Talk about an unexpected twist! The Spice Girls
out *BEFORE* the top 3 of a girl band versus rate on PopJustice?? Out of this world shocking! Wannabe
and the Spice Girls
were what I was expecting to see at the top when I came up with the song list. Can you blame me? - considering these girls were my first foray into girl bands (and I am sure they were for many of you too), and taking into account their influence on pop culture and their legacy - they should
have breezed through, no?
Let me take you back a bit - I remember having my gorgeous Geri Halliwell
come up on my screen asking me what I wanted, what I really really wanted and was instantly mesmerised and enchanted! This caused me to be obsessed with girls for much of their career, until Geri
left and it became too painful for me to bear being confronted with that missing piece every time I saw a new music video by them. Viva Forever
(which featured the last at the time ‘Ginger Spice’ moment of the five-some) was still a stunning piece of pop music, however.
Fast forward to today and more familiarity with the inner workings of the music industry through the ongoing Sugababes
experience/drama and what I went through with Ginger
feels like a breeze! Wannabe
was a childhood favourite of mine, I was instantly taken by the experience and not just Geri as I initially thought. The way all the girls had this very well defined personality through the way they sang, acted, dressed really appealed to my little gay heart. Wannabe
is such a spectacle of a début that whether you love it on first listen or not – it forces you to pay attention – which I would call the best kind of breakthrough.
What I was surprised by though is that PopJustice was not here for Wannabe
at all when voting opened – in fact the first few votes placed it at a shocking #46
! It took quite a while for them to crack the top 30, but once they did, they were well and truly a Top 5 mainstay! However, despite the late 11s bestowed on it by the @ufint
combo, it was a little too late for them to catch up to the top 3 (although the song that comes third isn’t *too* far ahead #soon!
No matter what the outcome of this rate was ever going to be, Wannabe
is still one of the most successful songs, not just of this list, or for girl groups but of all time across any sector! It made the top spot of every country that would qualify it for the rate here (the only one to do so on this song list
) and is one of the best selling songs of all time. It sold 7 million copies by 1997 (after only about a year and a bit of release) and topped the chart in 37 countries! Wannabe
was also rated the most easily recognisable pop song of the last 60 years. How is that for impact!!
No one really needs an introduction to the Spice Girls
here (nor do I feel qualified to do them the same justice their more intense stans can) but to be consistent, they were formed in 1994 by Bob
and Chris Herbert
to compete with the popular boy bands of the time such as Take That
and East 17
. They placed a (want ad
) in The Stage
and approximately 400 women attended the audition where they were placed in groups of 10 and dance to a routine of Stay
(we rated this one too!!). Eventually a few were selected and formed the group Touch.
Through the continuing process (an original member was let go and replaced by Emma Bunton), the name became Spice Girls
and the girls in the group were Melanie Brown (Scary)
, Melanie Chisholm (Sporty)
, Victoria Adams (Posh)
, Geri Halliwell (Ginger)
and Emma Bunton (Baby)
. During their imperial phase (first two albums era, Spice
[23 million copies worldwide] & SpiceWorld
[13 million copies worldwide]), they dominated the charts and pop culture. Geri
’s eventual departure was one of the biggest news stories in the world at the time. More on this in Part 2.
The Spice Girls
are synonymous with the Girl Power
movement, reflected even in their debut Wannabe
’s subject matter, it promotes friendship as female empowerment over a romantic relationship, a message that is still powerful and important today!
PopJustice has the floor!
(9) recognises the impact, although the lack of Posh Spice still prevents a full score
- A one of a kind, energetic pop song and fun video. One of the songs that best showcased the individual talent of each Spice, except for poor Posh spice. Kermit_The_Frog
(3) is aware his reputation won’t be the same after this one
- Sorry. I will be dragged for this. It may even be my score that stops them winning the whole thing. However. I simply cannot stand 95% of all Spice Girls output. I appreciate that they had a positive social effect on young girls and gay-boys but cannot condone terrible shitty music as a by-product of that. I’ll get my coat…
(10) feels like a betrayer but really, this is fine
- My 11 should have been for this one because Spice Girls is like family, but Wannabe just isn’t one of my favorites. I admit It’s iconic and the foundation for their amazing career, but when it comes to breakthrough single, the Sugababes one is just more legendary to me. When it comes to the Spice Girls themselves: they are everything. I was so extremely obsessed with them it was unhealthy. I remember taking my Spice Girls bedsheet to a school trip and didn’t take shit when the other boys made fun of it. That and hysterically crying in front of the television when Geri left…
(8) has only this to say
- I was never that big a fan but it was obviously a phenomenon. Spillett
(7.5) also prefers another
- (always preferred Say You'll Be There). Filippa
(8) doesn’t think this one was worth a revisit per se
- Yes, it was fun. But it’s not a song I often listen today. Well apart from Viva Forever and some solo stuff from Geri, Mel C and Emma I actually don’t listen to any song of them today.
Trouble In Paradise
(9.5) may be lucid with drunkenness
- This song still knocks and maybe I’m delusional but the lyrics make a lot more sense to me know than they ever have before. Empty Shoebox
(5) has no connection to this! What! So! Ever!
- I have never been a fan of this song. Maybe it's the nonsensical lyrics, maybe it's the overplaying. I don't know. I just don't like it. Untouchable Ace
(5) is another ambivalent one
- The Spice Girls and sport make the news far too often
(10) finds a lot of power in this one
- This song gives me so much confidence. All my insecurities washed away with this pure gem. Londonrain
(8) gives us a tale of two cities
- This was never my favourite Spice Girls song - they seemed to have better second singles than lead singles. I can still do the whole bridge by heart, though. Baby Clyde
(7) tells us of a far away world, completely disconnected from current reality
- (Find it really hard to score this. It's properly iconic and a fabulous pop record but compared to all of their other singles kinda cheesy. If they had been one hit wonders this would be seen as a novelty record).
(10) is losing a 10 very close to the end!
- Classic that works in every single setting. Unnameable
(9) recalls the present and the ties to the past
– I feel old when I consider Baby Spice is my age. At the time, everyone was giggling at “zig-a-zig-ah!” as a lyric but the single was everywhere. DJHazey
(10) is being his objective best
- Despite being far from my favorite girl group, I owe the Spice Girls alot because watching their videos as a child implanted the love for female-pop that I would eventually allow to manifest itself later in life. Separate from this song's impact on me personally I can remember exactly how different this sounded from anything I had every heard in my life and everyone took notice, regardless of what their opinion of the sound was. A vote for spice is simply a vote for fun pop, by definition.
Let’s start the 11 brigade with Iheartpoptarts
(11) - Let’s make sure the Spice Girls get their rightful victory, shall we? They got close, at least
(11) finds my rate isn’t structured like classic RPDR
- The rightful winner. Congratulations Raja. I mean, this is the single greatest girl group song ever, and the start of a wonderful stanning period that consumed almost all of my time from 1996 and for the next three-four years. Once a villain….. Saviodxl
(11) - This song defines not only the era for The Spice Girls, but defines a decade and how a girlgroup should be presented to the world! This is just iconic, a milestone in pop culture and I need to give the value it deserves! Or in this case, my 11.