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Top international reviews
The recollections of the Boney M. years are wonderful to read. Her pride of having been part of that magical era is evident, and she speaks with fondness about her three former colleagues, Liz Mitchell, Maizie Williams, and Bobby Farrell, although she also states they were four very different people grouped together with little in common. Frank Farian is mentioned as a phenomenal producer but also as an egocentric person.
Boney M. fans will know that Liz Mitchell was given a far larger share of lead vocals than Marcia ever was. In fact, on the group's final three albums Marcia was given no leads at all! She does not address this in her book, but anyone will understand that it left her artistically demotivated which is also why she branched out as a solo artist during Boney M.'s active years, although her 1980 single went nowhere, and a later deal with CBS in 1983 never saw any product released. What I would like to have known more about is why Marcia did not kick off her solo career in 1986 when Farian declared Boney M. was over. The group kept touring throughout '86/'87 (at one point with Marilyn Schaarbai replacing Liz) and then reunited late 1988 in their original formation for a remix album which is not discussed in great detail. Liz Mitchell was unhappy during this period and left again in 1989 where Farian once more declared Boney M. was over. The group (now with Madeleine Davis taking Liz Mitchell's place) recorded their first single, Josephine Baker, without Farian with great anticipation but had (somewhat naïvely) not taken into account that they could not use the Boney M. name as it was owned by Farian, and the single was pulled from the shops.
Another omission in the book is the details about Bobby Farrell's being sacked from the group late 1981 when their 5th album Boonoonoonoos had just been released. While Marcia acknowledges that it was deserved due to his erratic behaviour, I would have liked to know more about how the three girls reacted and how it affected them. A new male, Reggie Tsiboe, was brought in in 1982 and stayed with them until the 1986 split, but he is not mentioned at all in the book! Another glaring omission is any mention of Boney M.'s controversial 1984 shows in South Africa which none of the members seemed happy about doing due to the Apartheid regime. Marcia mentions that she gets on well with singer Precious Wilson of Eruption who was Boney M.'s opening act on tour in 1977 but mentions that Precious, when leaving Eruption in 1979, had been offered to take Marcia's place in Boney M. when Precious herself has stated that it was Maizie Williams' place she had been offered (but declined) as Maizie Williams didn't sing on the group's records. There is also a slip of proof-reading when stated that Liz and Marcia went with Farian to Nice in the summer of 1979 to record the Ten Thousand Lightyears album. That LP was recorded between 1982-84 (where Marcia later says the group did no recordings) ... in fact, it seems it was the summer of 1980 as Marcia has previously recalled recording Ride To Agadir in the middle of the night whilst in the south of France. Later she also mentions that she believes Farian picked up the word Boonoonoonoos (the title of the group's fifth album) when they visited Jamaica, but by then the song Boonoonoonoos had already been recorded as they were there to film a video for it.
There is also a Boney M. discography in the book, but none of Marcia's own recordings?
But putting my critical glasses aside, I can assure you the whole book is a wonderful, uplifting page-turning read of a fascinating life, and there is a lot of humour, warmth and love on every page. I am very pleased for Marcia to have overcome so many obstacles on her way and to have achieved this, and I hope it will give her some much-deserved recognition, she is a remarkable woman, and her story should serve as an inspiration to many people. Forward indeed!
Its an excellent read and Marcia's sense of humour, determination and strength shine through. An inspirational read.