Nightflight to Venus

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Nightflight to Venus
Studio album by Boney M.
Released July 1978
Recorded 1978
Genre Euro disco, rhythm and blues
Length 44:37
Label Atlantic (UK)
Sire Records (USA)
Hansa Records (FRG)
Producer Frank Farian
Boney M. chronology
Love For Sale
(1977)
Nightflight to Venus
(1978)
Oceans of Fantasy
(1979)
Singles from Nightflight of Venus
  1. "Rivers of Babylon"/"Brown Girl in the Ring"
    Released: 3 April 1978 (US), 14 April 1978 (UK)
  2. "Rasputin"
    Released: 28 August 1978
  3. "Painter Man"
    Released: 1979
  4. "Voodoonight"
    Released: 1979
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]

Nightflight to Venus is the third album by the band Boney M, and was released in July 1978. The album became a major success in continental Europe, Scandinavia, and Canada, topping most of the album charts during the second half of 1978 and also became their first UK number one album. Nightflight to Venus includes their worldwide hits "Rivers of Babylon" and "Brown Girl in the Ring", a double A-sided single that topped the UK singles chart and has sold over 2 million copies there.[2] The follow-up was another Boney M. classic, "Rasputin", in most countries also a double A-side coupled with "Painter Man", a cover of a 1966 hit by the band The Creation. In the UK, "Rasputin" and "Painter Man" were released separately as A-sides by Atlantic Records, both reaching the Top 10. "Rivers of Babylon" which peaked at No. 30 on The Billboard Hot 100 became their biggest US hit.

In Europe and most other parts of the world the album was followed in November 1978 by the Christmas single, "Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord" backed with "Dancing in the Streets", another chart topper – selling over 1.86 million copies in the UK alone. Upon its original 1978 release, these two tracks did not appear on Nightflight to Venus, but they were included on later CD releases of the album.

There were four different pressings of the original Hansa Records vinyl LP, all with slightly altered edits of the tracks. The most significant difference was the length of the title track "Nightflight to Venus". On the very first German pressing it was 7:09 minutes, making the segued medley with the also extended "Rasputin" 13:48 in total, the second pressing 5:55, the third 4:58 and the final and also the one appearing on the UK and US editions 4:46. The timings given here are those of the 1994 and 2007 CD re-issues.

Track listing[edit]

Side A[edit]

  1. "Nightflight to Venus" (Frank Farian, Fred Jay, Dietmar Kawohl) – 4:46
  2. "Rasputin" (Frank Farian, Fred Jay, George Reyam (Hans-Jörg Mayer)) – 5:57
  3. "Painter Man" (Eddie Phillips, Kenny Pickett) – 3:10
  4. "He Was a Steppenwolf" (Frank Farian, Fred Jay, Stefan Klinkhammer) – 6:51
  5. "King of the Road" (Roger Miller) – 2:35

Side B[edit]

  1. "Rivers of Babylon" (Brent Dowe, Trevor McNaughton, Frank Farian, George Reyam) – 4:18
  2. "Voodoonight" (Giorgio Sgarbi) – 3:31
  3. "Brown Girl in the Ring" (Traditional; arranged by Frank Farian) – 4:02
  4. "Never Change Lovers in the Middle of the Night" (Mats Björklund, Keith Forsey, Fred Jay) – 5:32
  5. "Heart of Gold" (Neil Young) – 4:00

Personnel[edit]

  • Liz Mitchell – lead vocals (A3, B1, B3, B5), backing vocals
  • Marcia Barrett – lead vocals (A1, A5, B4) backing vocals
  • Frank Farian – lead vocals (A2, B2) backing vocals
  • Bill Swisher – robot voice on A1, narrator on A2
  • The Rhythm Machine – musicians
  • Keith Forsey – drums
  • Nick Woodland – guitar
  • Mats Björklund – guitar
  • Gary Unwin – bass guitar
  • "Chico" de los Reyes – keyboards
  • Bernd Kohn – marimba, perc
  • R. Ehrhardt –

Production[edit]

  • Frank Farian – producer
  • Christian Kolonovits – arranger
  • Johan Daansen – arranger
  • Mats Björklund – arranger
  • Michael Cretu – arranger
  • Stefan Klinkhammer – arranger
  • Fred Schreier – sound engineer
  • Hartmut Pfannmüller – sound engineer
  • John Lund – sound engineer
  • Tammy Grohé – sound engineer
  • Manfred Vormstein – art direction
  • Didi Zill – photography
  • Dengler/Kohlmeier – design
  • Recorded at Europasound Studios, Offenbach and Union Studios, Munich
  • Mixed at Europasound Studios, Offenbach

Release history[edit]

CD releases[edit]

  • Germany 1994: BMG 74321 21269 2.
  • EU & US 2007: Sony-BMG 88697-08262-2. Bonus tracks: ""Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord" (Jester Hairston, Lorin, Frank Farian, Fred Jay) – 5:43, "Dancing in the Streets" (Frank Farian) – 3:57.

