Liz Mitchell

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For other persons with the same name, see Elizabeth Mitchell (disambiguation).
Liz Mitchell
Liz Mitchell 20090619-DSCF5457.jpg
Liz Mitchell performing in Kiel, Germany, in 2009
Background information
Birth name Elizabeth Rebecca Mitchell
Born (1952-07-12) 12 July 1952 (age 62)
Origin London, England
Genres Dance-pop, dance, soul
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1970–present
Labels Hansa Records, Sony-BMG, Mega Records, Dureco Records, Dove House Records
Associated acts Boney M.[1]

Elizabeth Rebecca "Liz" Mitchell (born 12 July 1952, Clarendon, Jamaica[2]) is a singer, best known as the former lead singer of the 1970s disco/pop band, Boney M.[1]

Early life[edit]

At the age of eleven, Mitchell and her family emigrated to London, England, in 1963. By the end of the decade, she auditioned for Hair and eventually moved to Berlin to join the German cast where she replaced Donna Summer.[3] After Hair, Mitchell joined the Les Humphries Singers for a few years where she had a relationship with Malcolm Magaron. The two left the group to form Malcolm Locks who released the album Caribbean Rocks in 1974 to minimal success. Mitchell, finding her career coming to a standstill, returned to her parents in England.

Boney M.[edit]

A phone call from Marcia Barrett in February 1976 persuaded Mitchell to return to Germany to join a new group being assembled by record producer Frank Farian which would become known as Boney M. Though the group's initial purpose was to simply lip-synch for TV and discothèque performances of Farian's song "Baby Do You Wanna Bump", Boney M. soon became a legitimate recording group with Mitchell, Barrett, and producer Farian as the vocal core. Mitchell became widely regarded as Boney M.'s lead vocalist. Farian later stated that "All members (of Boney M.) could be replaced, except Liz".

Although Boney M was largely a Farian vehicle for his own songwriting, Mitchell is credited as co-composer of the Boney M song, "African Moon", which appeared on their album, Boonoonoonoos (1981). Though she did not contribute significantly as a songwriter, Mitchell's vocals are widely regarded as the most distinctive part of the Boney M. sound.

Boney M. would disband in 1986, as Farian lost interest in the project.[4]

After Boney M.[edit]

After the group split up shortly after their 10th anniversary in 1986, Farrell convinced Mitchell, Maizie Williams and a replacement for Marcia Barrett to re-group for a tour in 1987. A recording contract for the group was also arranged. When Farrell and the replacement singer failed to show up for the rehearsals, Mitchell and Williams recruited singer Celena Duncan and dancer Curt Dee Daran for the tour. As Williams had never sung on Boney M.'s recordings, Mitchell ended up recording the scheduled album on her own.

However, it proved difficult for Mitchell to find a record label to release the album, entitled No One Will Force You. It was released in Spain in the fall of 1988, supported by the singles "Mandela" (a re-work of Boney M.'s 1979 hit "El Lute") and "Niños De La Playa" (Children of the Beach). The latter was also released on Mega Records in Scandinavia where the group did a tour in October. By this point, Williams had been replaced by Carol Grey.

At the same time, Simon Napier-Bell had produced a remix album of Boney M.'s greatest hits and wanted the original line-up to promote it. Mitchell reluctantly accepted the offer and Boney M. appeared together again on German TV, even though Mitchell's new line-up still had gigs to play.

The success of the remix album led Mitchell to sign her album for a French and Dutch release in 1989, and due to personal differences within the group, she eventually decided to focus on her solo career. Even though Madeleine Davis took her place in the group, Farian eventually called Mitchell back for a second remix album by the end of 1989 and also had her front a new Boney M. line-up for the single, "Stories", as an answer-back to an unofficial Boney M. single, "Everybody Wants to Dance Like Josephine Baker", recorded by the other three with Madeleine Davis, without Farian's approval.

