Tell me about "Milli Vanilli"

What was so terrible about Milli Vanilli (circa 1988) lip-synching everything? Hollywood (including the music biz) is full of phoney-baloney things, so what’s the difference? Also, as a bonus, how exactly did they get caught? - Jinx

They won a Grammy for “Best New Artist”. They had it stripped from them. If that hadn’t been the case, it probably wouldn’t be anywhere near as notorious.

Ah, yes…guess I forgot that little detail, didn’t I? (Not that I suport the phoney-baloney nature of the whole Hollywood scene. I’m very picky about what movies are going to take up my time, and I watch absolutely zero Reality TV).

Musicians may lip-synch now and then, but they typically lip-synch to their own music. Milli Vanilli, on the other hand, was lip-synching to an entirely different set of vocals. Big difference.

Part of the lip-synching issue (for those who don’t know or forgot) was that it wouldn’t have been that big of a deal if they were just lip-synching. The problem was that it came out that they hadn’t sung the songs originally, either. They were the handsome faces to sell the music.

I hated their music whoever was singing it, but I was confused by people returning the records to the store. If you did like the music, why should it matter if the people on the cover were the real singers or not?

IIRC, a young woman succesfully sued the record company and/or MV for fraud or some such.

I guess they didn’t want to support the label and musicians who were involved in the sham.

That’s logical, but people don’t always buy records for logical reasons.

People felt betrayed by the hoax and felt that they had purchased the music due to false claims. In addition, many of the buyers (they were most popular with teenaged girls) liked the group not just for the music, but because they thought the singers looked hot. The fact that they didn’t sing was a letdown.

I’m guessing there was also a big embarrassment factor.

From Wikipedia:

Most people buy music so as to be able to share in a particular social experience with their group of friends, not out of love for music.

If you’re in the circle that buys Milli Vanilli, it’s because the “idea” behind your mini-culture vibes with the image that Milli Vanilli presents. If it ends up that that image was false, that they aren’t hot intelligent men who compose and sing and are all-over impressive guys, then that might mean that the band is against what you believe in.

Similar at the same time was C + C Music Factory’s Gonna Make You Sweat where the line “Everybody Dance Now” was sung by a plus sized Martha Wash.
However they made it appear that it was song by front woman Zelma Davis (skinny and young) and she even lyp-synced it in the video.

Who, incidentally, was one of the original duo singing under the name The Weather Girls (“It’s Raining Men”).

I was perplexed at the hatred for MV music too. It’s not at all surprising that people would dump the two goofballs who posed as the band, but the compete rejection of the music was telling. It seemed to say that the fans of the band really didn’t give a shit about the music. It was all about the style and looks of those guys (whose name I have forgotten.) One of them is dead now IIRC.

If people had really been into the music they might have made stars out the real musicians and songwriters, but no. It’s as if the curtain had been pulled back and people had jeered Debbie Reynolds. Not that anything MV did was even 1% as good as Singing In The Rain.

I’m not sure that “people are poseurs” was the major reason behind rejecting MV music. As pointed out above, the real singers participated in the charade (either from the start or only after recording) and I’d fully understand anyone who felt lied to and thus stopped listening, even if they liked the music initially.

Think Phoebe from *Friends * doing the music video to Smelly Cat, although she did write the song, so maybe it’s not as bad.

In Meatloaf’s *I Would Do Anything for Love * the woman in the video is NOT the woman who is singing the female vocals, but I believe the singer is credited on the album, so no harm done.

The thing about MV is that they portrayed it like it was their voice singing their songs, and it wasn’t.’d_Do_Anything_for_Love_(But_I_Won’t_Do_That)

Likewise for “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”.

At least Milli Vanilli had a sense of humour about it.