Friday, June 27, 2008

Flashback Friday - Milli Vanilli - "Girl You Know It's True"

Last week we did the cabbage patch this week something a little bittersweet.

First this video is hilarious. What is up with the bad acting in the beginning? However, the song is really catchy.

I say this is bittersweet because I felt bad for Fab and Rob after I saw VH1's Behind the Music. I think their profile was the premiere show.

Fabrice "Fab" Morvan was born in Paris the son of an architect and a pharmacist. His grandparents were from Martinique and at 18 he moved to Berlin to model and sing (I know his West Indians parents must have been thrilled! ha). Rob Pilatus was born in Munich. He was adopted by a German family after his parents, an African-American solider stationed in Germany and a local German woman put him up for adoption. He met Fab at at club and they started a group.

The producer of Milli Vanilli had already cut the album but thought the original singers were not hot enough (crazy), so he hired these two young guys. The record exploded beyond anyone's expectations. The more popular the group/CD became the louder the rumblings grew regarding who actually sang on the CD.

If you saw the Behind the Music there was that infamous clip of them "singing" at a concert when the tracks starting skipping. The audience didn't even care. Given that most of the so-called singers at the top of the charts now lip sync in concerts and get a LOT of vocal help when cutting albums, (i.e. Britney etc.) I wonder if the Millii Vanilli scandal happened today would it be such a big deal?

Fab and Rob said they could sing and wanted to. When they pushed to do so on the new album they were recording, the producer went public. Once the truth came out, their Grammy was stripped away, the record label offered refunds and deleted the album and the masters from the roster. The producer tried to create a Milli Vanilli come back without Fab and Rob but it failed.

I saw Fab in my neighborhood a couple times when I lived in L.A. His hair was really short and I had no idea he was so tall. He is tall, dark and VERY handsome. Stunning. He's still singing and his last CD received good reviews. Unfortunately Rob died of an overdose at 32 in Frankfurt. He never quite got it together after the scandal.

I don't know what is going on with the feature film about them. Here is the video. It came out in 1990. Check out the shoulder pads and like the "Every Little Step" video from Bobby Brown we have some spandex going on.

Have a great weekend.


'A Tuscan view.....from Umbria' said...

Wow! I'm loving those spandex pants!
This really is a flash back, I remember the song and the scandal. I felt really sad when I read what had happened to the Rob guy. Which one is he, in the red or black?
Thanks for this Friday morning trip down memory lane, you got me thinking and humming!

joanne at frutto della passione said...

I haven't heard this in years. Amazing how many memories a song can bring back!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

amanda - You're welcome. Rob was wearing the red outfit.

joanne - I wish I had the CD. It would be a collectors item.

J.Doe said...

I used to love this song. I still do. The acting at the beginning of the video always cracked me up.

Girl in Giro said...

I LOVE the swinging dreds and sidestep shuffle dance move.

glamah16 said...

I loved them so much as a student back in the day in Paris. When you think about the Ashely Simpsons, J Los,Paris Hilton etc. it really was no biggies.Rob was just a sensitive sould for this cruel tough world.

Anonymous said...

tracey k/ohio: I felt sad, too, at the Behind the Music show on these guys. They kinda chewed them up & spit them out, didn't they? And yes, I thought they were both very good looking, especially Fab in the later years after all the 'hair' was gone. Quite yummy & I really liked his voice. Good, sad memories anyway. Thanks for flashback fridays! (LOL!) Have a great weekend!

jstele said...

I remember an interview done with Rob and he talked about how his adopted family rejected him after the scandal. They were embarrassed about it and judged him harshly.

An Entertainment Weekly article about his death:

Los Angelista said...

They were amazingly hot! I don't know anybody that was into them just because of the voices. We were all in love! That Behind the Music was so sad. :(

ninety9 said...

I have that video burned into my brain and my cassette (you read right) is collecting dust in my attic. Time to bring that bad boy out! I was annoyed when they won the Grammy for Best New Artist (Neneh Cherry was up for that award, LOVE HER!) but the public lynching they received was ridiculous. I also remember that BTM episode, it's really very sad and a comment on what public shame can drive a man to do. Debbie Downer here wishing everyone a good weekend.

Anonymous said...

Memories...I remember listening to them on my walkman and dreaming about those guys.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

You know, part of it is the singing, but part of it is the charisma and the performance, and these two certainly had that. Their story is, indeed, sad. I'm glad that Fab's last CD got good reviews.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

j. doe- it's priceless. "Girl, you know it's true."

girl in giro - I like how they tried to bust out a cabbage patch dance type move. ha.

glamah16 - Yes he was. What they did was wrong but I felt the producer should have taken the hit as well. These guys were young and they thought maybe the CD would be a club hit in Europe not be nominated for Grammys.

tracey k - you too. I remember on BTM when Rob said they were praying that they would not win the Grammy for best new artist. They did and everything fell apart.

jstele - His own family? I want to know more about what is was like for him to grow up in Germany as an adopted biracial kid back then.

los angelista - very good point. Many female (and I sure quite a few male) fans were into them because they were ridiculously gorgeous. Plus I'm a sucker for certain accents.

ninety9 - I agree. I forgot Neneh Cherry was up that year for the same award. What is she doing now? I thought she was fierce. I have a secret...I still have a few cassettes and actually bought them to Rome with me. I couldn't throw them out.

ms. violetta - I did too especially when I would listen to "Blame it on the Rain."

jen - They did have charisma. That is something you can't manufacture or learn. You either have it or you don't.

Tracie B. said...

what a fascinating little bio, arlene!

that video was so bad on so many levels. the hair in the face, the jogging in place, the "acting." wow. rob couldn't even lift his arms all the way in the air--shoulders impeded by enormous pads.

i totally had the tape, though.

nine said...

wow...!! excellent... thanks for the spandex flashback

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

tracie b - ha. I didn't notice Rob not being able to lift his arms. The shoes were kinda crazy as well.

nine - you are welcome.

wordtryst said...

Ooh, they were so sweet, so gorgeous! Lipsync scandal or no, I loved them!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

wordtyrst - weren't they!