I ran across a tweet today about pop culture in England in the 1970s. Someone found an old magazine and posted some of the content including a blurb about the music group Boney M.
And the memories came flooding back.
If you're not familiar with Boney M., I'm sure you're not alone. They rose to fame in the Disco era and most of their popularity seems to have been rooted in Europe. I have no idea if they even made a dent in the United States. I learned of then when I lived in Denmark as a LDS missionary. I listened to their Christmas album over and over again.
You may know of the LDS missionaries. You may not know about the rules that go along with being a missionary. There's the rules members follow to be part of the religion including not smoking, drinking, among others. But missionaries have additional rules like no dating, no being alone with anyone other than your assigned companion, wearing the approved missionary attire, going to bed and getting up at the approved time. The rules even dictate as to the type of music we could listen to. Needless to say, it was a short list.
To be completely honest, I can't say with 100% certitude that Boney M.'s Christmas album was on that list. The missionaries--at least the ones who wanted to obey the rules--kept track of what was okay and what wasn't. According to the older and wiser Elders, this particular album was fine.
And I listened to it again and again and again. We had tape cassettes back then and I might have actually worn out the tape. Because I was young and naive, I thought since this musical group made such fine religious music, they must have other albums worthy to find their place on the "Approved for LDS Missionary Consumption" list. On one of our preparation days, I wanted into a music store and looked up other Boney M. collections. There had to be something else to listen to during the non-Christmas seasons.
Yes, the band produced a lot of albums.
And yes, their music was definitely not on any "approved" missionary lists.
The band came of age during Disco. This was a time of loosening things up and judging by their album covers, the band was plenty loose. I should have guessed it would be like this. I don't know whyI thought otherwise.
After seeing the tweet I found the album on iTunes and listened to snippets of each song. It's a bit techno-pop and the harmonies and music weren't as tight as I remember (of course, I only ever heard the music on cassette tapes...), but it reminded me of cold days in Denmark when the sun set early in the afternoon, the streets were decorated in a way Americans can only dream about, and a cup of rich European hot chocolate was heaven-sent.
I had forgotten about that group for probably thirty years. Amazing how a random post by someone I don't know can bring back so many things.