First Hit #1: July 1, 1989
Milli Vanilli is best known for the more fraudulent elements of their career, which has meant that their songs have been basically been wiped from radio play and there is really no indication of what their pop legacy actually is. They are remembered because producer Frank Farian had a nasty habit of having a false front on his groups, a few attractive people to hide the session artists that are responsible for the actual music.
This is a shame, because Baby, Don’t Forget My Number is actually on the cutting edge. It’s a sample-heavy track with rapped verses, something that hasn’t been seen in a while but has been bubbling under the top of the charts for a while. It’s got a little bit of influence from New Jack Swing, a little bit of disco because it’s Frank Farian and he was good at disco, and a bunch of elements that cohere together into a slightly shaky but fresh song. Sure, it should be obvious that the vocals aren’t by Rob and Fab – there are at least three different male vocalists on the track, none of whom sound very similar to each other – but it’s a song that applies pop polish to things that are happening slightly outside of the top of the charts. It’s a shame that Farian didn’t have the confidence to have Milli Vanilli fronted by someone who wasn’t a male model, they might actually have some influence.