|Studio album by |
|Released||September 28, 1981|
|Genre||Rhythm and blues, reggae, Euro disco|
|Length||59:39 (1994 CD 61:06)|
Hansa Records (FRG)
|Boney M. chronology|
Limited edition double album.
|Singles from Boonoonoonoos|
Despite producer Frank Farian having announced by the end of 1979 that Boney M. were to take a break, recording sessions for a new album began in the spring of 1980, and the title "Boonoonoonoos" (a Caribbean word for "Happiness") already appeared as one of the first completed tracks, a cover of Larry Dillon's ska-title "Train to Skaville", which was intertwined with new rap parts as "That's Boonoonoonoos". Two of the new recordings, "I See A Boat On The River" and "My Friend Jack" were issued to promote The Magic of Boney M. - 20 Golden Hits in May 1980.
Farian invited the singers Liz Mitchell and Marcia Barrett and his crew of musicians to Nice in the summer of 1980, where several new songs were recorded. A new double A-side single "Children Of Paradise"/"Gadda-Da-Vida" was released in September, announcing the as yet untitled new album to be released in November '80. The single reached number 11 in Germany, but in the UK their popularity was now quickly slipping. When released in February 1981, the single peaked at a disappointing number 66. In the meantime, Farian had decided to revise the whole album.
While new pressings of "Children Of Paradise" now promoted "The Magic Of Boney M." on the back cover, the band instead issued another single in December, a cover version of "Felicidad (Margherita)" backed with "Strange". "Felicidad", originally recorded by Italian band Massara as "Margherita (Love In The Sun)" in 1979, managed to get Boney M. into the German Top 10 again (number 6, 27 weeks on chart) and it became a sizeable hit in most of Europe as well. The single, however, was not released by Atlantic Records UK, nor was it released in Spain or Portugal, where Massara's original version had been a huge hit two years earlier. In the Netherlands, the single was released with "Strange" as the A-side.
At the same time, singer Marcia Barrett issued the solo single "You" / "I'm Lonely", produced by John Edmed, and written by Kelvin James. Released in Germany in December 1980, and in the UK two months later, the single failed to chart in either of the countries. Another song from the same sessions, "Breakaway", ended up on Boonoonoonoos as a Boney M. track with Frank Farian on lead vocals.
New recording sessions took place in the spring of 1981. The band flew to Jamaica in May 1981 to record a TV special, perform live in concert with Rita Marley, shoot photos for the album cover, and one of the final songs "Silly Confusion" was recorded in Bob Marley's Tuff Gong studios in Kingston.
Boonoonoonoos – originally intended to be released as a double-album – was subsequently trimmed to a one disc, thirteen track release. A limited edition double album was, however, issued in Germany, France and the UK, containing slightly longer versions of certain songs, but with the same number of tracks.
The first single to be lifted off the finished Boonoonoonoos album in Germany was double A-side "Malaika"/"Consuela Biaz" in May 1981 which became the first Boney M. single in five years not to reach the Top 10 (#13, 16 weeks). The single was not released in the UK.
"We Kill The World (Don't Kill The World)" was the second single, released in September, and marked the first single since "Belfast" featuring Marcia Barrett as the lead singer. It peaked at #12 in the German charts and was their first UK Top 40 entry in two years (#39) after some disappointing placings of their previous two singles ("Children Of Paradise" #66 and "My Friend Jack" #57), but the single went to #1 in both Spain and South Africa.
The Boonoonoonoos album came with a picture innersleeve and a large fold-out poster with the lyrics on the back. When the LP was released in Germany in September, the album was immediately withdrawn after pressure from singer Liz Mitchell who was unhappy with a photo on the innersleeve, picturing the band in soaked clothes in the Ocho Rios waterfall. The innersleeve was redesigned with a photo of the band in a canoo, and the LP finally released on November 1, 1981. Boonoonoonoos hit the #1 spot in Spain (where the group had just done a big promotion tour) but failed to crack the UK Top 75 (after three consecutive #1 LPs). The album peaked at #16 in Germany, and while still a healthy seller, it was becoming obvious that the band, like so many of their contemporaries, was being affected by the so-called "anti-disco backlash".
"Boonoonoonoos" marked Bobby Farrell's debut on record. Having previously only mimed to Frank Farian's vocals on TV (but having sung live in the group's concerts), Farrell was featured on the track "Train To Skaville" as a rapper. He also did the spoken intro on "We Kill The World".
Boney M. member Maizie Williams had also done a small part on "Train To Skaville" (featured in the group's TV special), and so the track would be the first recording to actually feature all four group members, but her part was eventually re-recorded by Liz Mitchell for the released version of the song.
"Boonoonoonoos" also marked the first time Farian used additional singers on a Boney M. record. Vocal group La Mama (Cathy Bartney, Patricia Shockley, and Madeleine Davis) had originally been hired as backing singers for Precious Wilson's first album but since Farian also used them to do demos, their vocals were in some cases kept in the final mix.
