Frank Farian

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Frank Farian
Frank Farian in 2008
Frank Farian in 2008
Background information
Birth nameFranz Reuther
Born (1941-07-18) 18 July 1941 (age 80)
Kirn, Germany
Years active1958–present
Associated actsGilla, Boney M., Far Corporation, Meat Loaf, Milli Vanilli, Eruption, No Mercy, La Bouche, Le Click

Frank Farian ( Franz Reuther; born 18 July 1941 in Kirn (Rhineland-Palatina) is a German record producer and songwriter who founded and was the voice behind the 1970s disco-pop group Boney M. and the Latin pop band No Mercy. His practice of creating bands with visual images distinct from their recorded performances, as he did with his band Milli Vanilli, has led to controversy throughout his career. He owns 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 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 allowed to record vocals only in the 1980s. Farrell was fired from the group for unreliability in 1981.[2]

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 (all from Toto fame) and Robin McAuley. Far Corporation were the first act to chart with a cover version of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven"; their cover was a top 10 hit in the UK, reaching number 8 in October 1985.[3]

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.[4]

Milli Vanilli[edit]

In 1990, Farian admitted to orchestrating the events leading to the Milli Vanilli scandal. As a producer, he assembled a group of session musicians and fronted it with visually attractive dancers Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan. The story broke when Farian confirmed to the press that others had sung on the records.[5] When these details emerged, Milli Vanilli's 1990 Grammy Award for Best New Artist was revoked, and at least 27 lawsuits were filed in the United States[6] under U.S. consumer fraud protection laws.[7][8]

La Bouche, Le Click, Eruption, No Mercy[edit]

Following the Milli Vanilli controversy, Farian developed similar Eurodance groups La Bouche and Le Click. He also produced the 1997 version of "Tic, Tic Tac" by Chilli Feat. Carrapicho.[9]

Some other groups Farian has been involved with are Eruption (whom he managed in 1977) and Latin pop band No Mercy based in Germany.

Daddy Cool musical[edit]

On 15 August 2006, the musical Daddy Cool opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London's West End, featuring 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 23 April 2007 in Berlin, Germany, and toured in the Netherlands[10] from August 2011 to February 2012, Spain (Palma de Mallorca) in July 2012, Switzerland from November 2015 to January 2016,[11] and Germany 2016.[12]

Other activities[edit]

Also in 2006, Farian was credited as co-writing the song "Doin' Fine" with British producers Nathan Thomas and Carl M. Cox. (Other writers involved in the 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 new composition featuring the string arrangement from Boney M.'s 1976 number one hit "Daddy Cool". It was recorded by Australian pop singer Peter Wilson.[13] It was initially released in the UK on 16 April 2007 in its extended format, entitled "Daddy's Cool 12" Mix", and reached number one on the EuroDanceHits EuroNRG Top 40 in May 2007.[14] The original version of "Doin' Fine" was featured on Peter Wilson's debut album, Follow Me,[15] released in the UK on 8 October 2007. It was also recorded in 2008 by Amanda Lear.

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

Personal life[edit]

Farian resides in Miami, Florida, US.[16]

Frank Farian-produced albums[edit]

Boney M.
Milli Vanilli
La Bouche
No Mercy


  1. ^ "Offizielle Deutsche Charts - Offizielle Deutsche Charts". Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  2. ^ "'The group collapsed': Boney M singer reveals real reason '70s band split up". Starts at 60. 29 September 2018. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 195. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 358. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  5. ^ Tobler, John (1991). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 479. CN 5585.
  6. ^ "Judge Rejects Milli Vanilli Refund Plan", The New York Times, 13 August 1991. Accessed 21 March 2006.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 February 2010. Retrieved 8 August 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Ulysses Torassa. "The Plain Dealer : Suit seeks refunds for Ohioans who bought Milli Vanilli album". Archived from the original on 11 February 2010. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  9. ^ "Swisscharts: Chilli Feat. Carrapicho – Tic, Tic Tac (Original Remix Version)". Swisscharts. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Daddy Cool Musical". Archived from the original on 19 May 2007. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ "Daddy Cool Das Boney M Musical – Frank Serr Showservice Int. e.K". Archived from the original on 5 February 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  13. ^ [1] Archived 4 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Euro Dance Hits : Site News". Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  15. ^ "Klone Records!". Klone Records!. Archived from the original on 15 October 2007. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  16. ^ "dpa news - Top Stories". Retrieved 13 March 2016.[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]