jueves, 12 de noviembre de 2009


"Ma Baker" is a 1977 disco hit single by German disco band Boney M.. It was the first single off their second album Love for Sale and their third consecutive chart-topper in Germany and their best yet placing in the UK, peaking at number 2 (only surpassed by Donna Summer's "I Feel Love") although only a minor single in the US (number 96).
Frank Farian's assistant Hans-Jörg Mayer (aka Reyam) had discovered a popular Tunisian folkloric song, Sidi Mansur while on holiday and rewrote the song into a disco track. The lyrics by Fred Jay were inspired by the story of legendary 1930s outlaw Ma Barker although the name was changed into "Ma Baker" because "it sounded better". With a structure similar to Boney M.'s breakthrough single "Daddy Cool" with the same gimmick percussion, alternating answer-back vocals, a spoken mid-part, the song also opened with a snarling "Freeze, I'm Ma Baker, put your hands in the air! Gimme all your money". Frank Farian re-recorded the song with Milli Vanilli in 1988. Boney M.'s version was remixed the same year, 1993 and again in 1998. The song has been covered a number of times by Banda R-15, Knorkator and others. A sample of "Ma Baker", particularly the chorus, is prominent in the recent RedOne-produced electropop international chart-topper "Poker Face", by the American pop singer Lady Gaga.
In Germany, Benelux, England and Yugoslavia, the single came out backed with a cover of The Yardbirds' "Still I'm Sad" which even charted on its own in Sweden (number17). In Germany, the first single pressing came out with a backcover with tour dates and a 4:47 version with a slightly different mix, leaving out the verse line "of one who left no friends", plus it features a longer instrumental outro which can be heard in the 1988 remix. "Still I'm Sad" also fades four seconds later than the album version. This pressing was also released in Yugoslavia. Although the LP cover would also list the timing 4:47 of "Ma Baker", it was the much more common second single mix 4:33 that was included in the album. Subsequent German single pressings featured a picture of Boney M. and their tour crew Black Beauty Circus on the backcover.
In Spain, Brazil, Mexico, France, Canada and the US, the single was backed by "A Woman Can Change a Man". In Japan, the initial pressings (October 1977) had "A Woman Can Change a Man" as the A-side and an alternate shot off the album's controversial chain photo sessions as the cover. It was soon repressed with "Ma Baker" as the correct A-side and the album front cover photo for the artwork.
In Hungary, "Ma Baker" was backed with the follow-up single "Belfast".
Following the remix of "Brown Girl in the Ring", Farian remixed "Ma Baker" in the summer of 1993. While a modest club hit, it failed to enter the European charts. "Borsalino" and "The Most Wanted Woman" are two dub mixes of the track. The new remix was included in the compilation album More Gold - 20 Super Hits Vol. II in October 1993.
Late 1998, a new remix of "Ma Baker" by Sash! started to make noise on the club charts as a 12" single. Just as the CD-single was about to follow, it was withdrawn, and a new version appeared, re-titled "Somebody Scream! Ma Baker" featuring Horny United. The single was a Top 30 hit in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, and even peaked at number 6 (2 Weeks) in Finland and number 10 in Sweden. When released in the UK in April, it peaked at number 22. The accompanying video featured a young woman, kickboxing, training with a gun, the only relation to the original group being her watching the original 1977 video of "Ma Baker" on a TV set.

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