Single releases[edit]


UK
7"

  • "Rivers of Babylon" – 4:16 / "Brown Girl in the Ring" – 4:02 (Atlantic Records K11120, 1978)
  • "Rasputin" (7" Mix) – 4:44 / "Never Change Lovers in the Middle of the Night" – 5:32 (Atlantic K11192, 1978)
  • "Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord" – 5:29 / "Dancing in the Streets" – 3:43 (Atlantic K11221, 1978)
  • "Painter Man" – 3:10 / "He Was A Steppenwolf" – 6:51 (Atlantic K11255, 1979)

12"

  • "Brown girl in the ring" – 4:02 / "Rivers of Babylon" – 4:18 (Atlantic K 11120T, 1978)
  • "Rasputin" (12" Mix) – 7:33 / "Never Change Lovers in the Middle of the Night" – 5:32 (Atlantic K11192T, 1978)
  • "Painter Man" – 3:10 / "He Was A Steppenwolf" – 6:51 (Atlantic K11255, green vinyl and red vinyl, 1979)


US
7"

  • "Rivers of Babylon" – 4:16 / "Brown Girl in the Ring" – 4:02 (Sire Records SRE-1027 (RE-1), 1978)
  • "Rasputin" (7" Mix) – 4:44 / "He Was A Steppenwolf" (Sire SRE-1049, 1978)
  • "Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord" – 5:29 / "Dancing in the Streets" – 3:43 (Sire SRE-1036, 1978)
  • "Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord" – 5:29 / "He Was A Steppenwolf" – 6:51 (Sire/Hansa SRE 49144, 1978)
  • "Dancing in the Streets" – 3:57 / "Never Change Lovers in the Middle of the Night" (Edit) – 5:01 (Sire SRD 1038, 1978)

12"

  • "Rivers of Babylon" (12" Mix) – 7:22 / "Rivers of Babylon" – 4:06 (Sire/Hansa Records PRO-A-732, 1978)
  • "Rasputin" (12" Mix) – 7:33 / "Rasputin" (Album version) 5:50 (Sire PRO-A-765, 1978)
  • "Dancing in the Streets" (12" Mix) – 6:18 / "Never Change Lovers in the Middle of the Night" – 5:32 (Sire SRD 1040, 1978)


Germany
7"

  • "Rivers of Babylon" – 4:16 / "Brown Girl in the Ring" – 4:02 (Hansa Records 11 999 AT, 1978)
  • "Rasputin" (7" Mix) – 4:44 / "Painter Man" – 3:10 (Hansa 15 808 AT, 1978)
  • "Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord" – 5:29 / "Dancing in the Streets" – 3:57 (Hansa 100 075-100, 1978)

12"

  • "Rasputin" (12" Mix) – 7:33 / "Painter Man" – 3:10 (Hansa 26 400 XT, 1978)
  • "Dancing in the Streets" (12" Mix) – 6:25 / "Mary's Boy Child" (12" Mix) – 6:18 (Hansa 600 009-212, 1979)

Charts[edit]

Album
Year Chart Position
1978 UK albums chart 1[3]
Norway album chart 1
Single
Year Single Chart Position Wks on chart
1978 "Rivers of Babylon/Brown Girl in the Ring" UK single chart 1 40
"Rivers of Babylon" US Billboard Pop chart 30
Norway's single chart 1 27
"Rasputin" UK single chart 2
Norway's single chart 10 3
1979 "Painter man" UK single chart 10 6

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[4] 5× Platinum 500,000^
Germany (BVMI)[5] 2× Platinum 1,000,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[6] Platinum 15,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[7] Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[8] Platinum 300,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

Sources and external links[edit]

Preceded by
Saturday Night Fever (Soundtrack)
UK Albums Chart number one album
9 September 1978 – 30 September 1978
Succeeded by
Grease (Soundtrack)