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Album: Best Of The Shocking BlueReleased: 1969Charted:
The group's guitarist Robbie Van Leeuwen wrote this song. The group is from The Netherlands, which led to an interesting translation problem when Shocking Blue lead singer Mariska Veres sang the English lyrics. Van Leeuwen wrote the first line down incorrectly: what was supposed to be "A goddess on the mountain top" he wrote as "A goddness on the mountain top," and that's exactly how Veres sang it. Most listeners didn't notice, and the many cover versions corrected the error, but the result was a #1 hit with a misspoken first line thanks to a typo.
The female vocal trio Bananarama recorded this in 1986. It was one of the first songs they started performing when they formed the band in 1979, but they wanted to record original songs first so they would be taken seriously.
Their version was produced by the team of Stock, Aitken and Waterman, who worked on hits by Rick Astley ("Never Gonna Give You Up
"), Dead or Alive ("You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)
") and Kylie Minogue ("I Should Be So Lucky
The distinctive guitar riff was taken from The Who's "Pinball Wizard
This was produced by Jerry Ross, who also produced another Dutch group, Tee Set, who performed "Ma Belle Amie". Ross also produced an album of orchestral arrangements of his (primarily) Dutch stable of hits, under the name Jerry Ross Symposium. (thanks, Jeff - Scottsdale, AZ)
In the US, both this and the Bananarama cover version reached #1, making it one of the few songs to do so. Strangely, in the UK both Shocking Blue and Bananarama reached #8 with "Venus" and both spent 13 weeks on the chart with the song. (thanks, Adam - Dewsbury, England)
On an episode of the MTV cartoon Beavis And Butthead, Butthead makes up his own lyrics to this but gets frustrated when he can't think of anything that rhymes with "Venus."
In Shocking Blue's home country, this never made it to #1. After its success in the States, the song was re-released, but climbed no further that #3 on the Dutch pop chart.
In 1959, Frankie Avalon had a US #1 hit with the same title
. There were two other instances of different songs with identical titles reaching #1 on the Billboard
charts. "My Love
" was #1 for Petula Clark in 1966 and another "My Love" turned the trick for McCartney & Wings in 1973. Then "Best Of My Love" topped the charts for the Eagles in 1973 and a different song of the same title was #1 for The Emotions in 1977. (thanks, Rick - Calgary, Canada)