Boney M were a successful German disco group of the late 70s, known for wild onstage costumes, frontman Bobby Farrell's bass voice and signature dancing style, and their hits, which included Baby Do You Wanna Bump
, Daddy Cool
, Ma Baker
, and Belfast
However, it was an open secret that Boney M was masterminded by producer Frank Farian
. Farian wrote Boney M's songs and performed all of the male vocals (and many of the background female vocals) in the studio. Farrell and the rest of the band merely mimed Farian's heavily manipulated vocals when appearing on television. Hmm, a German dance band lipsynching someone else's vocals...sound familiar?
That's right, Farian was also responsible, ten years later, for Milli Vanilli
, who sold 30 million singles and 11 million albums before being revealed as lipsynchers. Interestingly, while no one seemed too upset by Farian's behind-the-scenes participation in Boney M, the "unmasking"
of Milli Vanilli created a media sensation
, eventually resulting in the revocation
of the group's Grammy. A Milli Vanilli biopic is allegedly in the works
, written by Catch Me If You Can
scribe Jeff Nathanson
and directed either by Nathanson or, gulp, Brett Ratner
In between Boney M and Milli Vanilli, Farian also formed Far Corporation
. Featuring members of Toto
, the band charted in the UK with a truly dire cover of Stairway To Heaven
. An interesting piece of trivia, though: since Led Zeppelin never released "Stairway To Heaven" as a single, this was actually the first version of the song to ever chart.
After Milli Vanilli, Frank Farian founded the dance band La Bouche, who had two huge club hits in the 90s with Be My Lover
and Sweet Dreams
. Farian was also behind No Mercy, (not to be confused with these guys
or these guys
), who also had two big mid-90s dance hits: Please Don't Go
and Where Do You Go
. The latter was actually a cover of an earlier La Bouche song
; presumably it wasn't too hard to get the rights...
Still an active producer, Frank Farian was recently the subject of a successful and critically acclaimed
"jukebox musical" called Daddy Cool
, which featured the music of Boney M, Milli Vanilli, and other Farian projects.