Girl You Know It's True (song)
|"Girl You Know It's True"|
|Single by Milli Vanilli|
|from the album All or Nothing and Girl You Know It's True|
|Released||25 June 1988|
|Milli Vanilli singles chronology|
"Girl You Know It's True" is a song by German dance-pop group Milli Vanilli. Released as the lead single from Milli Vanilli's European debut album, All or Nothing, and the duo's American debut album, Girl You Know It's True, the song peaked at number one on the German Singles Chart, number two in the United States and number three in the United Kingdom, becoming one of Milli Vanilli's most successful singles.
The song was written by Bill Pettaway Jr., Sean "DJ Spen" Spencer, Kevin Liles, Rodney "Kool Rod" Holloman (often misspelled "Hollaman" on single/album credits) and Ky Adeyemo, most of whom were members of the Baltimore, Maryland-based group Numarx, who first recorded the song.
Started by DJ Spen and featuring Kool Rod as the original MC, Numarx was a collective of local DJs who formed a "crew" in the early 1980s, originally consisting of four members. The group expanded to five in the mid-1980s with the addition of Liles as fellow MC. In 1987, having already released material during their early years, Numarx released the single "Rhymes So Def", which received national airplay at the time. The follow-up single to this minor hit was "Girl You Know It's True".
The idea for the song began when the group (Numarx) wrote a rap to a track composed by local musician/songwriter Bill Pettaway. Liles and Holloman wrote the words and Spencer made the beat. The song was recorded at Studio Records in Oxon Hill, Maryland - just outside of Washington, DC. Bill Pettaway, an Annapolis resident was working as a gas station attendant at the time also wrote songs and played guitar on the side. Pettaway, along with Numarx members Spencer, Liles, and Holloman continued to craft the tune. In addition, then-current Starpoint member Kayode "Ky" Adeyemo joined in, co-writing and co-producing the song with Pettaway. Adeyemo played keyboards and wrote the infectious “Ooh Ooh Ooh” hook for the song. Kevin Liles and Kool Rod are the lead vocalists rhyming on the record with Spencer providing some background vocals. However, the most prominent vocalist on the hook and backing vocals of the song is Charles "Ooh Oh Ooh" Christopher. Charles was friends with Pettaway, Adeyemo, and Starpoint keyboardist George Phillips and became the voice that everyone was singing along with. Although the song did not match the success of "Rhymes So Def" in America, "Girl You Know It's True" did connect with audiences on the other side of the Atlantic, becoming a popular hit in the German clubs. It was here that Milli Vanilli producer Frank Farian likely first heard the tune.
Meanwhile, the Numarx would later include their version of "Girl You Know It's True" on their lone album, Our Time Has Come, released in 1988. The group formed a small independent record label, the following year, called Marx Brothers Records releasing several regional hits including “Do It Good”, which was later remixed by Basement Boys and became a dance music hit. The group disbanded in the early 90s. DJ Spen went on to become an on-air radio personality in Baltimore. He later joined the Baltimore-based powerhouse dance music production outfit Basement Boys that produced hit dance music numbers for Michael Jackson, Crystal Waters, Toni Braxton, and Ultra Nate’. He is now a world-renowned DJ that runs an independent dance music label and production company, Quantize Recordings. After working as a local music promoter on the east coast, Liles went on to work for Def Jam Recordings, where he eventually worked his way to the role of President. He is currently CEO of 300 Entertainment in New York, which produces and manages some of the biggest names in R&B and hip hop music. Pettaway was later credited with discovering multi-platinum-selling singer Toni Braxton and has gone on to prominence as a session guitarist for Timbaland and other artists.
Milli Vanilli version
The Milli Vanilli version of "Girl You Know It's True", recorded at Frank Farian's FAR studios in Rosbach, Germany in the spring of 1988, started with only a drum track and two female vocalists, Linda Rocco and Jodie Rocco, American twin sisters living in Germany and successful in the music industry. Frank asked the girls to listen to the Numarx version so they would know what to sing. The record was on a turntable in the studio and Frank played the vocal parts for the girls. There was only the drum track to follow, making the Rocco twins were the first vocals on the track.[clarification needed]
The New York City subway remix of the song features samples from several pop and R&B artists who were popular in the 80's. These include Flavor Flav's signature "Yeah, boyyy" phrase and a piece from Dennis Edwards' 1984 song "Don't Look Any Further."
