Babylonian River and Rasputin

1978 can be called “gold” in the history of euro disco! The success of last year’s film of John Bjedjema “Saturday Night Fever” brought disco music from the underground gay clubs in the broader world of show business, turning the “disco” in the most fashionable brand! Worldwide opened thousands of nightclubs, fashion became the aesthetics of disco clothing, Interior and industrial design. Disco music in Hollywood movies and Disney cartoons, Broadway musicals and tv shows. And the frenzied demand promised tremendous prospects for Boney M.!

Babylonian River

On the wave world disco fever April single “Rivers of Babylon/Brown Girl in the Ring” was waiting for worldwide success: first place in the charts in Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and several other countries, and in the United States 30-I stitch in the Billboard Hot 100, that was the greatest success of Boney m. in America in the history of the Group!

The basis for the song “Rivers of Babylon” lay biblical Psalm No. 137-sad song of the Jewish people after the conquest of Jerusalem by the Babylonians: “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song. How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? “.


Boney M.-Rivers of Babylon


And yet the song was not in the traditional sense gospelom! Old as the world biblical tradition was again examined by Jamaican Rasta culture and became quite a different meaning in the song reggae Group The Melodians, the highlight of the first “Rivers of Babylon” in 1972, …

In Rasta culture Babylon metaphorically symbolized Western society is a source of Vice and sin. If the Bible “Babel River” was the Euphrates, to the Euphrates and rastamanov was also symbolic, so they called the Atlantic Ocean. Promised land, Mount Zion was Africa, where the Babylonians-Americans took out their ancestors to make slaves in his “Babylon”!

In Switzerland, the “Babylonian River announced the” song of the year “!

In Germany the single led as much as 17 weeks on the chart, that was an absolute record, incidentally not beaten so far! Five weeks it stayed on top of the UK singles chart.

To date, the list of best-selling records of Great Britain of all time “Babel River” occupy the 7-th line, completing a number of singles sold more than 2 million times.




In 1979, the song “Rivers of Babylon” is truly a worldwide hit, topped the chart in Australia, where reigned unchallenged until then ABBA with the song “Take A Chance On Me”. But this time the Swedes had a successful business!  In April 2015, in an interview to RTL II Frank Farian reports that total has sold over 20 million copies of this single!


Brown Girl In The Ring

When the title track “Rivers Of Babylon” descended on 20 places, DJs British radio stations launched in the rotation his b-side-folk song “Caribbean Brown Girl In The Ring”.Boney m.-Brown Girl in the Ring


The earliest pop performance of this song belongs to Bahamas musician Exuma (real name Mcfarlane Gregory Anthony Mackey) -“Brown Girl” opened its 1972 album “Reincarnation”. Three years later, a cover of a song recorded group Locks Malcolm’s soloist which then was Liz Mitchell. In the Repertoire of Boney m. song was from the very beginning, but performed only live until it was accomplished enough of their own material. The album “Nightflight to Venus” was already thoroughly redesigned by Farian disco version of the song, however, arranged by Malcolm’s Locks Peter Herbolcmajer accused Farian plagiarism and filed in court. The process lasted more than 20 years of age and not over anything.

Playing “Ring” is still popular among Jamaican children and is a simpler wedding dance for adults. Babies come from hands and sing, while one of them is a boy or a girl becomes a circle. When he say: “show me your motion”, he or she should portray your favorite dance. The words: “show me your partner”, he chooses a partner or partner that collects in the center of the circle, where together they sing couple dance.



Night Flight To Venus

Album “Night Flight To Venus” was very hard. After a few days for miksher without rest or sleep, Frank Farian found himself in a hospital bed with a heart attack occurring as a result of strong exhaustion. The press started to lurid rumors about his death, but everything went well, and 28 July, the album saw the light!

The album’s title, its cover and the entrance track were a tribute to the fashion space, another surge which began after the release of the cult film George Lucas “Star Wars”.

Imitating American DJs (since Gloria Gaynor album “Never Can Say Goodbye” compilations of non-stop gained increasing popularity), Frank teamed song “Nightflight To Venus” and “Rasputin” in long 13-minute track!



As usual, most of the tracks were cover versions of hits of yesteryear. So the song “King Of The Road” was a disco version of the eponymous song of the year 1964, American country music artist Roger Miller, where the “King of the road” is named after a homeless tramp, “a man of means by no mean”, which, despite the poverty, enjoys his boundless freedom. The song “Heart Of Gold” became the cover on the hit Canadian pop artist Neil Young 1971, and “Painter Man”-The Creation work of the same name 1966.

In the third album like never before disclosed band style: songs of Boney M. Rasputin Rivers of Babylon, and Brown Girl In The Ring weren’t disco in the traditional sense. Instead of the usual Funk rhythm, the basis for them was a Jamaican reggae. And only the song “Never Change Lovers in the Middle of the Night” can be attributed to classic disco Donna Summer-style or Gloria Gaynor. Boney M.’s popularity was so great that a year later, the American singer Millie Jackson will record a cover of this song, which enters in her album “A Pleasure” Moment’s of the year 1979.



