Rasputin (1978) - Boney M. (Boney M.) - All about the song "Rasputin": history and facts

About the most important disco hit of the 70s and 80s in Russia!

Disco song Boney M. (Boney M.) - Rasputin (1978)

"Rasputin" (Rasputin) is a legendary song written by members of the disco-pop group Boney M. The song was released on the 1978 studio album Nightflight to Venus. The songwriters are Frank Farian, George Reyam and Fred Jay. It is dedicated to Grigory Rasputin, one of the most mysterious characters of the early 20th century, adviser and friend of the Russian Emperor Nicholas II. The image of the hero of the song is the image of a smart and charming manipulator who managed to take a place at court and become the chief healer of the state.

Grigory Efimovich Rasputin (1869–1916)

Grigory Rasputin was born into a modest peasant family, but during his life he became an important political figure. It is said that as a child he performed miracles. The turning point in his fate came when the boy began to have visions - according to Rasputin, the Most Holy Theotokos appeared to him. So he began to preach, heal and gather like-minded people.

Rasputin's fame grew. Luck brought him to the capital, where stories of the preacher's abilities reached the Empress, who was desperate to find a cure for her hemophiliac son. Rasputin, summoned to the palace, was able to "cure" the prince, although not for long. The empress was very impressed, and insisted that the medicine man be left at court.

After that, Rasputin's power grew stronger every day. The aristocracy attended his sermons, relying on his advice and believing in his ability to heal. Noble ladies were especially disposed towards him. The way of life at court revealed the other side of Rasputin - the medicine man was a little like a saint, devoting too much time to alcohol and women.

Dissatisfaction with the imperial family grew, including because of the behavior of Rasputin. The emperor's associates insisted that Nikolai send him away, but Alexandra Feodorovna saw in Gregory the only opportunity to save her son, again and again saving the healer from disgrace.

As a result, the nobles decided to kill an objectionable figure. There are many sinister myths about Rasputin's death - for example, that neither poison nor bullets affected him. However, as a result of the conspiracy, Rasputin was killed. Before his death, he warned the empress that he would die within a year. According to him, if this happens at the hands of the nobility, then the imperial family will be killed two years after his death, and their bloodline will be eradicated. To some extent, this prediction came true.

The mystery of Rasputin, stories about his inexplicable abilities, left a mark not only in the history of Russia, but also in world culture. For example, the Boney M. group turned to his image.

Group "Boney M."
Group "Boney M." (Boney M.)

Structure and message of the song

Disco hit "Boney M." - a chronicle of the ups and downs of Grigory Rasputin. The hero of the song embodies rather popular ideas about the personality of a famous preacher than the real facts of his biography, but this does not make him any less charming.

The bright drums and claps of the "Boney M." intro create the atmosphere of a folk tale, preparing the listener for an unusual story. Drums and handclaps are then joined by a mood-setting balalaika, soon followed by a deep bass sound. The original melody quickly won the hearts of the band's fans, and the song became a real disco anthem.

The musicians succeeded in interestingly emphasizing the duality of Rasputin's nature. Male vocals tell about the dark side of his personality - for example, that those around him were frightened by his uncontrollable thirst for power. However, the women's choir immediately clarifies with admiration that Rasputin was a huge success with the ladies, and calls him "Russia's greatest love machine".

Rumors about Rasputin became the material for creating the composition. According to them, in the text he became the lover of the Empress, who secretly ruled the country. The end of the song also refers to the legends, this time about the death of a medicine man. For example, it contains the line: "He drank it all and he said" I feel fine "", retelling the rumors that Rasputin did not even notice the strong poison with which they tried to poison him, and noted only that the wine served was not bad.

Death of Rasputin

On December 30, 1916 (December 17, old style), a group of noblemen, led by the husband of the emperor's niece, Prince Felix Yusupov, killed Rasputin. It is the prince who owns the version that Rasputin was not affected by the strongest poison, which Yusupov generously served with food.

The reality of this fact is still being debated, but the story of Rasputin's invulnerability has definitely become an integral part of his image. This is how he appears in the song “Boney M.” dedicated to him.

