Monday, December 17, 2007

Spice gals hitoire - taken from the official spice gals blog

Late 1992
Emma, Geri, Mel B, Melanie C and Victoria, meet on the auditions circuit while chasing work in shows and as TV extras.

Friday 4 March 1993
400 girls have one minute each to sing and dance at the Danceworks studios in Balderton Street, near Selfridges in London. They had all seen an ad in The Stage newspaper, placed by father-and-son management team Bob & Chris Herbert, which said:
R. U. 18-23 with the ability to sing/dance?
R U streetwise, outgoing, ambitious, and dedicated?
Heart Management Ltd are a widely successful music industry management consortium currently forming a choreographed, singing/dancing, all-female pop act for a recording deal.
Open audition
Danceworks, 16 Balderton Street
Friday 4 March
11am – 5.30pm
Please bring sheet music or backing cassette

Melanie C sings I'm So Excited by the Pointer Sisters.
Mel B sings The Greatest Love Of All by Whitney Houston
Victoria Adams sings Mein Herr from Cabaret

17 May 1993
Second and final auditions are held at Nomis Studios, Sanctuary Road, W14.
Geri misses the first audition because she was working that day. She begs Chris Herbert to give her a try. At the second audition, Geri looks older than the others and when asked her age she replies: "I'm as old as you want me to be. I'll be ten with big boobs if you want." She won the panel over with her charm.

From the auditions, girl group Touch is formed. The original line-up is Victoria Adams, Melanie Brown, Melanie Chisholm, Geri Halliwell and Michelle Stephenson.

7 June 1993
The girls meet for the first time at Trinity Studios in Woking, Surrey. Chris rents a house for them (58 Boyn Hill Road, near Maidenhead) and the girls move in – living frugally because they have no wages. They are given minimal pocket money.

Every day the girls go to the studio to work on their singing & dancing. Geri has to put in the most work because she isn't as good as the others. She often says: "Time is running out. This is my last chance and I am going to make it."

It soon becomes clear that Michelle doesn't fit in, so she leaves to care for her sick mum and to then go on to university. She is replaced by Emma Bunton.

"It was quite funny coming into the band late because the others had all known each other for a bit. I had to meet them at a train station the first time and there were quite a few girls hanging around. But as soon as I saw them I knew who they were. We just clicked straight away." – Emma

Emma's first night with the girls is her first night away from home. "I got a bit homesick, so I went and had a cry on Geri's shoulder. That linked us and it's been the same with all the other girls," she says.

July 1993 - March 1994
The girls live in the house in Maidenhead, rehearsing dance routines, going to the studio and eating a lot of toast.

August 1993
Geri comes up with the name Spice during an aerobics class. It seems to fit because "Because we're all really different," says Emma. And they've already recorded a song called Sugar and Spice.

7 December 1993
The girls perform a showcase at Nomis Studios in West London, and meet industry figures, producers and songwriters.

3 March 1994
The girls officially take control of the band. They don't agree with Chris Herbert's idea to dress them all the same and sing cover versions. They retrieve the backing tracks of the songs they had been working on at Trinity Studios and left.

October 1994
With a catalogue of songs, demos and dance routines, the girls set out to find a manager. Travelling around in Geri's car with a Filofax and a phone, they go to meetings around the country. After a couple of months of not getting anywhere they meet Simon Fuller of 19 Management.

“I remember them coming into my office for the first time very well” says Simon later.“They had so much energy and determination, all of them were talking at once and they were very funny. They were very different to the boy groups that were dominating the chart at that time, they had a real sense of personality and I knew that we could achieve great things together”.

March 1995
The girls sign with Simon Fuller / 19 Management and immediately go into the recording studio to start recording the songs that would make them famous.

March – August 1995
Simon Fuller’s first job is to arrange a record deal, and several record labels start to make offers to sign the band. Virgin Records throws a surprise party for them before they fly off to explore record deals in LA – club class.

September 1995
Simon Fuller signs the Spice Girls to Virgin Records and immediately arranges for the girls to pay back their first management company for its investment during the early days of their career. The name Spice is already in use by a US rapper. So, the group name is changed to Spice Girls.

14 October 1995
The Spice Girls are guests of honour at a race meeting at Kempton Park in Surrey. While posing for a photo call with a statue of Desert Orchid, the girls take control and begin to climb on the statue. Race goers look on in disgust and it causes uproar, and it gives them their first publicity – receiving tabloid and local television coverage.

"Simon arranged a day out at the races to introduce us to everybody – all the media-type people. We thought it was funny because it was all stiff upper lip and we were just our normal selves and being really quite mad. Anyway, we jumped on the statue of that old horse, Desert Storm. I've got a great photo of us on it, and you can see the security guards in the background running towards us. There were a few journalists there and I remember we took one into the girls' toilet where the acoustics were good and then sang Wannabe, a capella." – Geri

November 1995
Simon Fuller signs the Girls to music publishers Windswept Pacific, and then takes them to the States to undertake a promotional tour in LA.

April 1996
The girls shoot their first video, for Wannabe, at St Pancras Station, London.

Geri on the video: "I remember the chaos and the cold. It wasn't very controlled – we didn't want it to be. We wanted the camera to capture the madness of Spice. I had very big shoes on and fell over many times. I watched it again recently and thought it was like a comedy, really. All the other girls gave me the award for being the biggest prat in it! It's the most spontaneous of our videos."

May 1996
The video for Wannabe gets a trial airing on The Box music channel. It's an instant hit, and is played 70 times a week. The first music press interview appears in Music Week.

19 June 1996
Quarter-page mini article appears in Smash Hits, titled "Introducing: Spice Girls"

July 1996
A feature in Top of the Pops magazine gives the Spice Girls their nicknames, Posh, Baby, Scary, Sporty and Ginger. Editor Peter Loraine suggests the names during lunch with the girls in Notting Hill.
"I simply said it would be a good idea if they had some nicknames. The girls liked the idea, so I had an editorial meeting back at the office and about four of us started thinking of names. Posh was the first one to be thought up because Victoria looks pretty sophisticated. The rest were pretty easy really because the girls' characters were already really strong. The names jumped out at us. We laughed the most when we came up with Scary. Jennifer Cawthron, who was also from Leeds, came up with that one because Mel B was so loud and had tried to take over our whole photo shoot.
"We ran the names for a couple of issues and the first time the girls saw them they thought it was funny. Then the newspapers started picking up on the names and they cropped up everywhere until they were fully accepted by everyone."

July 1996
A full-page advertisement appears in Smash Hits, saying: "Wanted: Anyone with a sense of fun, freedom and adventure. Hold tight, get ready – Girl Power is comin' at you."

8 July 1996
Debut single Wannabe is released. On the single, Mel C says: "It was recorded in under an hour. Whereas, a lot of the other songs on the album took two or three days at least."

14 July 1996
Wannabe enters the chart at number 3.

18 July 1996
The first national newspaper interview appears in the Daily Star.

21 July 1996
Wannabe climbs to number one (where it stays for seven weeks); the Spice Girls are the first all-female group to top the charts with their debut single. Wannabe stays at number one for seven weeks and goes on to sell four million copies. It reaches the top spot in 31 countries, making it the most successful debut single ever.

Wannabe steals the limelight from two ex Take That stars. The single knocks Gary Barlow's debut solo track Forever Love off the top spot, and it forces Robbie Williams to settle for a number two with his debut single, Freedom.

Victoria says: "We're as shocked as everyone else by the success of Wannabe. It doesn't put us under any pressure to follow it up. If it's the only number one we ever have, at least it proves what we're capable of. It's brilliant because it was the public who put it there, so it shows they enjoy what we do, but it's still just a paper fact about record sales. It's only one tiny step for us as a band. We've already recorded an album which we're incredibly proud of and that is what we're really anxious for people to get into."

September 1996
Simon Fuller takes the girls back to the USA to film the video for second single Say You'll Be There in the Mojave Desert.

Emma says: "This was one of my favourites. We were out in the desert and all getting on really well, so it was a complete laugh. It was very hot and I nearly got sunstroke! Two of the nights we went back to this hotel in the middle of nowhere – it was like Thelma and Louise.”

Mel B says: "It was really friendly and vibey – the crew were great. One night, Geri and I drove out into the desert. It was absolutely amazing. I sat on the car roof and gazed up at the stars. I felt so in touch with everything."

