Liz Mitchell, the Jamaican-born singer who has been the lead vocalist of the disco band Boney M since they started out in 1976, is performing in Pune on November 20 and Mumbai on November 21. Mitchell is thrilled with the idea of coming to India for the band’s first-ever performance in the country.
“I am sure that love and harmony in our music and a wonderful spirit of joy has touched the hearts of all who love the music,” she said. “We all love the thought of coming to India, the people are really loving and kind.”
Boney M was formed with Liz Mitchell, Marcia Barrett, Maizie Williams, and Bobby Farrell in 1976 by German record producer Frank Farian. The band released several hit albums including Take the Heat off Me (1976), Love for Sale (1977) and Nightflight to Venus (1978) which featured several chartbusting hits. Songs such as Daddy Cool, Sunny, Ma Baker, Rasputin and Painter Man dominated European charts but also gained a cult following across the world, with artists covering and re-mixing them.
Indian films have often borrowed their tunes, while fans here have their own unique way of expressing their love for Boney M. The Indian army orchestra plays Rasputin, and it is quite likely that wedding brass bands have also tagged along.
In 1981, playback singer Mahendra Kapoor, who is mostly associated with devotional songs and Manoj Kumar’s patriotic numbers, came up with the album M3 Disco Fantasy in Hindi, which covered Boney M disco tracks. The 3 in M3 stood for Mahendra Kapoor, co-singer Musarrat Nazir and the M borrowed from Boney.
Rivers of Babylon became Honthon pe tera naam, Bahama Mama turned into Roko mat, and Hooray! Hooray! It’s A Holy-Holiday gets a makeover as Chori chori chalo.
In another tribute, Channel V anchor Lola Kutty and Boney Menon Party perform Rivers of Babylon.
And Daddy Cool gets a fashion parade in the middle of the cover.
Here’s a video that compares the original song Rasputin (1978) to its Bollywood copy, I’ll do the talking (Agent Vinod, 2012). Still rocking the house!