Boney M. Group history started in the now distant year of 1974, when a young and incredibly enterprising German musician Frank Farian decided to try a new style for Europe-Disco, already very popular in American clubs. He recorded a single trial: “Baby Do You Wanna Bump”, which he himself performed the low voice, which later became a hallmark of the group…
By the early 70’s Farian already had two solo albums on the account (and, probably, the ambitions of singer and musician) and this “experimental” song could become a risk to his solo career. Among the German pop music of that time, which is still dominated by pop-rock composition stood out dramatically unusual rhythms and vocal performance. Nobody knew (and could not have known), as the audience would react to the song, where the same phrase repeated over nearly seven minutes! And Farian decided not to release it under his own name, taking funny nickname “Zambi”. Thus, his reputation remained producer out of danger, while the success of the single could bring a good profit ! The song was performed at Studio Europa Sound Studios in Offenbach. It was released in 1975, under the name of defunct group Boney M. on the cover of the disc, as a sign of quality, depicting the American flag!
Who is the Boney M.?
The attentive reader will ask: why Boney M.? What was thinking when Farian chose this name? This question journalists do not get tired to ask Frank this is already fourth decade.
The answer is simple, though not obvious.
At that time, the German blue screens went Australian detective series “Boney”, whose main character was Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte (aka “Bony”) who worked undercover. The letter M. to Boni-Bonaparte Farian attributed him self seemed to “equilibrium”.
The name proved to be very successful and long lived through your source!
Forty years later, the film has long been deservedly forgotten group Boney M. became a Treasury of world pop!
From the outset, the Group Boney M was conceived as a Quartet of blacks (as befits a decent disco group!).
Without further ADO, Frank asked the casting agency Kathy Wolf (not so easy in Germany 70-x was look for black singers!), which helped to pick up the first composition.
Selection for the first team was composed of Maizie Williams: Williams with her friend Sheila Bonnick, a kind of Natalie and some Mike.
However, as the Group was short-lived-Natalie was replaced by professional vocalist Claudia Barry.
But three days before the responsible speech Claudia suddenly goes away, and it was followed by leaves and Sheila Bonnick, stating that worthy of a larger (which prevented her through many years to declare themselves the former participant).
So very quickly from the first composition only Maizie Williams.
However, singles continued to diverge, and Frank decided to recruit new extras.
Claudia place ranked participant in the Hamburg musical “Hair” by Liz Mitchell.
Her performance so much liked Frank, that he invited her to the Hansa Studios, where he was signed to a one-year contract.
Why are there so few? – ask the attentive reader.
Because then no one could not imagine what a great future awaits group!
They talked about the project of one song “Baby Do You Wanna Bump”, which for the year had fully exhausted myself.
To the year 1976, the permanent line-up was finally formed. It includes:
Elizabeth Rebecca Mitchell was born July 12, 1952, in Clarendon, Jamaica.
In 1963, the family moved to London.
In the late 60 ‘s succeeding Donna Summer in the musical “Hair”, moved to Berlin.
Participant of the German band The Les Humphries Singers, which she started an affair with Malcolm Magaronom.
However, after leaving the group, they founded the “Malcolm Locks and even released the disc” Caribbean Rocks “, which, however, had no success.
Shortly after returning to England, Liz was invited to work in the Group Boney M.
Singer recommended Farianu Marisija Barett, which Liz met for a couple of months before they decided to return home.
During this time, Marcia joined the Group Boney M, and Claudia to her left, and now urgently need was the replacement.
Initially, Liz had to sign in just three days, to avoid failed statement.
Who could know that she will soon become a lead singer, and one of the most permanent participants?
Marcia Barrett was born in Jamaica, in the parish of St. Catherine October 14, 1948 Prior to joining the Group Boney m. had already had experience of playing in nightclubs, and also worked in several projects of the Hansa studios as a dancer and even a solo single, “Could Be Love” (1971).
Although during the work in the group main parties belonged to Liz Mitchell, Marcia her perfectly complemented, Boney M. sound more harmonious.
Maize Ursula Williams
Maize Ursula Williams was born March 25, 1951 of the year on the island of Montserrat in the West Indies, dancer and model, in 1971, was awarded the title of “Miss British Commonwealth”.
Prior to joining the group performed at restaurants and clubs with her friend Sheila Bonnick.
Unlike the other girls, she was completely “wordless” participant, although he ran through them during live performances.
Invited to work in the group right in the restaurant got Maizie Williams, where she performed alongside Sheila Bonnick.
Here’s how she remembers this episode: everything happened like in the movies!
We sat in a restaurant with a friend and eating, as suddenly to do for us this lady from Hansa records.
She did not speak English, but it had a translator, who explained that the Lady picks up a group for Frank Farian, the fact that the recorded disc. And here is this Frank looking for dancers, dance group, which would be danced to this song.
I looked at a couple and thought: “Oh-Oh, come on lie, I on such things do’not pay attention “.
Robert Alfonso Farrell was born on the island of Aruba October 6, 1949, a former sailor, dancer and DJ, inexhaustible on fudge entertainer, always able to show a cool show!
At various times supported the statements of the various collectives Farian.
