Boney M. was a pop and disco group, comprised of four West Indian singers and dancers and masterminded by West German record producer Frank Farian became one of the few Western groups at that time to become well-known in places such as Africa, the Arab countries, Iran, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the USSR. To this day, along with Swedish pop group ABBA, they are among the most widely known 1970s Western music acts in these regions.
Although they never had much success in America, the Euro-Disco group Boney M was a European phenomenon during the '70s. After German record producer Frank Farian recorded the single 'Baby Do You Wanna Bump?' in 1974/75 (which was successful in Holland and Belgium), he created Boney M to support the song, bringing in four West Indian vocalists who had been working as session singers in Germany -- Marcia Barrett, Liz Mitchell, Maizie Williams and Bobby Farrell.
The Boney M story starting:
December 1974: Frank Farian 6 Weeks in Europa-Sound Studio in Offenbach Bieber. Recording: "Baby Do You Wanna Bump" under pseudonym "Boney M" (Boney: Hero of an Australian TV-Series). At first only Discotheque-Success, weekly sales about 500 Records.
End of 1975:
When "Baby Do You Wanna Bump" was released in 1975, it seemed nobody thought the tracks of this Formation's success would run into the 90's. Without a doubt it was the voice of Liz Mitchell that carried most of the songs. From her friend Marcia Barrett, who lived in Hamburg, came the suggestion to join together a Group that was founded by Frank Farian - Boney M. The producer Frank Farian later said that all members of the group would be replacable without hurting the Group - but not Liz.
Boney M's first appearance in Germany was a performance of the song "Daddy Cool" in the then important and famous TV-Show "Musikladen" in 1976. After that TV-Show appearance the sales of the single were about 100.000 singles each week! From then on the album (Take The Heat Off Me) did well, too. In July 1976 with "Daddy Cool" came the first Number 1 for Boney M in Germany and a Top-10-Hit in December 1976 in the UK. The same year in Germany the follow-up to Daddy Cool was a remake of Bobby Hebb's "Sunny", which hit Number One in December 1976, in the UK it hit Number one in March 1977.
The Original Group Lineup was Marcia Barret Catherines, Liz Mitchell, Maizie Williams and Bobby Farrell. In 1982 Bobby Farrell was replaced by Reggie Tsiboe. But Bobby rejoined the group in 1984 on Eye Dance.
In May 1977, "Ma Baker" just missed the U.K. number one spot, and "Belfast" hit the Top Ten in October. In 1978, Boney M was at the height of its popularity with "Rivers of Babylon"/"Brown Girl in the Ring", which became the second-biggest selling single in U.K. chart history. "Rivers of Babylon" also was Boney M's only U.S. Top 40 hit. Boney M's album "Nightflight To Venus" also topped the U.K. charts. In September 1978, "Rasputin" became another U.K. Top Ten hit, followed by the seasonal chart-topper "Mary's Boy Child"/"Oh My Lord", which became the fifth-biggest selling single in U.K. history. In March 1979, "Painter Man" hit the U.K. Top Ten, followed in April by "Hooray! Hooray! It's a Holi-Holiday". In September, the album "Oceans Of Fantasy" hit number one.
Compiled by Feeda Hasan Shahed