Other versions of the song (covers)

Subsequently, this composition was performed by several other groups in different musical styles. Consider the most interesting versions.

A folk metal band from Finland called "Turisas" recorded their cover of the song about Rasputin.

The Spanish band Fangoria included this song on their compilation Dilemas, amores y dramas.

Russia also distinguished itself, namely, the metal cover project Even Blurry Videos. Their version of the track was published on YouTube in the summer of 2019.

Composition release

The song was released on August 28, 1978 as part of the Nightflight to Venus album. She quickly reached the top positions in the charts in Germany and Austria, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. The composition did not hit only the US ratings.

Album cover of "Nightflight to Venus" (1078) by Boney M.
Album cover of "Nightflight to Venus" (1078) by Boney M.

In terms of critical reception, AllMusic described the single as "weirdest, most unusual and interesting, in part because of the unique combination of musical elements ...".

Despite the fact that the composition was written and performed in English, it gained great success on the territory of the Soviet Union. However, in the USSR, "Rasputin" was never included in the album "Nightflight to Venus", and "Boney M." was strictly forbidden to perform his extraordinary hit during the tour in December 1978.

Popularity on TikTok in 2020-2021

In 2020, a new trend has appeared on the TikTok social network: to find cool old songs and record clips on them. "Rasputin" by Boney M. has not been forgotten.

Interesting fact…

Boney M. frontman Bobby Farrell passed away on December 30, 2010 in a hotel in St. Petersburg, a few hours after the concert. Rasputin also died in Petersburg on December 30th.


RY X - "Blood Moon" (2022): interesting facts about the album

Blood Moon" album (2022) by RY X Ry Cuming, better known under the pseudonym RY X has shared with listeners his new album, which is titled "Blood...

Magic that touches the soul: Fuzz Music magazine's Top Exciting Guitar Solos

The most heartfelt guitar solos of all time Often we see lists of "top guitar solos," and they no longer surprise anyone, to be frank. The best...

"Only Russia": Olga Kormukhina about life, love, and Alla Pugacheva

Olga Kormukhina: what the "native Tina Turner" thinks about - amazing facts and deep thoughts of the singer Olga Kormukhina is charismatic, wise, talented. She is our pride:.

Related Articles

Bright and extraordinary representatives of the Moscow rock lab - Part Two

Moscow Rock Lab - we continue to remember the most interesting representatives Today we continue to talk about the brightest, most extraordinary and in their own way unique bands that made the Moscow Rock Lab famous! These...

The brightest and most unorthodox representatives of the Moscow rock lab

The Moscow Rock Lab - Let's Remember the Most Interesting Representatives Often "scouring" the Internet, you come across the already legendary phrase: "Leningrad Rock Club". It consisted of many iconic national...

James Vincent McMorrow - "The Less I Knew" (2022): Everything about the album

The Less I Knew" (2022) album by James Vincent McMorrow James Vincent McMorrow has shared with listeners his new album, called "The Less I Knew"...

Interesting facts about R.E.M. legends

R.E.M. - what you didn't know about the legendary band The band R.E.M. has had a great influence - it is rightly considered one of the most important in...

"Vice" is already here - how the participants' fate turned out

Beware of the Vice: a look back at one of the most flamboyant Russian bands of the 90s. This female duet went down in history as the most flamboyant in the domestic scene of the 90's! "Police ...

"Welcome to Picnic" - the story of a great band

History of the band "Picnik" - the beginning of the way, creativity, phenomenon "Picnic" is one of the most unusual bands. Many listeners are surprised when they learn that its history began in...

Why We Love Jeff Beck, or Briefly Why He's a Genius

Why Jeff Beck is a legend of exciting guitar playing When Jeff Beck picks up his guitar and starts playing, we can hardly hear...

These albums almost "destroyed" their creators, but became legendary as a result

Legendary albums that almost "ruined" their creators It's unlikely that when listening to a favorite album, any of us think about how it was created. We just...

The strongest vocalists in Russian rock according to Fuzz Music magazine

We tell you about the strongest and most inimitable vocalists in Russian rock How important a role does the vocalist play in a rock band? Well, as it seems to us - almost absolute! Maybe...