Заключительная часть документального телешоу "Поп-легенда Бони М.", снятая германской медиагруппой ARD в 2006-м к 30-летнему юбилею группы. Премьерный показ этой программы состоялся незадолго до лондонской премьеры мюзикла DADDY COOL, основанного на хитах легендарного квартета.
После увольнения танцора Бобби Фаррэлла (Bobby Farrell) в коллектив приходит талантливый музыкант Рэджи Цибо (Reggie Tsibo).
Уроженец африканской Ганы ещё в возрасте 11 лет был направлен отцом в Лондон, где обучался в колледже для подростков из богатых семей.
Отец Рэджи хотел видеть сына карьерным дипломатом, однако судьба распорядилась иначе.
Вместо благополучной (но скучной) работы в дипмиссях молодой человек предпочёл карьеру актёра и музыканта.
С первой половины 70-х Рэджи участвует в различных проектах, играет в мюзиклах, кино и радиопостановках. Тогда же он заключает контракты с западногерманскими рекорд-лэйблами в качестве автора песен и продюсера.
Живя между Лондоном и Берлином, Рэджи получает огромный опыт работы в западноевропейском шоу-бизнесе.
В 1981 году продюсер Bomey M. Фрэнк Фариан (Frank Farian) предлагает ему записать сольный проект на своей студии в Розбахе. Однако внезапное увольнение Бобби резко меняет планы Фариана и он предлагает Рэджи заменить харизматичного фронтмена культовой группы.
Рэджи вспоминает: "Я долго колебался, так как полноценно заменить Бобби, у которого было множество фанов по всему миру, было крайне сложно. Несмотря на то, что Бобби не был настоящим певцом, его имидж накрепко был связан с группой Boney M.
В конце концов я согласился и стал участником знаменитого проекта...".
Однако фаны уже не представляли Boney M. без заводного Бобби, поэтому Фариан вернул его в проект в 1984 году для поддержки альбомов "Kalimba De Luna" и "Eye Dance". Квартет превратился в квинтет и вплоть до официального роспуска в 1986 году артисты периодически появлялись на телевидении именно в таком составе.
Тем не менее внутренние противоречия в группе нарастали и обстановка становилась всё более невыносимой. В итоге Фариан принял волевое решение об окончании работы со своим самым успешным детищем.
После 10 лет невероятной карьеры группа имела в своём активе 120 миллионов проданных по всему миру альбомов и синглов (к настоящему времени реализовано уже 160 миллионов копий), массу наград звукозаписывающей индустрии и даже официально зарегистрированный рекорд в Книге Гинесса.
В последующие годы Boney M. возрождались в различных составах для поддержки выходящих сборников и ремикс-компиляций. Однако официально признанной формацией Фрэнк Фариан назвал ту, которую возглавляла основная вокалистка Лиз Митчелл (Liz Mitchell).
Именно Лиз была приглашена с студию телеканала MDR, где знаменитый в Германии певец и телеведущий Хартмут Шульце-Герлах вручил ей букет и огромный торт, специально приготовленный к юбилею...
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.
Reggie Tsiboe was hired to replace Farrell as the new male member of Boney M. in 1982. The group returned to the German Top 20 in the autumn of 1984 with "Kalimba de Luna" and "Happy Song", the latter seeing Bobby Farrell return to the group. Both songs were carbon-copies of the original Italian hits by Tony Esposito and Baby's Gang respectively.
By 1985, Farian clearly began losing interest in the group. After celebrating Boney M.'s 10-year anniversary in early 1986, the group officially disbanded after the release of single 'Young, Free and Single'.
1992 saw a renewed interest in Boney M.'s music with the "Boney M. Megamix" single returning the group to the UK Top 10 for the first time since 1980, and a subsequent Greatest Hits album reaching the UK Top 20 in 1993.
A musical based on the music of Boney M., Daddy Cool, opened in London in August 2006. From April to July 2007, the show played in a mobile theatre in Berlin, which was specially designed for it.
In the UK, a new album of their greatest hits, entitled The Magic of Boney M. was released via BMG on 27 November 2006. Special additions to this release were a Mousse T. remix of "Sunny" and a brand new song from 2006, featuring Liz Mitchell, entitled "A Moment of Love".
On 10 April 2007, Boney M.'s first four albums were reissued on compact disc with bonus tracks, this time also in the United States (the first time these were available to the U.S. music market since their original releases in the 1970s).
In September 2007, Boney M.'s last four original albums, Boonoonoonoos, Ten Thousand Lightyears, Kalimba de Luna - 16 Happy Songs and Eye Dance were reissued on compact disc in Europe and the United States, all including bonus tracks. In November 2007, a new Christmas compilation was scheduled for release as well as the DVD Fantastic Boney M. – On Stage and on the Road featuring a live performance recorded in Vienna on 1 November 1977 (the DVD cover erroneously states it to be a live show from Hamburg), and a film from the band's 1981 visit to Jamaica (made to promote the Boonoonoonoos album that year).
The legal rights to the name "Boney M." have been a matter of controversy, and even court cases, between the former members of the band and producer Frank Farian ever since the late 1980s. Farian, the man who in effect created the group, has continued to work with Liz Mitchell and her line-up all through the 1990s and 2000s.
In January 2009 Frank Farian released a brand new single called Felicidad America (Obama Obama) under the name Boney M. feat. Sherita O. & Yulee B. (with two new vocalists). The song is a remake of the 1980 Boney M. classic with new vocals and re-written lyrics now referring to the new US president Barack Obama.