Today I learned that Bananarama and Nirvana ripped off Shocking Blue, not the other way around.
I grew up in the 80s, so of course Bananarama’s version of “Venus” is the one I was familiar with. I didn’t know there was another version, and at that time I didn’t even know popular recording artists got rich covering the work of other people.
Maybe six years ago, I was in a restaurant and heard the Shocking Blue version for the first time. I thought it was a retro cover, and it was pretty cool. Shazam identified it for me, and I bought it. I’ve played it often since then.
I liked it enough that I checked out Shocking Blue’s other work, and I bought a couple more songs, including “Love Buzz”, which I assumed was a cover of the Nirvana song.
Last night I was watching an episode of The Queen’s Gambit, and on comes “Venus”, the Shocking Blue version. And it wasn’t just soundtrack; the character was dancing to it. A character in a story set in the 60s. “Wait a minute,” I thought. “That’s not period.” And then I looked it up.