суббота, 20 декабря 2014 г.

Pop legend Boney M. (part 6)








6-я часть документального телешоу "Поп-легенда Бони М." (производство телерадиокомпании ARD, Германия) рассказывает о самом амбициозном альбоме группы - "Boonoonoonoos" (в переводе с ямайского жаргона примерно означает "всё будет обалденно").
Затраты на запись и международный промоушен 5-го студийного диска Boney M. стали рекордными за всю историю звукозаписывающей индустрии ФРГ.
В связи окончанием эпохи disco продюсер Фрэнк Фариан (Frank Farian) два года провёл в мучительных поисках нового стиля своего проекта. Было решено обратиться к ямайским корням его участников и сделать акцент на экзотический афро-карибский "утяжелённый" рок-пассажами reggae.
В заглавной композиции альбома также заметно влияние легендарных Pink Floyd, которые в то время наделали много шума с их социально ориентированным альбомом "Стена" ("The Wall").
Boney M. также взяли на вооружение несколько социально значимых композиций, в результате чего группа стала утрачивать "танцвальную попсовость", что, в итоге, отразилось на снижении продаж.
Тем не менее "Boonoonoonoos" (1981) вызвал большой интерес у ценителей качественной музыки, поскольку заметно расширял горизонты поп-саунда и благодаря чему Boney M. обеспечили себе довольно устойчивый интерес публики в следующие 5 лет.    
На фоне ухудшающихся отношений между участниками квартета, Фариану приходилось решать целый ряд неожиданных организационных проблем: согласовать рабочий график с ведущей солисткой Лиз Митчелл, которая после замужества стала матерью и перебралась со своим избранником Томасом Пэмбэртоном (Thomas Pemberton) в Лондон, усмирять амбиции Бобби Фаррэлла (Bobby Farrell), который требовал записывать его голос на диски, а также уделить внимание сольному проекту Марсии Баррэтт (Marcia Barrtt), которая пожелала выступить с собственной программой.
Незадолго до выхода альбома группа отправилась на Ямайку, где в течение двух недель проводились съёмки специального промо-фильма, а также приняла участие в грандиозном фестивале музыки рэггей вместе со вдовой Боба Марли Ритой.
График артистов был очень насыщенным: выстуления, съёмки, фотосессии, встреча с тогдашним премьер-министром страны Эдвардом Сеагой (Edward Seaga)...
Под конец ямайского тура испортилась погода и, как вспоминает звёздный фотограф Диди Цилль (Didi Zill), ему так и не удалось снять группу на фоне багрового заката, хотя именно этот кадр планировалось поместить на лицевую сторону обложки диска. В результате эта работа была выполнена в студийных условиях по возвращении в Германию.
Снижение коммерческого успеха группы в этот период также произошло из-за увольнения Бобби Фаррэлла, который стал конфликтовать с Фарианом и отказывался посещать важные пресс-конференции и другие мероприятия с участием группы. 
В этом фрагменте телешоу "Поп-легенда Boney M." было уделено внимание и личной жизни участников квартета. Лиз Митчелл рассказала о своём дружном семействе, а также о семьях коллег по группе.
Единственная незамужняя участница Boney M. Мэйзи Уилльямс рассказала, почему она решила не связывать свою жизнь с мужчинами и упомянула о своём большом и единственным романе на рубеже 70-х-80-х.
Ещё один эпизод был посвящён многочисленным наградам Boney M., которые группа получала в разные годы (от Goldene Europa до "британской Грэмми" Carl Allan Award и золотых/платиновых/бриллиантовых дисков).  

