Rather inexplicably, I’ve been listening to Milli Vanilli tonight. Inexcusably, I actually PURCHASED some Milli Vanilli tonight. As it turns out, I only had “Girl You Know It’s True” and “Blame In On The Rain” in iTunes. A quick look at eMusic found both “Girl I’m Gonna Miss You” and “Baby Don’t Forget My Number” for 49 cents each. Actually, I could have purchased the entire Best of Milli Vanilli album for only $5.99, but I figure with the 4 songs that were singles, I already have all the Milli Vanilli anyone would ever need.
Of course, Milli Vanilli are most famous for what they did NOT do – that is, actually sing their songs. In the end, they were the pretty (?) faces hired to lip sync to someone else’s vocals. Presumably, the people who actually provided the vocals were not attractive enough to sell the music on its own merits. I guess I don’t really know as I was never a Milli Vanilli fan per se. I liked the songs enough, but even then, I recognized them for what they were – throwaway pop that would likely not be long remembered. They were successful enough to merit winning the Best New Artist Grammy – always a bit of a dubious honor. When word of their lip syncing broke, the were stripped of their Grammy. I remember Tone Loc going on and on about how the Grammy should go to one of the other nominees, probably thinking that he would get it.
But really, Rob and Fab were but the most blatant examples of a trend from that time. Who can forget Technotronic putting an attractive model to lip sync “Pump Up The Jam” in the video when said model never sang one note from that song? Or C + C Music Factory giving vocal credit to Zelma Davis when it was actually Martha Wash screaming “EVERYBODY DANCE NOW!” And then there was Black Box, hijacking the vocals of not just one but two divas. This video gives the whole story. I found it was worth the 8 minute watch because the music is so damn good.
So really, I have to forgive Rob and Fab just a little bit. After all, my love for Eurodance and early to mid 90s house demands that I not judge them just because they lip synced.
But I still won’t buy their whole greatest hits album. Not no way. Not no how.