“Nightflight to Venus”

“Nightflight to Venus” became the most successful album in the history of the group. He managed to hold out for as much as 65 weeks in the UK singles chart, earning the group the title of “group of the year” and “best title producer Frank.  By the number of sold singles Boney M. bypassed even The Beatles, having got into the Guinness Book of records!  In the UK, Spain and Hong Kong album went platinum, in Germany it has been certified 2 × Platinum in Canada, and as much as 5 times!





                          Grigori Rasputin

The basis for the regular biographical song “Rasputin” has permeated all of us well known history of court doctor Romanov family – Gregory Rasputin, a doctor who treated a seriously ill inheritor of Prince Alexei. Rasputin was invited to the Palace and on this basis could directly influence the decisions of Emperor Nicholas II, than he has enjoyed.

“There was one man in Russia-it was big and strong, his eyes blazed Verve. Most people looked at him with horror, but for Moscow chicks he was a tidbit … “.And immediately the first this inconsistency-in times of Rasputin capital of the Russian Empire was not Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Moscow because if his toes and saw Rasputin, not too often. In the chorus sounded already full gag:


Boney M.-Rasputin

“Rasputin-lover of Russian Queen, best Russian love machine”.The way he behaved was a disgrace. ” Rumors that Rasputin-lover Empress does not endorse none a reliable source, but even in Europe during his lifetime they relished with great pleasure, and Farian jumped at the opportunity to add in a song called “Peppers”.

From that person need to get rid of! – kept telling his enemies.

But ladies implored: “Please don’t! … It spiked with poison in the wine.

And he emptied his glass and said: thumbs up! But the conspirators do not have calmed down – live he was not needed. So they fired at him for a long time, until killed.

Oh those Russians “.


“Oh those German!” exclaims any Russian, if translation «Rasputin» until the end.

The song became a popular dance hit. In Austria and Germany, it topped the charts, and the UK and Switzerland took the honorary 2nd place.

Tried Boney M. would sing something similar about the Queen, even if it is about Elizabeth II !

At the end of November 20th Boney M 78 releases Christmas hymn “Mary’s Boy Child” is a cover of the song by American singer Bash Hjejrstona 1956.

Demand for it exceeded all conceivable expectations-in the atmosphere of a holiday public rashvatyvala plate like hotcakes! As a result, Boney M again four weeks led the British hit parade, as well as special Christmas chart UK Christmas Number One!

Sam Beauford H. jester Hairston was then still alive, and when he learned what the circulations of its song diverges in Europe, he said: “Lord bless my soul. It’s just very good for such a old man like me.

In the United States the single took the 85-th line in chart BillboardHot 100, but despite not being a very high sales, the song entered airplay on radio and became one of the most popular Christmas hymns that are still broadcast on radio on Christmas Eve!

On the flip side was the song “Oh My Lord” written by Farianom himself.


Painter Man


The last single from the album “Nightflight to Venus” became the song “Painter Man”- a cover of the song belongs to The Creation of the year 1966, which is considered the most successful work of this group.

Hero song – artist who studied at the College of classical art, but is forced to earn a living drawing comic books, advertisements, cartoons and greeting cards for adults.

The album was available only in Britain, where it took the 10-th place in the singles chart. For all other countries “Painter Man” was the b-side of the single “Rasputin”.

Also for the Japan market was separately released the single “Voodoonight” However much success in the land of the rising sun he had no.


Results of the Year

High sales in the UK have led to two landmark events: Earl of Kensington handed Frank Farianu Award “Carl Allen Award (the British equivalent of the Grammy Award) – as producer, selling the most records in the UK for the year 1978. After the band on the Show Top Of The Pops in the lobby of the Royal variety show held a historic meeting with Queen Elizabeth II.



The end of the year 1978 was marked by the performance of Boney M. on the popular disco “Metropolis” in West Berlin, where were presented completely new songs from forthcoming album “Oceans of Fantasy”.


Interesting Facts


In his time line 137-Psalms inspired Soviet composer Julia Kim, who wrote his own version of Babylon Rivers called “Psalm 137-th:” There, near the rivers of Babylon, as we sat and cried. We had to laugh: what you are sitting and crying? Why does not sing and dancing?


September 30, 1979-th year, a crowd of more than 280 thousand faithful Catholics met song “Rivers of Babylon” of the Pope during his visit to the Irish city of Galway, near Limerick.


The encoded voice in the album “Nightflight to Venus, does not belong to Farian and Bill Svisheru.


The original version of the song “Rivers Of Babylon” can be heard in the soundtrack of Perry Hencelja “The Harder They Come”, 1972.The primary role it played a Jamaican singer Jimmy cliff.


The song “Rivers Of Babylon” was featured in many movies as a soundtrack, for example, in Kazakh movie “Tulpan” 2009 year and computer game “Rabbids Go Home” (2009).


Russian Queen“, glorified in song “Rasputin” was actually a purebred German. Nee Empress Alexandra Feodorovna’s name was Victoria Alix Helena Louise Beatrice von Hessen und bei Rhein.


In an interview, Farian asked: your father was killed during the Great Patriotic War, near Smolensk in you have you tried writing a song “Rasputin”, take revenge thus, Russian for death of father?

-No, I’m not thinking about it, “replied the producer-push to create a song was the fact that in our repertoire was just one thing with the historic story-” Ma Baker “.And we decided to fill this gap by creating another song on the topic of historical characters. And the choice fell on Rasputin as one of the most scandalous and controversial historical figures, which is known throughout the world.