After reading Lenni Rosenblum's blog about Dave Matthews Band, I considered calling this "Fuck you, I Love The Spice Girls," but the thing is, I don't think I'm alone here. The Spice Girls got their share of critical jabs, I'm sure, for for a certain generation of girls (yeah, mostly girls) born in the late '80s, The Spice Girls are an institution immune to ideas about what's cool and what isn't.
We had our own British invasion full of girl power and platform shoes in the mid to late '90s. You may want to write this off as just another silly '90s trend, but the gals still have quite the following-- the group's 2007 reunion show in London sold out in 38 seconds. The ladies are once again inspiring millennial girls to whisper their hopes of a world tour thanks to the announcement of the official Spice Girls musical, Viva Forever, which was announced on the 16th anniversary of the premiere of "Wannabe."
All five girls appeared together and Scary Spice didn't look the least bit scary, in fact, she looked elegant, and center-of-attention-as-usual Ginger laughed a bit about her initial departure from the group.
So, why exactly were The Spice Girls such a big deal? It wasn't just an elaborate marketing ploy, though my Baby Spice doll kept me company during repeated viewings of Spice World. I could argue that the group provided a heavily sugar coated dose of feminism, but what it comes down to is they were simply fun. The target demographic may not have been old enough to date, but we learned that once that day would inevitably come, any suitors would have to "get with our friends" if they wanted to be our lover.
Part of the appeal was also the fact that it was easy to relate to someone in the group, whether she was athletic, innocent, crazy, cool, or a ginger.
The music video for "Say You Will Be There" is what piqued my interest in the group. The set, the costumes, the hair, the dancing...everything just looked so cool and futuristic. The swanky vibe and catchy chorus just made it that much more desirable. Once again the lyrical content was positive: You can give a man everything, but only if he promises he will always be there.
Next from the uber successful debut album Spice was "2 Become 1," which is a really dirty song for a girl group aimed at teens and tweens. But hey, at least they preach safe sex in a not-too-subtle way. Be a little bit wiser baby, put it on, put it on!
Spice Girls continued their world domination with sophomore album Spiceworld (not to be confused with the movie, which came out a few months later and is still super awesome even if it isn't held in the same reverence as something like The Godfather). Spiceworld was yet another album full of danceable tracks, memorable choruses, and more pop and girl power than the group knew what to do with.
The "Spice Up Your Life" video shows a world dominated by the Spice Girls, which is pretty scary when you think about it. Does that mean Victoria Beckham is going to patrol the world on a hovering surfboard and yell "SPICE UP YOUR LIFE!" any time you listen to a different girl band?
Some tracks from Spiceworld break out of the pop/R&B mold, most notably using doowop and big band influences in "Too Much" and "The Lady is A Vamp." "Move Over" is one of the group's catchiest songs, even if it is best remembered as the soundtrack to a Pepsi commercial.
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Spiceworld didn't have as many number one hits as Spice, but it did produce some pretty entertaining music videos, like the somewhat terrifying I-wish-I-was-tripping-on-acid "Viva Forever." The fairy version of the band laid the groundwork for any drag queen wanting to pose as a Spice Girl. "Viva" wasn't a good time for the band, Ginger Spice left in the middle of a tour and the Spice Girls continued as a four-piece, releasing the underwhelming album, Forever.
There's always rumors of the girls getting back together, the latest being an appearance at the 2012 Olympics. The credibility of that rumor is pretty shaky, considering The Spice Girls were supposedly going to perform at the Queen's Jubilee.
In honor of us waxing nostalgic over the Spice Girls this week, who was your favorite member of the group? I liked Baby Spice, but as a blonde, I was biased.