Christmas Album (Boney M. album)
|Studio album by Boney M.|
|Released||23 November 1981|
|Genre||R&B, Christmas, Eurodisco|
Hansa Records (FRG)
|Boney M. chronology|
|Singles from Christmas Album|
Christmas Album is the sixth studio album by Boney M. It was recorded in the summer of 1981 and released on 23 November 1981. The album, which in certain territories was given the alternate title Christmas with Boney M., was issued just three weeks after the moderately successful Boonoonoonoos and had originally been planned as Liz Mitchell's first solo album. After the lukewarm reception of Boonoonoonoos, plans were, however, changed, and it was instead released under the name Boney M. to strengthen the band's declining commercial position.
The album includes the million-selling 1978 Christmas number one "Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord" and it yielded two further single releases, "Little Drummer Boy" which turned out to be a Top 20 hit in Germany. A second single was released for Christmas 1982, "Zion's Daughter" (with new member Reggie Tsiboe pictured on the cover), but failed to chart. "Feliz Navidad" was chosen as a single in Scandinavia, and Spain opted for "Jingle Bells". Ariola (Spain) furthermore issued "White Christmas" in 1983. "Christmas Album" achieved Platinum sales in 1983.
Christmas Album, which was given the title Mary's Boy Child: The Christmas Album in the UK, was to be the final Boney M. album release on the Atlantic Records label, even though they would remain with the company in Canada and Japan to 1986.
One of the biggest commercial hits of 1981 was the Dutch "Stars on 45" Beatles cover medley, a number one single in the US and number two in the UK. To promote the albums Boonoonoonoos and Christmas Album, Frank Farian created a thirteen-minute medley in the style of Stars on 45 called "6 Years of Boney M. Hits (Boney M. on 45)", which was issued as both A- and B-side singles in certain territories. In the UK it was the B-side of Boonoonoonoos 12" single "We Kill the World (Don't Kill the World)", in Germany the edited 7" version was the B-side of Christmas Album single "Little Drummer Boy", and in January 1982 it was repackaged and released as the A-side.
Later in the 1980s, the tracks of Christmas Album, with the notable exception of the instrumental "Winter Fairy-Tale" and the closing song "I'll Be Home for Christmas", were to be remixed and re-issued as Die 20 schönsten Weihnachtslieder der Welt, The 20 Greatest Christmas Songs, The Most Beautiful Christmas Songs of the World, Happy Christmas, A Wonderful Christmas Time, and Christmas Party.
In 1991 the 16-track album "Happy Christmas" was released. The album contains all 12 songs from the 1981 album in the same running order and four songs from 1986 album.
- "Little Drummer Boy" (Katherine K. Davis, Henry Onorati, Harry Simeone) - 4:21
- "White Christmas" (Irving Berlin) - 4:19
- "Feliz Navidad" (José Feliciano) - 3:07
- "Jingle Bells" (James Lord Pierpont, Frank Farian) - 2:53
- "Winter Fairy-Tale" (Instrumental) (Baierl) - 2:58
- "Mary's Boy Child - Oh My Lord" (Jester Hairston, Lorin, Frank Farian, Fred Jay) - 5:10
- Edited version
- Christmas Medley: "Silent Night, Holy Night (Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht)"/ "Snow Falls Over The Ground (Leise Rieselt Der Schnee)" / "Hear Ye the Message" (Franz Xaver Gruber, Joseph Mohr, Eduard Ebel, Frank Farian, Fred Jay) - 6:20
- The 2nd verse of "Silent Night" is sung in German on the German LP release but in English on the UK release. The full-length medley contained "Sweet Bells (Süßer die Glocken nie klingen)" which wasn't released until 1986 when the medley was remixed and overdubbed.
- "Petit Papa Noël" (Martinet, Vincy) - 1:41
- "Zion's Daughter (Tochter Zion)" (Traditional, George Frideric Handel, Frank Farian, Fred Jay, Helmut Rulofs) - 3:51
- "When a Child Is Born" (Fred Jay, Zacar) - 3:20
- "Darkness Is Falling" (Fred Jay, Helmut Rulofs) - 3:02
- "I'll Be Home for Christmas" (Catherine Courage, Frank Farian, Helmut Rulofs) - 3:44
- Jerry Rix - Little Drummer Boy, lead vocals, (tracks A1)
- Liz Mitchell - lead vocals (tracks A1-A4, A6, B1-B5)
- Marcia Barrett - backing vocals (tracks A3, A4 & A6)
- Frank Farian - lead vocals (track B6), backing vocals
- London Christmas Choir - choir
- Katie Kissoon - vocals, soprano
- Joy Yates - vocals, alto
- Helen Shappelle - vocals, soprano
- Simon Bell - vocals, tenor
- Nick Curtis - vocals, tenor
- George Chandler - vocals, baritone
- Russell Stone - vocals, bass
- Jerry Rix - additional vocals on track A1, bass
- Curt Cress - drums
- Dave King - bass guitar
- Günther Gebauer - bass guitar
- Mats Björklund - guitar
- Johan Daansen - guitar
- Harry Baierl - keyboards
- Kristian Schultze - keyboards
- London Philharmonic Orchestra - orchestra
- Kurt Rieth - Choir Director
- Frank Farian - producer
- Helmut Rulofs - assistant producer
- Harry Baierl - musical arranger
- Stefan Klinkhammer - musical arranger
- Recorded at Abbey Road Studios and AIR Studios, London
- Steve Nye - sound engineer
- Recorded at Vigilant Studio, Nice
- Didier Utard - engineer
- Recorded at Union Studio, Munich
- Jochen Scheffer - engineer
- Recorded at Rainbow studio, Munich
- Volker Armand - engineer
- Mixed at Farian Studio
- Ariola-Eurodisc Studios - design
- Claus Lange - photography
- UK: "Mary's Boy Child - The Christmas Album": Atlantic Records K 50923.
- Germany: Hansa Records 204 300-320.
- 1991 Germany: Hansa 254 300-222.
- "Little Drummer Boy" - 4:27 / "6 Years Of Boney M. Hits (Boney M. on 45)" (7" Edit) - 4:48 (Hansa Records 103 777-100, 1981)
- "Zion's Daughter" - 3:50 / "White Christmas" - 3:15 (Hansa 104-874-100, 1982)
- "6 Years Of Boney M Hits (Boney M. on 45)" (12" Mix - edited version omitting "Mary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord") - 11:13 / "Little Drummer Boy" - 4:27 (Hansa 600 479-213, 1981)
- Rate Your Music, detailed discography
- Discogs.com, detailed discography[permanent dead link]
- Allmusic, biography, discography etc.