Ten Thousand Lightyears

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Ten Thousand Lightyears
Studio album by Boney M.
Released May 1984
Recorded 1982-84
Genre Pop
Length 48:52
Label Hansa Records (FRG)
Producer Frank Farian
Boney M. chronology
Christmas Album
(1981)
Ten Thousand Lightyears
(1984)
Kalimba de Luna – 16 Happy Songs
(1984)
Alternative cover
French LP release (Carrere)
Singles from Ten Thousand Lightyears
  1. "Somewhere in the World"
    Released: May 1984
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[1]

Ten Thousand Lightyears is the seventh studio album by Boney M. and the first to feature new member Reggie Tsiboe who had taken over Bobby Farrell's role as the band's leading man in early 1982. The first single to emerge from new recording sessions in 1982 was a cover version of The Seekers 1965 hit "The Carnival Is Over" backed with Jimmy Cliff's "Going Back West" in June 1982 - "The Carnival Is Over" had an ominous ring to its title, being the first Boney M. single not to enter the German Top 20, peaking at a disappointing #41, and prompting Hansa to send out a new mix of "Going Back West", promoting this as the A-side.

After a break in the spring of 1983 when Liz Mitchell gave birth to her second child, and Marcia Barrett recorded demos with Eddy Grant, the band issued "Jambo - Hakuna Matata (No Problems)" backed with a new remix of "African Moon" from the Boonoonoonoos album. In Spain and Portugal, the single emerged with the original 1981 mix of "African Moon". The Iberian 12" singles furthermore included the full 7:44 mix of "Jambo" (the German 12" included a 5:35 edit) and another 1983 recording, "I Need A Babysitter" (a cover of French punk rocker Mahjun's 1980 hit), unavailable elsewhere. "Jambo" was originally intended to be the lead single for the seventh Boney M. album scheduled for release in the Autumn of 1983, but due to the poor chart performance of the single (#48 Germany, 5 weeks) both "Jambo" and "Babysitter" were omitted from the album, and the project postponed for another six months.

During the winter of 1983/1984 new recordings were made and the album was then given a whole new approach. It was supposed have been a continuation of the ethno-African themes, both musically and lyrically, of 1981's Boonoonoonoos but after the miscalculation with "Jambo" most of the new tracks which ultimately ended up as the side A suite were given a science fiction theme, the album title Ten Thousand Lightyears was chosen. Launched with a ZDF TV-special, the album was finally released in May 1984 and was also Boney M.'s debut on the new Compact Disc format.

The single chosen to promote the finished album was ballad "Somewhere In The World" - it became the fourth consecutive Boney M. single not to reach the German Top 40. What was carefully planned to be a triumphant comeback after a three-year-long absence on the European charts unfortunately and in hindsight rather unfairly instead turned out to be the band's and producer Frank Farian's biggest commercial failure to date. Even though the album peaked at #23 in the German album charts, it did very little elsewhere, and the second single "Living Like A Moviestar" was cancelled.

Additional information[edit]

In the summer of 1984, Reggie Tsiboe and Liz Mitchell began recording a second Christmas Album with session singers Amy & Elaine Goff. For reasons unknown, Marcia Barrett wasn't invited, and her vocal role in Boney M. was now drastically diminishing. These sessions yielded six new titles: "Hark The Herald Angels Sing", "The First Noel", "Joy To The World", "Auld Lang Syne", "Oh Christmas Tree" and "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" (which featured the Goff-sisters alone). These sessions were put on hold when Farian heard Tony Esposito's hit single "Kalimba de Luna" and decided to record a version for the German market with Reggie Tsiboe on lead vocals. The omission of Liz and Marcia on vocals and their absence in the first video version indicates it was supposed to have been a Reggie Tsiboe solo track, but it ended being released as a Boney M. track in August 1984, returning the group to the German Top 20 for the first time in nearly three years. A new version of "10.000 Lightyears" was released in September, adding the track to Side 2, and also seeing Carrere release the album in France with the title "Kalimba De Luna".

Album Details[edit]

A promotional white-label album in a white sleeve with the album logo and song credits was released on Hansa LP 206 318-000, featuring several different mixes, the title track even featuring a third verse which was cut off the released version. Furthermore, "The Alibama" (also appearing in a one-minute longer version) featured lead vocals by co-writer Sandy Davis (Liz Mitchell sang the lead on the released version) and most likely slipped out by accident. The promo version is often mistaken as a Reggie Tsiboe lead.
A second promotional package was released in a gatefold plastic sleeve containing the commercial LP with a poster, a sheet with all the song lyrics (not included in the commercial version) plus a booklet with an essay about the album by Hans-Jörg Mayer (aka Reyam) and an interview with Frank Farian. The 12" single "Somewhere in the World" was inserted in the other side of the gatefold sleeve. Both promotional versions are sought-after items for Boney M. collectors.

