... a post on MeWe has demonstrated the error of my assumptions.
Frank Farian's assistant Hans-Jörg Mayer discovered a popular Tunisian folkloric song, "Sidi Mansour" while on holiday, and rewrote the song into a disco track.
The lyrics by Fred Jay were inspired by the story of legendary 1930s outlaw Ma Barker, although the name was changed into "Ma Baker" because "it sounded better".
I can remember boppin' along to the tune way back when. (Yes, I was young once, rumors to the contrary notwithstanding!) For those who missed it, here's a (possibly unwelcome) reminder of how the offspring of the mating of bubblegum music and disco could sound.
Yes. Well. Moving right along . . .
I was astonished, early this morning, to read a post on MeWe by my friend Michael Z. Williamson. (I can't link to it here, unfortunately, because MeWe doesn't provide direct post links.) Mike provided a link to a version of the song by German "comedy rock" group Knorkator, who are probably worth an article in themselves, as Wikipedia notes:
The band was founded in 1994, but only played in the Berlin/Brandenburg area until 1998.
Knorkator gained further fame (and some notoriety) in 2000 with their performance of Ick wer zun Schwein (sic; literally, in Berlin dialect, "I'm turning into a pig") in the German national qualification for the Eurovision Song Contest. After the qualification show, German tabloid BILD notoriously headlined "Wer ließ diese Irren ins Fernsehen?" ("Who let these lunatics on TV?").
At any rate, the group has added a very (very!) strange version of "Ma Baker" to their repertoire, and perform it at German rock gatherings. I guess it's best described as "thrash metal meets disco". Here's the version to which Mike provided a link. Warning - once seen, you can't unsee it!
Yes. Well. Poor tune! From Tunisian folk song, to disco, to . . . whatever that was!
Oh, well. Just to show that disco can also go over the top from time to time, here's Boney M with their hit "Rasputin" (off the same album as "Ma Baker". Yes, I bopped along to this one, too! This live performance is from the Discoteka 80 festival. Looks like a good time was had by all . . . although those dancing chest muscles are . . . !!!!