Bobby hit the Group Boney M. with a light hand Maizie Williams, who told about it Farianu. Go to Hannover together with casting agent Kate Wolf, Frank personally saw what Bobby is doing tricks on stage and was just entranced! Since then, Bobby became an important part of the show Boney M.!
“He was very gregarious, lively and full of energy person who can create funny situations … So far I remember our first appearance in MusikLaden. Bobby felt tremendous fear before going on stage.But fate smiled at us, and he literally captivated the audience.
Next composition was released too, no particular claims of success. Its purpose was to extend the life of the project. Called it. “Daddy Cool”! Needless to say, as far as pessimistic expectations were Frank!
It was a lot of innovations: drums, supplemented tikajushhim sound, monotonously repetitive phrases, but importantly, the lyrics-like a nursery rhyme, completely devoid of any meaning hint!
Boney M-Daddy Cool
“Daddy Cool” instantly becomes a # 1 at home and takes off on the 6-th place in the UK charts.
But that’s not all!
Struck the ocean, “Daddy” peaked at ranked 65 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and ranked 20 Canadian hit parades!
“The breakthrough” to such a fast start cannot be named!
“The success of ” Daddy “I foresee in principle, but everything that followed it, was an unexpected surprise for me,” says Frank in an interview.
Indeed, it was with the single begun climbing being Boney M!
Third hit becomes a cover of a song by Bobby Hjebba “Sunny” (“Sun”), performed by Boney M., the second birth, succeeding simple sound to the dance the rhythm of disco.
About what is this song?
According to the Bobby Hjebba, at the time when he wrote that he wanted to – ” At that time I just wait for more happy times, or at least sunny adventurous day out, because then the times were not the best.
In November 1963 the 5th Hjebba rocked two events: the death of John F. Kennedy and the assassination of his own brother, zakolotogo near a nightclub.
The song was written as a direct contrast to the song Johnny Bragg “Just Walkin’ in the Rain”.
Its release brought the Hjebbu such a success that in 1966, he participated in a joint tour with The Beatles themselves!
According to the version of Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), the song takes 25-th place in the “Top 100 songs of the century”.
No Woman No Cry
On the flip side of the single “Daddy Cool” was a cover of the Bob Marley song “No Woman No Cry”.
The authors of the articles and music critics love to translate her name literally: “no women, no crying.”
Partly in the wine group, put the name of the song it is in the form of a “No Women No Cry” on the cover of the record!
Well, maybe they’re right somewhere, but the true meaning of the song quite different: Hero songs-Wandering Minstrel, who assured his woman crying that he definitely will return: “No woman, no cry”!
And again the behind-the-scenes Farian sang.
No, he is not about to usurp the place of the soloist, and Bobby Farrell he hired as singing musicians (not just dancing).
And just this song should have been singing Bobby.
However, neither Frank experiment with voice Farrell any good not led. It totally did not fit into the sound of Boney M., and, in the end, Frank finally decided that singing will only himself, Liz, rarely Marcia. And Bobby and Maizie Williams will only open her mouth.
So the Group Boney M. became one of the first European Studio projects!
Take The Heat Off Me
In June 1976 goes first album “Take The Heat Off Me “. The audience gave him enough kept, but when in September, the band performed the song in the musical television show MusikLaden, Frank for the first time been able to appreciate the magical powers of television! The demand exceeded all expectations-one week has sold over 100 thousand. LPs!
Success was growing like a snowball!
Major music companies acquired the license for the edition of Boney M. Circulations disks and cassettes already counted in the millions!
In England the first album released by a major label, Atlantic Records, replacing track “Baby Do You Wanna Bump” 6 minutes “Help! Help!, “which was performed by Gilla.
Obviously, Frank tried to adapt American disco, and the first album has tracks: “Take The Heat Off Me”, “Lovin’ Or Leavin'”, “Fever”, which look like the work of overseas disco stars of that time like Gloria Gaynor. But there are other songs in it and is already on first their sounds can be unmistakably characteristic “warm sound” Boney M.!
“Got a Man On My Mind”, “Sunny”, “No Woman, No Cry” differed more playful blend of bass and strings parties and sounded so warm, like it’s not disco, and music from some of Jamaica or the Cayman Islands!
Constant experimentation with instruments and a passion for exotic melodies gradually deviates from the Canon of American Frank disco.
His music is gaining some special charm, which later goes to the signature style of Boney M.
Early in his career, Marcia Barett performed at dances at Karel Gott and Rex Hildo
In 1973 year Maizie Williams won the contest “Miss Black Beautiful”. Most likely it is the name of the competition influenced the name of her first own group ‘ Black Beautiful People.
In 15 years of Bobby Farrell left his native Aruba, to become a sailor. After leaving the Navy he lived in Norway for some time until it went from there to the Netherlands, where fate brought him to Germany.
“Daddy Cool”-is the title of a famous Australian rock band the beginning of 70 ‘s, famous all over the world for their hit 1972 year “Eagle Rock”. By the way, the song titled “Daddy Cool” and it was.
Sound Tick-Tick-Tick in the introduction, “Daddy Cool” was a way of playing with a pencil on the teeth.
Cover on the song “Sunny” Cher have
This being said I should probably note, that in later years, it became known that some of the singers of the group actually never recorded their voices on the album, and there was a huge scandal surrounding these accusations.
But either way, the songs are still amazing!