Song / Venus
Bananarama / Venus
"Venus" is a 1969 song by the Dutch band Shocking Blue which the group took to number one in nine countries in 1970. In 1986, the British girl group Bananarama returned the song to number one in seven countries.
The composition has been featured in numerous films, television shows and commercials, and covered dozens of times by artists around the world.
"Venus" had been a part of Bananarama's repertoire for several years before they actually recorded it. The team's three members, Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey, and Keren Woodward, had the idea of turning the song into a dance music tune, but they were met with resistance from their producers at the time, Steve Jolley and Tony Swain. Bananarama brought the idea to the production trio of Stock Aitken Waterman, and it became Bananarama's first collaboration with them.
Dallin, Fahey, and Woodward had nearly completed recording their third album, titled True Confessions, with Jolley and Swain. 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, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and their native UK (#8 on UK Singles Chart). It also went to number one for two weeks on the U.S. Dance chart.
The collaboration on "Venus" led Bananarama and SAW to work together on the group's follow-up album Wow! the following year.
A new mix of the track appeared as b-side to the 1989 limited release "Megarama '89" in Germany and France. Bananarama has since re-recorded the track for their 2001 album Exotica and it was later remixed by Marc Almond, with re-recorded vocals, and included on their 2005 album Drama.
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