Showing posts with label Boney M. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Boney M. Show all posts

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Mary's boy child (remix) - Boney M

The legacy of Boney M was tarnished somewhat when Frank Farian continued to churn out singles after Bobby Farrell left the group. Less successful singles eventually forced him to stop - but in 1988 he came back with a vengeance when the compilation 'Greatest Hits of all times remix '88' was released. The original line-up reformed and several singles were released: new remixes of old hits.

'Mary's boy child' was released in time for Christmas in 1988, in a remix version created by mix-master Pete Hammond - an obvious attempt to use the name and fame of the Stock, Aitken & Waterman team, who were continually in the charts with their acts. The single did not chart. Tensions ran high between the members, and Liz Mitchell left in the spring of 1989 to be replaced by Madeleine Davis.

My collection: 7" single no. 6175
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, September 21, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Mary's boy child (remix)' / 'Megamix (edited version)'

Monday, 23 December 2019

Mary's boy child (Oh my Lord) / Dancing in the streets - Boney M

'Mary's boy child' is a Christmas song, originally written by Jester Hairston. The song was written when Hairston was sharing a room with a friend. The friend asked him to write a song for a birthday party. Hairston wrote the song with a calypso rhythm because the people at the party would be mainly West Indians. The song's original title was "He Pone and Chocolate Tea", pone being a type of corn bread. It was never recorded in this form. Some time later Walter Schumann, at the time conducting Schumann's Hollywood Choir, asked Hairston to write a new Christmas song for his choir. Hairston remembered the calypso rhythm from his old song and wrote new lyrics for it.

Harry Belafonte heard the song being performed by the choir and sought permission to record it. It was recorded in 1956 for his album 'An Evening with Belafonte'. It was also released as a single. It reached number 1 on the UK Singles Chart in November 1957, and has since sold over 1.19 million copies there.

When Boney M recorded 'Mary's boy child' in 1978, they coupled it with a new song, 'Oh my Lord', written by Frank Farian and Fred Jay. This version also reached number 1 in the UK, and topped the chart for four weeks. When Hairston - who was 78 years old at the time - found out how well the Boney M version had done, he said: "God bless my soul. That's tremendous for an old fogey like me".

After Christmas, Hansa Record flipped the single and released it with 'Dancing in the streets' as the A-side. As you can see from the pictures here, the sleeve was different. On the labels the 'A' and 'B' were indeed changed. The tracks, however, remained the same.

I was lucky enough to find three versions of this single in the same store: the Dutch pressing with the black and white sleeve and two versions of the German pressing. This Boney M single remains one of the best selling Christmas singles of all time.

My collection: 7" single no. 6073
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, May 18, 2019
Cost: 3x1 euro
Tracks: 'Mary's boy child (Oh my Lord)' / 'Dancing in the streets'

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Rasputin - Boney M

I've had a copy of Boney M's 'Rasputin' for ten years already, so I guess that means that this single is superfluous in my collection - but with a totally different sleeve, this Japanese single is a great addition to my collection.

Two other Japanese singles on offer by the same dealer, 'Hooray! Hooray! It's a holiday' and 'Gotta go home', had sleeves that were similar to their German counterparts, so I left them there.

My collection: 7" single no. 6198
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 17, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Rasputin' / 'Never change lovers in the middle of the night'

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Rivers of Babylon - Boney M

Back in 1980, I already bought a copy of Boney M's biggest hit - and one of the biggest hits of all time - 'Rivers of Babylon'. That sleeve and record were made in the Netherlands. This one, bought more recently, was made in Germany. And as you can see, the sleeve is far prettier.

Apparently, there are different versions of this song on different pressings. The original pressings featured an early version that was soon replaced by a more widely available mix. The initial single mix of 'Rivers of Babylon' is most notable for lead singer Liz Mitchell's ad-libs ('Dark tears of Babylon, you got to sing a song, sing a song of love, yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah') between the two verses. On subsequent single pressings, only the 'yeah's were retained. Well, both singles I have are apparently 'original pressings', because there is no difference.

