“A new decade, a needed break…”
After four years of constant touring, recordings, record releases etc. it was time for a break.
Tensions had been growing inside the group during the past year and Liz Mitchell was expecting her first child during Summer time. It was therefore decided to slow down so Marcia, Liz, Maizie and Bobby could spend some time apart and Frank Farian could work on other projects.
While the members spent time apart a compilation album was released. It was called “The Magic Of Boney M. – 20 Golden Hits”. The album included two new tracks called “I See A Boat On The River” and “My Friend Jack”. The new tracks were issued as a single to promote the compilation album.
Just before the group went separate ways to take the needed break “I See A Boat On The River” was recorded for the German TV-show Musikladen. Many places the single was regarded as a double A-side. “I See A Boat On The River” was of the typical Boney M. sound while “My Friend Jack” was a kind of new direction for Boney M.
The single entered the German single chart on 21st April at no 37. The following 2 weeks it was at no. 7 before topping at no. 5 on 12th May. The single stayed in the Top 20 for 12 weeks and had a total run of 25 weeks in the chart. It was also another hit for the group in Denmark going gold. In England “My Friend Jack” was picked as the A-side and unfortunately only made it to no. 57 in April, despite it was promoted with a performance on Top Of The Pops. The sound of “My Friend Jack” was probably a bit too different/alternative to the English record buyers.
However the disappointing charting of the single in England wasn’t meaning that Boney M. wasn’t successful in the country anymore. “The Magic Of Boney M. – 20 Golden Hits” went to become the groups third no. 1 album in a row. The album achieved platinum in England and was the 35th best selling album in the Danish year end chart. In Germany the album entered the album chart at no. 3 on 5th May and peaked at no. 2 for 3 weeks with a total of 25 weeks in the chart.
Even though Farian had planned a two year album-break with Boney M. he quietly had begun working on what would become the group’s 5th LP. At the same time he was also working on Precious Wilson’s (former member of Eruption) first solo LP “On The Race Track”. An album that would be released later in the year.
While Liz Mitchell was spending time with her husband and their first baby, Marcia Barrett was the only one of the group to be recording in the period. During the period material for an album was written and recorded. Unfortunately the album was never completed. However two tracks from the sessions called “You” and “I’m Lonely” were released as a single in Germany during 1980. The single would also be released in England and several other countries in 1981.
In late Summer after the group’s long needed break was over a new single called “Children Of Paradise/Gadda-Da-Vida” was released . The single went to no. 11 in the German single chart and was the first Boney M. single in a row of 11 singles not to enter the Top 10. One figure higher and the single would have been in the Top 10. The single entered the single chart on 13th October at. no 68 while going to 47, 12 and 11 the following 3 weeks. However the single spent 6 weeks in the Top 20. The group was however still a true-loved and a very popular guest in German TV shows. In England the single went to no. 66 in the single chart.
During the last part of the year the group started to be working more intense on material for the new album that was planned for release in 1981.
In December Boney M. appeared on Musiklanden where they presented their 3rd single release of the year. The single was called “Felicidad” and was backed with “Strange”. “Strange” was a new style for the group compared to what they had released before and indeed a very nice song. After presenting “Felicidad” on Musiklanden the group was presented with silver, gold and platinum records from all around the world. “Felicidad” entered the German single chart on 22nd December at no. 69, the following weeks raising up and down at no. 49, 7, 11, 8, 7, 8, 8, 9, 7, 14, 8 and topping at no. 6 for 2 weeks in March 1981 (with a total of 27 weeks in the chart). The single was yet another hit. The single wasn’t released in England.