New 1982 year deserted with Bobbie Boney M’s leaving met with not clear prospects: gold beams of glory in which the group bathed in the 70th have grown dim long ago, and new creativity dispersed worse than ever.
Not only the market of the United States, but also Great Britain has been lost now – the Atlantic Records studio has broken off the contract
Boney M. with Farrell’s loss the group not only has lost the lead front man, but also an opportunity to perform at the concerts.
During this not clear period the next collection “has been published by Boney M. on 45”. It is possible to assume that, filling Frank sought to kill the “two birds with one stone”: recall the past popularity with old hits and at the same time return Boney M. to the glory of the dance project – after all, the previous album “Boonoonoonoos” was offensively poor for “music for the feet”.
Anyone who would have asked a question in 1991, “what are they dancing now?”, Would certainly have heard in response: the Dutch project Stars On 45! Created by ex-drummer of Gold Earring Jaap Eggermont, he released mixes on songs of past years, superimposed on the disco rhythm in non-stop . One by one, the records of the stars on the forty-fives occupied the top places of the charts, in May of the 81st having conquered the unattainable “Everest” – the Billboard Hot 100 chart!
When it came to other people’s songs, Frank felt great success – the vast majority of Boney M’s songs were cover versions that went through the necessary refinement.
And if Stars On 45 succeeded with the old songs of The Beatles, then why not release the same mix for Boney M. songs?
The new 13-minute mix includes the best dance action militants: “Ma Baker”, “Rasputin”, “Daddy Cool” and “Belfast”.
Like Stars on 45, the mix was preceded by a prelude that looks a lot like “the stars on 45”.
Originally recorded on the back of the Christmas single “Little Drummer Boy”, in January of 82nd “Boney M. on 45” saw the light on the front side! However, it was not possible to completely get away from the Christmas theme, and the band members were all white on the cover. Although Bobby Farrell had already left the band, his photo was also on the envelope of the record.
Alas, this release did not meet the expectations: the 6th place on the Spain charts was obviously a weak consolation, but he nevertheless fulfilled his task by filling in a pause related to the search for a new soloist.
Already at the beginning of the 82nd year, Frank picked up a replacement for Bobby.
The new lead frontmen of Boney M. was the black singer Reggie Tsiboe. Unlike the rest of the band, whose homeland was the islands of the Caribbean, Reggie was a real African and was born in Ghana.
By the time he started working at Boney M., he was an accomplished professional — an excellent dancer and singer who had worked in the musicals “Hair” and “Jesus Christ – Superstar”.
In 79, Farian spotted Reggie at the Only America show in The Roundhouse in London.
At first, Frank planned to produce Reggie as a solo artist, but when problems arose with Bobby, Farian immediately found Reggie through Hansa Record London.
“They didn’t say anything to me. Only said that the singer is wanted
Reggie immediately joined the work – a long creative downtime had to be filled.
On all television shows and live concerts, the group appeared now only with a new frontmen.
Farian considered his voice to be quite worthy of Boney M. (besides, it would be strange if the new soloist sang in the same voice as the old one).
But with Zibo’s vocals, the sound of Boney M. has undergone major changes.
In addition, Farian continued to replace the original vocalists with studio ones, which gradually changed the sound of Boney M. to unrecognizability!
Will the public take so many changes?
However, while there were no new songs, Reggie had to, like Bobby, open his mouth to the sound of Farian.
The Carnival Is Over / Going Back West
The band’s first single recorded with a new member, became “The Carnival Is Over / Going Back West”.
As if justifying their sad name,
“Carnival is over” became the first Boney M. disc, which did not hit the German TOP 20, which prompted Hansa to release Going Back West in combination with other songs, hoping to justify the investment.
However, this job is quite curious!
Hardly having heard the first notes of the song “The Carnival Is Over”, any Russian will arise: “that’s the same…” Yes! Famous
“Volga’s” is a song about Stenka Razin, where he “throws her for a bo-o-ort into a running wave”.
