Blame it on the Lawyers

Blame it on the Lawyers

A Tribute to Milli Vanilli

Profess

Admit it, you sang along to “Girl You Know It’s True” back in the ’80s. You felt bad for Rob and Fab when NARAS took their Grammy for Best New Artist away. Maybe they didn’t do the singing, but Milli Vanilli’s records still sold by the truckload. Now, with the craze for all things ’80s, the band that never was is finally getting their due. Blame it on the Lawyers is a track-by-track remake of the legendary (and only) record the band released, and you might be surprised to see who lined up to participate.

The Presidents of the United States of America do a funky take on “Girl You Know It’s True” that easily tops the original. The Flaming Lips go all psychedelic over “I’m Gonna Miss You.” Tom Jones again teams with the Art of Noise for a full-on Vegas take on “Baby Don’t Forget My Number” that’s even more fun than their take on Prince’s “Kiss” years ago. The Prodigy twist “All or Nothing” almost beyond recognition; I’m willing to bet the ravers will be tearing up the dance floors without even realizing the source material. Debbie Gibson and Tiffany duet on “Blame It on the Rain,” and yes, those male backing vocals are none other than the original non-singers, Rob and Fab themselves. Other artists adding their spins to Milli Vanilli’s special brand of pop include No Doubt, Bush, Savage Garden, Matchbox 20, and Third Eye Blind.

As a special bonus, the album features two new tracks actually sung by Rob and Fab. While they don’t really stand up to the classic Milli Vanilli material, it’s still interesting to hear what might have been. The liner notes by MTV’s John Norris do a good job of detailing the controversy the band generated and explaining why, almost a decade later, they still have a special place in our hearts. There are lots of other bands you wish didn’t do their own singing; isn’t it only fair to pay tribute to the one band that tried to get away with it? Profess Records, P.O. Box 1411, New York, NY 10276; http://www.profess.com

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