Disco lost its king yesterday when Bobby Farrell died while touring in Russia. The cause of his death is still unknown; he was only 61. He had a staggeringly successful career with Boney M in the 70s and 80s, selling 80 million records and thrilling audiences with his flamboyant dancing and exotic costumes.
But his role in the band was quite unique and seems dated when compared to the structure of pop groups 40 years later. He was basically a dancer with a decorative "frontman" label. Boney M's creator Frank Farian provided the male vocals on all the band's recordings and when Farrell sang on stage (he usually mimed), his voice was often supported by backing vocalists.
This strikes me as an incredibly jammy job. Hang out with three pretty girls, deck yourself out in sparkly unitards and travel the world getting your groove on and earning tons of money. Daddy Cool struck gold.
Gotta Get Home itself a rewrite of Hallo Bimmelbahn by Nighttrain formed the sample of the biggest dance hit of 2010: Barbara Streisand by Duck Sauce. Although Farrell is no longer with us, his legacy will live on as a new generation of music-lovers discover the disco anthems he was an unconventional but important part of.