14 October 1996
Say You’ll Be There is released. Mel C says: "We recorded it in our trackies and socks in our studio at the producer's house. It was a cool vibe, dead laid-back. A lot of sentiment in the song is to do with what we've been through together. We've always been there for each other, so we wrote about that."

Emma say: "The track was recorded in Elliot Kennedy's studio, which he actually named Spice, because it had never been used before."

20 October 1996
Say You'll Be There enters the chart at number one, replacing Boyzone's cover version of Words.

4 November 1996
The debut album, Spice, is released and is awarded silver disc status on advance sales alone. Two million copies are sold in the first two weeks, and it goes on to become the biggest album of 1996 in the UK, and the biggest album of 1997 in the US, selling 10 million copies worldwide in less than seven months. Later updates put the UK sales figure around three million and worldwide sales at some 23 million.

November 1996
The Spice Girls attract a crowd of 500,000 when they switch on the Christmas lights in Oxford Street, London – bringing traffic in the West End to a standstill. It is one of several events staged by Simon Fuller to give them added publicity and boost their record sales.

At the same time, Simon Fuller starts to set up million pound sponsorship deals for the Spice Girls with Pepsi, Walkers, Impulse, Cadbury’s and Polaroid. They make the girls more famous than ever, as well as ensuring that their records are constantly being played on the radio, on TV and even in shopping centres and supermarkets.

December 1996
The Spice Girls win three trophies at the Smash Hits awards at the London Arena, including best video for Say You'll Be There.

12 December 1996
The band are interviewed by The Spectator. The issue is the highest selling in the 200-year history of the magazine, and has political commentators beginning to assess the influence of "The Spice Vote".
Geri's "Maggie was the first Spice Girl" is the sound bite which captured the headlines.
What Geri says is: "We Spice Girls are true Thatcherites. Thatcher was the first Spice Girl, the pioneer of our ideology, Girl Power. Thatcher had ideals all right – we love Maggie." She added: "We met Tony Blair and he seemed nice enough. His hair's all right, but we don't agree with his tax policies. He's just not a safe pair of hands for the economy."
Victoria says she would never vote Labour but added that John Major was a "boring pillock".
The girls aren't happy to be labelled Thatcherites – particularly Mel B because she's an anarchist and Mel C who is a Labour supporter.

16 December 1996
2 Become 1 is released and sells 209,000 copies in the first three days alone.

Victoria says: "This video was my favourite. My coat was wicked in it and it was really different to the other videos – shot entirely in the studio with high technology and loads of effects. It was really weird having to sing passionately into the camera – I was feeling a right mug in front of all those people singing 'wanna make love to you baby'."

22 December 1996
The Spice Girls have their third number one with 2 Become 1, and their first Christmas number one. It sells 500,000 copies in its first week, making it the fastest selling single of the year.

December 1996
Mel C looks back on the year, saying: "Mad! Totally messed-up and mad. This had been the craziest most knackering year of our lives!"

January 1997
During the promotional tour of the US and Canada, Wannabe goes in at number 11 on the US Billboard chart, and is the highest ever entry for a British band in the USA – beating the Beatles by one place – and the joint highest entry for a debut act (tying with Alanis Morissette).

February 1997
The video for Who Do You Think You Are? is filmed for Comic Relief, featuring Spice wannabes The Sugar Lumps.

24 February 1997
The girls collect two Brit Awards. Fans vote Say You’ll Be There as Best Video and Wannabe wins Best Single. Geri's union jack dress from the girls' live performance hogs the headlines the next day. The following year, the dress was sold for £36,200 at auction.
During the ceremony Geri's boobs pop out twice, but she says: "This is the best night of our lives, so I don't care what happens."
Liam Gallagher causes a stir before the event by refusing to attend, saying he would "probably chin the Spice Girls".

"I've never been so nervous in my life and I will never be that nervous again. I had to be physically put in the car to take me to the Brits show. I was proud – really, really proud. I will never forget Ben Elton saying: 'We've got Sporty, Baby, Posh, Ginger and Scary!' and I remember thinking: 'Well, this is it. I'm going on.' Once on stage, I sort of went on autopilot. It was great though." – Victoria

13 February 1997
Wannabe climbs to number one in the US singles chart, knocking Toni Braxton's Un-Break My Heart off the top. The Spice Girls are the first British group to have a US number one with their first single. The Beatles only managed number 12.

3 March 1997
Double A side Mama/Who Do You Think You Are is released.

Victoria says: "It took a long time to film it, but it was nice that our mums were there and could see what we're doing. They were actually knackered at the end of the day and I said to my mum, 'Ha! Now you know how I feel every day.'"

5 March 1997
Sales of Wannabe reach four million, making it the most successful debut single ever.

9 March 1997
Mama/Who Do You Think You Are goes straight in at number one – making the Spice Girls the first group in history to have four consecutive number one hits. Profits from the single go to Comic Relief and provide the biggest individual contribution of 1997. Worldwide CD sales reach six million albums and seven million singles.

15 March 1997
Simon Fuller takes Victoria Adams to a Chelsea v Manchester United game. Afterwards he introduces her to David Beckham for the first time, in the players' lounge.

26 March 1997
At the Capital FM awards, the Spice Girls win London's Favourite Female Group.

28 March 1997
Girl Power! The Spice Girls first book and manifesto is launched at the Virgin Megastore. It sells 200,000 copies within a day, and is eventually translated into more than 20 languages.

30 March 1997
Spice Girls launch Britain's new Channel 5, singing a re-written version of the 1960s hit 5-4-3-2-1.

March 1997
The album Spice achieves quadruple platinum status across Europe…

5 April 1997
… and quadruple platinum sales of more than 400,000 in Italy alone.

14 April 1997
Spice: the Official Video Volume One is released. It sells half a million copies.

May 1997
The Spice Girls sign a deal with Pepsi for a promo single – Step To Me which comes free, when fans collect special ringpulls. Pepsi records its biggest-ever take up on the promotion.

May 1997
Simon Fuller has one more ace up his sleeve for the band: a major Hollywood film. Written by his brother Kim Fuller, Spiceworld is announced by the Spice Girls at the Cannes Film Festival. They appear on top of the Hotel Martinez entrance for a photo call and bring the area to a standstill.

11 May 1997
The girls perform their first live British gig for the Prince's Trust 21st anniversary concert at the Manchester Opera House. At the show, they breach royal protocol when Mel B and then Geri plant big kisses on Prince Charles's cheeks. Geri told HRH: "You're very sexy. We could spice up your life," and pinched his bottom.

15 May 1997
Spice goes to number one in the US album charts, making the Spice Girls the first British group to top the US charts with a debut album. On the same day, Say You'll Be There enters the Billboard charts at number five.
Mel B says: "We can't believe the album is top of the chart – it's mind-blowing. We were hoping to get in the top ten, but not this."
Geri adds: "It's great. This isn't luck – we have worked damned hard for it."
And in a joint statement, the girls declared: "Pop is back by Girl Power demand and we're thrilled. This proves that with hard work and determination you can do anything. The encouragement of our fans has helped us in our mission to conquer America."

29 May 1997
At the Ivor Novella Awards the girls win International Hit Of The Year and Bestselling British Single in the UK for Wannabe.

"Novellos are special because they're for writing, which is something we don't often get recognised for. Most people don't actually believe that we write our songs, even thought we do. It was great to get them – they're quite serious awards." – Mel C

"It was good to be recognised for not just standing there and singing but for actually having a brain and being able to write songs. That was very important. Actually, I remember thinking I wish I had worn a different pair of knickers because Mel B pulled my skirt up on stage." – Victoria

June 1997
Spiceworld the movie begins filming, with the second album being recorded on location.

"My favourite scene in the film is the one we shot in the Albert Hall. It was performing and that's what we like doing best. We did our new single, Spice Up Your Life, which is really good, and we were all done up and had mics on like Madonna. All the fans were there, which gave us a taster of what our concerts are going to be like. We all loved it." – Mel C

July 1997
Spice has now sold more than 14 million copies. Between them, the singles Say You’ll Be There and 2 Become 1 have reached number 1 in 53 countries.

1 August 1997
Filming of the movie finishes. It is released on Boxing Day and it becomes one of the most profitable films in the history of British cinema. It grossed a total of £8.5 million in the UK, and $30 million in America.

