When you Google, “Vanilla girl group,” a strange thing happens. You don’t get dozens of articles explaining why Vanilla was the greatest girl group of our time. Instead, you get an article from 2007 titled, “Were Vanilla Really The Worst Girl Band In The History Of The Universe?” The Spice Girls must’ve wrote that slam piece together when they reunited. The Spice Girls were born in 1994, and two short years later, another British girl group named after a much more expensive spice (No, seriously vanilla is one of the most expensive spices. Coincidence? I thinkfuckingnot.) was born.
I always thought that Vanilla was made up of students from the Royal Academy of Music who formed an intimate choir of skilled vocalists as a response to the unfounded complaint that pop music is meaningless fluffy trash. But apparently, there was a rumor that Vanilla was put together after two A&R dudes bet each other that they could get the worst song ever to #1. The joke was on them, because Vanilla’s song never got to #1, and the song was a flawless musical blossom for your ears.
Sisters Frances Potter and Alison Potter, and their friends Alida Swart and Sharon Selby were Vanilla. In 1997, EMI put out Vanilla’s first single, “No Way, No Way,” which is also what most people with the sense of hearing scream about ten seconds into the song before turning it off. “No Way, No Way” was based on the song “Mah Nà Mah Nà” by Italian composer Piero Umiliani. Piero died in 2001, and I’m sure he thanks the universe that he lived long enough to hear this masterpiece, which is the musical equivalent of a monotone fart. And the video is also a high-budget masterpiece from the community pool they shot at to the stunning ensembles fished out of a thrift store bin. Vanilla looked like they held the Guinness World Record for having the most refund requests from people who ordered Spice Girls impersonators for their party and got them instead:
They released a couple of more singles, but both flopped. EMI dropped them and they later broke up. But before they broke up, they won dozens of accolades like “Worst Music Video Ever” and one of the “100 Worst Pop Records.” Vanilla has never reunited, and that’s because unlike that other girl group, they don’t do music for the check. They do it for the ART.
Pic: Last.fm (For Killa Fish)