Brian Paul was a young boy featured on the second single "We Kill The World (Don't Kill The World)". Even though the record sleeve credits "other children", Brian Paul and his friend Brian Sletten eventually sang all of the children's vocals themselves. They also appeared with the group in a number of TV shows when they promoted the song.
Soon after the release of Boonoonoonoos band member Bobby Farrell was fired from the group by producer Frank Farian, leaving the group unavailable to promote the album. Christmas Album - originally planned as a Liz Mitchell solo album – was rushed out three weeks after "Boonoonoonoos". Atlantic (UK) planned to release a new version of "Jimmy" as a single in April 1982 but those plans were eventually shelved.
- "Boonoonoonoos" (Frank Farian, Giorgio Sgarbi, Catherine Courage, Fred Jay) - 4:37
- "That's Boonoonoonoos / Train to Skaville" (Frank Farian, Larry Dillon, Rainer Maria Ehrhart) / "I Shall Sing" (Van Morrison) - 5:56
- "Silly Confusion" (Frank Farian, Dietmar Kawohl, Mats Björklund, Harry Baierl, Catherine Courage) - 7:12
- "Ride to Agadir" (Mike Batt) - 5:09
- "Jimmy" (Frank Farian, Johan Daansen, Brad Howell) - 4:07
- "African Moon" (Frank Farian, Helmut Rulofs, Liz Mitchell, Catherine Courage) - 2:55
- "We Kill the World (Don't Kill the World)" (Frank Farian, Giorgio & Gisela Sgarbi) - 6:28
- "Homeland Africa (Ship Ahoy)" (Kenneth Gamble, Frank Farian, Leon Huff) - 4:20
- "Malaika" (Farian, Reyam, Traditional) - 3:27
- "Consuela Biaz" (Farian, Courage, O'Hara) - 4:37
- "Breakaway" (Kelvin James) - 4:18
- "Sad Movies" (John D. Loudermilk) - 3:22
- "Goodbye My Friend" (Farian, Rulofs, Courage) - 5:25
Alternative album editions
- "Boonoonoonoos" (Direct Master Cutting - Long Versions). Limited edition double album, released in Germany, France and the UK.
- "Train to Skaville / That's Boonoonoonoos / I Shall Sing"
- "Silly Confusion"
- "Ride to Agadir"
- "African Moon"
- "We Kill the World (Don't Kill the World)"
- "Homeland Africa (Ship Ahoy)"
- "Consuela Biaz"
- "Sad Movies"
- "Goodbye My Friend"
- Germany: Test pressing 203 888-000 (Pressing O) (excluding "Malaika" and "Consuela Biaz")
- Germany: Hansa Records 203 888-320 (A-6 / B-7) (Pressing I) (reverse running order of "Malaika" and "Consuela Biaz")
- Germany: Hansa 203 888-320 (A-8 / B-3) (Pressing II) (reverse running order of "Malaika" and "Consuela Biaz")
- Germany: Hansa 203 888-320 (A-3 / B-8) (Pressing III)
- Germany: Hansa 203 888-320 (A-13 / B-13) (Pressing IV)
- UK: Atlantic Records K 50852 (Pressing VI)
- Japan: Atlantic P-13010A (Pressing VII)
- Spain: Ariola I-203 888 (Pressing VIII)
- Italy: Durium DAI 30.384 (Pressing III)
- Argentina: RCA Victor AVS 4959 (Pressing VIII)
- South Africa: Gallo ML 4541 (Pressing VII)
- Germany: MCI 8985409221 (Pressing XI) (2017 reissue)
- Germany: Hansa 403 888-352. (Pressing X)
Limited Edition 2LP
- Germany: Hansa 301 850-570 (Pressing V)
- UK: Atlantic K 50852D (Pressing VIII)
- France: Carrere 67.831 (Pressing IX)
- Germany 1994: BMG 74321 21267 2. (The CD cover featured slightly different photos than original LP) (Pressing X)
- Europe 2007: Sony-BMG 88697 09481 2, including two bonus tracks: 14. Felicidad (Margherita) (Massara, Conz) - 4:33. 15. Strange (Dobson) - 3:28, both originally released on Hansa single 102 681-100 (1980).
Both CD releases contain the versions from the MC release and not the various LP releases.
- "Malaika" (7" Mix) - 5:02 / "Consuela Biaz" (7" Mix) - 4:57 (Hansa 103 350-100, 1981)
- "We Kill The World (Don't Kill The World)" (7" Edit) - 5:38 / "Boonoonoonoos" (7" Edit) - 5:35 (Hansa 103 666-100, 1981)
- "Malaika" (12" Mix) - 5:35 / "Consuela Biaz" (7" Mix) - 4:57 (Hansa 600 400-213, 1981)
- "Boonoonoonoos" (12" Mix) - 11:23 ("Boonoonoonoos" - 4:52 / "That's Boonoonoonoos/Train to Skaville/I Shall Sing" - 6:31) / "We Kill The World (Don't Kill The World)" - 6:32 (Hansa 600 455-213, 1981)
- "We Kill The World (Don't Kill The World) (UK 7" Edit) - 6:05 / "Boonoonoonoos" (7" Edit) - 5:35 (Atlantic K11689, 1981)
- We Kill The World (Don't Kill The World)" - 6:30 / "6 Years Of Boney M. Hits (Boney M. on 45)" (12" Mix - long version) - 13:26 (Atlantic K 11689T, 1981)
Overview of different pressings
The Boonoonoonoos album were released in no less than 10 different pressings as well as a unique test pressing, omitting "Malaika" and "Consuela Biaz" from the track listing. Two pressings featured these two tracks in reverse order, i.e. track B3 - "Consuela Biaz", track B4 "Malaika".