October 1997
Fifth single Spice Up Your Life enters the charts at number one, the girls' fifth consecutive number one hit single.

October 1997
Simon Fuller takes the Spice Girls east to perform their first live concert to 40,000 fans in Istanbul, Turkey.
“It was Las Vegas on The Bosphorous. In terms of pure spectacle, you’d be hard pressed to find anything better.” – The Guardian.
“The girls’ debut was competent and capable and a triumph.” – The Sun.

1 November 1997
The Girls travel to South Africa to meet Nelson Mandela, who announces, “These are my heroes. This is one of the greatest moments in my life”. Prince Charles is in attendance, and when asked if it was his greatest moment he responds “second greatest. The first time I met them was the greatest.”

3 November 1997
The album Spiceworld is released. It is their second number one album, and makes the Spice Girls the first British band since the Beatles to have two albums in the US chart at the same time. Spice and Spiceworld have amassed enough sales for one out of every two people in Britain to own a Spice Girls album.

6 November 1997
After performing at the MTV Europe Music Awards at the Ahoy Stadium, Rotterdam the Spice Girls make the decision to take over the running of the group and to drop Simon Fuller as their manager.

The news flashes around the world and generates front page headlines in all the British newspapers. A week later the album they recorded under Simon Fuller’s guidance, Spiceworld, enters the charts at number one. The album sold 191,000 copies in its first week.

29 November 1997
An Audience With The Spice Girls is screened and attracts 11.8 million viewers – one fifth of the population.

15 December 1997
Too Much is released, and becomes their second Christmas number one.

26 December 1997
Spiceworld The Movie is released, featuring Richard E Grant, Roger Moore, Sir Elton John and Stephen Fry. The movie makes £6.8m in its first week of release.

25 January 1998
Victoria Adams and David Beckham announce their engagement

24 February 1998
The 102-date Spiceworld tour kicks off at The Point in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. Ticket sales in New York break records by selling at a rate of 1,200 a minute.

The tour set list:
If U Can't Dance
Who Do You Think You Are
Do It
Too Much
Where Did Our Love Go? (Emma Bunton solo)
Move Over
The Lady Is A Vamp
Say You'll Be There
2 Become 1
Walk of Life
Sisters (Are Doin' It For Themselves) (Duet with Melanie Brown & Melanie Chisholm)
Spice Up Your Life
Viva Forever
Never Give Up On The Good Times
We Are Family

15 March 1998
Without Simon Fuller’s guiding light the run of number one singles comes to an end when seventh release, Stop, enters the UK chart at number two. It is stopped from getting to number one by It's Like That by Run DMC v Jason Nevins.

31 May 1998
Days of speculation follow Geri's no-show at two concerts in Norway (May 28 and 29) and the Wednesday National Lottery show. These come to an end with the confirmation that Ginger has left the Spice Girls. Her lawyer announces on her behalf:
"Sadly I would like to confirm that I have left the Spice Girls. This is because of differences between us. I'm sure the group will continue to be successful and I wish them all the best… PS, I'll be back."
Prince Charles sends Geri a letter to say: "The group will not be the same without you."
Shares in record label EMI drop by 10p.

15 June 1998
With their new line-up, the Spice Girls begin their 40-date US tour at the Coral Sky/Sound Advice Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach. Due to a dance accident, the set list was modified slightly – Walk of Life was dropped from the North American shows, and Do It was replaced with Step To Me.

"I really miss Geri a lot. Right at the beginning, I was really upset and gutted. The next minute I wanted to punch her in the head. It kept changing from day to day. We'll get through it. I got on really well with Geri and I really like her. I will always be her friend." – Victoria

"The first few times on stage without Geri were strange. Obviously we had to share out the lines she sang between us and sometimes I'd forget to sing her lines." – Mel B

"Thankfully we've been really busy, so we didn't have a lot of time to think about it when Geri first left. But it really hit home when we had a few days off. We were just gutted, we couldn’t even get out of bed. You know, when you feel just so deflated, absolutely deflated. It was like you had just lost part of you, like a death. And on stage it was hard because there is always interaction in the show and there was quite a lot between Geri and me. For the first few shows it was really weird because I kept thinking, where is she?" – Mel C

20 July 1998
Viva Forever is released and enters the chart at number one on 26 July. It stays at number one for two weeks – it is the Spice Girls seventh number one out of eight releases. Geri appears in the animated video, produced by Aardman.

24 August 1998
Spice Girls issue a statement denying rumours that they are on the verge of splitting up, after Melanie Brown and Victoria Adams both announce they are pregnant.

12 & 13 September 1998
The Spice Girls bring the world tour back to the UK with two dates at the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield. For the "Back To Britain" leg of the tour, the set list was changed again, Denying was replaced with Something Kinda Funny and Move Over was replaced with Love Thing.

19 & 20 September 1998
The Spiceworld tour finishes triumphantly with two sell-out gigs at Wembley Stadium.

26 September 1998
Mel B becomes Mel G when she marries dancer Jimmy Gulzar in a 12th century church in Buckinghamshire.

14 December 1998
Goodbye is released and on December 20, it becomes the Spice Girls' third Christmas number one. They are the only act in history to score three consecutive Christmas number ones. (The Beatles did it with I Want To Hold Your Hand, I Feel Fine and Day Tripper)

22 May 1999
Geri's first solo single, Look At Me, goes to number two.

4 July 1999
Victoria Adams marries David Beckham at Luttrellstown Castle near Dublin.

3 March 2000
Spice Girls receive a Lifetime Achievement award at the Brits. BPI chairman Rob Dickens says: "The Spice Girls have smashed most worldwide records books in their own way, much as the Beatles did in the 1960s."

23 October 2000
Double A-side Holler/Let Love Lead The Way goes to number one – the Spice Girls ninth (and final, so far) and a week later their album Forever is released, and charts at number two, going platinum.

21 June 2007
After two years of talking, all five Spice Girls reunite with the manager who made them a worldwide phenomenon. Simon Fuller makes the historic press announcement that the Spice Girls would re-unite.

28 June 2007
All five Spice Girls appear in public for the first time together at the Greenwich Observatory in London to announce that they would be re-uniting for a World Tour, Greatest Hits album and Documentary.

"For us it's about celebrating the past, enjoying each other and it's about our fans. It was kind of now or never," Geri says at the press conference in London.

The Spice Girls by Julia Hold, Hodder & Stoughton
Real Life: Real Spice by the Spice Girls, Zone/Chameleon 1997
Wannabe: How the Spice Girls Reinvented Pop Fame by David Sinclair, Omnibus Press 2004
Spice Power, The Inside Story by Rob McGibbon, Boxtree 1997
Girl Power magazine
Girl Power by Spice Girls, Zone/Chameleon 1997
Posh Spice In My Pocket, Boxtree 1997
Scary Spice In My Pocket, Boxtree 1997
Official Spice Girls Minibook: Mel C Tuff Enuff, Zone Chameleon 1997
Official Spice Girls Minibook: Geri Ginger Nutter, Zone Chameleon 1997
Official Spice Girls Minibook: Mel B DonĂ¢€™t Be Scared, Zone Chameleon 1997
All Things Spice The Complete, Unofficial Story of The Spice Girls by Fergus Kelly, Penguin 1997
Spice Girls Giving You Everything by Rebecca Aplin, UFO Music 1997
Forever Spice by The Spice Girls, Little, Brown & Company 1999
Spiceworld The Official Book Of The Movie by The Spice Girls, Ebury Press 1997

Monday, December 10, 2007

Girl Power: how it betrayed us

Ten years ago the Spice Girls were born, and with them, so-called Girl Power. But in this coruscating denunciation, CAROL SARLER argues their message was a perversion of feminism for which a generation of women have paid a terrible price

The heat was unbearable then, too, in July 1996. But even hotter than the blistering sunshine was the spectacularly branded, packaged, marketed, hyped and, frankly, horrible first single, Wannabe, from a new band called the Spice Girls.

Whoooosh, it went: right up to No 1. For seven weeks. And cheers all round as something called —with risible inaccuracy — Girl Power arrived in Britain.

This week there will be those who raise another glass to mark the ten years since this phenomenon burst onto our social landscape. But there will also be those, and please count me among them, who can think of nothing except the bad that came from the influence of those petty, shallow icons of what was once dubbed Cool Britannia.

