Explaining lip-syncing to someone unfamiliar with the term is like recounting the plot of a bad after-school special about drugs.
You start with an idealistic protagonist that’s totally against it, who’s then pressured into doing it by being told that everyone does it and thems the brokes if you want to be cool.
The results can be (kinda, sorta) seamless or they can be absolutely disastrous. Of course, sometimes the end result is just plain iconic. Take these, for example.
Reports conflict about this one. Some say the whole thing was a complete piss-take, Kurt Cobain insisted it was a tribute to Smiths crooner Morrissey. But judging by Kurt’s ‘palm guitar’, we’re thinking the band were peeved about having to sing to a backing track.
Whenever someone brings up lip-syncing, the name Milli Vanilli instantly springs to mind. For those that were too young to remember, this ‘R&B; duo’ were discovered to be frauds and were subsequently stripped of their Grammys and their dignity.
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Having given us one of our favourite Countdown moments ever, Iggy Pop recently explained what happened on that faithful day. Apparently, the Godfather of Punk was under the impression he would be playing live with his band and was pissed off about having to mime on TV.
We might have to look this up, but we’re pretty sure Matt Bellamy doesn’t play drums in Muse. Come to think of it, Chris Wolstenholme isn’t the guitar player and hey, just what is Dominic Howard doing playing the bass?
Though Queen were famously against mimed performances, the San Remo Festival was supposed to be broadcast right around Europe, and because of the complexity of the telecast, the band were required to mime their appearance.
See, the idea behind lip-syncing is you move your lips to be in sync with the music that’s playing so the audience thinks you’re performing live. Somebody might want to pass this memo on to Iggy Azalea, because she’s doing it wrong.
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“I forgot the words to the song, and I was miming really badly, so I had to act quick. And did. Perfect!” PIL frontman John Lydon later said of his appearance on American Bandstand, during which he invited the audience to dance with the band, who swapped their instruments.
Apparently, Iron Maiden aren’t big fans of mimed performances. This is a lot like Iggy Pop’s iconic Countdown appearance, except imagine an entire band doing what he did. Instruments are swapped, members take turns lip-syncing, and all hell generally breaks loose.
Infamous – that’s the only word to describe Ashlee Simpson’s, uh, infamous appearance on SNL. Everything about it is iconic, from the moment the band realise something’s gone wrong to that ridiculous jig. We could honestly watch this all day.
This starts off badly and then it just gets worse. From the moment Fiddy appears to the crowd, it’s clear he’s lip-syncing… badly, really badly, like, horribly. Then, when the vocals don’t play over the instrumental, he just begins to walk around the audience like he’s trying to find his cat.
Making fun of an AFL Grand Final performance is like playing tennis with the net down… against a toddler… who’s asleep… and you’re doubling with Roger Federer… and you’ve paid off the umpire. So that’s why we won’t be ridiculing this, no sir.