domingo, 15 de noviembre de 2009


"Rasputin" is a 1978 disco hit single by the Germany-based pop and disco group Boney M., the second single off their hugely successful album Nightflight to Venus. The song is a semi-biographical song whose subject and namesake is Grigori Rasputin, a friend and advisor of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his family during the early 20th century. The song variously sensationalizes Rasputin as a playboy, mystical healer, and political demiurge.

"Rasputin" is also distinctive for its incorporation of a portion of Katibim, a classic Turkish folk song.
The intro drum solo bears striking similarity to the Cozy Powell 1973 single "Dance With The Devil".

The song references Grigori Rasputin's alleged healing of hemophiliac Tsarevich Alexei of Russia, and how this endeared him to the boy's mother, the Tsarina Alexandra Fyodorovna (former Princess Alix of Hesse). It also claims that Rasputin was Alexandra's paramour ("Ra Ra Rasputin: lover of the Russian queen") and that Rasputin's political power overshadowed that of the Tsar himself. While "Rasputin" accurately indicates that unfavorable rumors damaged Grigori's reputation, there is no verifiable evidence to suggest that he had an affair with Alexandra.

The end of the song recounts a modified version of a popular description of the events that culminated in Rasputin's assassination, as perpetrated by Felix Yusupov, Vladimir Purishkevich, and Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia on December 16, 1916. Specifically, the song states that Rasputin's assassins fatally shot him after he survived the poisoning of his wine with a very large dose of cyanide.
The song rose to the top of the charts in Germany and Austria, and went to number 2 in the United Kingdom and Switzerland. It was another number 1 hit for Boney M. in Australia, providing them a second (and last) chart topper in that country (the other one being "Rivers Of Babylon").

Although the song was written and performed in English (with a smattering of German -But the kasatschok he danced really wunderbar!), it enjoyed great popularity in Russia and is credited with making Rasputin famous again there although it was omitted from the Russian pressing of the album and Boney M. were forbidden to perform the song during their 10 performances in Moscow in December 1978.

The album pressings of Nightflight to Venus features the title track segued into "Rasputin". Initial LP pressings include the full-length 6:40 version of "Rasputin", most notable for an instrumental interlude in the 3rd verse between the lines "though he was a brute, they just fell into his arms" and "Then one night some men of higher standing ..." that was later cut out. The second LP pressing featured a 6:03 version, subsequent pressings a 5:51 version. Boney M.'s single edit is completely different from the edit used for Frank Farian's Gilla recording in German that followed in November 1978 (without success).

The German and Benelux pressings were backed with "Painter Man" - most other territories chose "Never Change Lovers in the Middle of the Night". Only the UK pressing had the full 5:32 version, most countries faded it by 5:02, Carrere (France) already at 4:45. In England, "Painter Man" was issued as an A-side single in February 1979, giving the group a number 10 hit.

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