Top positive review
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Undeservedly Forgotten (by Michael Iakounine)
on 17 December 2000
Here is another undeservedly forgotten album.
Even though it got to Number 4 in Holland back in 1969, this first Shocking Blue album is largely forgotten today, the only track that does ring a bell to some people being VENUS, and even that because it was covered by Banarama (quite poorly at that!).
It's a shame, because this solid, energy-packed album does include a number of interesting and original compositions featuring the attractive vocalist Mariske Veres at her best. Her melodious deep voice sounds different on every track: from powerful and assertive on "Long and Lonesome Road" reinforced by heavy guitar riffs to plaintive and sensual on "I'm a Woman" accompanied by gentle sitar.
If you like sitar, you will enjoy "Acka Raga", and for an expressive solo go to "Love Machine" - both courtesy of the band's founding member Robbie van Leeuwen. "Poor Boy" opening at a strange tempo is another tribute to Robbie van Leeuwen's guitar - the interaction of the bass and the solo guitar reaches its peack in a cascade and then unexpectedly falls silent - the sound engineer failing to add on Part 2 with Mariska's most lyrical contribution (the full version was later released on Shocking Blue: The Third Album).
The last four tracks weren't originally included into the album, being sides B to the group's first four singles, which may explain a certain difference in their styles.
This is unmistakebly Shocking Blue's best album,
which deserves to be included into the Top Hundred Albums. So if you are into the Sixties' music and melodious female vocals, you stand a good chance of having a groovy hour enjoying this amiable group.