Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ma Baker

Song: Ma Baker
Artist: Boney M
Album: Love For Sale

So within days of each other, reader Shain sent me the track "Ma Baker" by 70's disco act Boney M. and I was researching Duck Sauce and their infectious track "Barbara Streisand," which is built on a very generous sample of disco track "Gotta Go Home," by... Boney M.  Since there are no musical coincidences, I decided I needed to know about this band...

The plot thickened as my friend Brian pointed out that "Ma Baker" was sampled by Gaga for "Poker Face." !!! (I initially thought it was just inspired by, as it doesn't sound like a straight sample... but it is.)  Who is this disco band that I'd never heard of?  Well, I highly recommend the career spanning Magic of Boney M, which contains all of their most well known songs, and spans their entire career.

So who are Boney M?  Well, initially it was solely German producer Frank Farian, whom recorded the dance track "Do You Wanna Bump?" in 1974 using his own studio-altered vocals, and released the track under the name Boney M.  He subsequently hired performers to "front" the group and hired four Jamaican's; Liz Mitchell, Marcia Barrett, Maizie Williams, and Bobby Farrell.

The bands full history is actually very interesting.  Take a gander at the bands Wikipedia page.  But the most interesting tidbit was that it was public knowledge that Bobby Farrell didn't actually "sing" on record or live, just miming Farian's vocals, but it wasn't until 1974 that it became known that Maizie Williams also didn't sing on the recorded material from the band... which was common practice with bands of the day.  While this didn't seem to effect the career of his Boney M, it did in fact cause a major scandal with another group Farian put together in 1988 called... Milli Vanilli.  Whoops!

Regardless of being a studio band, I have to say that the band have a goofy charm that I really like.  "Magic of Boney M" comes well recommended.  Take a listen to the tracks below.  What a different time!


Ma Baker

Rivers of Babylon

Brown Girl in the Ring

1 comment:

Harley said...

I've got a Ma Baker track that I believe is The Killer Barbies (and features Alaska). Apparently Boney M made a hit in Spain too!