In popular culture
Milli Vanilli made a cameo appearance performing the song in an episode of NBC's Saturday-morning cartoon The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, based on the video game. The episode, entitled "Kootie Pie Rocks", aired on 27 October 1990. After the lip-syncing scandal broke out, the episode was edited to replace the Milli Vanilli songs featured in the episode ("Girl You Know It's True" and "Blame It On The Rain") with a generic pop instrumental, and specific references and jabs at these songs were removed. However, the group themselves are still mentioned by name.
- 12" maxi - Australia, New Zealand, UK
- "Girl You Know It's True" (NY Subway Mix) - 8:07
- "Girl You Know It's True" (Balearic Mix) - 6:24
- "Magic Touch" - 3:47
- 12" maxi - Canada, U.S.
- "Girl You Know It's True" (Super Club Mix) — 8:33
- "Girl You Know It's True" (G Spot Remix Beats) — 6:22
- "Girl You Know It's True" (Single Version) — 3:48
- "Girl You Know It's True" (NYC Subway Mix) — 8:07
- "Magic Touch" — 3:47
- 12" maxi - Germany, UK
- "Girl You Know It's True" (Super Club Mix) — 8:49
- "Girl You Know It's True" (Radio Mix) — 4:14
- "Magic Touch" — 3:47
- 7" single
- "Girl You Know It's True" — 4:14
- "Magic Touch" — 3:47
- 7" single - UK 2nd issue, Sweden
- "Girl You Know It's True" (NYC Subway Mix Edit/Summer '88 Mix) - 4:00
- "Magic Touch" - 3:47
"Girl You Know It's True" was a massive success in the United States, and peaked at No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending April 1, 1989, kept from the top spot by The Bangles' "Eternal Flame". It became the first of five Top 5 singles for Milli Vanilli and spent a total of 26 weeks on the chart.
|Canada (Music Canada)||Gold||50,000^|
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||Platinum||20,000*|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||250,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||2,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
Other cover versions
Besides the original by Numarx in 1987 and the hit by Milli Vanilli in 1988, the song has been released in many covers:
- The song was covered by Centory featuring Trey D. in 1996 and reached No. 50 on the German singles chart.
- In 1997, Finnish artist Bu Bu Man released a cover version of the song, produced by JS16.
- In 1999, Ray Hamilton Orchestra included an instrumental version in the album Solid Gold of the 80s
- A version was recorded by Keith Duffy and Shane Lynch (of Boyzone) as Keith 'N' Shane in 2000, with the rapped verses taking verbal shots at rival boybands Westlife and 5ive. The choice of song to cover may have been a veiled reference to the suspicions of some that these two members of Boyzone did not perform extensively on the group's records. It reached No. 36 in the UK.
- In 2001, Oli P. & Jan van der Toorn recorded a cover that was released by Sony Music Entertainment Germany with additional German-language rap section performed by van der Toorn. The release charted in Germany reaching No. 17 on the official German chart staying for 10 weeks. It also charted on Ö3 Austria Top 40 peaking at No. 40. The song also made it to the Swiss Charts peaking at No. 97. An official music video was also released for the song.
- In 2003, Stevie Brock covered the song on his only album Stevie Brock (album).
- In 2007, a rap cover version was made by the German R&B duo Lemon Ice made up of Gunther Göbbel (Geeno) and Jay Low. It reached No. 26 on the German singles chart.
- Danish artist Burhan G had a hit with a Danish language hit single "Jeg vil ha' dig for mig selv" that largely samples on the original song. Taken from his self-titled album Burhan G, "Jeg vil ha' dig for mig selv" (translated as "I want you for myself") reached No. 8 in Tracklisten, the Danish official Top 40 singles chart.
- Club remixes to the single "Sentimientos" by Ivy Queen sampled on the song.
- In 2010, the German Dance/Electronic formation Movetown released an EP club version of the song with additional lyrics and musical composition and arrangement.
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- "1988 Belgian Flanders Singles Chart" (in Dutch). ultratop.be. Archived from the original on 8 April 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
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- "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Milli Vanilli; 'Girl You Know It's True')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
- Scapolo, Dean (2007). The Complete New Zealand Music Charts: 1966–2006. Maurienne House. ISBN 978-1-877443-00-8.
- "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
- "British single certifications – Milli Vanilli – Girl You Know Its True". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 6 January 2021. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Girl You Know Its True in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
- "American single certifications – Milli Vanilli – Girl You Know Its True". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 6 January 2021. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH.
- "German Charts - Centory". Archived from the original on 2012-09-27. Retrieved 2011-05-22.
- DanishCharts: "Jeg Vil Ha' Dig For Mig Selv" Page
- MoveTown – Girl You Know It's True