It would be absurd, of course, to lay every teenage pregnancy, every inebriated ladette or every cheap tart sleeping with her sixth holiday ‘romance’ in a week at the feet of five barely competent girl singers.

It would be fair, however, to recognise that they presided over a period that saw young womanhood spiral into a previously unimaginable decline; that they wrote its soundtrack, they sang its theme, they invited a generation to play along — and that altogether too many women sadly did.

Just when we thought we were doing so well, too.

The 30 years before the Spice Girls came along had seen unparalleled changes in the lives of women; it’s hard to believe, now, that in 1966 there was not even ready access to the contraceptive Pill that would hand us the chance, for the first time ever, to control our bodies, and therefore our lives.

We seized that chance with relish. If we never quite managed to have it all, we nonetheless gave it a damn good shot as we taught ourselves and, later, our daughters that diligence, hard work, honed skills and the occasional good old strop for ‘wimmin’s rights’ would win the day. In the process, perhaps we even persuaded reluctant men that they could trust us to be competent, able and equal partners at home and at work.

Who would have thought, then, that a few short years later, women in professional life would be rewarded with such paltry returns compared with the millions ‘earned’ by reality TV ‘stars’ such as Jade Goody or Chantelle, or footballers’ partners such as Coleen McLoughlin, for doing absolutely nothing at all?

But then, who could have guessed, only ten years ago, that the path would have been forged for them to do so by an indifferent little band who would turn our happy revolution on its unsuspecting head?

From the start, artistry was not involved. The Spice Girls came into being precisely as they would remain: an artificial construct, designed and marketed by what, at the time, was a word still new to most of us — spin.

An advertisement was placed in The Stage, a usually venerable journal of the dramatic arts, inviting ‘streetwise’ young women, between the ages of 18 and 23, to audition for a band. If ability entered the list of requirements, it was hard to see where.

Only one of the group, Melanie Chisholm, 20 at the time the band formed in 1994, was ever considered to have a decent voice, while the others varied from passable to dire; is there anyone who can forget Geri Halliwell serenading the Prince of Wales with a Happy Birthday so off-key as to make the royal teeth ache?

What was worrying, however, was not the inevitable caterwauling that would emerge from such ungifted vocalists, but that it taught diehard young fans that the absence of talent does not matter a jot in this day and age. My daughter would patiently explain to me that the pouty one, Posh, was the one who couldn’t sing at all — so that’s why she rarely had lines to herself, but just joined in on choruses. The message was: girls don’t need actually to be able to do anything; just get that image right and, honey, you’re off.

It was a credo that would permeate every aspect of the band and its presentation, from the vapid, passive lyrics (‘It’s you I know that I have got to feed / Take from me what you feel that you need’) all the way to the carefully-selected nicknames imposed upon them. Dismally, depressingly, you could choose to aspire to Scary, Sporty, Baby, Ginger (which, until the very last moment, was supposed to be Sexy) or, most enduringly but least plausibly, Posh.

No trace of clever, sharp, brave, smart, kind, ambitious, resolute or strong; just come-hither Ginger, in that ridiculous union flag dress, squeezing breasts from its top and flashing knickers from its skimpy bottom.

Hard as it is to credit, there were attempts to describe these promoters of under-achievement as viragos of feminism, a claim that would make even those of us who have never described ourselves as feminists choke on the word. It was a claim that drove a feminist friend of mine to declare ruefully that: ‘This is not why we stormed the barricades.’

But I’ll tell you what I hate, what I really, really hate — and that is the trump card in the promotions package, the most outrageously inaccurate of all slogans, ever: Girl Power. Power? The Spice Girls were the antithesis of the very idea, in both their professional and their personal lives.

At a stroke they put the sexual clock back by decades.

They mocked the efforts and the goals of their predecessors by reviving an image of young women that depended entirely on the superficiality of appearance, looking and acting as if they were unthreateningly stupid, and all the while emphasising the importance of flashing enough flesh to grab yourself a man.

While their slightly older sisters had striven to get the jobs to earn the money to buy the hammers to smash through glass ceilings, and while their slightly older cousins, especially, perhaps, the Asian girls of modest backgrounds and equally modest dress, were queueing to take their places to study medicine, finance and law — in other words to prove, to really, really prove they were as good as any man — this bunch of chumps thought their over-sexed antics constituted female power. As if.

One of the greatest ironies, of course, is that the Spice Girls were the invention of a man.

Several, actually — but most especially an invention of the manager who took them to the top: Simon Fuller, by all accounts a nice enough chap and a brilliant practitioner of image control.

It was Fuller, mindful of men’s fantasies and women’s spending power, who exercised control of his new pets; his master-stroke was to take what was in fact his manipulation and allow these girls to call it their Power.

The pity is that it was such a seductive idea that plenty of girls bought in, wholesale, to the Fuller philosophy.

Today, every day, you see what it did for them. You cannot open a newspaper without bearing witness to what some of these girls still like to call Power.

This is the ‘power’ that takes them, cut-price and gagging for it, all the way to Faliraki, there to lay bare their bodies and souls under the numbing influence of the least expensive ouzo, bought by Greek lads who can’t believe their luck.

These are the British girls who honestly think that because they made the first move — ‘Do you think I’m really cool and sexy / I know you want to get with me’, sang the Spices — they’re the ones in charge.

It is the ‘power’ that fills the gaps between such salubrious vacations with sodden Friday nights in wine bars, where girls show off their sophistication to the boys by drinking them under the table.

Today, more than a quarter of our 15- and 16-year-old girls are binge-drinking, outstripping boys of the same age and, while they’re at it, most other European countries, too.

So what’s a little vomit between friends? It’s their choice, innit?

It is the same ‘power’ that takes them — of their own volition, naturally — to hang around, scarcely dressed, wherever the most stupid football players can be found, so that they may be sexually used and abused.

Power, to these girls, has come to mean doing exactly what you want to do, exactly when you want to do it.

As the Spices sang: ‘Give me what I’m needing / You know what I’m dreaming of / Don’t wanna know about that love thing.’ So that’s romance firmly in its place then.

This was presumably much the thinking when seven — yes, seven — girls made the news earlier this month for getting pregnant by the same teenage boy: ‘Give me what I’m needing’ — never mind the consequences, they say. I can manage. Except, we know, they can’t.

Nearly 40,000 girls under 18 are getting pregnant every year, which is a disaster for them, whether or not they choose to have the baby — and, nine times out of ten, it is a disaster for the baby if they do, that being the proportion of single mothers who end up officially in poverty.

They have discovered that the ‘power’ to chuck your body about as you please becomes horribly powerless without the resources to take care of what happens next.

Meanwhile, even those young women who don’t have children to support are playing irresponsibly with financial fire; a survey this week showed that eight out of ten of them, between 21 and 25, out-spend what they earn.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be so surprised, when Victoria Beckham appears on the ski slopes in £8,000 of designer ski-wear, with little intention of actually skiing.

And what lessons do the lives of the Spice Girls themselves have for us?

Although two of them, Geri and Mel B, are single mothers, the early efforts — not of their own, but of the genius of Simon Fuller — ensure that, whatever else, their little girls will be fed. But what else can we say for any of them?

Professionally and personally, the bells began to toll after they arrogantly split from Fuller late in 1997, believing they didn’t need him; when they finally disbanded, early in 2001, all the Girl Power they could muster did not save them from, at best, a swift tapering of a career and, at worst, public humiliation.

Geri Halliwell perhaps is the most desperate to cling to waning fame. She moved to Los Angeles to ape the properly famous, complete with ‘bug’ shades and bodyguards, and going to acting classes that nobody takes seriously because nobody believes they’ll work.

Then she had a child alone, which was exposed to public scrutiny for no better reason than that she cannot decide whether or not she likes its two-week-stand father. Power, Geri? It’s pathetic.

And Victoria Beckham? Girl Power for her has come to this: big hair, small thighs, false breasts and an air of desperation that makes Geri Halliwell look fulfilled.

In fact, if I’m to propose a toast to anything on this grim anniversary, it will be to the continuing, inexorable decline of the Spice Girls, their legacy and all who sail in it.

When young women have finally lost all respect for these faded relics, they might turn it instead to where it’s long overdue and urgently needed — to themselves.

