Thursday, March 20, 2008

Boney M

I have always been a diehard fan of Boney M and their infectious charm & craft of memorable 70's disco tunes. For those in the dark - Boney M used to be a 4 member pop & disco band in the 1970's. The group members were from the Caribbean Islands and consisted of Bobby Farrell, Liz Mitchell, Maizie Williams and Marcia Barrett.

The group didn't hit the music scene with a bang, in fact initial response was lukewarm if anything - hence performed at various clubs & discos across Americas and parts of Europe. With time, and word of mouth their melodious beats and brilliant vocals, brought fame across the Middle East, parts of Africa, Asia and the former Soviet Union. Along with Swedish pop group ABBA, Boney M is perhaps most widely known '70s Western music acts in these regions, though globally, ABBA and the Bee Gees ruled the 70's and perhaps thru to this day.

Rasputin and Rivers of Babylon are the more successful songs - though the former was banned in ex-Soviet Union, given obvious lyrics. Tracks like - Hooray! Hooray! It's a Holi-Holiday, Brown girl in the Ring, Daddy Cool and Ma Baker are such quintessential 70's disco beats, whilst the lyrics & vocals of Mary’s Boy Child and The Rivers of Babylon get festive when they hit the airwaves every Christmas.

When I was just about 3, dad introduced me to Boney M, via an audio cassette he brought along from his travels. I vaguely remember, the very first time he played the tape at one of our parties at home - few guests and dad, dancing to the beats of Rasputin. Each time I listen, these songs bring tons of memories. In my opinion, 70's disco was indeed a class apart. Thanks to blog friend, BuJ for bringing back memoirs, given his recent post of Rasputin.

These days, on rare occasions, Boney M hold concerts at select cities. Here's an early Christmas wish for a Boney M concert in the UAE :)

33 comments:

BuJ said...

Oh, what a heartfelt post ya Rosh.. really enjoyed reading it :)

I had tapes back in the 1980s, but also I remember those "cartridges" they had in american cars that used to loop and loop. remember them?

Jayne said...

Thank you for giving me a highly anticipatedd nightmare rosh!!! I would rather suck the contents of a colostomy bag through a straw than have to endure the pain of listening to a Boney M song. I thought I was lucky by surviving the Crimble period last year without having thier songs inflicted on me in shopping malls.

* thinks to herself: I need Xanax urgently!

rosh said...

Thanks Mr BuJ, though people hardly remember BM these days, I try and bring about some awareness - play CD's or tapes in my car with friends. Feedback is often a mixed bag :) Yup I remember the cartridges - good 'ol times mate.

Ms Jayne, holy crap! Am so sorry you had to endure that hahahaha :) However, tell me, what is saaooo bad about BM - like what? is it the tune, lyrics, vocals or the dancing? am just curious :)

Xanax??? LMAO not a BM induced anxiety attack :)

BuJ said...

Jayne.. you're worried about Boney M and yet you wanna ride 1650km to Salalah?

BuJ said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dt77ZqE1bCA

this guy has some Ma Bakering groovy moves!

rosh said...

haha that's hilarious! Jayne - you must listen to BM en route to Salalah - that'd be brilliant eh?

kidding, just kidding :)

rosh said...

Man, I love Ma Baker - listen to those vintage Disco beats! damn!

Jayne, passed out have ya? :)

rosh said...

It's true! I have always been telling people, Michael Jackson's moves were inspired by Bobby Farrell - the original "Moon Walker" :)

Jayne said...

Having awoken from an illegally obtained drug offering me a guaranteed toxic stupor, (to ward off the nightmare I've had since reading your post) I have to say that in a nutshell, simply EVERYTHING about B......Bo.......Bbb........bugger, I can't even bring myself to type the name of this obnoxious group of vocal terrorists!

Rosh darlin' - to suggest I should listen (yay Gods) to the aforementioned vocal terrorists en route to Salalah is akin to me hunting you down in the Big Apple & shoving sed Apple into an orifice that you treasure considerably!

and (somehow methinks not 'finally')

Buj, I'd rather walk to Salalah than endure an opening line from one of their drivel/coma inducing songs.