Track Details[edit]

The second version of Boonoonoonoos track "Jimmy" included on Ten Thousand Lightyears had originally been recorded in early 1982 as Atlantic Records UK planned to release it as the follow-up to single "We Kill The World (Don't Kill The World)". The record company recognised the commercial potential of the track but felt that it would benefit from an up-tempo arrangement. When the re-recorded version was delivered to them they had however lost interest in the band and 1982's "The Carnival Is Over" became the final Boney M. single to be issued by the Atlantic Records label. The updated version of "Jimmy" was then offered to Precious Wilson for her second solo album, she too turned it down and it instead ended up as the penultimate track on album Ten Thousand Lightyears.
The cover version of Tommy Roe's 1969 hit "Dizzy" was originally planned to be released as a duet single with Frank Farian and singer Sandy Davis which never happened. An unreleased extended 12" club mix also exists.
A remixed version of the rare 1983 recording "Babysitter" was released as a B-side to the 1992 "Megamix" CD-single, an alternate, previously unreleased mix was released on the 2007 CD re-issue of Ten Thousand Lightyears.

Track listing[edit]

Hansa LP 206 200-620 (Germany, May 1984)
Side A:

  1. "Exodus (Noah's Ark 2001)" (Davis, Farian, Kawohl) - 5:19
  2. "Wild Planet" (Bischof, Farian; written as "Wild Jlanet" on the version issued by Music Box Records in Greece) - 4:06
  3. "Future World" (Bischof, Farian) - 3:48
  4. "Where Did You Go?" (Bischof, Kawohl) - 4:09
  5. "10.000 Lightyears" (Bischof, Bjorklund, Farian, Kawohl) - 4:32
  6. "I Feel Good" (Bischof, Farian, Barzscht) - 3:05


Side B:

  1. "Somewhere in the World" (Davis, Grohe, Keilhauer) - 4:38
  2. "Bel Ami" (Bischof, Farian, Rainford) 3:12
  3. "Living Like a Moviestar" (Bischof, Farian, Kawohl) - 3:04
  4. "Dizzy" (Tommy Roe, Weller) - 3:28
  5. "The Alibama" (Davis, Farian, Reyam) - 3:11
  6. "Jimmy" (Farian, Howell, Daansen) - 3:02
    • New Version 1982
  7. "Barbarella Fortuneteller" (Davis, Farian, Kawohl) - 2:58

Alternate album editions[edit]

Hansa Promotional White-label LP 206 318-000 (Germany, May 1984)
Side A:

  1. "Exodus (Noah's Ark 2001)" (Davis, Farian, Kawohl) - 4:48
    • Alternate mix
  2. "Wild Planet" (Bischof, Farian) - 3:57
    • Alternate mix
  3. "Future World" (Bischof, Farian) - 4:09
    • Alternate mix [>> version available on cd on volume 3 long versions and rareties]
  4. "Where Did You Go?" (Bischof, Kawohl) - 4:09
  5. "10.000 Lightyears" (Bischof, Bjorklund, Farian, Kawohl) - 4:17 ´
    • Alternate mix with extra verse [>> version available on cd on volume 3 long versions and rareties]
  6. "I Feel Good" (Bischof, Farian, Barzscht) - 2:15
    • Alternate, abridged mix

Side B:

  1. "Somewhere in the World" (Davis, Grohe, Keilhauer) - 4:30
    • Alternate mix
  2. "Bel Ami" (Bischof, Farian, Rainford) 3:12
  3. "Living Like a Moviestar" (Bischof, Farian, Kawohl) - 3:04
  4. "Dizzy" (Tommy Roe, Weller) - 3:46
    • Alternate mix
  5. "The Alibama" (Davis, Farian, Reyam) - 4:06
    • Alternate mix with Sandy Davis on lead vocals
  6. "Jimmy" (Farian, Howell, Daansen) - 3:02
    • New Version 1982
  7. "Barbarella Fortuneteller" (Davis, Farian, Kawohl) - 2:05
    • Abridged mix


Hansa 206 555-620 (Germany, September 1984)
Side A (as Hansa 206 200)
Side B:

  1. "Kalimba De Luna" (Esposito, Malavasi, Amoruso, Licastro, Di Franco) - 3:16
    • Edited Single Version
  2. "Somewhere in the World" (Davis, Grohe, Keilhauer) - 3:10
    • Edited Single Version
  3. "Bel Ami" (Bischof, Farian, Rainford) 3:12
  4. "Living Like a Moviestar" (Bischof, Farian, Kawohl) - 3:04
  5. "Dizzy" (Tommy Roe, Weller) - 3:28
  6. "The Alibama" (Davis, Farian, Reyam) - 3:11
  7. "Jimmy" (Farian, Howell, Daansen) - 3:02
    • New Version 1982
  8. "Barbarella Fortuneteller" (Davis, Farian, Kawohl) - 2:58


