Girl you know it’s lip synced

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.

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2 Responses to Girl you know it’s lip synced

  1. I think the German dance DJs have a long tradition of using attractive models lip syncing… does not take away anything from the music though! Where I find it a bit dubious is when a lot of concerts are at least partly lip synced… I have been to shows many times and it is quite clear the choruses from example are lip synced…presumably to forgive for the high energy dancing and choreography. i went to see N’Sync back in the day at LA Forum, and even though I dont think they were lip syncing per se… their vocals were mixed so high (when you dance and prance around on stage as you get out of breath your vocals get lower) at times they sounded like chipmunks!

  2. Elliot says:

    This post is great. “Ride on time” was a massive hit in the UK when I was still at school, but I think it was discovered early on that there was lip syncing going on, and nobody cared. My Fave story is with “Boney M” which was some white guy music producer (who might have been German, I forget) fronted by an all black, lip syncing dance group. The “main” dancing guy was still trying to tour years afterwards as Boney-M, even though none of the songs were actually his. Classic.

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