If international copyright law operated in the USSR, the courts would harass Boney M..
Rather, not even Boney M., but the Australian band The Seekers, whose songwriter Tom Springfield knows where he heard this Russian song and recorded an English-language cover on it in 1965. The Boney M. version was a cover of the cover.
Boney M. – Going Back West
B-side “Going Back West” was a cover for the eponymous song by Jimmy Cliff in its format perfectly fits into the format of European 80s synth pop. But who would recognize Boney M. that’s it?
Probably puzzled Frank as well – a bit later the song was re-released with vocal by Liz Mitchell and his own. The greatest success of this release was the 11th place in the hit parade of tiny Switzerland.
But after the release of the single a new dilemma arose – Liz Mitchell was pregnant again!
Zion’s Daughter December 1982
Zion’s Daughter song was recorded back to last year’s Christmas album, but it was released as a single only for Christmas next year.
Although Reggie Zibo had nothing to do with this recording, his face, for obvious reasons, was placed on the cover of the record.
The words of the song “Zion’s Daughter” are German classics in the full sense of the word, because the author of the original was the baroque composer Georg Friedrich Handel (1685-1759).
Performed by Boney M. Classic turned into a fun reggae!
Despite the “biblical name” (and the religious Liz Mitchell believed that the songs on the Christian theme will certainly be successful, because God helps them) the single failed wherever possible, taking only the 41st line on the chart of the Federal Republic of Germany.
In the Scandinavian countries, “Feliz Navidad” was released as a Christmas single, and in Spain – “Jingle Bells”.
In the spring of 1983, the birth of her second child Liz Mitchell took place. Taking a break, Marcia Barratt recorded demo tracks with Eddie Grant, while Frank was working on another album, which had no name yet.
Outlining the release of the 7th album in the fall, Frank decided to release the single “Jambo – Hakuna Matata” in support of him.
Continuing to experiment with African rhythms, Farian took as his basis the song of Them Mushrooms “Jambo Bwana” (“Hello, Mr.!”), Which constantly repeated the phrase “Hakuna matata”, which, in Swahili, means “don’t worry”.
Despite the fact that the band now had Reggie, who, by the way, was a real African, this time Frank sang the song himself.
Jambo / Hakuna Matata (No Problems)
On the reverse side was the track “African Moon”, sustained in the best traditions of the “old” Boney M. On the reverse side of the record, the release of a new album was announced in the fall of 1983.
“Sometimes I feel cheated when Western musicians commercialize a sound that has always been a part of my life.
But I admire someone who can achieve the right musical balance without disrupting the traditional ethnic background. ”
(Reggie Zibo, from an interview in 1983)
The failure of the single perfectly demonstrated how far the European audience is from the native folk Faryan’s beloved!
Even in the German charts, the song took only 48th place, continuing the rapid decline in-group ratings. And not surprising! Under it, it is better to dance on the seashore, near the fire, tapping with bone beads than at city discos!
“We had to keep up with the times, and with Reggie, although we had more African songs in our repertoire, we didn’t get far from the old style.”
Due to low sales, the single was not included in any of the albums, and the release of the disc was postponed until May 1984, which led to a further lag behind European fashion.
Reading about how in the 80s the records of the recently successful international group failed one after another, we can imagine that luck turned away from Boney M, and some evil rock followed her.
But you do not have to be a fatalist to understand that the main reason for the failures of Boney M. was her producer.
Stuck in the 70s, with stubbornness worthy of better use, Frank Farian continued to produce a product, albeit a quality one, but not demanded for a long time, completely ignoring the trends of European and world music.
Unfortunately, awareness has come too late.
In the video for the song “Jambo” Liz Mitchell was shot pregnant
The compilations Stars On 45 were not just DJ remixes – the vocal parts of The Beatles and other performers were re-recorded by professional studio singers, but in an accelerated version of dance remixes it is almost impossible to notice.
Although traditionally it is believed that the “Volga” song is Russian-folk art, the author of the song is Russian folklorist D. Sadovnikov (1847-1883).