Boney M – Nightflight To Venus (Deluxe Edition)

Boney M started off as a studio project by West German producer and song writer, Frank Farian. Farian had released a number of songs under his own name before he had a hit with ‘Baby Do You Wanna Bump’, a loose remake of Prince Busters ‘Al Capone’. He released the song under the name of Boney M, but not wanting to appear in the spotlight himself, he hired some performers to take the songs he was writing out on the road. The people who were chosen to front Boney M, all hailed from the Caribbean. These were Maizie Williams (from Montserrat), Bobby Farrell (from Aruba) as well as Liza Mitchell and Marcia Barrett (both from Jamaica). However, Williams and Farrell did not sing on any of the studio recordings, even though they were heard when the group performed live. 

The group struggled to follow ‘Baby Do You Wanna Bump’ until they were invited on the German TV show, Musikladen performing ‘Daddy Cool’. This became a big hit in Germany and the group began to have hits in other countries around Europe. Their first album ‘Take The Heat Off Me’ was a modest hit outside of mainland Europe, and the follow up ‘Love For Sale’ improved upon its predecessors sales and chart performance. Their singles up to this point were huge chart successes in all the major markets except the USA but when their third album was released, the groups sales went through the roof. 

‘Nightflight To Venus’ came out in July 1978 and contained the double A-Side single ‘Rivers Of Babylon’ and ‘Brown Girl In The Ring’, one of the biggest selling singles in UK history. With the follow up release being the disco classic’ ‘Rasputin’ and they were able to achieve another million selling UK single with the then non-album track, ‘Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Love’. The B-Side of this Christmas related single was ‘Dancing in the Streets’, a new song and not a cover of the Martha & The Vandellas track. This album was also a massive seller, achieving Platinum status in many territories but when it comes to re-releases, these have been thin on the ground. This album is ripe for a deluxe edition and so The Squire is here to provide one.  

‘Nightflight to Venus’ lends itself to this format just because of the numerous different versions of the songs that were on the album. Normally when a record comes out, it tends to be definitive version with all of the mixes and edits finalised. However, with ‘Nightlight To Venus’, this was not the case. Four versions of this record were released, most of which were exclusive to Germany. The different versions can be easily identified by the length of the first track, ‘Nightflight To Venus’ which is the only song with a different duration on each version. The opening song was on the first version had a playing time of seven minutes and eleven seconds but by the time the forth, and final version was released, this had been edited down to four minutes and forty six seconds. The song itself is based around Cozy Powell’s ‘Dance With The Devil’ single, but as this was in the era before sampling, I suspect the songwriters did not receive any monetary recompense for this drum pattern. Anyway, I digress. 

This fourth and last version is considered to be the finished version and is the one that most people around the world would have heard. This is also the version that was released on CD. So what happened to all of the different versions of the songs that were released before the fourth and final version came out? These seemed to have been reassigned to the archives, for now at least. Apart from these different album version, there was also numerous single mixes. This album was released at the high of disco so not only were there 7” single version, but extended 12” mixes. These singles mixes as well as LP variation would neatly fit onto a three CD release of the album. This would also include the single ‘Mary’s Boy Child/ Oh My Lord’ with its B-Side ‘Dancing In The Streets’ in all its variations as well, as this came out in the same year. 

The cover I used is the same as the original with the Deluxe Edition logo also present. 

Disc 1

  1. Nightflight To Venus
  2. Rasputin
  3. Painter Man
  4. He Was A Steppenwolf
  5. King Of The Road
  6. Rivers Of Babylon
  7. Voodoonight
  8. Brown Girl In The Ring
  9. Never Change Lovers In The Middle Of The Night
  10. Heart Of Gold

Disc 2 – Single Versions

  1. Rivers of Babylon (Original 7” Version 1978)
  2. Brown Girl In The Ring (Dutch Single Mix 1978)
  3. Rasputin (7” Version 1978)
  4. Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Lord (7” Version 1978)
  5. Dancing In The Streets (7” Version 1978)
  6. Rivers Of Babylon (US 12” Version 1978)
  7. Rasputin (12” Version 1978)
  8. Dancing In The Streets (12” Version 1978)
  9. Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Lord (12’ Version 1978)
  10. Rivers Of Babylon (US Promo 12” Version 1978)

Disc 3 – Variations

  1. Nightlfight to Venus (German 1st Pressing)
  2. Rasputin (German 1st Pressing)
  3. He Was A Steppenwolf (German 1st Pressing)
  4. Rivers Of Babylon (German 1st Pressing)
  5. Voodoonight (German 2nd Pressing)
  6. Nightflight To Venus (German 2nd Pressing)
  7. Rasputin (German 2nd Pressing)
  8. Nightflight To Venus (German 3rd Pressing)
  9. Rasputin (German 3rd Pressing)
  10. Painter Man (German 3rd Pressing)
  11. He Was A Steppnwolf (Alternative Full Length Version)
  12. Voodoonight (2nd Verse Edit)

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