The Spice Girls
Synopsis of Pop Music
"Soooooo tell me whatcha want, whatcha really really want..."
Although they are relatively new to the pop scene, the Spice Girls have quickly become a international pop phenomenon nearing the level of the Beatles. This all-female group married catchy pop-songwriting to state-of-the-art dance music grooves, creating a sound that has sold over 50 million albums to date. However there is more to the appeal of the Spice Girls than just music. Their colorful style of dress and cheeky ‘girl power’ attitude have made them popular attractions on television and film as well as heroines to women and girls around the world.
The Spice Girls began their career as a put-together band a la the Monkees or Menudo. In 1994, all the members except Emma Bunton answered an ad requesting female singers and dancers to form a group called Touch in 1994. After a later audition, Emma was added and the assembled quintet began to intensively rehearse and develop songs. They soon struck out on their own, dropping the Touch moniker and redubbing themselves the Spice Girls. The newly-autonomous group signed with Annie Lennox’s manager, Simon Fuller, and began recording their debut album for Virgin Records.
In 1996, the Spice Girls’ first album, Spice, was released in Europe and became an instant hit. Their first single was “Wannabe,” an infectious blend of hip-hop grooves, r&b harmony vocals, and bubblegum pop hooks (like the "tell me whatcha want, whatcha really really want" line). It set the tone for their style and quickly shot to #1 in 22 different countries. When it was released in the U.S. in early 1997, it also went to #1. During this time, the Spice Girls also acquired the individual nicknames that would become their calling cards when they were invented by British reporters during a press conference: Baby, Ginger, Posh, Scary and Sporty.
By 1997, the Spice Girls’ mixture of danceable pop music and a distinctive image had made them the biggest phenomenon in pop music. They also became heroic icons to women of all ages around the world for espousing ‘girl power.’ Meanwhile, their singles continued to light up the charts. The synth-driven groove of “Say You’ll Be There” became a #3 hit in the U.S. and topped the charts all over Europe. The success of these singles made their debut album a worldwide hit, and their colorful, comic-book-heroine visual style helped make their videos the top-requested attractions on MTV as the Girls toured the world through the end of 1997.
The Spice Girls moved into the film business in 1998 with Spiceworld, a lighthearted, fictionalized version of their rise to the top that was done in the style of the early Beatles films. Of course, it became a box-office hit. Their second album, also titled Spiceworld, was released around this time and became another chart-topper for the group. “Spice Up Your Life,” a Latin-styled tune with an aggressive dance beat, was released a single and became a Top-20 hit. During this time, the Spice Girls also became international spokeswomen for Pepsi Cola.
Fans around the world were shocked when Geri 'Ginger' Halliwell announced she was leaving the Spice Girls in the spring of 1998 to pursue a solo career. The Spice Girls decided to continue as a quartet and found continued success worldwide as a touring attraction. They also hit it big on the charts with “Goodbye,” their first post-Geri release. In 1999, they took a well-deserved break while both Mel C (Sporty) and Mel B (Scary) tackled solo projects. Geri Halliwell also released a successful solo album, along with her autobiography.
The Spice Girls are currently at work on a new album. As fans around the world eagerly await their next move, the group can rest assured that they have already carved out their own corner in pop music history with their fabulous early success. Just the same, the group’s members are eager to move forward, and they will no doubt keep the flame of ‘girl power’ burning brightly for years to come.
Artist Release History1996 - Spice
1997 - Spiceworld
1998 - Spiceworld (Bonus Video CD)
2000 - Forever
Pop Sub Categoriespop
Essential Music AlbumsSpice (Virgin)
Band MembersMelanie 'Mel B.' Brown (Scary Spice) vocals
Melanie 'Mel C.' Chisholm (Sporty Spice) vocals
Victoria Adams (Posh Spice) vocals
Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice) vocals
Emma Bunton (Baby Spice) vocals