Monday, November 26, 2007


video link

spice girls new and old image

Monday, November 5, 2007


The Spice Girls have been annointed a feminist pop outfit by more than a few writers. The Spicies themselves prefer the term Girl Power: personal, and especially sexual, empowerment is central to their act. And sexy feminism certainly works as a marketing approach (the fact that the quintet churning out the prefab Brit-pop also have good abs and producers helps, too). They take feminism’s shell, and fill it up with lip gloss, ribbed condoms, and girls-on-top innuendo. Nobody tells the Spice Girls what to do. They’re young and stylish and sexy as they wannabe. …[but] Girl Power has its limits. Take away the sexual freedom and the guiltless push-up bras and you’re not left with much.

Yvonne Abraham, Lipstick Liberation in the Worcester Phoenix (1997)

Feminist responses to the Spice Girls depended upon whether their activities were perceived as self-regulating or whether they had been manipulated into acting out a marketing concept. …Charlotte Raven wrote rancorously of these ‘ever-so-zeit-geisty chicks’: ‘The boys want to fuck them, the girls want to be them and feminists want to hail them as the feisty new exponents of that post-oppression jive.’ Raven fulminated that ‘having a giggle has come to be seen as a protopolitical act’ and denounced the young women as ‘a bunch of charmless never-weres’. Vivienne Westwood also slagged them off quite unnecessarily. The five, who were known to most of their public only as Posh Spice, Baby Spice, Ginger Spice, Sporty Spice and Scary Spice, and were given little chance of displaying individual personalities to go with their mix-and-match image, were quite anodyne. They danced energetically if not well and they had a reasonable amount of flesh on their bones - and they had achieved an educational level not aimed at by the dead-eyed emaciated models who are featured in More.

The only feminist actually to hail the Spice Girls’ line about ‘being who you wanna’ and ‘not taking any shit’ as revolutionary was American Kathy Acker. Acker felt that… in the Eighties feminism had entered a dark age until the constellation Spice Girls arose in the Heavens to show by their radiance that feminism can be fun. The Spice Girls did make a difference because their most passionate fans were eight-year-old girls. In April 1998 a conference on children’s oral culture learned that whereas half the space in school playgrounds used to be taken up by a self-selecting group of boys playing football, girls’ clapping and dancing games were taking over. …Attagirls!

Germaine Greer, The Whole Woman (2000)

…whatever you think about the Spice Girls, they showed that feminism could be repackaged and sold. Instead of looking down our noses at this phenomenon we need to think about how to harness and use it.

Geethika Jayatilaka, talk at ICA, 2001

There have been some amazingly lavish excuses made for women’s behaviour when it is thought to make a contributions to changing perceptions of and opportunities for women. The rhetoric of ‘girl power’ is a good instance. The Spice Girls coined the phrase as a bit of promotional fun but it passed quickly into the wider culture as a good label to use in any situation in which girls might be putting themselves forward in new, brash and ‘unfeminine’ ways. ‘Challenging the stereotypes’, though, can cover a multitude of sins. Some challenges might be useful for easing the constraints which some girls and women still experience, but others might be ways of adding moral justification to behaviour which is just self-seeking.

Rosalind Coward, Sacred Cows (2000)

The Spice Girls’… message rarely gets more complicated than: ‘If it feels good, do it!’ Suddenly feminism is all about how the individual feels right here, right now, rather than the bigger picture. The idea of doing something for the greater good… has become an anachronism.

Katharine Viner, “The Personal is Still Political” in On The Move (1999)

I don’t think Girl Power and feminism are the same thing, because Girl Power is just a marketing ploy and feminism has been going on for years.

Momtaz, “You Go Girl!” in On The Move (1999)

these quotes were compiled on


"Girl Power"
The "Girl Power" slogan was met with varied reactions, both positive and negative. The phrase was a label for the particular facet of feminist empowerment embraced by the band: that a sensual, feminine appearance and equality between the sexes need not be mutually exclusive. This concept was by no means original in the pop world; both Madonna and Bananarama had employed similar outlooks, and the phrase was most likely first coined by Welsh indie band Helen Love in 1993 and made famous by British pop duo Shampoo in 1995. However, the Spice Girls' version was distinctive. Its message of empowerment appealed to young girls, adolescents and adult women, and it emphasized the importance of strong, loyal friendship among females. In all, the focused, consistent presentation of "girl power" formed the centrepiece of their appeal as a band.[32] Some critics dismissed it as no more than a shallow marketing tactic, while others took issue with the emphasis on physical appearance, concerned about the potential impact on self-conscious and/or impressionable youngsters. Regardless, the phrase became a cultural phenomenon, adopted as the mantra for millions of girls and even making it into the Oxford English Dictionary.[33] In summation of the concept, author Ryan Dawson said, "The Spice Girls changed British culture enough for Girl Power to now seem completely unremarkable."[34]
[edit]"Cool Britannia"
The term "Cool Britannia" became prominent in the media and represented the new political and social climate that was emerging with the advances made by New Labour and Tony Blair. Coming out of a period of 18 years of Conservative government, Tony Blair and New Labour were seen as young, cool and very appealing, a main driving force in making Britain look fashionable again. (The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, responsible for coining the term "Cool Britannia" in their song of the same title, intended it in a sarcastic and mocking manner.) Although by no means responsible for the onset of "Cool Britannia", the arrival of the Spice Girls added to the new image and re-branding of Britain, and underlined the growing world popularity of British, rather than U.S., pop music. This fact was underlined at the BRIT Awards in 1997. The group won two awards[35] but it was Geri Halliwell's Union Jack dress that appeared in media coverage the world over and eventually became a symbol of "Cool Britannia".
[edit]Icons of the 1990s
The Union Jack dress Geri wore has acquired something of an iconic status, and is in the Guinness World Records as the most expensive piece of pop star clothing (about £42,000) ever sold at an auction.
Ten years after the release of their debut single The Spice Girls were voted the biggest cultural icons of the 1990s by 80% in a UK poll of 1,000 people carried out for the board game Trivial Pursuit, stating that "Girl Power" defined the decade.[36]


Monday, October 15, 2007

Some interesting appearances and quotes

Album 2

Mel C has said that the Spice Girls intend to start writing they're 2nd Album in June and that they are planning a massive tour for next year.
- Tuesday, February 25th 1997

Geri's Union Jack

The British newspapers have gone Spice Girls crazy, or more accurately Geri crazy. The feisty young strumpet adorned the front page of most papers wearing the tight, figure hugging, skimpy Union Jack dress she wore while performing at the BRIT's yesterday. The dress is getting very much attention and everyone seems to love it.
- Monday, February 24th 1997

Brit Awards

The Spice Girls won 2 of the 5 BRIT awards they were nominated for. They won Best Single for Wannabe and Best Video for Say You'll Be There. The Girls kicked off the awards ceremony with "Who Do You Think You Are", one of the tracks off their next single (see below). The performance was very energetic and was the highlight of the awards! When they picked up their awards the girls had changed their outfits. Geri's dress however needed more support as her breast fell out of it! Mel C when accepting an award said to Liam Gallagher - "Liam, come and have a go if you think your hard enough!" and the crowd went crazy. This was a response to anti-Spice comments Liam had made recently such as that he would like to knock them out.
- Friday, February 14th 1997

McLaren Spice Girls

The Girls performed live at the launch of the new MP4-12 Formula One Car that was officially launched at Alexandra Palace in London yesterday (13th February). Pictures of them are now available at the McLaren site.
- Friday, February 14th 1997

Next Single Confusion Over

Thanks to the Spice Shack the confusion over the next single is over. The A-side will be "Mama" and the B-side will be "Who Do You Think You Are".
- Monday, February 10th 1997

Comic Relief Single

The Girls next single is to be the new Comic Relief single in the UK, supposedly the single will be "Who do You Think You Are". OK I'm as confused as you, one moment the single is Mama now this.
- Monday, February 3rd 1997

Victoria On Men

On GMTV (28/1/96) the girls were were interviewed in New York and Victoria was quoted as saying that while American men are nice English guys are better.

rince's Trust

The Spice Girls have agreed to take part in a Prince's trust Charity concert on May 9th at the Manchester Opera House.
- Sunday, March 9th 1997

Another #1 - A Record!

