“A quiet year…”
The year 1983 is probably to be described as the quietest year of all between 1975 and 1986 when coming to Boney M. releases and TV-performances.
It was the year that Liz Mitchell would give birth to her second child, while Marcia Barrett was working on demos with Eddy Grant for CBS records. At the same time the group was working on their 7th studio album which was intended for release in the fall of 1983. It would however first be released in 1984, as it took longer to complete than first expected.
In the late summer of 1983 a new single was released. It was the only new material released that year. According to the German music magazine Bravo, it was a song that the Boney M. team became aware of on an earlier visit to South Africa.
“Jambo” was the title of the new single and it was released with a remix of “African Moon” as the B-side. In a few countries, “Jambo” would include the original ’81 version of “African Moon” as B-side.
The single “The Carnival Is Over/Going Back West” released in 1982, saw the group going in a new direction. With “Jambo” it would be the same once again. It was an African adoption and not the direction the record buying public wanted the group to go. It seemed as if Farian wasn’t sure in which direction to take Boney M., as “Jambo” not really seemed to be aimed for the pop market. It surely wasn’t the style of music you would find in the pop charts that year.
Boney M. performed “Jambo” in “Musikladen” on German TV on 8th September when it was released. Unfortunately the single only went to no. 48 in the German single chart. It had a five weeks run in the chart. In Switzerland the single went to no. 11 where it also had a five weeks run in the single chart.
However, when coming to new material of 1983, there would be two countries, that would get a brand new recording besides “Jambo”. “Jambo” was released as a maxi-single in several countries including extended versions of both “Jambo” and “African Moon ’83”.
Spain and Portugal saw a different release of the maxi-single compared to all other countries. The A-side would include an extended version of “Jambo”, which was even longer than the German maxi-version. The B-side would include 2 tracks. The ’81 version of “African Moon” closed the B-side, while the first track was a brand new track called “I Need A Babysitter (Babysitter)”. A track that surely had more hit potential than “Jambo”, but for some reason it wasn’t picked as a single.
When coming to re-releases and new compilations, 1983 also was a very quiet year. In December Ariola in Spain decided to lift another single from the ´’81 LP “Christmas Album”. They released “White Christmas” backed with “Feliz Navidad”. Even though Reggie had been in the group for over one and a half year, the single was released with a photo of Bobby.
In Argentina a compilation called “Por Siempre” was released. The compilation included “The Carnival Is Over” as the newest track.