Girl you know it’s trueGirl you know it’s trueGirl you know it’s trueGirl you know it’s trueGirl you know it’s… And off the stage Rob ran. The rest is history, as is the duo. A skipping recording happened during a live performance for MTV in July 1989. The act was found out: Milli Vanilli were fake.
Rob Pilatus and Fabrice ‘Fab’ Morvan met at a dance seminar in Munich Germany. They bonded, and were both looking for fame. They did a bit of singing, but real fame knocked on their doorstep with the advent of Frank Farian (the producer that made us still remember Boney M). He saw something in the duo, and promised them the success they wanted.
Things went a bit in the other direction from that moment on. The song was written, and created, and afterward Rob and Fabrice needed to sign on the dotted line. They didn’t even have to audition. Only when they were in the studio and did the song, Frank found it their voice was just not good enough. What to do?
No worries said Frank. We’ll find a studio singer to do the job, and you keep acting as if you are singing. Nobody will find out. He basically duped them into it, and the two young guys didn’t get on to it. Maybe they liked the feeling of fame, but they sure were the victims of a nefarious plot.
The album won prize after prize, but it was soon found out it was all a fake. The resulting backlash was disastrous. The Emmy they got had to be returned, and they were fired by Frank Farian. They were already planning the second album at that time.
Of course it is easy to sing this song of shame, but I don’t completely agree. The use of studio musicians was and is common in the studio system. Frank F did the same thing with Boney M, although there at least the live performances were still done by singer Maizie Williams.
I’m not saying the music was very good, but I do think it was product of that time, and so was the way it was produced. All told, I think it is a bit of a sad story. Rob and Fab also didn’t enjoy it very much. They were used. They tried for themselves, but they never got their own success. Their debut as Rob & Fab only sold 2000 records.
Rob died from a drug overdose in 1998, barely nine years after the release of the infamous album. John Davis, one of the real voices died earlier this year.