The Spice Girls made the record books by becoming the first band to have their first 4 singles all go to #1 after the latest single (Mama/Who Do You Think You Are) entered the UK charts at #1.
- Sunday, March 9th 1997

Hairy Legs

The Girls appeared live on the Clive James Show, Mel B revealed to the world that Geri has hairy legs!
- Saturday, March 8th 1997

Geri Asked Out

Geri was asked out on live Kids TV this morning by Jamie Theakston of BBC1 Live & Kicking fame. Jamie was set up by the crew and after probably the most embarrassing 30 seconds of his life asked (feebly) "Geri would you like to go to to dinner with me next week?" After Geri and the rest of the Girls had stopped falling about laughing she replied "I'll think about it", then added "If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends." Poor Jamie was, how shall we say, deflated.
- Monday, March 3rd 1997

U2 & Ice-T

Rapper Ice-T has said he's besotted with the Girls, after much thought he reckons Emma is his favorite. U2 were disappointed not to have met up with the Girls during a recent visit they made to Dublin, better luck next time guys!

taken from

some of the spice girls t.v. appeances

V Appearances, Live Performances, and Interviews during the early time of the Spice Girls on one excellent DVD.

o "Wannabe" live via satellite from Japan - TOTP - First week at No. 1 performance

o "Wannabe" performed on TOTP - Second week at No. 1

o "Wannabe" performed on TOTP - Fifth week at No. 1

o "Wannabe" performed on TOTP -Sixth week at No. 1

o "Wannabe" performed on TOTP - Seventh week at No. 1 Performance(same as sixth with some different shots)

o Spice girls in L.A. for "Say you'll be there" videoshoot from "The Noise"

o Spice Girls on Live and Kicking helping out with a prize draw

o "Say You'll be there" performed on Live and Kicking

o Brief Interview on Live and Kicking

o Each Spice girl helps out Trev and Simon to paint on Live and Kicking

o Mel C joins Trev and Simon to review new release singles on Live and Kicking

o "Say You'll be there" performed on TOTP - Promotional appearance

o Newsround item on Spice girls featuring interview

o "Say you'll be there" performed on The Noise

o Emma B, Mel B and Mel c THe chart show Interview and video of "Say You'll be there"

o "Say You'll be there" performed on TOTP - Second week at No.2 performance

o Spice girls on WOW playing "Fly in your soup", picking competition winners, playing "Bland Date"

o "Say you'll be there" performed on WOW

o "Say you'll be there" performed at Charity Fashion show on a catwalk with models

o "Wannabe" performed at Smash Hits Poll winners Party as the girls receive an award

o "Say you'll be there" performed at Smash Hits Poll winners Party as they get another award

o Spice Girls full interview segment from The Des O' Connor Show as well as a performance of "Two Become One"

o "2 Become 1" performed on The Noise

o The girls are interviewed on The Noise and they particpate in a phone in

o "2 Become 1" performed on Noel's House party

o TV Advert for Spice Girls album "Spice"

o Another appearance on Live and Kicking with various segments and a performance of "Two become one" and a phone in

o Various links from Christmas TOTP 1996 presented by the girls and they perform "2 become 1"

o Appearance on "The Girlie Show" where they are interviewed and perform "Who do you think you are?"

o Performance of "Who do you think you are?" on TOTP

o The girls accept an IRMA award and perform "Who do you think you are?" and "Wannabe" on an Irish music awards show

o Brit Awards '97 - Awards and backstage gossip where the girls get best single for "Wannabe" and best video of "Say you'll be there". They perform "Who do you think you are?".

o Noel's House Party - Another Promotional appearance singing their latest hit.

o TOTP promotional appearance

o GMTV - Spice girls in New York, three part segment with interviews and gossip from their girls on their first trip to the US.

o Big Breakfast - Promotional appearance including interview with Vanessa.

o GMTV - The person who taught the girls to sing speaks.

o Big Breakfast - Report on upcoming girls appearance on Omnibus feat. Emma

o Live and Kicking - Promotional appearance singing "Mama" + Link footage.

o Omnibus - Emma and her mum

o Clive James show - Interview

o Big Breakfast - Lots and lots of footage including each girl interviewed and they choose their favorite music videos etc.

o Comic Relief - Appearance singing "Mama" and "Who do you think you are?" with The Sugar Lumps and much much more.

o TOTP - First week at No.1 performance singing "Mama"

o TOTP Second week at No.1 performance singing "Who do you think you are?"

taken from

video and other links

cultural impact

Cultural impact

[edit]The British music scene
After being shut out by the Brit Pop revolution that occurred in the early 1990s when bands like Oasis, Pulp and Blur dominated the charts, pop music found a voice again. The image of the Spice Girls was deliberately aimed at young girls, an audience of formidable size and potential; reinforcing the range of appeal within the target demographic were the bandmates' five distinctive personalities, which encouraged fans to identify with one member or another. This marketing was helped in no small way by the aliases assigned to each member of the group. Shortly after Wannabe’s release, the group appeared in "Top Of The Pops" magazine where each member was given a nickname based upon their image: Victoria became "Posh Spice", Emma became "Baby Spice," Melanie B was named "Scary Spice", Geri was named "Sexy Spice" (later changed to "Ginger Spice"), and Melanie C became "Sporty Spice".[32] These nicknames quickly caught the imagination of tabloid editors and they stuck with the girls throughout their careers.
[edit]"Girl Power"
The "Girl Power" slogan was met with varied reactions, both positive and negative. The phrase was a label for the particular facet of feminist empowerment embraced by the band: that a sensual, feminine appearance and equality between the sexes need not be mutually exclusive. This concept was by no means original in the pop world; both Madonna and Bananarama had employed similar outlooks. However, the Spice Girls' version was distinctive. Its message of empowerment appealed to young girls, adolescents and adult women, and it emphasised the importance of strong, loyal friendship among females. In all, the focused, consistent presentation of "girl power" formed the centrepiece of their appeal as a band.[33] Some critics dismissed it as no more than a shallow marketing tactic, while others took issue with the emphasis on physical appearance, concerned about the potential impact on self-conscious and/or impressionable youngsters. Regardless, the phrase became a cultural phenomenon, adopted as the mantra for millions of girls and even making it into the Oxford English Dictionary.[34] In summation of the concept, author Ryan Dawson said, "The Spice Girls changed British culture enough for Girl Power to now seem completely unremarkable."[35]
[edit]"Cool Britannia"
The term "Cool Britannia" became prominent in the media and represented the new political and social climate that was emerging with the advances made by New Labour and Tony Blair. Coming out of a period of 18 years of Conservative government, Tony Blair and New Labour were seen as young, cool and very appealing, a main driving force in making Britain look fashionable again. (The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, responsible for coining the term "Cool Britannia" in their song of the same title, intended it in a sarcastic and mocking manner.) Although by no means responsible for the onset of "Cool Britannia", the arrival of the Spice Girls added to the new image and re-branding of Britain, and underlined the growing world popularity of British, rather than U.S., pop music. This fact was underlined at the BRIT Awards in 1997. The group won two awards[36] but it was Geri Halliwell's Union Jack dress that appeared in media coverage the world over and eventually became a symbol of "Cool Britannia".
[edit]Icons of the 1990s
The Union Jack dress Geri wore has acquired something of an iconic status, and is in the Guinness World Records as the most expensive piece of pop star clothing (about £42,000) ever sold at an auction.
Ten years after the release of their debut single The Spice Girls were voted the biggest cultural icons of the 1990s by 80% in a UK poll of 1,000 people carried out for the board game Trivial Pursuit, stating that "Girl Power" defined the decade.[37]

