Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bobby Farrell (Boney M )

Boney M's "lead" male "singer" passed away yesterday. Boney M was and still is my most favorite music band. Something I won't be ashamed to admit even when I am 90. The music I listened to during childhood was defined by Boney M. I still remember listening to Boonoonoonoonoos along with my cousin in the gramophone player. Boney M made the sexiest album covers in those days. And the given that the gramophone record album was like a 20 X 20 picture in itself, the cool factor of owning a Boney M record was way up there.

I had wanted to do a post on Boney M for a long time. But kept postponing it. Bobby Farrell news makes me want to renew that attempt again. There are several reasons why I put the "lead" and "singer" in the first sentence of this post in quotes. I don't want to get into the history of Boney M and the controversy around who really sang the male voice. But for whatever role Bobby played in Boney M he deserves to be remembered for providing many our favorite childhood memories. The thick masculine voice of Boney M provided a dimension that was a perfect match for Liz Mitchell's golden voice. [Note: It was later revealed that Frank Farian (the creator of Boney M) was the one who sang that male voice with Bobby just providing lip syncing.]

Here are some of my favorite songs that featured Bobby Farrell. Note that these aren't my favorite Boney M songs overall. Just picking songs that featured Bobby prominently. I deliberately omitted some of the popular Boney M songs such as Ma Baker, Daddy Cool or Brown Girl in the Ring. the purpose was to focus on some of the other great Boney M songs that gets left out because of the over-emphasis on a few selected songs. Only 1 truly 'popular' song is included in the below list because I simply could not resist including it. My actual list of Boney M favorite songs can wait for another day.

8. Gloria can you Waddle

His cool way of saying 'can you waddle ah aah' got me hooked on to this song. I loved the way this song fed into "Baby Do you want to bump".

7. Ride To Agadir

A highly under-rated song from Boonoonoonoonoos. Really one of the best songs of the album. I loved the feeling you get when the drums begin. Just fantastic.

6. Gadada Vida

The electronic voice features again in Boney M's version of Gadada Vida. And the thundering Masculine voice follows.

5. Boonoonoonoos

What a great song. And what a fantastic album. Known for its awesome album cover photograph. But I'll post another version of the video that shows Bobby's dance moves better.

4. Bye Bye Blue Bird

I love it purely for the feel-good effect that this song created. At some point in time I listened to this song everyday for 6-7 months until the cassette died on me.

3. No More Chain Gang

One of the greatest rhythm & percussion combo you will ever hear. And when Bobby does the "looking on the chain gang" part - it just lifts the song to a different level. Listen to a better recording of this song loud volume in a good speaker system. The experience is pure joy.

2. Bahama Mama

One of Boney M's best songs. No other way to put it.

1. Night Flight To Venus/Rasputin

I couldn't resist including a 'popular' Boney M song. This is one of the best songs that Boney M made. usually only the Rasputin part of the song is very popular. Many dont know that Boney M had a loosely followed tradition where their first two songs of the album continued seamlessly without a gap. the beats of Nightflight/Rasputin stays in memory until a person dies.

Special thanks to Arvindh for reviving my Boney M fever in Higher-Secondary School days.


Dr.Dheep said...

Those memories of me, sis and dad trying to dance to brown girl in the ring......

Gaurav said...

Lovely post. Brought back pleasant memories. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

My favs included Rivers of Babylon and Brown girl in the ring... RIP...


Extra-Ordinarily Ordinary said...

When I was 4-5 years old, the only non carnatic music cassettes in my house were MJ and BoneyM. Apparently my folks were big fans of BoneyM. The only song I was able to recognize from ur list was Night Flight to Venus/Rasputin.

Extra-Ordinarily Ordinary said...


You have put the radioworm in me with Rasputin. Do you have a MP3 of the song? Please to be sending to karthiksriram[at]gmail[dot]com

Victor Guerra said...

Nostalgia again! My favorite music group too, though its a different story that I'm an illiterate when it comes to english music. Not sure when the Rasputin song was actually made, but that was the first song of my life I could sing atleast the first four lines of. (Although I attracted sarcastic frowns from my 8th class classmates back then).

Nice one Hawkeye. Hapy new year to you and your family.

p.s FYI blogrolled you.

Kokki Kumarru said...

Great songs. Daddy cool is my favorite. But these days the words remind me of the goa movie dialogue where Jai replies to his father at the panchayat "Daddy Cool".

cram said...

the first "english" songs i heard in my life...yeah boney m was part of of all us growing up into a "modern" era.

curiously, farrell died on the same day as rasputin, and in st petersburg!

Maddy said...

For me, music means the late 70s and 80s groups reminding me of my childhood....Nostalgic..
Still have those ABBA and Boney M cassettes!!!

btb, shankar ganesh copied 'rasputin" in the movie aani ver..

Babs said...

machi remember the pioneer system in kosalai bhavan, maharajanagar :)....I think I still have those records..full of fungi on it....Boney M (cover exposing one big bum) and words like show me ur motion... got me thinking diff those days :)

Boney M said...

Boney M are the best personally i really cherish their music to the fullest. All their music are intriguing even in the 21 century, my best tracks are rivers of babylon, mary's boy child, plantation boy and brown girl in the ring