The single was recorded in a hurry early November, included in the group's live set and rushed out at the end of the month, topping the UK charts for four weeks during its eight week stay in the charts, and becoming the second single for the group in the all-time best selling singles charts. The song was later included in the group's Christmas Album, 1981.
In the United States, the track reached number 85 in the Billboard Hot 100, Boney M's last of four singles to chart; despite its chart position, the medley is an airplay favorite in the United States during the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season on radio stations which change to temporary all-Christmas music formats.
A promotional gatefold single (15 816 AT) backed with 'Never Change Lovers in the Middle of the Night' (from Nightflight to Venus) was released shortly before the commercial single which had a new track on the B-side 'Dancing in the Streets'. Different edits were issued in various countries. In Spain and France, the 3rd verse (Now Joseph and his wife Mary came to Bethlehem that night ...) had been cut out, the French mix of 'Oh My Lord' was a different mix. A 4:29 edit surfaced on the 1980 compilation The Magic of Boney M. - 20 Golden Hits, possibly the originally intended single edit. The full-length 6:18 mix appeared as the B-side of the 12" single 'Dancing in the Streets'.
'Rivers of Babylon' / 'Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord' is a 1988 remix single by German band Boney M., issued to launch the group's reunion, having been split since their 10th anniversary, 1986. The double-A-side single contained new mixes of the band's two very most successful single releases ever. Although their remix album sold well, the single failed to chart.
After Christmas, Hansa Records flipped the single and released it with 'Dancing in the Streets' on the A-side. The non-album track was sung solely by the group's producer Frank Farian, singing the chorus in multi-dubbed falsetto vocals and singing the verse in his deep voice. The mix that came out on the B-side of 'Mary's Boy Child' in the UK and US was an early version with shriller falsetto vocals and no answer-back chorus vocals in the verses. Despite the lack of success, the track was chosen as the one to launch Boney M. in the USA which remained the only territory the group had yet to conquer. The group did a promotional tour in April 1979 and also lip-synced the track at important TV shows Soul Train but the single stalled at number 105 in the Pop charts and fared only slightly better in the R and B charts at number 75.
Click the lin below to download the following:
PWL 1988 Edit Version
Dancing In The Streets - B-Side
Dancing In The Streets - Live Performance
Dancing In The Streets - Long Version
Never Change Lovers In The Middle Of The Night - B-Side