Ma Baker

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This article is about the Boney M. single. For the real mother of gang criminals, see Ma Barker.
"Ma Baker"
Single by Boney M.
from the album Love for Sale
Released 2 May 1977
Format 7" single
Genre Disco
Length 4:06
Label Hansa Records (FRG)
Atlantic Records (UK)
Atco Records (US)
Writer(s) Original music: Traditional Tunisian folkloric tune
Writers for Boney M version: Farian, Reyam, Jay
Producer(s) Frank Farian
Boney M. singles chronology
"Sunny"
(1976)
"Ma Baker"
(1977)
"Belfast"
(1977)

"Ma Baker" is a song by German band Boney M., released as a single in 1977. It was the first single of their second album Love for Sale and their third consecutive chart-topper in Germany and their best yet placing in the UK, peaking at no. 2 (only surpassed by Donna Summer's "I Feel Love") although only a minor single in the US (no. 96).

The song[edit]

Frank Farian's assistant Hans-Jörg Mayer (aka Reyam) had discovered a popular Tunisian folkloric song, "Sidi Mansour" while on holiday, and rewrote the song into a disco track.

The lyrics by Fred Jay were inspired by the story of legendary 1930s outlaw Ma Barker, although the name was changed into "Ma Baker" because "it sounded better".

With a structure similar to Boney M.'s breakthrough single "Daddy Cool" with the same gimmick percussion, alternating answer-back vocals, a spoken mid-part, the song also opened with a snarling "Freeze, I'm Ma Baker, put your hands in the air! Gimme all your money".

Although it has never been officially credited, the voice was done by Linda Blake, the wife of Frank Farian's American friend Bill Swisher who was a soldier in Germany at the time. Bill Swisher also performed the spoken mid-part, announcing a bulletin from the FBI. He was also used on several later Boney M. recordings, including "Rasputin" and "El Lute". Frank Farian re-recorded the song with Milli Vanilli in 1988. Boney M.'s version was remixed the same year, 1993 and again in 1998. The song has been covered a number of times by Banda R-15, Knorkator and others.

The single[edit]

In Germany, Benelux, United Kingdom and Yugoslavia, the single came out backed with a cover of The Yardbirds' "Still I'm Sad" which even charted on its own in Sweden (no. 17). In Germany, the first single pressing came out with a backcover with tour dates and a 4:47 version with a slightly different mix, leaving out the verse line "of one who left no friends", plus it features a longer instrumental outro which can be heard in the 1988 remix. "Still I'm Sad" also fades four seconds later than the album version. This pressing was also released in Yugoslavia. Although the LP cover would also list the timing 4:47 of "Ma Baker", it was the much more common second single mix 4:33 that was included in the album. Subsequent German single pressings featured a picture of Boney M. and their tour crew Black Beauty Circus on the backcover.

In Spain, Brazil, Mexico, France, Canada and the US, the single was backed by "A Woman Can Change a Man". In Japan, the initial pressings (October 1977) had "A Woman Can Change a Man" as the A-side and an alternate shot off the album's controversial chain photo sessions as the cover. It was soon repressed with "Ma Baker" as the correct A-side and the album front cover photo for the artwork.

In Hungary, "Ma Baker" was backed with the follow-up single "Belfast".

Charts and certifications[edit]

Order of precedence
Preceded by
"Living Next Door to Alice" by Smokie
Norwegian number-one single (first run)
25/1977 – 26/1977 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Chanson d'amour" by The Manhattan Transfer
Preceded by
"Chanson d'amour" by The Manhattan Transfer
Norwegian number-one single (second run)
29/1977 – 35/1977 (7 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Yes Sir, I Can Boogie" by Baccara
Preceded by
"You're My World" by Guys 'n' Dolls
Belgian Ultratop 50 Flanders number-one single
18 June 1977 – 23 July 1977 (6 weeks)
Belgian VRT Top 30 Flanders number-one single
18 June 1977 – 23 July 1977 (6 weeks)
Dutch Top 40 number-one single
11 June 1977 – 16 July 1977 (6 weeks)
Single Top 100 number-one single
11 June 1977 – 16 July 1977 (6 weeks)
Preceded by
"Ain't That Just the Way (That Life Goes Down)" by Barbi Benton
Swedish number-one single
15 July 1977 – 12 August 1977 (3 weeks)
Preceded by
"Rock Bottom" by Lynsey de Paul and Mike Moran
Swiss number-one single
18 June 1977 – 2 July 1977 (3 weeks)
Preceded by
"Lay Back in the Arms of Someone" by Smokie
German number-one single
20 June 1977 – 4 July 1977 (3 weeks)
Austrian number-one single
15 July 1977 – 15 August 1977 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"I Feel Love" by Donna Summer
Preceded by
"Beautiful Rose" by George Baker Selection
Eurochart Hot 100 number-one single
9 June 1977 – 18 August 1977 (11 weeks)
Preceded by
"Love Me Baby" by Sheila & Black Devotion
French number-one single
2 September 1977 – 23 September 1977 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Mille colombes" by Mireille Mathieu
Preceded by
"Oxygène (Part 4)" by Jean Michel Jarre
Spanish number-one single
19 December 1977 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Oxygène (Part 4)" by Jean Michel Jarre
Preceded by
Fernando by ABBA
1976
Belgian Ultratop 50 Flanders best-selling single of the year
1977
Succeeded by
You're the One That I Want by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
1978
Preceded by
Dancing Queen by ABBA
1976
Dutch Top 40 best-selling single of the year
1978

