Boney M may be world renowned because of their awesome songs such as “By The Rivers Of Babylon“, “Daddy Cool“, “Ma Baker“, etc; But I love them because of “Rasputin“. Sure, “By The Rivers Of Babylon” has awesome lyrics and a haunting melody (Which made the song an anthem back then), but there’s no leaf left upturned with “Rasputin” too. This song was a major hit because it struck gold in not one, but two different group of people all over the world. It was a phenomenal hit with the disco-goers because of it’s incredibly fast tempo, and it also hit bull’s-eye with Folk-lovers – Yes, FOLK lovers! Why? Because the whole of the song is portrayed like a story (And a very interesting one, too). It’s my favorite Boney M song, and following suit are “By The Rivers Of Babylon”, “Daddy Cool” and “Ma Baker”. So, let’s get to it!
History: “Rasputin” is a 1978 single by the Germany-based Pop band Boney M. It also hails from their hugely popular album “Nightflight To Venus”. It is also well known all over the world because of Boney M’s stupendous mixing (The tune is derived from the Serbian song called “Ruse kose curo imaš”, and the Russian song titled “Üsküdar’a Gider İken / Kâtibim“) and the ending line “Oh, Those Russians” (EPIC!). The song performed extremely well on the music charts worldwide. It reached Number 1 in Germany, Australia and Austria, not to mention the Number 2 it attained in the U.K. and Switzerland. The song has been covered by a number of other bands in varying musical styles, perhaps most notably by the Finnish Folk Metal band Turisas. Boiled in Lead also covered it in a Heavy Metal version (What’s up with that?). The song has three versions of itself made; One being the 4 Minutes 42 Second 7″ Single Version, the second being the 7 Minutes 33 Seconds 12″ Single Version, and lastly the 5 Minutes 51 Seconds Album Version. [Source : Wikipedia]
What it tries to convey to us: The song is a semi-biographical account of the life and death of Grigori Rasputin, also known as “The Devil In Flesh” (See the National Geographic account – click HERE to download the .torrent file). It deals with his manly charms, his manipulating the Czarina, and his betrayal towards the Czar. For the complete story about Rasputin, click here.
Review: The song starts with a high tempo beat and clapping of hands, and gradually turns out into a Spanish guitar rift from 00:08; which later transforms into the popular Russian rift music. The bass is pretty heavy, and goes along with the beats pretty well. Bobby Farrell starts off with the vocals from 00:30, followed by the voices of Liz Mitchell, Marcia Barrett, Maizie Williams. At first, you may think the song lacks the punch, because of the low tone vocals and mediocre tune. But that perception of yours changes COMPLETELY from 01:18. That’s the exact time when the clapping starts again; but this time, there is no background music. And then, from 01:29, you feel your gut churn. No, literally! The bass is… er…. well, different! But it’s original, and I love it! Sort of fits the glove for a story about a man so mean huh? If you don’t like the bass, don’t worry. The song changes YET again from 01:37, and this time; the tune is here to stay (Saying this while I put on my sunglasses, imitating Horatio from C.S.I. Miami). The song gets it’s awesome groove from 01:35. And then you finally know why the song was (And still is) a Disco Mega Hit – And that’s because you involuntarily move your feet and snap your fingers to the groove of the beats. From 01:59, the song gets even more awesome as Bobby starts with the first verse again, but with renewed vigor. The song is INCREDIBLY fast paced. The girls do an outstanding job in holding the song together; for without them, the song would have never prevailed. The first stanza tells us a little introduction about Rasputin – How he looked, how he was to the girls (“Chicks”, rather) of Russia. The first chorus starts from 02:30, which is undoubtedly the most famous part of the song. The song literally JUMPS from one stanza to the other in almost no time, all because of the incredible background music, which keeps us hooked throughout the song. The second verse begins (After a brief instrumental interlude) at 03:09, telling us about the kind of charm he had imposed on the people of Russia, including the Czar and the Czarina. The lyrics of the song are quirky, and extremely catchy (Don’t forget to open the lyrics tab before you listen to the song!). After the second verse though, things slow down completely; with the initiation of the infamous “Rasputin Speech”, which tells us how the people (Men) in Russia slowly began to regain their senses, and started to demand to do something about Rasputin. Think of the speech as a breathing space given to disco goers, because this song takes all of us on a hell of a ride! The speech is followed by clapping and “Hey, hey” chants, which ultimately leads to the Russian guitar rift (04:27). The last, and the final verse begins at 04:42, with a decision of putting an end to the tyranny of Rasputin. It tells us about how ‘Some men of higher standing’ set a trap, and tried to poison him with a high dose of cyanide in it. But the plan failed miserably, with Rasputin left just as he was. But these people weren’t ones to give up. They shot him for (More than) 10 times, and finally proclaimed him dead. The song ends with the ever awesome tagline, “Oh, Those Russians”. Epic, isn’t it?
Rating: Great beats, insane tempo, awesome lyrics and a nasty plot to top it all off. What else do you need to make the perfect figure of 10? Nothing! Straight on 10/10!
Lyrics for “Rasputin” : http://artists.letssingit.com/boney-m-lyrics-rasputin-32f3438
Download link for “Rasputin” : http://mp3.mp3ray.ru/006_BONEY_M_-_RASPUTIN_[mp3ray.ru].mp3 (Right Click on link, click “Save Target/Link As”)