My collection: 7" single no. 71 (2)
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Rivers of Babylon' / 'Brown girl in the ring'

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Brown girl in the ring (remix '93) - Boney M

Having grown up with Boney M it's hard to withstand the German lipsynch band produced by the infamous Frank Farian. After Bobby Farrell left the band they never recovered, and even without personnel Farian tried to earn more money from the Boney M reputation. In short: there is a bit of controversy surrounding those later releases.

'Brown girl in the ring' was originally released in 1978. It was based on a traditional Jamaican children's song and ring game. The 1993 remix is uncredited but is thought to have been created by Frank Farian. It featured new lead vocals by Liz Mitchell and reached number 6 in Denmark and 38 in the UK, while failing to chart in Germany.

My collection: 7" single no. 6086
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Brown girl in the ring (radio version)' / 'Brown girl in the ring (radio rap version)'

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

6 años de exitos de - Boney M

There's nothing wrong with a bit of Boney M now and again, and regular visitors of this blog will know that I already own a pretty impressive row of Boney M singles - some of which I have bought for a second time in the mean time because those early singles were ruined by my younger self. The fact that my wife actually likes their music - which is a feat in itself, because for some strange reason she seems to prefer folk like Bach - also helps.

This Spanish single from 1982 presents a medley of the group's biggest hits. Listening to it you'll have to admit this sound more like a quickly edited track than a professional remix. I don't know if it was a hit in Spain, but it's a nice item nonetheless.

My collection: 7" single no. 5805
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 8, 2017
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: '6 años de exitos de Boney M' / 'Rivers of Babylon'

Listen to the track

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Malaika (Lambada remix) - Boney M

Collecting Boney M singles has become a very amusing pastime for me. The original singles from the Seventies are all in my collection, but in the second half of the Eighties an endless stream of remixes was apparently released on single. I have already found a couple of these (and you can see them on this blog here), but yet another one turned up.

This one is the 'Lambada remix' of 'Malaika'. It was not a very commercial song to begin with, and this remix doesn't help matters much. There isn't a lot of Lambada in this remix and the added beats don't get one on their dancing feet. Well, at least the B-side is more interesting: a Nineties remix of that song that started it all, 'Baby do you wanna bump'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5061
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 9, 2011
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Malaika (Lambada remix)' / 'Baby do you wanna bump (Remix for the 90's)'

Friday, 4 February 2011

Rivers of Babylon (Remix '88) - Boney M

Bobby Farrell died last month, legendary dancer of Boney M, who also lipsynched so well to the words that were in actual fact sung by producer Frank Farian. I didn't write an entry about Boney M at the time since all my Boney M singles were already up on this blog. But I've found a new single to write about.

This '88 remix of 'Rivers of Babylon' was released in Germany to celebrate the reunion of the original line-up of the band, including the aforementioned Bobby Farrell. The remix-album 'Greatest hits of all times' was as unsuccessful as this ill-fated single.

My collection: 7" single no. 5027
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, January 29, 2011
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Rivers of Babylon ('88 remix)' / 'Mary's Boy Child - Oh my Lord ('88 remix)'

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Josephine Baker - Boney M

Boney M officially disbanded after the commercially unsuccessful and ininspired album 'Eye dance' (1985). From that point, several different versions of the group were formed. The classic line-up reformed in 1988 for the album 'Greatest hits of all times - remix 88', but this reunion didn't last very long: within the year Liz Mitchell left the group, to be replaced by Madeleine Davis.

This line-up recorded the single 'Josephine Baker', without the band's original producer Frank Farian's knowledge or approval. He threatened the group with legal action, and so the single was quickly withdrawn. Bobby Farrell re-recorded the song for this 1991 single credited to Boney M. feat. Bobby Farrell, since he won the rights to use the name Boney M. in Holland where he lives. The title was changed simply to 'Josephine Baker'. The single was a charity single in support of The Josephine Baker Children's Foundation, but did not chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 4479
Found: Record fair, Amsterdam, January 30, 2010
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Josephine Baker' / 'Shame and scandal'

Friday, 29 January 2010

Somewhere in the world - Boney M

With Bobby Farrell out of the line-up of Boney M and new male singer Reggie Tsiboe in, the group was facing difficult times. With already three singles landing outside of the top 40 in Germany, 'Somewhere in the world' was the fourth attempt at having more success - but another failure.

