Vanilli Is Back, and Nine Other Dreadful Comebacks

Categories: Talking Shit
Girl, you know it's true. Vanilli (birth name Fab Morvan) one-half of notorious late-'80s lip-synching duo Milli Vanilli, is reportedly constructing a comeback. Most shocking of all, it is not even his first try. Back in '03, the dreadlocked pop-star wannabe released his solo debut, Love Revolution, to tepid reception.

That album was written, sung, and produced by Vanilli himself. This time around, it looks like he wised up and tapped major mix-masters the Alchemist (Eminem's DJ) and world-renowned Dutch house music sensation DJ Tiësto to assist in production. Yes, you read right. Hey, who knows? Perhaps Tiësto & Vanilli will be a top draw at Ultra's main stage next year. (They couldn't be much worse than LMFAO in 2010, right?)

This revival business from one of music industry's most infamous frauds got us thinking about the history of unwelcome, unsolicited comebacks. After the jump, check out our list of other  ill-favored returns.
Bobby Brown

New Edition member and ex-Whitney Houston hubby Bobby Brown's new album, The Masterpiece, was said to be coming out at the start of the year, then pushed back until May, and as of now has no discernible official release date. Delayed new albums are never a good sign of a successful return to form. We seem to think the founder of New Jack Swing might be better off sticking to the 30-year anniversary celebration of New Edition under way than branching out on his own. Need proof, check out the one single from what will be his fifth release, titled "Get Out the Way"-- a flaccid piece of R&B that showcases just how deteriorated Brown's vocals have become.

The New Cars

There is no denying that demand for the bubblegum new-wave pop dished out by '80s group the Cars exists -- and thank goodness that they are now back together. But when the band's seminal frontman, Ric Ocasek, had no interest, Cars' guitarist Elliot Easton and keyboardist Greg Hawkes banked on it after witnessing '80s-influenced rock surge in the mid-decade with bands like the Killers and the Bravery. Without Ocasek, the two persevered and found a willing frontman in soft-rock balladeer Todd Rundgren. Perhaps it's slightly pardonable when a band replaces its lead vocalist because of death. We get it; the surviving members need to make a living and all. But when the lead singer is still kicking -- and is such an undeniable iconic force in the group's output -- replacing him is downright objectionable. Rundgren basically turned Cars' upbeat classics like "Not Tonight" and "Just What I Needed" into easy-listening snoozers.

 Ugly Kid Joe

Annoyingly catchy pop-metal single "Everything About You" skyrocketed this California quintet to the top of the Billboard charts in '92. A mediocre power ballad cover of Harry Chapin's folk classic "Cat's in the Cradle" followed suit and kept them in the limelight for a while. The debut full-length, America's Least Wanted, garnered respectable sales. It was downhill from there, however; the band could never regain the glammy pop appeal of its hit single, and two disastrous albums followed. Recently, the group's drummer, Shannon Larkin (who also played in Godsmack), told journalists that the five-piece had reunited. The band now consists of the same group of fellas that worked on Ugly Kid Joe's worst-selling album, '95's Menace to Sobriety (the album that cost them their record deal with Mercury). Perhaps not the best move, boys? The unnamed big album is said to be completed but does not have any release date.

Los Del Rio

OK, this one is totally made up. As far as we know, Spanish duo Antonio Romeo Monge and Rafael Ruiz, who spawned the global novelty dance craze that was '93's "Macarena" (and altered the future of bar mitzvahs and quinceañeras until the end of time,) have no plans of reuniting after going their separate ways back in '07. But considering that their hit is still such a draw on wedding dance floors, we think bringing back the twosome's rollicking flamenco-pop makes sense. The Spaniards will need a big-time DJ to add some spark and modernity to their sound. Who better than global sound mashup king DJ Diplo? His background in worldly beats and experience in Brazilian carioca is the perfect fit. We can only imagine what jerky dance moves will come out of this pairing (step aside, "Ketchup Song" dance). Los Del Rio with Diplo behind the decks will rightfully earn a spot on the Carl Cox and Friends Stage at next year's Ultra, where thousands of narcotized teenyboppers will partake in the newest dance trend -- El Diplo Dip.

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Ben McLeish
Ben McLeish

The Alice comeback was anything but a disaster. A great album, great live shows, and a respectful replacement of a legendary singer. Nickelback? HA!


Also, NOT TONIGHT is an Original New Cars number, not a "Cars' upbeat classic" at all. Nice 'journalism', man. You done good!


You know not of what you write as it relates to the New Cars and obviously never saw them live. They rocked *hard* and sounded fantastic. Todd's physical stage show was superior to Ric's "just stand there" approach. Ric wrote the original Cars songs but Todd brought them to life. 


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