In 1990, Mitchell re-formed her 1988 line-up with Patricia Foster replacing Celena Duncan and kept touring the cabaret circuit. In April 1991, she released the single "Mocking Bird", produced by long time Boney M. collaborator, Helmut Rulofs to minimal attention. After three dire years, the success of Boney M. Gold - 20 Super Hits boosted the career of her line-up, entitled 'Boney M. feat. Liz Mitchell', and they were officially approved by Farian to promote the album and the accompanying singles. For the follow-up More Gold - 20 Super Hits Vol. II, Mitchell recorded four new songs. No One Will Force You with two previously unreleased tracks from 1984 was also re-released in Denmark, five years after it was recorded.

In 1996, Mitchell and her husband Thomas Pemberton[5] built the Dove House Studios and formed Dove House Records. With a newly founded fan club, Mitchell recorded an EP with four Christmas songs as a special Christmas gift for her fans.

In November 1999, Mitchell finally released her album Share the World, which had taken three years to complete. In November 2000, she released the seasonal album Christmas Rose which consisted of partly new material, including the title track, "Lord's Prayer" and "I Want to Go to Heaven" co-written by herself, part re-recordings of Boney M.'s Christmas Album.

Mitchell, now a born-again Christian, continued the inspirational path on Let It Be,[6] her fourth solo album, released in November 2004. Just a few months later, the album Liz Mitchell Sings the Hits of Boney M., recorded in Prague, backed by a Czech symphony orchestra, was released. A song recorded in 2006, called "A Moment Of Love", can be found on the compilation album, The Magic of Boney M..

She is still touring, billed as Boney M. featuring Liz Mitchell. Her most recent concert was in Miskolc, Hungary on 9 September 2012.

Discography[edit]

Albums

  • No One Will Force You (1988, re-released 1989 and 1993)
  • Share the World (1999)
  • Christmas Rose (2000)
  • Let It Be (2004)
  • Liz Mitchell Sings the Hits of Boney M. (2005)


7" Singles

  • "Got a Man on My Mind" / "Perfect" (Hansa 11 327 AT, Germany 1977)

"Got a Man on My Mind" was taken from Boney M.'s 1976 album Take the Heat Off Me. "Perfect" was a 1974 demo with Malcolm Magaron (despite the label crediting Farian as the producer).

  • "Mandela" / "Reggae People" (Horus 50.067, Spain 1988)
  • "Niños de la Playa" / "Time Is a River" (Horus 50.080, Spain 1988 / Mega Records MRCS 2354, Scandinavia 1988)
  • "Mandela" / "Reggae People" (Dureco 11 008 77, Holland 1989)
  • "Marinero" / "Love Is Bleeding" (Dureco 11 912 07, Holland 1989 / Tréma 410 478 PM 102, France 1989)
  • "Mocking Bird" / "Tropical Fever" (Hansa 114 123-100, Germany 1991)


CD Singles

  • "Mocking Bird" (Radio Version) 3:45 / "Tropical Fever" 3:55 / "Mocking Bird" (Club Mix) 5:25 (Hansa 664 123-211, Germany 1991)
  • "Reggae People" 3:09 / "Mandela" 4:42 (CMC 4938-SCD, Denmark 1993)
  • "Sunshine" (Radio Mix) (4:36) / (Club Mix) (5:50) / (Extended Radio Mix) (5:14)/ (Extended Club Mix) (5:19) (Dove House DHR 0003 CD, 1999)
  • "Christmas Rose" (3:53) / 2. "Lord's Prayer" (3:53) (Dove House DHR 0004 CD, 1999)
  • "Let It Be" (4:08) / "You're Excellent" (3:50) (Dove House DHR 0009 CD, 2004)
  • "My Life Is In Your Hands" (5:04) / "I Want To Go To Heaven" (4:08) / "Share The World" (Remix) (4:26) / "When A Child Is Born" (3:40) / "Grandmother's Song" (4:27) (Dove House DHR 0012 CD, 2006)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mellor, Jon (1 December 2001). "Hometruths: Liz Mitchell". The Mirror. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  2. ^ IMDb.com
  3. ^ "Boney M (Feat. Liz Mitchell)". NMPLive. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "Boney M Frontman Bobby Farrell Died On Same Day As Rasputin". The Telegraph. 30 December 2010. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "Liz Mitchell Biography". Liz Mitchell Let It Be Foundation. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  6. ^ Lizmitchell.com

External links[edit]