*sigh*

BuJ said...

Rosh u know, as a kid i remember:

-daddy cool
-rasputin
-brown girl in the ring
-by the rivers of babylon

but i never heard of MA BAKER

and i think it's a stupendous song! Thanks for pointing it out via your blog :)

that guy Bobby Farrell is an amazing dancer.. i guess he is older than MJ?

anyway i googled Bobby and he has aged very badly hehehe

still this music is timeless.. and this is true regardless of what some bikers might think :P

kaya said...

I am crippled for sure.
You are a BONEY M fan? Oh Lord! Its true the end of the world is nigh11 We are dooomed...DOOOOOMED!
Ya Allah! I thought it was only my Husband, the 497th fan of Boney M. But I discover 498 now.
My husband spent all his time on limewire downloading and uploading every song onto his i-phone. (the i-phone had to be hospitalised from the shock and is current recovering in i-cu).
WHY? WHY? WHY?
I remember being 9 or something,in Iran, when everyone was so hip and trendy and rocking to these tunes.
I think husband dear managed to get hold of an LP with their signature too from some bargain hunt fluke.
(Downs Xanax taken from Jayne alongwith 2 Prozac and a couple of Syndol.......anyone got some Rizla?)

Jayne said...

You see, I'm not alone!! Kaya has the same opinion as me about this bunch of musical misfits.

BuJ said...

Jayne, if you re-read kaya's comment you will find that she was exasperated with her husband's moves rather than with boney M's.

Also so far you've just been so negative about Boney M, calling them "vocal terrorists" and "misfits"... but you still haven't given a reason why so. The simplest is probably that they are not to your taste, but it doesn't make them the work of the devil.

Out of interest, what do you consider good music?

:)

Lilliy said...

God its been long since I heard Bonny M.. the first time I rememer hearing it was when my aunts were in there teenagehood one of them was trying to teach the other how to do the dance a certain dance that she saw in a video along with one of there songs you know something like the makarena song..
Thanks for sharing this rosh.. it brought such old memories of my aunts..and what it was cool then.. I still find them fun to hear along with BGees..

rosh said...

Lord! "Terrorists" - Jayne, you hurting my love of music :(

Had no clue you dislike BM that much? But why? What is it about them? Is it the costumes? I can't think it's got to do with the music or dance? They ain't that bad? Just listen to those powerful voices from the Caribbean.

Ok, realize this was back in the 70's and perhaps their music isn't timeless to that of ABBA - but come on biker - these people can sing. Let those disco beats en-ter-tain you sista :)

Oh, and please don't BM (or Xanax) whilst on your road trip, I was only kidding, tayyeb? :)

rosh said...

Oh come Kaya-g, you are just pulling my leg and "biking" it with Jayne :) The two are in it together - am thinking there's been a behind the blog scene telephone chat between the two - let's take down BM :)

Aha! so hubs a fan of BM - whoo hoo! Do let him know, he's got taste for good music :)

errrr, perhaps I shouldn't say this - but nothing - nothing is worse off than *ahem* certain "b'wood" *cough* *ahem* stuff, or so me thinks :)

rosh said...

BuJ - bro, you speak like a natural musician - *clap clap, applause* damn! Man I LOVE those songs - beside the music, tune and beat, it reminds of the earliest parts of my childhood gone by, the days when my folks were "young & hip" lol :)

Something about Ma Baker, it's got the quintessential 70's "suspense, fun and drama" in the form of music - LOVE IT :)

Boney M was HUGE across the Middle East in the 70's thru early 80's - especially in the UAE. As a kid, somewhere between first and third grade, we performed "Brown girl in the ring" at school, at one of those occasions - memories, I tell you my friend. I just don't get it? How -"how" -can people dislike Boney M's music - it's much fun, carefree and 70's disco - an era gone by.

Trust me, Jacko lifted some of those moonwalker moves from Bobby. It's a shame these people didn't get the exposure in North America as ABBA or the Bee Gees.