1993 Remix[edit]

"Ma Baker (Remix '93)"
Single by Boney M.
from the album More Gold - 20 Super Hits Vol. II
Released August 1993
Format 12" single, CD single
Genre Pop, Europop, disco
Label BMG Records(FRG)
Writer(s) Farian, Reyam, Jay
Producer(s) Frank Farian
Boney M. singles chronology
"Brown Girl in the Ring (Remix)"
(1993)
"Ma Baker (Remix)"
(1993)
"Papa Chico"
(1994)

Following the remix of "Brown Girl in the Ring", Farian remixed "Ma Baker" in the summer of 1993. While a modest club hit, it failed to enter the European charts. "Borsalino" and "The Most Wanted Woman" are two dub mixes of the track. The new remix was included in the compilation album More Gold - 20 Super Hits Vol. II in October 1993.

Germany[edit]

12"[edit]

  • "Ma Baker (Remix '93)" (BMG 74321 15940 1, 1993)

Side A – Gangster

  1. "Ma Baker (Remix '93)" (Bonnie & Clyde mix) — 5:25
  2. "The Most Wanted Woman" — 3:30

Side B – Fashion

  1. "Borsalino (Trainee Mix)" — 4:55
  2. "Ma Baker (Remix '93)" (Radio Edit) — 3:58

CD[edit]

  • "Ma Baker (Remix '93)" (BMG 74321 15940 2, 1993)
  1. "Ma Baker (Remix '93)" (Radio Edit) — 3:58
  2. "Ma Baker (Remix '93)" (Bonnie & Clyde mix) — 5:25
  3. "Borsalino (Trainee Mix)" — 4:55
  4. "The Most Wanted Woman" — 3:30

1998 Remix[edit]

"Ma Baker (Boney M. vs. Sash!)"
Single by Boney M.
Released December 1998
Format 12" Single, CD single
Genre Dance, house, Europop
Label BMG Records(FRG)
Writer(s) Farian, Reyam, Jay
Producer(s) Frank Farian
Sash! singles chronology
"Colour the World"
(1998)
"Ma Baker"
(1999)
"Adelante"
(2000)
Alternative cover
The final single cover

Late 1998, a new remix of "Ma Baker" by Sash! started to chart as a 12" single. Just as the CD-single was about to follow, it was withdrawn, and a new version appeared, re-titled "Somebody Scream! Ma Baker" featuring Horny United. The single was a Top 30 hit in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, and even peaked at no. 6 (two weeks) in Finland and no. 10 in Sweden. When released in the UK in April, it peaked at no. 22. The accompanying video featured a young woman, kickboxing, training with a gun, the only relation to the original group being her watching the original 1977 video of "Ma Baker" on a TV set.

EU[edit]

12"[edit]

  • Boney M. / Horny United Feat. Boney M. - "Ma Baker" / "Somebody Scream - Ma Baker" (2 x 12", Logic Records/Lautstark/BMG 74321 64561 1, 1999)

Side A

  1. Boney M. "Ma Baker" (Extended Vocal Edit) — 5:26

Side B

  1. Boney M. "Ma Baker" (Disco Dub Edit) — 5:35

Side C

  1. Horny United "Somebody Scream - Ma Baker" (Massive Mix) — 7:30
  2. Horny United "Somebody Scream - Ma Baker" (Screamless Mix) — 6:16

Side D

  1. Horny United "Somebody Scream - Ma Baker" (Full Vocal Mix)
  2. Horny United "Somebody Scream - Ma Baker" (Ma Baker House Mix)

CD[edit]

  • Boney M vs. Sash!: "Ma Baker" (BMG 74321 63942 2, 1998)
  1. "Ma Baker" (Tokapi Radio Edit) — 3:24
  2. "Ma Baker" (Original Edit) — 3:35
  3. "Ma Baker" (Extended Vocal Edit) — 5:26
  4. "Ma Baker" (Disco Dub Edit) — 5:35
  • Boney M. vs. Sash!/Horny United Featuring Boney M.: "Ma Baker"/"Somebody Scream" (BMG 74321 64561 2, 1999)
  1. Boney M. vs. Sash! "Ma Baker" (Extended Radio Edit) — 4:54
  2. Boney M. vs. Sash! "Ma Baker" (Disco Dub Edit) (5:32)
  3. Horny United Featuring Boney M. "Somebody Scream (Ma Baker)" (Radio Edit) (Oliver Wallner, Re-Run) — 4:17
  4. Horny United Featuring Boney M. "Somebody Scream (Ma Baker)" (Massive Mix) (Oliver Wallner, Re-Run) — 6:59