taken from wikipedia as was the post bellow

how they started

In early 1994, father-and-son management team Chris and Bob Herbert set about creating an all female group that could compete with the onslaught of boy bands that dominated the pop music scene in the early to mid 1990s: "the whole teen-band scene at the time was saturated by boy bands. It was all clones of New Kids on the Block and Take That. That was all a bit of a yawn for me, and only appealed to female audiences...I felt if you could appeal to the boys as well, you'd be laughing".[4] In March 1994, Heart Management – which comprised the Herberts together with financier Chic Murphy – placed an advertisement in The Stage trade magazine asking "R U 18-23 with the ability to sing/dance? R U streetwise, ambitious, outgoing and dedicated?" Hundreds of girls responded and the applicants were whittled down to a final five that consisted of Victoria Adams, Melanie Brown, Melanie Chisholm, Geri Halliwell and Michelle Stephenson. The group was given the name "Touch" and moved into a house together in Maidenhead (owned by Murphy) where they were subsidised by Heart Management and each was claiming unemployment benefit.
During the first two months the group worked on demos and dance routines at the Trinity Studios in Woking. According to Stephenson, the material the group was given was "very, very young pop" and included the song "We’re Gonna Make It Happen", a record that never came to light.[5] It soon became apparent that Stephenson did not have the drive and belief that the rest of the group had, so the decision was made to fire her from the group. Bob Herbert stated that "she just wasn't fitting in...she would never have gelled with it and I had to tell her to go".[6] However, Stephenson stated it was her decision to leave the group because of the illness of her mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer. Victoria later dismissed this claim saying she "just couldn't be arsed" to put in the work the rest of the group was doing.[7] The Herberts searched for a replacement and first came across Abigail Kas, who did not impress, and then were led to eighteen-year-old Emma Bunton at the suggestion of vocal coach Pepe Lemer. Bunton instantly impressed the Herberts and was invited to meet the group in July 1994, who welcomed her with open arms: "Straight away I knew she was the one", stated Halliwell.[8]
After Bunton joined the girls there was growing discontent amongst the group with the management team. The group felt insecure about the lack of a contract and were frustrated by the direction in which Heart Management was steering them. They persuaded Bob Herbert to set up a showcase performance for the group in front of industry writers, producers and A&R men in December 1994 at the Momis Studios in Shepherds Bush where they received an "overwhelmingly positive" reaction.[9] Due to the large interest in the group, the Herberts quickly set about creating a binding contract for the group. Encouraged by the reaction they had received at the Momis showcase the five girls delayed signing contracts on the legal advice from, amongst others, Victoria's father Tony Adams. In March 1995, because of the group's frustration at their management's unwillingness to listen to their visions and ideas, they parted from Heart Management. In what biographer David Sinclair calls an "incredibly self-serving and underhand" ploy, the group stole the master recordings of their discography from the management offices in order to ensure they kept control of their own work.[10] That same day the girls tracked down Sheffield-based producer Eliot Kennedy, who had been present at the showcase, and persuaded him to work with the group.
In October 1994, armed with a catalogue of demos and dance routines, the group began touring management agencies. The group was introduced to record producers Absolute, who in turn brought them to the attention of Simon Fuller of 19 Management. The girls began a relationship with Fuller and finally signed with him in March 1995.[11] During the summer of that year the group toured record labels in London and Los Angeles with Fuller and finally signed a deal with Virgin Records in September 1995. From this point up to the summer of 1996 the girls continued to write and record tracks for their debut album while extensively touring the west coast of America, where they had signed a publishing deal with Windswept Pacific.'[11]

Monday, October 1, 2007

Spice Girls sales records

The Spice Girls released 3 albums as a group (two with Geri and one without her) Spice, Spiceworld and Forever. As far as singles go its really hard to tell you how ALL the singles did all over the world.... but i can give you as much info as I can find.

Wannabe (1996, 1998)
Say You'll Be There (1996, 1997)
2 become 1 (1996)
Too Much (1997)
Step To Me (1997)
Mama / Who Do You Think You Are (1997)
Spice Up Your Life (1997)
Who Do You Think You Are (1997)
Move Over / Generation Next (1997)
Move Over (1997)
Stop (1998)
Viva Forever (1998)
Goodbye (1998)
Let Love Lead The Way (2000)
Holler (2000)
Tell Me Why (2001)
If You Wanna Have Some Fun (2001)

Pepsi Singles

Step To Me 1997
Move Over/Generation Next Live 1998

Promotion Singles

Tell Me Why
If You Wanna Have Some Fun
Weekend Love 2000

Exclusive Japanese Single
Love Thing 1996

1996 - Overview

The start of the Spice Girls phenomenon was in July 1996, with the release of "Wannabe", this year, two more singles followed, "Say You'll Be There" and "2 Become 1" - all of these sold 900,000+ in the UK, and this was only a drop in the ocean. World domination was at their heels, in 1996, despite only having released in the last 6 months of 1996, the Spice Girls spent 20% of the year at #1. "Spice", the debut album, was released in November 1996, eventually receiving sales of over 3 million in the UK, and 22 million worldwide..

Name of Release
Record Sales
Peak Position Certification
Wannabe (Spice Girls - 07/96) 1,269,841 copies #1 (7 weeks) Platinum
Say You'll Be There (Spice Girls - 10/96) 930,000 copies #1 (2 weeks) Platinum
Spice (Spice Girls - Album - 11/96) 3,000,000 copies #1 (15 weeks) 10x Platinum
2 Become 1 (Spice Girls - 12/96) 1,072,073 copies #1 (3 weeks) Platinum

1997 - Overview

Going into 1997, the year started with a trip to America, in which the phenomenon extended - "Wannabe" reached #1, staying there for 4 weeks. This year, three singles were released in the UK, all massive hits - by the end of 1997, the Spice Girls had six #1 singles in a row, and another hit album under their belt - "Spiceworld", which would emulate the success of "Spice". December 1997 saw the release of "Spiceworld: The Movie, the film to which the new album was the theme. Come 1998, the Spice Girls would be embarking on a world tour, and preparing to record the third album, or at least, that was the plan at the time.

Name of Release
Record Sales
Peak Position Certification
Mama/Who Do You Think You Are (Spice Girls - 03/97) 660,000 copies #1 (3 weeks) Platinum
Spice Up Your Life (Spice Girls - 10/97) 800,000 copies #1 (1 week) Platinum
Spiceworld (Spice Girls - Album - 11/97) 1,900,000 copies #1 (3 weeks) 5 x Platinum
Too Much (12/97) 657,000 copies #1 (2 weeks) Platinum

1998 - Overview

1998 would see many big changes, and twists for the Spice Girls. This year saw them embark on the Spiceworld tour - 103 dates, 2.1 million fans, a dream come true for them. But, this didn't stop them releasing three more singles, and, two solo projects. This year also saw their first #2 peak - "Stop", in March 1998, and Geri Halliwell's departure from the group, in May 1998. The end of the year would bring their fourth best seller so far, "Goodbye", and would also mark a two-year break for the group.

Name of Release
Record Sales
Peak Position Certification
Stop (Spice Girls - 03/98) 331,000 copies #2 Silver
Viva Forever (Spice Girls - 07/98) 623,000 copies #1 (2 weeks) Platinum
I Want You Back (Mel B - 09/98) 218,000 copies #1 (1 week) Silver
When You're Gone (Mel C - 11/98) 635,300 copies #3 Platinum
Goodbye (Spice Girls - 12/98) 833,500 copies #1 (1 week) Platinum

1999 - Overview

1999 would be a signature year in Spice history - it would be the first year without any Spice Girls releases as a group, but there would be plenty as solo artists, there was, however, group activity - the recording of "the third album", took place after August, and there were was a mini-tour in December. Geri Halliwell and Melanie C released their first solo albums, while all of the other girls, excluding Victoria, all had at least one solo single in the chart - towards the end of the year, we would see the first, and only Spice battle to date, with Geri's "Lift Me Up" and Emma's "What I Am" going head-to-head for the #1 in November 1999.

Name of Release
Record Sales
Peak Position Certification
Look At Me (Geri - 05/99) 330,000 copies #2 Gold
Schizophonic (Geri - Album - 06/99) 415,000 copies #4 2x Platinum
Word Up (Mel B - 06/99) 50,000 copies #14 -
Mi Chico Latino (Geri - 08/99) 372,000 copies #1 (1 week) Silver
Goin' Down (Mel C - 09/99) 90,000 copies #4 -
Northern Star (Mel C - Album - 10/99) 900,000 copies #4 3x Platinum
What I Am (Emma - 11/99) 215,000 copies #2 Silver
Lift Me Up (Geri - 11/99) 337,000 copies #1 (1 week) Silver
Northern Star (Mel C - 11/99) 195,000 copies #4 Silver

2000 - Overview

The start of the new millennium, and this year would see all of the Spice Girls in the chart for one reason or another - all excluding Emma releasing a solo single, and the Spice Girls as a group making a "comeback". The first 6 months of this year are often seen as the height of Spice Girls' solo success, with 3 #1s and a very high selling #2. In October 2000, the Spice Girls released a new single, "Holler", which did well on the chart, and in November, the album "Forever" followed, which flopped quite remarkably. Unfortunately for Melanie B, her album, "Hot", was released in the middle of all of this, and only reached #28.

