“Oceans Of Fantasy”
Boney M. was in 1979 once again one of the most popular groups in the world. However at the end of the year tensions would start to grow strong inside the group while music taste also started to change among the record buying public. Would the group be able to keep on going into the 80’s as well?
First single-release of the year was “Hooray! Hooray! It’s A Holi- Holiday/Ribbons Of Blue”. In Germany the single was released on 26th March. It entered the German single chart on 9th April at no. 9 where it stayed for 2 weeks before heading to no. 4 where it would stay for 4 weeks. “Hooray! Hooray! It’s A Holi- Holiday” was the first Boney M. single in a row of seven consecutive no. 1’s that didn’t make it to no. 1. However it wasn’t a sign of that the group’s success was fading. The single was a Top 5 hit reaching no. 4. in Germany and went silver in England reaching no. 2. In Denmark the single achieved gold.
“Hooray! Hooray! It’s A Holi- Holiday” and “Ribbons Of Blue” were both performed by Boney M. in the German youth movie “Disco Fiever” (Disco Fever).
In England it was decided to release another single from the “Nightflight To Venus” LP prior to the “Hooray! Hooray!” single because of the huge success the previous year. “Painter Man/He Was A Steppenwolf” was lifted from the album and released as a single. It was another hit which went to no. 10 in the English single chart and was being awarded silver. The release was limited to England only.
February saw Boney M. doing another sold-out tour in Germany taking Boney M. to 11 German cities. The tour was followed close by Boney M.’s first promotional visit to U.S.A. in March where the group among other TV-shows performed on the very popular Soul Train.
Returning home from U.S.A. the group continued touring. The group was finally coming to Scandinavia in April doing 5 shows in Denmark in three cities. At first only three shows had been planned but due to the huge ticket demand it was decided to add two extra shows. The group took the Scandinavians by storm.
The Scandinavian tour was followed by a tour to Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta where the group also was extremely popular. June and July saw the group going to South America on yet another very succesful tour. Boney M. also toured Poland that year where they visited the cities Poznan, Krakow, Zabrze and Warszawa. The stadiums in Poland were filled with up to 50.000 people.
In August Boney M. was back in Germany where two tracks from their forthcoming album “Oceans Of Fantasy” were released as a double A-side single: “El Lute/Gotta Go Home”. The single entered the German single chart on 6th August at no. 7 where it stayed for 2 weeks before heading to the no. 1 spot on 20th August. It stayed at the no. 1 spot for 8 weeks in a row and achieved gold. In Denmark the single was of course also another hit and was awarded gold as well.
In England things were about to change on the single market. “Gotta Go Home” was picked to be the A-side and it was the first Boney M. single to miss the Top 10. “Gotta Go Home” peaked just out-side the Top 10 at no. 12. On the 1st October the single was awarded silver in England.
Boney M. played a packed Wembley Arena in London a week before their new album “Oceans Of Fantasy” would be released on 21st September. The group was at this time on tour in England and Ireland. A tour that once again was very successful.
When “Oceans Of Fantasy” was released in England it went stragiht to no. 1 in the album chart and was awarded gold right away. The LP would go platinum in early 1980.
In Germany the LP entered the album chart on 1st October at no. 8. The following week (8th October) it went to no. 5 before going to no. 1 on 15th October. It stayed at no. 1 for 2 weeks and had a total of 11 weeks in the Top 10. In total “Oceans Of Fantasy” stayed 37 weeks in the German album chart.
The LP would enjoy the same success in Denmark where it would turn out to be the 4th best selling LP in the year end chart. “Nightflight To Venus” would be the 37th best selling LP of the year.
“Oceans Of Fantasy” was the fourth official Boney M. album. It was also the first album to include track by track credits. Eventhough it had been known right from the start that Boney M. was a studio group it was the first time that Marcia, Liz and Frank officially were credited as the vocalists of the group. Many had probably hoped that Maizie and Bobby would be singing on the records no matter what had been said during the years. But since it had been rumoured that they didn’t – it didn’t affect the sales of “Oceans Of Fantasy” or the success of the group.
That “Oceans Of Fantasy” would be the first Boney M. LP to include track by track credits was mainly caused by the tensions inside the group and further more Bobby had hoped to be singing on the new record. It is said that Farian probably decided to include the credits on the LP because he wanted to show the group that he not only was the producer and mastermind but also a vital part of the vocal sound and this way trying to keep the group checkmate. That may also be the reason why Farian seems a little overexposed on the LP when it comes to the vocals compared to the three earlier LP releases.
In November Boney M. was once again touring through Germany with huge success and made a special appearance at the Royal Variety Show in London and ended the year with a Unicef concert in London on 31st December.
A second single was released from the “Oceans Of Fantasy” album in Germany in late November. The single featured “I’m Born Again” & “Bahama Mama”. In Germany as well as a few other countries the single was released as a double A-side. “I’m Born Again” was a ballad and a bit different from the previous single releases while “Bahama Mama” was the familiar up-tempo song with the typical Boney M. sound that made people wanna dance. Many countries went for “Bahama Mama” as the A-side. The single entered the German single chart on 24th December at no. 49. On 31st December it was at no. 41 and the third week (7th January 1980) at no. 9 before topping at no. 7 the following week. In England it unfortunately only made it to no. 35.
The single marked the end of Boney M.’s success in the English single chart after a very successful period from 1976 to 1979 with 10 hit-singles.