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19 June 2007 @ 08:36 pm
Were Vanilla really the worst girl"band" in the history of the Universe?  

Poor Vanilla. Widely considered as being the most awful thing to ever be allowed near a recording studio, their complete lack of talent is legendary. It's not all bad though -- being remembered for being terrible is better than not being remembered at all, right? I'm sure that Made in London, Fem@il, Girltalk and Thunderbugs would gladly give up their hair straightening irons to be in the same position. Then again, maybe not...

Obviously, the people involved in voting have no idea of girlband misdemeanours down through the years. As you can see, this subset of the Official Scale of Girlband Dreadfulness clearly indicates that worse groups that Vanilla existed and some still do to this day. Speaking of which, have Destiny's Child split up yet?

I've always had a bit of an obsession with Vanilla and I know that I'm not the only one. Seeing as how VH1 are unlikely to ever do a Behind the Music special about this lot (focusing instead on artists that we know everything about already), I thought it time to share years of meticulous research which has culminated in a project called "Vanilla: The Plain Truth" (ahem). Pay attention there at the back.

Vanilla were invented in 1997, supposedly as a bet between record companies to see who could come up with the most aesthetically displeasing and vocally challenged group of performers.


The end result consisted of a ginger Tori Spelling fembot, the Wicked Witch of the West's illegitimate daughter, an inflatable sex doll and someone who looked like a regular fixture on the pages of Reader's Wives.

Their first single was called "No Way, No Way" and was based around that "Mah Na Mah Na" thing from The Muppet Show. It sounded like like the girls were dragged out of bed at 4 am and forced to read the lyrics off cue-cards placed two miles away.

The video is almost indescribable, but I will try. Vanilla teeter drunkenly at the edge of their local swimming "baths" waggling their fingers whilst being blinded by those tin-foil fans that Marcia Brady used to place under her chin to ensure an optimum tan.

There is an absolutely terrible speaking part in the middle that goes, "Did you 'ear what that guy jus' said to mehh? I could 'ave any gel 'ere, but tonoight's your lucky noight", "No way! Ee said vat to me laaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrst week, etc."

You would need to live in Albert Square to understand it, and even then it would be a stretch.

Amazingly, "No Way, No Way" was turned into a work of near genius thanks to a remix by a Xenomania, who admittedly only used about 3% of the original song, excised the speaking bit and added a delicate flute solo.

Vanilla famously once did a photo shoot with knicker elastic marks clearly visible on their midriffs.

Blue Peter pulled a "hilarious" April Fool's Day prank whereby they pretended that Mabel the dog was joining Vanilla. Someone unkind might ask if the general public would have noticed an extra dog in the group.

Other less than nice comments include, "What made them think that anyone would want to get fresh with them?",  "It was like they were expelling slurry every time they spoke" and "They were the epitome of a slut."

The girls were given a second bite of the cherry and allowed to release "True to Us" which unsurprisingly was as dull as ditchwater in it's original format. Once again Xenomania sprinkled some poptastic dust all over it, disproving the old "you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" proverb once and for all.

If you are as lucky as I am and own the "True to Us" CD single, you will notice that it contains the Xenomania version of their previous smash hit. Therefore, it is not just a single but in fact a Greatest Hits LP! If that's not value for money, I don't know what is.

No one seems to know if a video for "True to Us" was ever made, but it would probably have been filmed in the middle of a supermarket much like this if so.

Rather sensibly, Vanilla decided to call it a day at this stage and bowed out on a high.

Depending on who you believe, Vanilla's third single would have been a cover of Bananarama's "Love in the First Degree" or a song called "Realise". Someone who heard the latter described it thusly: "Let's just say that Xenomania would have had their work cut out for them."

Sadly, this is where the tale of Vanilla ends. There was talk recently that the girls were reforming to release a protest song about unfair wages called -- wait for it -- "Low Pay, No Way".

It never transpired. Apparently, the money wasn't right.
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
Wayne: Danniijarvt on June 20th, 2007 03:31 pm (UTC)
"Smack the Pony" used to do sketches like that, but I can't find any online. People did really think that Vanilla were a spoof on girl groups.
spenceruk: Freddie Ljungberg - Sad Freddiespenceruk on June 19th, 2007 05:15 pm (UTC)
Okay my friends make comments about my music collection but I have to take my hat off to you fella, I've got nothing on you *sobs&
Wayne: Hit Factoryjarvt on June 20th, 2007 03:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks! There's better (worse?) to come too.
bob: kirkbygbrat on June 19th, 2007 06:04 pm (UTC)
i LOVE the xenomania remixes!!!

thank god you fingered the muppets.... i would've layed awake for hours trying to remember where the manamana came from, oy! i had it narrowed down to a cartoon. so, i was close but going in the wrong direction. i would've never remembered and stayed up all night long.

hilarious post! the photos of all the girls crack me up. they all look like photos from a porn ad or a billboard for shelley's house of girls. lol. thanks for the remixes.... xenomania is a genious!
Wayne: Craig Van Pattenjarvt on June 20th, 2007 03:30 pm (UTC)
Fingering the muppets just sounds wrong!
bob: fist me elmobygbrat on June 20th, 2007 04:37 pm (UTC)
LOL .... oy, the muppets can take it... a finger is nothing compared to the whole hand.... i imagine. :P
Wayne: Freddy Jasonjarvt on June 20th, 2007 04:50 pm (UTC)
Muppets...fisting. This is territory I don't want to explore!