'Somewhere in the world' was the first and only single from Boney M's seventh studio album 'Ten thousand lightyears'. The single only reached number 49 in the German singles chart and failed to chart anywhere else. Though unremarkable, this track is still quite beautiful and features the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

My collection: 7" single no. 4466
Found: Fun Records, Berlin, received January 28, 2010
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Somewhere in the world' / 'Exodus (Noah's ark 2001)'

Friday, 25 December 2009

Little drummer boy - Boney M

By the end of 1981, Boney M was in a little trouble. They'd recorded the album 'Boonoonoonoos', originally scheduled for release in November 1980, but released almost a year later because of the recording sessions dragging on. Boney M's 'Christmas album' was released almost at the same time in November 1981. By that time, male member Bobby Farrell was fired from the group due to his unreliable working discipline.

It did not hinder the Christmas album so much, as it became a holiday favourite for all the band's fans. The single 'Little drummer boy' was a bit of a secret though. I never saw it back in 1981, and last January I saw it for the first time in my life. Boney M's version of this traditional is pretty decent, but the medley of hits on the B-side is the real treat here.

My collection: 7" single no. 3568
Found: La La Land, January 31, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Little drummer boy' / '6 years of Boney M hits - Boney M on 45'

Friday, 27 November 2009

The Summer Megamix - Boney M

The height of Boney M's success was gone, vanished by the end of the Eighties. Still, someone thought it would be a good idea to release a 'Summer Megamix', consisting of their biggest summer hits: 'Sunny', 'Ma baker', 'Hooray! Hooray! It's a holi-holiday', 'Gotta go home' and 'Kalimba de luna'. The megamix was made by Michael Newman and Charles Key B, together with Pete Hammond from Pete Waterman Limited.

The single was, as far as I know, only released in France, peaking at number 11 in the French singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 4280
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 21, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'The summer megamix' / 'The calendar song'

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Megamix - Boney M

When Abba had a comeback of sorts with the 'Abba Gold' compilations in the early Nineties, other acts followed suit. 'Boney M Gold' was released in 1992, and this single was released to promote the compilation. It was a megamix of five big Boney M hits: 'Rivers of Babylon', 'Sunny', 'Ma Baker', 'Daddy Cool' and 'Rasputin'.

At a time when Seventies acts were anything but cool, this Megamix was a surprise hit, peaking at number 13 in the Dutch Top 40.

My collection: 7" single no. 4074
Found:, September 25, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Megamix' / 'Bang Bang Lulu'

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

We kill the world - Boney M

The word 'ill-advised' comes to mind whenever I hear this song. Several ill-advised things happened with this single. First of all, Boney M sang a song about nuclear weapons, which is a very serious subject and not necessarily compatible with their variety of carefree dance music. Then there's the last two minutes of this song, performed with a children's choir. Much too saccharine. And then there was the unfortunate dismissal of Bobby Farrell, rendering the band unable to promote the single.

The single was taken from Boney M's 1981 album 'Boonoonoonoos' and reached number 25 in the Dutch Top 40 and number 39 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 4022
Found: Vinylfabriek, Haaksbergen, September 14, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'We kill the world' / 'Boonoonoonoos'

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Sunny - Boney M

'Sunny' was originally written and performed by Bobby Hebb in 1966. It was covered by Boney M in 1976, and released as a single from their debut album 'Take the heat off me', following their breakthrough single 'Daddy cool'. Hebb himself released a disco version of the song, also in 1976, and had minor success on Billboard's R&B chart.

Boney M's version topped the charts in Germany and the Netherlands and reached number 3 in the UK. The track was remixed in 1988 and 1999, but when released as singles they didn't have the same amount of success. While Liz Mitchell sang the original lead vocals on Boney M.'s version, original member Maizie Williams recorded a solo version in 2006.

