Frank Farian

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Not to be confused with Frank Farina.
Frank Farian
Frank Farian.jpeg
Background information
Birth name Franz Reuther
Born (1941-07-18) 18 July 1941 (age 73)
Kirn, Germany
Occupation(s) Songwriter, music producer
Years active 1971–present
Associated acts Gilla, Boney M., Far Corporation, Meat Loaf, Milli Vanilli, Eruption, No Mercy, La Bouche, Le Click

Frank Farian (born Franz Reuther 18 July 1941, Kirn, Germany), is a German record producer and songwriter, best known as the founder of 70s disco-pop group Boney M. and as the mastermind behind group Milli Vanilli. His musical productions have won more than 800 gold and platinum records.[1] However, his tendency to create bands with a visual image distinct from the recorded musical performances led to controversy in the case of Milli Vanilli.

Early success[edit]

Farian started as a trained cook before moving into the music industry. In the early days of his career, he was keen to attain success as a solo artist, but he made little impact on the popular music scene until his song "Baby Do You Wanna Bump" (a remake of Prince Buster's song "Al Capone" from 1967), released under the pseudonym Boney M., became successful. Shying away from the spotlight, he hired performers to front for public performances. The lead vocals for songs on Boney M. albums in the 1970s were sung by Farian, Marcia Barrett and Liz Mitchell, who quickly became synonymous with the group. Boney M.'s frontman, Bobby Farrell, was only allowed to record vocals in the 1980s (although all four members of the group did sing live for all their concert tours). Bobby Farrell was fired from the group for unreliability in 1981.

Farian also started the supergroup Far Corporation (named after the first syllable of his last name), which featured Steve Lukather, David Paich, Bobby Kimball, Simon Phillips, and Robin McAuley, many of Toto fame. Far Corporation is notable for being the first act to chart with a cover version of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven", becoming a top 10 hit in the UK, reaching number 8 in October 1985.[2]

In 1986, Farian produced and mixed the Meat Loaf album, Blind Before I Stop. He also sang backing vocals on the first single from the album, "Rock 'n' Roll Mercenaries", which was credited to Meat Loaf featuring John Parr.[3]

Some other groups that Farian has been involved with are Eruption (he became a manager in 1977) and No Mercy.

Milli Vanilli[edit]

In 1990, he admitted orchestrating the events which led to the Milli Vanilli scandal, a musical equivalent of ghostwriting. As a producer, he had assembled a group from German session musicians, fronting it with two visually attractive dancers. The story broke when Farian confirmed to the press that someone else had sung on the records.[4] After these details emerged, at least 27 different lawsuits were filed in the United States[5] under various U.S. consumer fraud protection laws[6][7] Following the Milli Vanilli controversy, Farian went on to develop similar Eurodance groups La Bouche and Le Click.

Later activity[edit]

On 15 August 2006, the musical Daddy Cool opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London's West End. The line-up included Michelle Collins, Michael Harvey, Javine Hylton, and singer/songwriter Darvina Plante. The £3 million show was produced by Farian and Robert Mackintosh. The story, written by Stephen Plaice with Amani Naphtali, is predominantly based on the songs of Boney M., but also features songs by Milli Vanilli and No Mercy. A second show opened on 23 April 2007 in Berlin, Germany and the show also toured in the Netherlands and Belgium from September 2011 to January 2012.

Also in 2006, Farian was credited as co-writing a new song, entitled "Doin' Fine", with British producers, Nathan Thomas and Carl M. Cox. (Other writers involved in this song were, Chris Rudall, Baz Qureshi, Peter Wilson, Chris Richards and George Reyam.) Described as paying tribute to the 'sound' of Boney M., the song was essentially a brand new composition, which featured the string arrangement from Boney M.'s 1976 number one hit, "Daddy Cool". The song was recorded by Australian pop singer, Peter Wilson.[8] It was initially released in the UK on 16 April 2007 in its extended format, entitled "Daddy's Cool 12" Mix", charting at number one on the EuroDanceHits EuroNRG Top 40 in May 2007.[9] The original version of "Doin' Fine" featured on Peter Wilson's debut album, Follow Me,[10] which was released in the UK on 8 October 2007. The song was also recorded in 2008 by Amanda Lear.

Other acts he collaborated with include Les Falcons, Benny, Gilla, La Mama, Precious Wilson, Chilli, Gift, Daniel Lopes, Daddy Cool Kids, Norissa, ZZ Queen etc.

Frank Farian-produced top selling albums worldwide[edit]

Boney M.
Milli Vanilli
La Bouche
  • Sweet Dreams (#2 Finland, #2 Switzerland, #10 Australia)
No Mercy
  • No Mercy (#4 Australia, #3 Netherlands)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Starproduzent Frank Farian: "Deutschland sucht den Superstar - und findet ihn nicht" - SPIEGEL ONLINE". Spiegel.de. 2010-11-14. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 195. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 358. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 479. CN 5585. 
  5. ^ "Judge Rejects Milli Vanilli Refund Plan", The New York Times, August 13, 1991. Accessed March 21, 2006.
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ Ulysses Torassa. "The Plain Dealer : Suit seeks refunds for Ohioans who bought Milli Vanilli album". Webcitation.org. Retrieved 2014-08-08. s
  8. ^ [2][dead link]
  9. ^ "Euro Dance Hits : Site News". Eurodancehits.com. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  10. ^ "Klone Records!". Klone Records!. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 

External links[edit]