17 February 2007
The Greatest story ever lip-synched
The Milli Vanilli story, a tale of how two men were taken from obscurity to fame and then to opprobrium is to be made into a Universal Pictures film according to yesterday’s Guardian . The screenplay is being written by Jeff Nathanson, whose credits include Catch Me If You Can is quoted as saying "I've always been fascinated by fakes and frauds, and in this case you had guys who pulled off the ultimate con, selling 30 million singles and then becoming the biggest laughing stocks of pop,"
Milli Vanilli was assembled by German producer Frank Farian (he was also responsible for Boney M) to provide a formulaic mix of, rap and soul to fleece, er I mean appeal to, a teen audience. He brought in Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus to lip-synch over the voices of vocalists Brad Howell and Charles Shaw. It was a successful formula that produced three US number one singles and a debut album that sold six million copies.
When Morvan and Pilatus started pressurising Farian to let them sing real vocals, he blew the whistle on them by revealing that they had never sung on any of their records. The band was stripped of its Grammy - the first act ever to suffer such ignominy. An album of their real singing as Rob & Fab sold just 2,000 copies. Pilatus died of a drug overdose in 1998.
I was brought up on a diet of new wave and heavy metal so why on earth am I posting an item about Milli-bloody-vanilli? To be honest I feel a little sorry for them (honest!). While it is inevitable that the truth would have come out at some stage who was the real villain? Pilatus and Morvan or Farian?
I can state, however, that this will be my first and last post on the subject of Milli Vanilli!