Franz Reuther (born July 18, 1941), better known as Frank Farian, is a German music producer and singer-songwriter. He started out as a trained cook before moving into the music business. His musical productions have won more than 800 gold and platinum records.
His trademark is that he very commonly inserts himself as a backup or lead vocal in place or in tandem with the male performers in the groups that he produces. Starting out, Farian wanted to become a solo artist, but was unable to attain success. He wanted to write, produce and sing R&B-style music. When his song "Do you do you wanna bump?", published under the pseudonym Boney M., became successful, Farian hired performers to 'front' for TV performances. The lead vocals for songs on Boney M. albums were sung by Farian, Marcia Barrett and Liz Mitchell, who quickly became synonymous with the group. Boney M.'s frontman, Bobby Farrell, was only allowed to record vocals in the eighties (although all four members of the group did sing live for all their concert tours). Farian's recording policy for Boney M. became too restrictive for Bobby who was sacked from the group in 1981 -- which coincided with the group's demise in the Eighties. The other female member of the group, Maizie Williams, is at the moment also in litigation with Farian for unpaid royalties.
Farian also started the supergroup Far Corporation (named after the first syllable of his last name), which featured Steve Lukather, David Paich, Bobby Kimball, Simon Phillips and Robin McAuley, many of Toto fame. Far Corporation is notable for being the first act to chart with a single release of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven", barely making the charts in the U.S., while becoming a top-10 hit in the UK, reaching number 8 in October 1985.
In 1986, Farian produced and mixed the Meat Loaf album Blind Before I Stop. He also sang backing vocals on the first single from the album ("Rock N' Roll Mercenaries) which was credited to "Meat Loaf featuring John Parr and Frank Farian".
In 1990, he admitted orchestrating the events which led to the Milli Vanilli scandal, a musical equivalent of ghostwriting. As a producer, he had assembled a 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.
Some other groups that Farian has been involved with are Eruption (he became a manager in 1977) and No Mercy. Following the Milli Vanilli controversy, Farian went on to develop similar Eurodance groups La Bouche and Le Click.
On the 15th August 2006, the much anticipated West End musical Daddy Cool opened at the Shaftsbury Theatre in London. Featuring a line up including, Michelle Collins, former So Solid Crew member Michael Harvey and UK Eurovision entrant Javine Hylton, the £3 million show produced by Frank Farian and Robert Mackintosh, opened to rave reviews. The story, written by Stephen Plaice with Amani Naphtali, is predominantly based on the songs of Boney M., but also features songs by Farian's other acts Milli Vanilli and No Mercy. A second show opened on 23rd April 2007 in Berlin, Germany.
Also in 2006, Farian was credited as co-writing a new song, entitled "Doin' Fine", with British producers, Nathan Thomas and Carl M. Cox. (Other writers involved in this song were, Chris Rudall, Baz Qureshi, Peter Wilson, Chris Richards and George Reyam). Described as paying tribute to the 'sound' of Boney M., the song is essentially a brand new composition, which features the famous string arrangement from Boney M.'s 1976 Number 1 hit, "Daddy Cool". The song was recorded by Australian pop singer, Peter Wilson. It was initially released in the UK in its extended format, entitled "Daddy's Cool 12" Mix", on 16th April 2007 on the album, "Mad About The Boy 15" (Klone Records-CDKOPY172), where it charted at Number 1 on the Euro Dance Hits, EuroNRG Top 40 in May 2007. The original version of "Doin' Fine" featured on Peter Wilson's debut album, "Follow Me" (Klone Records-CDKOPY175), which was released in the UK on 8th October 2007.