Name of Release
Record Sales
Peak Position Certification
Bag It Up (Geri - 03/00) 255,000 copies #1 (1 week) Silver
Never Be The Same Again (Mel C - 03/00) 400,000 copies #1 (1 week) Gold
I Turn To You (Mel C - 08/00) 338,000 copies #1 (1 week) Silver
Out Of Your Mind (Victoria - 08/00) 376,000 copies #2 Gold
Tell Me (Mel B - 09/00) 100,000 copies #4 -
Hot (Mel B - Album - 10/00) 50,000 copies #28 Silver
Holler/Let Love Lead The Way (Spice Girls - 10/00) 230,000 copies #1 Silver
Forever (Spice Girls - Album - 11/00) 280,000 copies #2 Platinum
If That Were Me (Mel C - 11/00) 35,000 copies #18 -

2001 - Overview

Following on from a disappointing last half of 2000, things seemed to pick up in the first half of 2001, before falling apart very rapidly towards the end - "What Took You So Long" and "It's Raining Men" were massive, but just like in 2000, a massive Spice-campaign in the Summer probably made people bored of the girls, with three releases within 6 weeks - 2001 would be the last year to date that we would see a solo Spice Girl reach the coveted #1 spot, or even sell above 100,000 copies with a single.

Name of Release
Record Sales
Feels So Good (Mel B - 02/01) 138,450 copies #5
What Took You So Long (Emma - 04/01) 246,080 copies #1 (2 week)
A Girl Like Me (Emma - Album - 04/01) 125,000 copies #4
It's Raining Men (Geri - 04/01) 421,670 copies #1 (2 weeks) Silver
Scream If You Wanna Go Faster (Geri - Album - 05/01) 154,000 copies #5
Lullaby (Mel B - 06/01) 30,000 copies #13
Scream If You Wanna Go Faster (Geri - 07/01) 78,500 copies #8
Take My Breath Away (Emma - 08/01) 77,500 copies #5
Not Such An Innocent Girl (Victoria - 09/01) 75,000 copies #6
Victoria Beckham (Victoria - 10/01) 50,000 copies #10
Calling (Geri - 11/01) 66,000 copies #7
We're Not Gonna Sleep Tonight (Emma - 12/01) 35,000 copies #20

2002 - Overview

2001 was the biggest year for solo Spice Girls releases yet, with a massive 12 going into our shops, but 2002 would be different. Due to Emma and Melanie B's poor showings with their last singles, they had parted from Virgin Records. Geri had taken a break from music, and Melanie C was enjoying a rest after a 2 year promotional campaign for "Northern Star" - this left Victoria, who released "A Mind Of Its Own" in February 2002. This was to be followed by a remix of "I Wish", but poor sales led to her parting from Virgin, and consequently, the single never got released - a quiet year for all Spice Girls fans in general.

Name of Release
Record Sales
A Mind Of Its Own (Victoria - 02/02) 60,000 copies #6

2003 - Overview

After the disappointing break that 2002 gave us, Melanie C kicked off 2003 with "Here It Comes Again", the first Spice single in nearly a year, and then her new album, "Reason". Like the rest of the Melanie C releases in 2003, neither took off, and it taught the lesson to Mel that she should go back to her "Northern Star" roots. In May, Emma gave us "Free Me", her first single in 18 months - this, and the follow up single "Maybe" surpassed all expectations. The end of the year was the pinnacle, with Victoria's first single in two years, "Let Your Head Go/This Groove" reaching a brilliant #3 in the charts.

Name of Release
Record Sales

Here It Comes Again (Mel C - 02/03) 40,000 copies #7
Reason (Mel C - Album - 03/03) 80,000 copies #5
Free Me (Emma - 05/03) 65,000 copies #5
On The Horizon (Mel C - 06/03) 25,000 copies #14
Maybe (Emma - 10/03) 80,000 copies #6
Melt/Yeh Yeh Yeh (Mel C - 11/03) 10,000 copies #27
Let Your Head Go/This Groove (Victoria - 12/03) 60,000 copies #3

2004 - Overview

With 2003 showing promise on the Spice Girls front (despite Melanie C's chart-problems), 2004 looks to repeat the success. Confirmed album releases this year come from Victoria and Emma, as well as rumoured single/album releases from Melanie C and Geri. The first releases of 2004 are Emma's single, "I'll Be There", and her album, "Free Me", which look set to repeat the success of the singles "Free Me" and "Maybe". Spice Girls Discography will keep you updated with all of the latest developments and news on the new solo Spice albums.

Name of Release
Record Sales
I'll Be There (Emma - 01/04) 30,000 copies #7
Free Me (Emma - Album - 02/04) 33,000 copies* -

* Sales last updated 16th February 2004

taken from
in a reply to a question

Spice Girl stufffs

It is a spice world, and the rest of us are just along for the ride.

At least that is what the Spice Girls and their management team want you to believe.

The British pop group, comprised of Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice), Melanie Brown (Scary Spice), Melanie Chisholm (Sporty Spice), Victoria Adams (Posh Spice) and Emma Bunton (Baby Spice), has seemingly taken the world by storm, with its debut album, Spice, which reached No. 1 in more than 20 countries.

Since then, the group's media exposure has been nonstop, culminating with today's release of the feature film Spiceworld: The Movie.

The movie pairs the Spice Girls with the writing team responsible for the hit comedy show "Absolutely Fabulous."

Familiar faces such as Elvis Costello and Roger Moore make cameo appearances in the music-filled comedy. Yet, even with all the media exposure they have received, life in the limelight has not been without its rigors.

The latest problems include the firing of their manager, Simon Fuller, and a not-so-fashionable appearance on Mr. Blackwell's annual "Worst-Dressed List."

In fact, since the first note of their hit single "Wannabe" hit the airwaves, there has been a public backlash concerning all things Spice. Some feel the group is a brightly-wrapped gift with nothing inside.

Tracy Fell (sophomore-education) said the group's success owes more to its management than to its talent.

"They've been marketed very well," she said. "They hit upon the pre-pubescent, little girl fan base."

Fell sees their nicknames and distinctive personalities as a ploy to make them seem like living Barbie dolls.

"It makes me want to burn Teen Beat (magazine)," she said.

However, despite reactions such as Fell's and countless World Wide Web sites, such as the Spice Girls Hate Organisation (, devoted to bashing the group, the group's record sales are proof that millions of people are listening to the music.

And, though some critics have panned the two albums, the opinion is not a consensus.

Reviewing the second album for the All-Music Guide, Stephen Thomas Erlewine had strong praise for Spiceworld.

"It's a pure, unadulterated guilty pleasure and some of the best manufactured dance-pop of the late '90s," he wrote.

If the Spice Girls do make great dance-pop music, as suggested by Erlewine's comments, the problem may lie in another comment Erlewine makes about their music, a word that has haunted the group since its earliest days: "manufactured."

A quick survey of the group's critics shows that nearly all of them take considerable effort to explain, and attack, the group's origins.

The five members met in 1993 in response to an ad placed in a London trade paper by a management team looking for five "lively girls." The women we now know as the Spice Girls were chosen from 400 hopefuls based on looks, personality and talent.

After meeting one another, the five promptly dumped their first manager and set out on their own. They eventually hooked up with Fuller, who manages Annie Lennox, and signed a deal with Virgin Records.

Since then, they have seemingly subscribed to the philosophy: the more media exposure the better. Recently, they have been seen nearly everywhere -- from an Oprah appearance to hugging Prince Charles. For those who dislike the group, the constant media exposure has been like salt on a wound.

As one World Wide Web site states, "the idea of a manufactured group has been done before, but never with such blood-boiling success."

Despite the controversy, others take all the Spice hype in a much more lighthearted manner.

"The whole purpose is for entertainment and that's what they provide," said Sanjay Bhatnagar (junior-English and philosophy).

Bhatnagar said he isn't bothered by their success because he doesn't see them pretending to be something they're not.

"They're just a fun pop group," he said. "They are getting their 15 minutes of fame."

Phil D'Ambrosio (senior-physics) sees the Spice Girls as fulfilling people's need to forget about the bad and just enjoy themselves.

"The day the stock market crashed, 'Happy Days Are Here Again' was the No. 1 song," he said. "It's the same with the Spice Girls. They are like candy."

taken from

Spice Girls wikipedia linkage