“Nightflight To Venus”
As if the previous two years hadn’t been amazing for the group – this year was certainly gonna be nothing more than magical in every way.
The track “Love For Sale” was planned to be released as a single in early in 1978 backed with “Gloria, Can You Waddle”. The single was even given a catalogue number and featured on various promotion material but would never happen.
Instead, the first single release of 1978 would be “Rivers Of Babylon” backed with “Brown Girl In The Ring”. Both tracks from their forthcoming LP “Nightflight To Venus”.
“Rivers Of Babylon” was released in Germany on 3rd April and was an instant runaway hit. Not only in Germany but all over Europe and the rest of the world as well – except from U.S.A where in “only” went to no. 30 in the single chart. However it would turn out to be their biggest hit in U.S.A.
The single entered the German single chart on 17th April at the no. 2 position. The following week (24th April) the single hit the no. 1 position in the German single chart where it would stay for an amazing 16 weeks. It was then knocked of the pole position by Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta’s Grease hit “You Are The One I Want”. After the Grease hit had spent one week at no. 1 “Rivers Of Babylon” re-entered the pole position for one week. “Rivers Of Babylon” was of course the Summer single of the year. In Denmark the single was a huge hit as well and went gold.
The Boney M. LP that year – “Nightflight To Venus” – was released in Germany on 26th June and turned out to be another smash hit for Boney M. The LP entered the German album chart on 15th July at no. 2 and went the following week (1st August) to no. 1 and became the 7th best selling LP in Germany that year (year end chart) while “Love For Sale” was the 40th best selling LP of 1978. “Nightflight To Venus” stayed at no. 1 for 9 weeks and had a total of 28 weeks in the Top 10. In total “Nightflight To Venus” stayed 58 weeks in the German album chart.
In Denmark “Nightflight To Venus” was also another smash for Boney M. as in any other part of the world. It sold 200.000 copies in Denmark and was awarded double platinum. The LP was the 2nd best selling LP of the year (year end chart) while “Love For Sale” was the 49th best selling LP of the year.
Once again Boney M. went on a huge tour in 1978 taking them to no less that 13 countries. The countries were: Far East, Switzerland, Austria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Germany, Luxembourg, Holland, France, Kenya, Ireland, England and not to forget the USSR in December.
Boney M. was the first ever Western pop-group that was invited to USSR. It was actually Russia’s leader Lenoid Brezhnev who invited the group. The group did 10 live concerts in 6 days and was without doubt the biggest event in USSR that year.
However, the group was not allowed to perform their 2nd single release “Rasputin” from “Nightflight To Venus” due to its lyrics.
“Rasputin” was released as a single in Germany on 28th August. It entered the German single chart on the 4th September at no. 49. The following week (11th September) it was at no. 16. On the third week (18th September) it went to no. 2 where it stayed for 3 weeks before going to no. 1 for one week on 9th October. The single was another smash for Boney M. all round the world. In Germany and a few other European countries, it was backed with “Painter Man” while more or less all other countries went for “Never Change Lovers In The Middle Of The Night” as B-side. An outstanding track from “Nightflight To Venus” that would become a live favorite.
With “Rivers Of Babylon” Boney M. had scored a single-hit that broke record sales in most countries and became the best selling single ever in many places. It was hard to image that the group would be able to score another hit of the same calibre the same year.
However it happened once again at the end of the year. Another world hit was just around the corner and once again Boney M. broke record sales in most countries. It wasn’t just another hit – it was THE Christmas record of the year.
“Mary’s Boy Child – Oh My Lord” was released in Germany on 27th November and an instant hit. However the strange thing was that in Germany the single first went to no. 1 in early January 1979.
In England the single was no. 1 for 4 weeks and in Denmark “Mary’s Boy Child – Oh My Lord” was the first single ever to be achieving platinum status.
Today Boney M. is listed for having two of the best selling singles ever in England: “Rivers Of Babylon” and “Mary’s Boy Child – Oh My Lord”.
1978 was indeed a hot year for Boney M. in England. The singles “Rivers Of Babylon” and “Mary’s Boy Child – Oh My Lord” both went platinum while “Rasputin” went gold. The album “Nightflight To Venus” went platinum and the ’76 LP “Take The Heat Off Me” was awarded silver and the ’77 LP “Love For Sale” was awarded gold during summer time.