Frank Farian

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Frank Farian
Farian in 2008
Farian in 2008
Background information
Birth nameFranz Reuther
Also known asZambi

G. Mart

FMP
Born (1941-07-18) 18 July 1941 (age 81)
Kirn, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Occupation(s)
  • Producer
  • musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
Years active1958–present

Frank Farian (born Franz Reuther; 18 July 1941)[1] is a German record producer, musician, singer and songwriter, who founded the 1970s disco-pop group Boney M., the Latin pop band No Mercy and the pop band Milli Vanilli. He frequently created vocal groups in which the publicised members merely lip-sync to songs sung by session members. He owns the record label MCI and several subsidiaries. Over the course of his career, Farian has sold over 850 million records and earned 800 gold and platinum certifications.[2]

Career[edit]

Farian started as a trained cook before moving into the music industry. In April 1967, he released a cover of Otis Redding's "Mr. Pitiful" under the name "Frankie Farian". In 1976, Farian's German-language cover of Dickey Lee's "Rocky" stayed at No. 1 for four weeks and received gold certification.[2]

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 recruited a line-up which included vocalists Liz Mitchell and Marcia Barrett along with a male, Bobby Farrell, and female dancer, Maizie Williams, and his own additional vocals. Under the name Boney M, he achieved his biggest success in Europe as well as across the whole world with well-known songs, like "Daddy Cool", "Rivers of Babylon", "Rasputin" and a remake of "Mary's Boy Child".

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]

On 14 November 1990, Farian confessed to orchestrating the events leading to the Milli Vanilli scandal. As a producer, he assembled a group of session musicians and fronted it with physically attractive dancers Robert Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan. Following a 1989 performance where a backing track error first revealed the singers had been lip-syncing, Farian later confirmed to the press that others had sung on the albums.[5] 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]

This story is rehashed in the 2022 biopic Girl You Know It's True (written & directed by Simon Verhoeven), in which Matthias Schweighöfer took on the role of Farian. The production by Wiedemann & Berg Film was shot in Munich, Berlin, Cape Town and Los Angeles in 2021/2022 and will be released by the distributor Leonine in 2023.[9]

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.[10]

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[11] from August 2011 to February 2012, Spain (Palma de Mallorca) in July 2012, Switzerland from November 2015 to January 2016,[12] and Germany 2016.[13]

Other activities[edit]

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.[14] 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.[15] The original version of "Doin' Fine" was featured on Peter Wilson's debut album, Follow Me,[16] released in the UK on 8 October 2007. It was also recorded in 2008 by Amanda Lear.

Personal life[edit]

Farian resides in Miami, Florida, US.[17] He has a daughter born in 1980 from his first marriage.[citation needed] His daughter Yanina was born to his then girlfriend Chinya. Yanina sang with her father in 2021 on a cover of "Cherish" by Kool & the Gang.[18]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • So ein Tag (1971)
  • So muß Liebe sein (1973)
  • Rocky (1976)
  • Division One (1985)
  • Solitude (1994)

Compilations[edit]

  • Star Discothek (1978)
  • The Hit Man – The Best of 25 Years (1994)
  • The Hit Collection – The Best of 25 Years (1994)
  • The Hit Man II (2000)
  • Summer Hits (2001)
  • Dieter Thomas Heck präsentiert: 40 Jahre ZDF Hitparade (2009)
  • Produced by Frank Farian (2009)

Singles[edit]

Albums produced[edit]

Boney M.
Meat Loaf
Milli Vanilli
La Bouche
  • Sweet Dreams (1995) (No. 2 Finland, No. 2 Switzerland, No. 10 Australia)
No Mercy
  • My Promise (1996) (No. 4 Australia, No. 3 Netherlands)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Frank Farian | Biography & History". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 26 August 2021. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Frank Farian". Deutsche Welle. Archived from the original on 20 January 2022. Retrieved 20 January 2022.
  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 Archived 2 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine", The New York Times, 13 August 1991. Accessed 21 March 2006.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 November 2020. Retrieved 8 August 2014.{{cite web}}: 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 5 November 2020. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  9. ^ Roxborough, Scott (1 September 2022). "Milli Vanilli Biopic Players Revealed in 'Girl You Know It's True' First Look". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 20 September 2022.
  10. ^ "Swisscharts: Chilli Feat. Carrapicho – Tic, Tic Tac (Original Remix Version)". Swisscharts. Archived from the original on 17 February 2022. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  11. ^ "Daddy Cool Musical". Daddycoolmusical.com. Archived from the original on 19 May 2007. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  12. ^ "DADDY COOL – das Musical mit den Welthits von Boney M. im Le Théâtre Kriens-Luzern". Le-theatre.ch. Archived from the original on 4 April 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  13. ^ "Daddy Cool Das Boney M Musical – Frank Serr Showservice Int. e.K". Showservice-international.de. Archived from the original on 5 February 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  14. ^ "Peter Wilson Music". Peterwilsonmusic.com. Archived from the original on 4 June 2008. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  15. ^ "Euro Dance Hits : Site News". Eurodancehits.com. Archived from the original on 11 November 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  16. ^ "Klone Records!". Klone Records!. Archived from the original on 15 October 2007. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  17. ^ Tominey, Camilla (1 December 2021). "Boney M's Liz Mitchell: 'At the moment, there's such little hope in the lyrics we hear'". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 10 January 2022. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  18. ^ "Frank Farian wurde 80: Vom Tellerwäscher zum Musik-Millionär". Stadlpost.at (in German). 19 July 2021. Archived from the original on 19 July 2021. Retrieved 17 February 2022.

External links[edit]