Frank Farian

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Frank Farian
Frank Farian in 2008
Frank Farian in 2008
Background information
Birth nameFranz Reuther
Born (1941-07-18) 18 July 1941 (age 79)
Kirn, Germany
Years active1958-present
Associated actsGilla, Boney M., Far Corporation, Meat Loaf, Milli Vanilli, Eruption, No Mercy, La Bouche, Le Click

Franz Farian ( Reuther; born 18 July 1941, in Kirn, Germany) is a German record producer and songwriter, best known as the founder and voice behind the 1970s' disco-pop group Boney M. and the Latin pop band No Mercy. He is the mastermind behind the lip-syncing group Milli Vanilli. His tendency to create bands with a visual image distinct from the recorded musical performances has led to controversy throughout his career, especially in the case of Milli Vanilli. Farian is also the owner of the record label MCI and several subsidiaries.


Farian started as a trained cook before moving into the music industry. In April 1967, he released "Will You Ever Be Mine" under the name "Frankie Farian".

Boney M.[edit]

In the early days of his career, he was keen to attain success as a solo artist, but he made little impact on the popular music scene until his song "Baby Do You Wanna Bump" (a remake of Prince Buster's song "Al Capone" from 1967), released under the pseudonym Boney M., became successful. He also had a minor hit in 1973 with "Was kann schöner sein", a German version of "When You've Gotta Go" originally by Solomon King, co-written by Lynsey de Paul and Ron Roker.[1] Shying away from the spotlight, he hired performers to front for public performances. All records were recorded in Offenbach-Bieber, a small town in the center of West Germany. The lead vocals for songs on Boney M. albums in the 1970s were sung by Farian, Marcia Barrett and Liz Mitchell, who quickly became synonymous with the group. Boney M.'s frontman, Bobby Farrell, was only allowed to record vocals in the 1980s (although all four members of the group did sing live for all their concert tours). Bobby Farrell was fired from the group for unreliability in 1981.[citation needed]

Far Corporation[edit]

Farian also started the supergroup Far Corporation (named after the first syllable of his last name), which featured Steve Lukather, David Paich, Bobby Kimball, Simon Phillips, and Robin McAuley, many of Toto fame. Far Corporation is notable for being the first act to chart with a cover version of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven", becoming a top 10 hit in the UK, reaching number 8 in October 1985.[2]

Meat Loaf[edit]

In 1986, Farian produced and mixed the Meat Loaf album Blind Before I Stop. He also sang backing vocals on the first single from the album "Rock 'n' Roll Mercenaries", which was credited to Meat Loaf featuring John Parr.[3]

Milli Vanilli[edit]

In 1990, he admitted to orchestrating the events which led to the Milli Vanilli scandal. As a producer, he had assembled a group from session musicians, fronting it with visually attractive dancers Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan. The story broke when Farian confirmed to the press that someone else had sung on the records.[4] After these details emerged, Milli Vanilli had their 1990 Grammy Award for Best New Artist withdrawn, and at least 27 different lawsuits were filed in the United States[5] under various U.S. consumer fraud protection laws.[6][7]

Following the Milli Vanilli controversy, Farian went on to develop similar Eurodance groups La Bouche and Le Click. He also produced the 1997 version of "Tic, Tic Tac" by Chilli Feat. Carrapicho.[8]

Later activity[edit]

Some other groups that Farian has been involved with are Eruption (he became a manager in 1977) and No Mercy.

On 15 August 2006, the musical Daddy Cool opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London's West End. The line-up included Michelle Collins, Michael Harvey, Javine Hylton, and singer/songwriter Darvina Plante. The £3 million show was produced by Farian and Robert Mackintosh. The story, written by Stephen Plaice with Amani Naphtali, is predominantly based on the songs of Boney M., but also features songs by Milli Vanilli and No Mercy. A second show opened on 23 April 2007 in Berlin, Germany and the show also toured in the Netherlands[9] from August 2011 to February 2012, Spain (Palma de Mallorca) in July 2012, Switzerland from, November 2015 to January 2016[10] Anniversary tour in Germany 2016.[11]

Also in 2006, Farian was credited as co-writing a new song, entitled "Doin' Fine", with British producers Nathan Thomas and Carl M. Cox. (Other writers involved in this song were, Chris Rudall, Baz Qureshi, Peter Wilson, Chris Richards and George Reyam.) Described as paying tribute to the 'sound' of Boney M., the song was essentially a brand new composition, which featured the string arrangement from Boney M.'s 1976 number one hit, "Daddy Cool". The song was recorded by Australian pop singer, Peter Wilson.[12] It was initially released in the UK on 16 April 2007 in its extended format, entitled "Daddy's Cool 12" Mix", charting at number one on the EuroDanceHits EuroNRG Top 40 in May 2007.[13] The original version of "Doin' Fine" featured on Peter Wilson's debut album, Follow Me,[14] which was released in the UK on 8 October 2007. The song was also recorded in 2008 by Amanda Lear.

Other acts he collaborated with include Gilla, La Mama, Precious Wilson, Gift and Daniel Lopes.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Farian resides in Miami, Florida.[15]

Frank Farian-produced albums[edit]

Boney M.
Milli Vanilli
La Bouche
  • Sweet Dreams (#2 Finland, #2 Switzerland, #10 Australia)
No Mercy


  1. ^ "Offizielle Deutsche Charts - Offizielle Deutsche Charts". Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 195. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 358. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  4. ^ Tobler, John (1991). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 479. CN 5585.
  5. ^ "Judge Rejects Milli Vanilli Refund Plan", The New York Times, August 13, 1991. Accessed March 21, 2006.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 February 2010. Retrieved 8 August 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Ulysses Torassa. "The Plain Dealer : Suit seeks refunds for Ohioans who bought Milli Vanilli album". Archived from the original on 11 February 2010. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
  8. ^ "Swisscharts: Chilli Feat. Carrapicho – Tic, Tic Tac (Original Remix Version)". Swisscharts. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  9. ^ "Daddy Cool Musical". Archived from the original on 19 May 2007. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  10. ^ "DADDY COOL - das Musical mit den Welthits von Boney M. im Le Théâtre Kriens-Luzern". Archived from the original on 4 April 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  11. ^ "Daddy Cool Das Boney M Musical - Frank Serr Showservice Int. e.K". Archived from the original on 5 February 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  12. ^ [1] Archived 4 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Euro Dance Hits : Site News". Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  14. ^ "Klone Records!". Klone Records!. Archived from the original on 15 October 2007. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  15. ^ "dpa news - Top Stories". Retrieved 13 March 2016.[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]