Bobby Farrell, Marcia Barrettt, Liz Mitchell and Mazie WilliamsBoney M
When I was at the beach, last summer, I entered a street shop and bought a pirate DVD with some 70's songs just to enjoy some nostalgia. There were two Boney M's songs on it, which made me go to a shopping mall to buy an original Boney M DVD.
Watching the music videos at home, I discovered that I was a huge Boney M fan, even though I didn't know that. Besides well-known songs such as Rivers of Babylon, Ma Baker and Daddy Cool (when I was I child, you see, I thought this was "Mammie Blue"), I used to listen to Sunny, Hooray Hooray - Holiday, Brown Girl In the Ring and Gotta Go Home. These songs remained in my musical memory and I hadn't remembered they were played by Boney M.
Boney M (* 1), as curious as it seems, was a German band. That's it: a band of black German guys singing in English during the 70's. The group was an idea of the white, blonde producer, composer and German singer Frank Farian, which reunited four Caribbean immigrants to his project: Bobby Farrell (Aruba), Liz Mitchell (Jamaica), Marcia Barrett (Jamaica) and Maizie Williams (Montserrat).
Forty years ago, in 1976, they released their first Long Play (LP), Take The Heart Off Me, with hits such as Daddy Cool and Sunny. From then on, it was only celebration during the 70's: LP Love For Sale (1977), with the hit Ma Baker; LP Nightflighit To Venus (1978), with Rivers of Babylon and Brown Girl In The Ring; And the LP Oceans Of Fantasy (1979), with the well-known song Gotta Go Home.
Bobby Farrell singing Daddy Cool
The Boney M trademarks were the massive and unison female vocals in chorus, the striking timbre of singer Liz Mitchell and the charismatic figure of vocalist and dancer Farrel, with his bass voice in the style of ZéRamalho contrasting with the voices of his colleagues in simple, direct, dancing and well-arranged pop songs o
n a disc style mixed with reggae elements. Their music sold like hotcakes and marked an era.
Liz Mitchell singing Sunny
In Boney M's musical schema, only Liz and Marcia used to sing at the studio. Besides, the male voices were made by Farian (* 2). However, Farrell used to sing on the live shows. Bobby Farrell's Boney On December 30th, 2010, in Petersburg, Russia, where he died in the hotel at age 61 (* 3), of a heart attack.
The ones who lived it listened to it, saw it and still like it.
(* 1) The name was based on an Australian TV show.
(* 2) Farian would do the same again in the 80's with the duo MilliVanilli, two African-American dancers that in fact used to dub the voices of the hired studio singers. When one of those singers decided to share the secret with the press, Farian's career had a big fall and the duo broke up. However, it's clear that the German producer knew the way to the top because MilliVanilli had even managed to win a Grammy award.
(* 3) Curiously, these are the same date and place where the Russian monk Rasputin died. He's the subject of another great Boney M hit.