Boney M. - the most successful pop music export in the history of Germany. To date, worldwide sold 160 million copies of their albums and singles.
The first track under the name Boney M singer, composer and producer Frank Farian (real name Franz Reuther) recorded independently. It was in late 1974. All voices (male and "female") belong to him. After the success of the single "Baby Do You Wanna Bump?" Farian was invited to speak at the Dutch television. But Frank Farian was known as a singer of German hits. So he decided to put together an exotic group to promote their new black music. After a few changes, in 1976, was formed the final line-up. These were people from the Caribbean islands: Liz Mitchell (Jamaica), Marcia Barrett (Jamaica), Maizie Williams (Monserratt) and Bobby Farrell (Aruba).
*In 1982, in the group came a new singer and musician Reggie Tsiboe (he was born in Ghana, but at age 11 his father sent him to study in London).
All four of them have already worked in the entertainment business. Liz Mitchell played in the musical "Hair" and sang in the pop-choir The Les Humphries Singers. Marcia Barrett has worked in clubs as a dancer and singer. She also occasionally performed together with the popular German star. Maizie Williams was a photographic model. In the early 70's, she won a beauty contest in the UK. Bobby Farrell worked as a dancer and DJ in Hanover.
Boney M.'s first album, Take the Heat off Me, was released in 1976. It contained tracks that Marcia Barrett had already recorded with Farian, including the title track and "Lovin' or Leavin'", both of which were previously recorded in German by another Farian act, Gilla. As Maizie Williams' voice wasn't considered suitable for recording purposes by Farian, and a try-out with Bobby Farrell performing "No Woman No Cry" didn't work, Farian decided to use only Liz Mitchell and Marcia Barrett along with his own studio-enhanced voice to create the Boney M. sound.
The album's commercial performance was initially lukewarm. However, the group rigorously toured discos, clubs and even country fairs to earn a reputation for themselves. The group's big break came when, at the end of summer 1976, German television producer Michael 'Mike' Leckebusch (of Radio Bremen) requested the group for his show Musikladen. Boney M. appeared on the live music show on 18 September 1976, after 10 pm and in their daring stage costumes, where they performed the song "Daddy Cool". The song quickly went to no.1 in Germany, with the album following the success of the single. Another single, "Sunny" (a cover of the 1966 Bobby Hebb song) gave the group their second no.1 hit. The group's popularity had also grown throughout Europe, with "Daddy Cool" reaching no.1 in Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, and Austria. Both singles were also Top 10 hits in the UK, which would become one of their biggest markets.
In 1977, Boney M. released their second album "Love for Sale" (N13 in UK and entered the top 10 in many other countries), which contained the hits "Ma Baker" and "Belfast". The group embarked on their first major concert tours with a live band of musicians called 'The Black Beauty Circus' (given their name after Maizie Williams' first band, 'Black Beautiful People'). Love for Sale was certified Gold a year after its release in the UK. Both singles from the album reached no.1 in Germany and the UK Top 10.
1978 was the biggest year for Boney M. They released a new double A-sided single, "Rivers of Babylon/Brown Girl in the Ring", which became a massive hit all over Europe, reaching No. 1 in several countries as well as becoming one of the biggest selling singles of all time in the UK. It also became their most successful single in the United States, peaking at No. 30 on the U.S. pop singles chart. Following this came their biggest-selling album, Nightflight to Venus, which spawned further hit singles with "Rasputin" and "Painter Man". Continuing with their success, they released "Mary's Boy Child - Oh My Lord", which was the 1978 Christmas number one single in the United Kingdom and became another of the biggest selling singles of all time there. Also during 1978, Boney M. made a much publicized promotional visit to the Soviet Union, one of the very few Western acts along with Elton John to do so, although tracks like "Rasputin" were not released in the Soviet Union due to their lyrics.
Boney M's album "Night Flight to Venus" was one of the best selling in the world.
1979 saw Boney M. release a brand new single, "Hooray! Hooray! It's a Holi-Holiday", which became another Top 10 hit across Europe. Later in the year they released their fourth album, Oceans of Fantasy, containing two hit singles – "Gotta Go Home"/"El Lute" and "I'm Born Again"/"Bahama Mama". The album also included a "Lead" and "Backing Vocals" credit for the first time. Oceans of Fantasy reached no.1 in the UK and was certified Platinum.
In 1980, Boney M. released a greatest hits album, The Magic of Boney M. - 20 Golden Hits, which also contained two new songs, "My Friend Jack" and "I See a Boat on the River". It made the No. 1 spot in the UK, reaching Gold status within six weeks of release, though it was their last big-selling album in the UK.
Boney M.'s fifth album had been scheduled for release in November 1980 but the recording sessions dragged on all through 1981. When Boonoonoonoos was finally released by the end of that year, Bobby Farrell was fired from the group due to his unreliability. While still a healthy seller in continental Europe, "Boonoonoonoos" failed to crack the UK Top 100 after three consecutive No. 1 albums, and Farrell's departure left the group unable to promote it. Following this, the group released a successful Christmas Album.

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