Huge Shukrans to you Mr BuJ, for bringing Boney M to blogworld and get me talking.

rosh said...

Heeeyy Lilly - long time no speak :) Hope things are well.

Thanks lilly - my sentiments precisely. A part of the reason I love Boney M is given solid memories as an infant, those of my young mom, dad, uncles and their friends, all of whom have aged this day :)

Thanks for dropping by, best wishes for those tests.

rosh said...

BTW BuJ, Daddy Cool is awesome!

Just give it a go Jayne & Kaya-g :)

AM said...

Oh man!!! the memories these songs bring.
This post is NOT helping :P AT ALL!

BuJ said...

Mr Rosh, you're most kind, gracious and honourable.

I'm glad that you are enjoying reliving these moments about Boney M.

Remembering a good memory is always sweeter than creating one.

You realise that Boney M was completely huge in Iran back in the 1970s.. and then the darned revolution.. man.. music was halal!

Inspire Your Mind said...

Rosh.. you have to keep in pace with NYC not with Sharjah ! Translating this into posting; we expect almost daily posts instead of weekly ones :)

kaya said...

Ya Rosh!
B*wood is not my cuppa tea.
I am purely into Nusrat fateh Ali Khan, Simon and Garfunkel, and Eagles, Louis armstrong, Lenny Kravitz, Timbaland......

As I type this I had ear phones lovingly inserted into my ears and what is playing?....there was a certain man, it wasn't long ago....(OH GOD! I KNOW THE lyrics!!!!)
No my husband, I love you, but I shall not allow you to brainwash me.nooooo noooo NAHIIIIII
(Too late,
Kaya falls on the floor singing the refrain RAH RAH RASPUTIN........)
R.I.P

ammaro said...

i love boney M! man, back when music had real rhythm! DAAAADDDYYY COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!!!

rosh said...

lol Kaya-g you crack me up :)

Real rhythm whoo hoo! Ammaro, high-five-it brotha :)

CG said...

OMG
I just found this post.
I shall sheepishly admit to having my own Boney M cd in my car. Slot no.1

My kids love it too, and do not realise it is ANCIENT like their mama.

I want to curl up in a corner and disappear (with my boney music).

Jayne said...

Ahhh Buj, I'll ignore the bait about bikers, cos I ain't biting :-)
(If I could think of anything positive to say about Boney M, I would.)

However, my music taste varies considerably & you're most welcome to add your opinion. Music I listen to includes:
Il Divo/Kiri te Kenawa/Bob Dylan/Amy Winehouse/The Beatles/Carly Simon/Don Williams/Beethoven/Vivaldi/Led Zep/The Doors/Garth Brooks/Dolly Parton/Eva Cassidy/B.B.King/Streisand/Annie Lennox/Wynonna Judd/Mango Groove/The Corrs/Eric Clapton/Faithless/Guns 'n Roses/Jill Scott/Lighthouse Family/Ray Charles & Nirvana...to list but a few :-)

Al Sinjab said...

Oh, Rosh! B*wood and BM are cheese from the same mold!

I bet there is potential for a good remix in there somewhere...

And with all this 70s and Easter talk, am I the only one who rocked out to Jesus Christ Superstar this weekend?

rosh said...

Allo CG: hurray to another fan of BM :)

Jayne: am more confused now :)

Sinjab: "cheese from the same mold" - honey, c'mon it ain't true, please your killing me soft & slow with that :)

Hit broadway about 8 years ago for Jesus Christ Superstar - it was A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!

CG said...

this is oh-so-effing sad. pathetic lot we are.

Jayne said...

Rosh - now I'm confused about what you're confused about :-)

BuJ said...

i notice there's a lot of repetition here.. it's boring.. come on rosh time to stop being posh

BuJ said...

Jayne, thanks for that extensive musical list!

You have what I call "horizontal musical tastes".. i like it coz i think it's more interesting...

wow.. beethoven and amy winehouse in the same line!