01 February 2008

Whatchu Know Bout Frank Farian?

Frank Farian (real name Franz Reuther) is a German producer and songwriter. He started out as a chef before moving into the music biz.

Frank Farian is the Godfather of all that classic early-mid 90's club music. He was behind just about all of it, save for Haddaway and Ace of Base.

But before all that, in 1990, my man Franz admitted orchestrating the events which led to the Milli Vanilli scandal. As a producer, he had assembled the group from German session musicians, fronting it with two good-looking dancers.

The story broke when Farian, who was fighting with the "singers" over money at the time, confirmed to the press that someone else had sung on the records. Lesson learned: don't fuck with Farian, he'll blow your spot up.

Following the highly publicised Milli Vanilli mess, Farian went on to develop Eurodance supergroups like La Bouche, No Mercy and Le Click. Farian was also behind Eruption, who had a bunch of disco hits in the 70's and 80's.

OK, so let's start with La Bouche, one of my personal favourites of that era. La Bouche (French for "the mouth") was formed by Farian in '94, consisting of Melanie Thornton and Lane McCray. Their debut album, "Sweet Dreams", went five times Platinum and nine times Gold worldwide, selling over 8 million copies. Granted, this was the dark ages before Napster when people still bought CD's, but still, those numbers are no joke.

La Bouche's first single, "Le Click: Tonight is the Night", was huge. Their follow-up single, "Be My Lover", went top 10 in fourteen countries, #1 in Germany and #6 in the US in 1995. Farian had found his Midas touch. The "Be My Lover" single sold 6 million copies worldwide and went on to win the ASCAP award for the "Most Played Song in America". The third single, "Sweet Dreams" climbed to #3 on the US Dance Chart and #1 in Germany overall. The final single, a cover of Hamilton's "Fallin' in Love", climbed to #3 on the Dance Charts and #4 in Europe. All four songs are considered certified Eurodance classics.

In 2000, Melanie Thornton left LaBouche to pursue a solo career. Melanie was replaced by Natascha Wright. A new single was released but it flopped hard and Farian decided to quit while he was ahead and put The Mouth to rest.

Meanwhile, Melanie Thornton was achieving momentous popularity with a single called "Love How You Love Me". But then sadly, while promoting her solo-album, ironically titled Ready To Fly, Melanie was killed in a plane crash near Zurich, Switzerland in November, 2001.

OK, here's where Farian's world starts getting a bit incestuous. With La Bouche is shambles, Farian forms LeClick, poaching the name from the first LaBouche hit single, "Le Click: Tonight is the Night". Le Click is French for, well, "the click".

Le Click's U.S. chart debut was in 1995 with "Tonight is the Night" and it sold a shit load. LeClick had another hit in 1997 with the single "Call Me", which climbed to #35 on the Billboard Hot 100, but that was about it.

By then the dance music / Drakkar craze in America was starting to fade, however all of the LeClick singles managed to receive moderate to massive Electronic/Dance music format radio airplay and mainstream European pop radio airplay.

Meanwhile, the German Farian secretly flys to Miami, Florida in 1995 and forms the boybandy No Mercy, consisting of twin brothers Ariel and Gabriel Hernández and a guy named Marty Cintron, III from New York. In 1996, No Mercy releases their debut album titled "My Promise" which produced two Top 40 hits, namely the classic cheese, "Where Do You Go?", which hits #5 in America. This was followed by another omnipresent single "Please Don't Go" which reached #21.

OK, that's all for now. I gotta run...


Anonymous said...

La da da dee da da da da, La da da dee da la da da da dee da, la dee da da da da da! Be my lover! ahahaha

Monica said...

strange you did not mention the fact that he created boney m

Anonymous said...

Yes ! Boney M. was a BIG disco-band in the World !