Boney M. is a vocal group created by German record producer Frank Farian. Originally based in Germany, the four original members of the group’s official line-up were Jamaican-born singers Liz Mitchell and Marcia Barrett, Maizie Williams from Montserrat and Bobby Farrell from Aruba. The group was formed in 1976 and achieved popularity during the Disco era of the late 1970s.
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’.
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 in September 1976, 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’ 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 became one of their biggest markets.
In 1977, Boney M released their second album, Love For Sale, 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’. 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 group’s biggest year. 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. 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.