up and could sing right on target.

Yeah, after some copper tubing hit her in the head.  ;D

alexis

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Re: Shocking Blue - Venus
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2009, 04:59:43 AM »

Quote from: 373

Yeah, after some copper tubing hit her in the head.  ;D


I'm slow tonight, tkitna, is there a story behind that? Thanks  :)

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alexis

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Re: Shocking Blue - Venus
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2009, 01:52:43 PM »

Quote from: 59
I remember when Venus was first released in late 1969.  I heard it on my car radio and thought she was claiming to be a male sex organ.  We thought the song to be pretty much a joke at the time.  There were more serious events going on in the world......and the Beatles were breaking up too!  Badfinger released Come And Get It at the same time.  When I first heard that song, on the same car radio, I was at first relieved as I thought it was a new Beatles song.  That's how I learned of Badfinger.  We didn't know that Paul wrote the song.

Today, I like Venus.  Good beat and I can finally hear the words clearly...my MGB had an AM radio!  I kind of like the live version better than the studio version, Alexis.  It's more bluesy and sounds like good club music. Thanks for posting it!



Oh.....and they did rip off The Big 3 for sure!


You're welcome, Hello Goodbye! And, I agree, the live version has a fine arrangement! Even if the rhythm (bass?) sounds a bit like the intro to Courageous Cat!  :)

Nu4r7sAe9XM



_NbgJ94yi64


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Re: Shocking Blue - Venus
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2009, 12:54:50 AM »

Quote from: 568

You're welcome, Hello Goodbye! And, I agree, the live version has a fine arrangement! Even if the rhythm (bass?) sounds a bit like the intro to Courageous Cat!  :)


:)



Courageous Cat ripped off the Peter Gunn theme (Henry Mancini):

dcflCzZlLcQ


A lot of this goin' around, huh?
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Re: Shocking Blue - Venus
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2009, 01:18:31 AM »

Quote from: 568
Quote from: 373

Yeah, after some copper tubing hit her in the head.  ;D


I'm slow tonight, tkitna, is there a story behind that? Thanks  :)


Courtesy of Wikipedia:

A popular legend about Elliot is that her vocal range was improved by three notes after she was hit on the head by some copper tubing shortly before joining the group, while they were in the Virgin Islands. Elliot herself confirmed the story; in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine in 1968 she said,

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