UK[edit]

12"[edit]

  • Boney M. vs. Horny United "Ma Baker/Somebody Scream" (Logic Records 74321 65387 1, 1999)

Side A

  1. "Ma Baker" (Club Mix by Horny United)

Side B

  1. "Somebody Scream" (Beatroute Star Bar Mix by DJ Slammer & Mark Bambach)
  2. "Somebody Scream" (Cosmic People Mix)

CD[edit]

  • Boney M. vs. Horny United "Ma Baker/Somebody Scream" (Logic Records 74321 65387 2, 1999)
  1. "Somebody Scream" (Radio Edit) — 3:06
  2. "Ma Baker" (Sash! Radio Edit) — 3:27
  3. "Somebody Scream" (Massive Club mix) — 7:31
  4. "Ma Baker" (Sash! 12" Mix) — 4:55

Charts[edit]

Chart (1998–1999) Peak
Position
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[35] 19
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[36] 24
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[37] 23
Canada (RPM Dance)[38] 4
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[39] 6
France (SNEP)[40] 11
Germany (Media Control Charts)[41] 28
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[42] 26
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[43] 9
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[44] 10
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[45] 21
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[46] 22

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  2. ^ "Boney M. – Ma Baker – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  3. ^ "Ultratop.be – Boney M. – Ma Baker" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  4. ^ (Dutch) "Ma Baker – BONEY M.". Top 30. Retrieved 13 June 2014. "Hoogste notering in de top 30 : 1" 
  5. ^ "RPM Top Singles." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  6. ^ MusicSeek.info – UK, Eurochart, Billboard & Cashbox No.1 Hits at the Wayback Machine (archived 14 June 2006). MusicSeek.info. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  7. ^ "Billboard – Hits Of The World". Billboard 89 (43) (Nielsen Business Media). 29 October 1977. p. 80. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  8. ^ (French) "Toutes les Chansons N° 1 des Années 70". InfoDisc accessdate= 2 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "Boney M – Ma Baker". Officialcharts.de. GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  10. ^ "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  11. ^ a b (Italian) "I singoli più venduti del 1977". Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  12. ^ "Billboard – Hits Of The World". Billboard 2 (43) (Nielsen Business Media). 14 January 1978. p. 90. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  13. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Boney M - Ma Baker search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  14. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Boney M. – Ma Baker" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  15. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Boney M. – Ma Baker". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  16. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Boney M. – Ma Baker". VG-lista. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  17. ^ "Billboard – Hits Of The World". Billboard 89 (50) (Nielsen Business Media). 17 December 1977. p. 84. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  18. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 – 1989 Acts (B)". Rock.co.za. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  19. ^ (Spanish) Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  20. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Boney M. – Ma Baker". Singles Top 60. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  21. ^ "Boney M. – Ma Baker – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  22. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
  23. ^ a b "Love for Sale – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  24. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1970s". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  25. ^ (German) "Jahreshitparade 1977". Austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  26. ^ (Dutch) "Jaaroverzichten 1977". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  27. ^ (French) "TOP – 1977". Top-france.fr. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  28. ^ (German) "Jahrescharts – 1977". Officialcharts.de. GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  29. ^ (Dutch) "Top-100 van 1977" (PDF). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  30. ^ (Dutch) "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1977". Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  31. ^ (German) "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1977". Hitparade.ch. Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  32. ^ (French) "Les Meilleures Ventes Tout Temps de 45 T. / Singles". InfoDisc. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  33. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Boney M.; 'Ma Baker')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  34. ^ "British single certifications – Boney M – Ma Baker". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Ma Baker in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Go
  35. ^ "Boney M. vs. Sash! – Ma Baker – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  36. ^ "Ultratop.be – Boney M. vs. Sash! – Ma Baker" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  37. ^ "Ultratop.be – Boney M. vs. Sash! – Ma Baker" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  38. ^ "Dance/Urban – Volume 69, No. 6, May 31, 1999". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  39. ^ "Boney M vs. Sash!: Ma Baker" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  40. ^ "Lescharts.com – Boney M. – Ma Baker '99" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  41. ^ "Boney M. vs. Sash! – Ma Baker". Officialcharts.de. GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  42. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Boney M vs Sash! search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  43. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Boney M. / Horny United – Ma Baker / Somebody Scream". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  44. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Boney M. vs. Sash! – Ma Baker". Singles Top 60. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  45. ^ "Boney M. vs. Sash! – Ma Baker – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  46. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 13 June 2014.

External links[edit]