Sunday, November 06, 2005

Milli Vanilli

I always loved Milli Vanilli. Fab and Rob. The catchy tunes. The funky beats. The dreadlocks. The flashy dance moves, especially the one where they hopped in one place, back and forth, with each leg swinging out directly to the side. (Also a signature move of New Kids on the Block, one of our best American bands). The German accents. Plus, the name: Milli Vanilli. Not quite as impressive as a double name (Duran Duran, Mister Mister), but the alliteration made it so cool.

But it was all about the music. Ah, the music. Thanks to the Internet, you can listen to all of Milli Vanilli's hits and other tracks here. Plus, you can now find videos on YouTube. "Baby, Don't Forget My Number"? Wow, that one had "hit" written all over it. "Girl, I'm Gonna Miss You"? Awesome. And who can forget the pathos of "Blame it on the Rain", written by the inimitable Diane Warren, who has also penned such classics as:
  • Starship's "Set the Night to Music"

  • Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" (in the world of rock, trust me, you don't get much more "authentic" than Aerosmith)

  • Ace of Base's poignant hit "Don't Turn Around"

  • A bunch of songs for Mariah Carey (back when she used to let loose and sing)

  • Michael Bolton's "When I'm Back on My Feet Again," "Missing You Now," "How Can We Be Lovers," and "Time, Love, and Tenderness." (What ever happened to Michael Bolton, by the way? I was always worried that his throat was going to explode on one of his signature high notes.)

Anyway, what a shocker when it turned out that Milli Vanilli was lip syncing! Not like today's serious musicians (Ashlee Simpson, etc.). Suddenly their career was in shambles. They had to give back the Grammy. (Grammys -- never been the same since.) Hardly anyone bought their followup album. (Fab Morgan, though -- what a trooper. He's still making music, keeping the faith.)

To which I say: What's going on, people?

Imagine if they finally proved that Shakespeare's plays were really written by someone else. (Sir Walter Raleigh, Oliver Cromwell, etc.) Would anyone go around to the schools saying, "Hey, we've got get this so-called 'Hamlet' out of the curriculum! We can't study Hamlet if it wasn't really written by 'Shakespeare.'"

No way. Hamlet is a good play (everybody says), no matter who the author really was. (Vasco da Gama? Not sure of the latest theories here.)

Who cares if "Milli Vanilli" was really a couple of middle-aged American white guys. It was still good music, even if Fab and Rob weren't technically using their own "voices" to "sing."

Milli Vanilli: The Shakespeare of our generation.


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