My collection: 7" single no. 183
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, 1982
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'Sunny' / 'New York City'

Monday, 27 July 2009

Malaika - Boney M

Malaika means 'Angel' in Swahili. The song was first recorded by Kenyan musician Fadhili William and his band Jambo Boys in 1960. In 1981, the song was covered by Boney M for their album 'Boonoonoonoos'. The single reached number 13 in the German charts and number 20 in the Dutch Top 40.

These lower placings were a first sign of Boney M's popularity decreasing. In the Netherlands, they would never reach the top 20 again (except for a Megamix released in 1993, which reached number 13).

My collection: 7" single no. 86
Found: Wouters, Den Haag, 1981
Cost: 6 guilders
Tracks: 'Malaika' / 'Consuela Biaz'

Monday, 29 June 2009

Kalimba de luna - Boney M

'Kalimba de Luna' was originally released as a single by Italian musician Tony Esposito in 1984. It was covered almost instantly by Boney M for the German market. The lead vocals were performed by new group member Reggie Tsiboe, who was originally scheduled to release it as a solo single. The plans were changed, and 'Kalimba de luna' became a new Boney M single, released in the autumn of 1984.

Neither Liz Mitchell nor Marcia Barrett sang on this recording - the backing vocals were done by producer Frank Farian, Amy & Elaine Goff, and vocal group La Mama (Patricia Shockley, Madeleine Davis and Judy Cheeks). The single became Boney M's first hit single in three years, peaking at number 27 in the Dutch Top 40.

My collection: 7" single no. 246
Found: Cochem, Germany, October 1984
Cost: - (present)
Tracks: 'Kalimba de luna' / '10.000 lightyears'

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Rivers of Babylon - Boney M

'Rivers of Babylon' is a song written and recorded by Brent Dowe and Trevor McNaughton of The Melodians in 1972. It is based on the Biblical hymn Psalm 137, a hymn expressing the yearnings of the Jewish people in exile following the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem in 586 BC. The rivers of Babylon are the Euphrates river, its tributaries, and the Chebar river. The song also has words from Psalm 19:14.

The song was covered in 1978 by Boney M, with a version that was released as a single. In the UK Boney M. sold more than 1,985,000 copies of the song, making the single officially three times platinum and one of the all-time best-selling singles in the UK. It was also the group's only significant US chart entry, peaking at number 30 in the Pop charts. Some controversy arose when the first single pressings only credited Frank Farian and Reyam (aka Hans-Jörg Mayer) of Boney M; after an agreement with Dowe and McNaughton, these two were also credited on later pressings.

My collection: 7" single no. 71
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, 1980
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'Rivers of Babylon' / 'Brown girl in the ring'

Thursday, 30 April 2009

I see a boat on the river - Boney M

Not long after the American band Styx released their single 'Boat on the river', Boney M released 'I see a boat on the river'. It was another big hit for the band, reaching number 7 in the Netherlands. The track appeared on the compilation album 'The magic of Boney M', along with the B-side, 'My friend Jack'. This track was released as an A-side in the UK, but only made number 57 there.

My collection: 7" single no. 47
Found: Wouters, Den Haag, 1980
Cost: 6 guilders
Tracks: 'I see a boat on the river' / 'My friend Jack'

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Belfast - Boney M

'Belfast' was originally written by Drafi Deutscher for Marcia Barrett while she was still performing as a solo artist in the early Seventies. Boney M performed the song live because they didn't have enough of their own material yet, and it proved to be an audience favourite. This gave producer Frank Farian the idea to record it anew.

However, because of the politically tinted lyrics ('when the hate you have for one another's past') he first recorded it with Gilla in German. It still appeared on Boney M's 1977 album 'Love for sale' and ended up being a single for them. It peaked at number 9 in the UK and number 3 in the Netherlands.

My collection: 7" single no. 3682
Found: La La Land, Den Haag, April 25, 2009
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Belfast' / 'Plantation boy'

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