Kalimba de Luna Carrere 66.189 (France, September 1984)
Side A (as Hansa 206 200)
Side B:

  1. "Kalimba De Luna" (Esposito, Malavasi, Amoruso, Licastro, Di Franco) - 6:53
    • Slightly abridged 12" Version
  2. "Somewhere in the World" (Davis, Grohe, Keilhauer) - 4:38
  3. "Bel Ami" (Bischof, Farian, Rainford) 3:12
  4. "Living Like a Moviestar" (Bischof, Farian, Kawohl) - 3:04
  5. "Dizzy" (Tommy Roe, Weller) - 3:28
  6. "The Alibama" (Davis, Farian, Reyam) - 3:11
  7. "Barbarella Fortuneteller" (Davis, Farian, Kawohl) - 2:58

Personnel[edit]

  • Liz Mitchell - lead vocals (All tracks except "Dizzy", "Barbarella Fortuneteller" and "Kalimba de Luna"), backing vocals
  • Frank Farian - backing vocals, rap on "Dizzy"
  • Reggie Tsiboe - lead vocals "Wild Planet", "Barbarella Fortuneteller" and "Kalimba de Luna", backing vocals
  • Marcia Barrett - lead vocal "Wild Planet", backing vocals
  • La Mama (Madeleine Davis, Patricia Shockley, Judy Cheeks) - backing vocals "Future World", "I Feel Good", "Barbarella Fortuneteller", "The Alibama" and "Kalimba De Luna".
  • Amy Goff - backing vocals "10.000 Lightyears", "Dizzy" and "Kalimba de Luna"
  • Elaine Goff - backing vocals "10.000 Lightyears", "Dizzy" and "Kalimba de Luna"
  • Bill Swisher - narrator on "Wild Planet"
  • Sandy Davis - lead vocals "Dizzy", "The Alibama" (promotional-only LP version)
  • Mrs. Hanson and Children - additional vocals on "Exodus"
  • Max Greger - keyboards
  • Curt Cress - drums
  • Johan Daansen - guitar
  • Mats Björklund - guitar
  • Pit Löw - keyboards
  • Christian Schneider - saxophone
  • Kristian Schultze - keyboards
  • Dino Solera - saxophone
  • Munich String Orchestra - orchestra
  • London Philharmonic Orchestra - orchestra

Production[edit]

  • Frank Farian - producer
  • Dietmar Kawohl - arranger
  • Stefan Klinkhammer - arranger
  • Harry Baierl - arranger
  • Kristian Schultze - arranger
  • Carmine Di - engineer
  • Zeke Lund - engineer
  • Ralph P. Rupert - engineer

Release history[edit]

CD releases[edit]

  • 1984 Germany: Hansa 610 140-222 (Track listing as Hansa 206 200-620)
  • 1994 Germany: BMG 74321 21266 2 (Track listing as Hansa 206 200-620)
  • 2007 Germany: Sony BMG 88697 09482 2 with Bonus Tracks: 14. "The Carnival Is Over" (Trad., Springfield, Farian, Courage) - 4:20 (Edited 1982 Single Version), and "I Need A Babysitter" (Mahjun, Allegue, Farian, Courage) - 3:46 (New 2007 mix)

Single releases[edit]

UK
7"

Germany
7"

  • "The Carnival is Over (Goodbye True Lover)" - 4:45 / "Going Back West" - 4:05 (Hansa Records 104 475-100, 1982)
  • "Jambo - Hakuna Matata (No Problems)" (Bischof, Harrison) - 3:39 / "African Moon" (Remix '83) - 3:41 (Hansa 105 577-100, 1983)
  • "Somewhere in the World" - 4:34 / "Exodus (Noah's Ark 2001)" (7" Edit) - 4:37 (Hansa 106 320-100, 1984)

12"

  • "Medley: Going Back West/Silly Confusion" - 9:05 / "The Carnival Is Over (Goodbye True Lover) - 4:52 (Hansa 600 633-213, 1982)
  • "Jambo - Hakuna Matata (No Problems)" (12" Mix) - 5:33 / "African Moon" (Remix '83 - 12" Mix) - 6:39 (Hansa 600 922-213, 1983)
  • "Somewhere in the World" (12" Mix) - 5:05 / "Exodus (Noah's Ark 2001)" (12" Mix) - 5:54 / "Wild Planet" - 3:31 (Hansa 601 246-213, 1984)

Sources and external links[edit]