Girl You Know It's True (song)
|"Girl You Know It's True"|
|Single by Milli Vanilli|
|from the album Girl You Know It's True|
|Released||25 June 1988|
|Milli Vanilli singles chronology|
"Girl You Know It's True" is a song by 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. While 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. So, basically, the Rocco twins were the first vocals on the track.
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.
Other cover versions
- 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.
- 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 #36 in the UK.
- 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 sample this song.
- 12" maxi - Australia, New Zealand, UK
- "Girl You Know It's True" (NY subway mix)
- "Girl You Know It's True" (balearic mix)
- "Magic Touch"
- 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) — 7:35
- "Girl You Know It's True" (radio mix) — 3:58
- "Magic Touch" — 3:22
- 7" single
- "Girl You Know It's True" — 3:58
- "Magic Touch" — 3:22
Charts and sales
"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.
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