Friday, February 22, 2013

Blame It On The Rain by Milli Vanilli

At first the story of Milli Vanilli was one of triumph. Then it became one of scandal and finally it ended in tragedy. When Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus signed on to be the faces of the pop group Milli Vanilli, they had no idea how it would change their lives.

Producer Frank Farian, after recording an pop album, felt that he needed a more marketable duo so he hired Fab and Rob. The album Girl You Know It’s True went on to be a Grammy winning success.

Then during a live performance, the track they were lip-syncing to started to skip and the truth about the record came out. Then the scandal erupted and they had to give their Grammy’s back. After being butt of jokes for years and finally being able to tell their side of the story on VH1’s Behind The Music, Milli Vanilli began work on an new album that would feature their own voice. Sadly on Arpil 2, 1998, Rob Pilatus was found dead in a hotel. His death was ruled and accidental drug and alcohol overdose.

When I think about Milli Vanilli, it always makes me sad. People overreacted. Look, I know they lied and they mislead the public, but we’re talking lip-syncing. It would be one thing it they performed on stage as classical musicians. These are pop musicians who are dancing around in a way that makes it nigh impossible for them to sing well without at least a backing track.

Getting offended or surprised by a pop singer lip-syncing, is like getting angry about the fact the McDonalds is selling you previously frozen food. Yes, Milli Vanilli took it one step further by not even singing on the original recording but in the world of music scandals (which includes murder, shootings and extortion), this is a pretty minor offense.

The lead single “Girl You Know It’s True,” is really silly and campy. It’s dated, the rap is contrived and is pretty forgettable, but the other single from their album “Blame It On The Rain” really has heart.

I came across this video of Fab performing this song live and it was really touching. After everything Fab has been through, he’s making it happen on stage. These guys were put through such a ridiculous media storm and all they were doing was trying to entertain people.

There’s really not a more perfect song than “Blame It On The Rain,” to reflect about the legacy of Milli Vanilli. Sometimes focusing on who’s to blame isn’t the important thing. Did Fab and Rob deserve to be punished for what they did? I’m not sure, but they did get punished. I’m not saying that we should take blame for Rob’s death, but our reaction couldn’t have helped.

The reason we look for blame is to provide us a way to move forward. Sometimes we can do this without beating ourselves up or punishing someone else. No, that’s not a cop-out, sometimes it’s the best thing to do, because mistakes lie with the people who make them whether or not we can see that clearly.

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