|Boonoonoonoos||Normal album version||4:37||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Alternate middle section||4:50||•||•|
|That's Boonoonoonoos / Train To Skaville||Short edit||2:21||•||•||•||•||•|
|5x sax riff before "Ska ska ska"||2:25||•|
|Bobby raps two verses extra||3:24||•||•||•||•||•|
|I Shall Sing||Without organ intro. Fading after 1st verse||1:00||•|
|Without organ intro. Guitar interlude.||3:09||•||•||•||•||•|
|With organ intro. Without guitar interlude.||3:35||•||•||•||•|
|With organ intro + extra handclaps. Without guitar interlude.||3:37||•|
|Full version with organ play and longer guitar interlude.||3:47||•|
|Silly Confusion||2nd part different mix||6:54||•||•|
|2nd part missing four bars before "Do do do do" chant||7:12||•||•||•||•||•|
|Full-length version. Alternate mix in "confusion" breakdown||7:17||•||•||•||•||•|
|Ride To Agadir||5:10||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Jimmy||No sax theme before spoken part, verse 2||3:52||•||•||•||•||•|
|sax theme before spoken part, verse 2||4:10||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|African Moon||Early fade-out ("Oh yes I'm sailing ...")||2:37||•||•|
|Fade-out "Oh there's a new life ..."||2:50||•||•||•||•|
|Fade-out after one whole chorus "I will see you once more ..."||3:00||•||•|
|Fading after 1½ chorus by "Looking out to the sea ..:"||3:19||•||•|
|Full length version with extra verse "This land is my rightful home"||4:12||•||•|
|We Kill The World (Don't Kill The World)||Minus 4th verse. Guitar solo in "Don't Kill the World" omitted. Identical to UK single version||6:05||•|
|Incl. 4th verse "Oceans in despair ...", Single edit of "Don't Kill the World"||6:12||•||•|
|Minus 4th verse. Guitar solo included.||6:32||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Homeland Africa (Ship Ahoy)||2 verses||3:20||•||•||•|
|2 verses + 1st verse repeated||4:20||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Different mix. Long outro.||5:05||•|
|Malaika||'Rough' edit from "Kide ge" verse to "Wemboweh" outro||2:48||•|
|'Smooth' edit from "Kide ge" verse to "Wemboweh" outro||2:48||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Extra chorus after "Kide ge" verse||3:24||•||•||•||•|
|Consuela Biaz||Edit version||3:50||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Single version minus one chorus||4:36||•||•||•||•|
|Breakaway||Short final chorus||3:45||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|Different ending from 3:45 mix.||3:46||•|
|Long final chorus||4:17||•||•||•|
|Goodbye My Friend||Incl. full 2nd verse. Fading by "Gunsmoke is rising ..."||5:26||•|
|Shortened 2nd verse. Fading by "Gunsmoke is rising ..."||5:10||•||•|
|Shortened 2nd verse. Fading by "Down through the canyons"||5:27||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
- Frank Farian - producer
- Christian Kolonovits - arranger
- Geoff Bastow - arranger
- Giorgio Sgarbi - arranger
- Harry Baierl - arranger
- Stefan Klinkhammer - arranger
- Tammy Grohé - sound engineer
- Recorded at Abbey Road Studios London, AIR Studios London, Audio Studio Berlin, Atlantic Studios Munich, Rainbow Studios Munich, Union Studios Munich, Vigilant Studios Nice, Bob Marley Studios Kingston Jamaica, Hitsville Recording Studios Hollywood California. Mixed at Farian Studios.
|1981||Germany's album chart||15|
|1981||Spain's album chart||3|
|1981||Finland's album chart||7|
|1981||Norway's album chart||21|
|1981||Netherlands' album chart||35|
|1981||Sweden's album chart||31|
|1981||"We Kill the World (Don't Kill the World)"||12||39||5||13||-||19||-||3||21||1|
Certifications and sales
|Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)||Gold||10,000*|
*sales figures based on certification alone
- "Gisela Sgarbi". Discogs. Retrieved Jan 11, 2021.
- "West Germany - Boney M". Billboard. 26 September 1981. p. 67. Retrieved 27 November 2019 – via American Radio History.
- "IFPIHK Gold Disc Award − 1982". IFPI Hong Kong. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
- Sólo Éxitos 1959–2002 Año A Año: Certificados 1979–1990 (in Spanish), Iberautor Promociones Culturales, 2005, ISBN 8480486392, retrieved 25 April 2018