Spice – Spice Girls

Released September 19, 1996, it is considered to be the album that brought teen pop back and introduced a new wave of teen artists. The hype around the band and album was comparable to Beatlemania. The album went to #1 in 17 countries. Is certified multi-platinum in 27 countries. The lead single “Wannabe” is one of the best-selling singles of all time. Two other singles went to #1 in 53 countries.

Jason: Were you one of the 9 billion people that bought this album?*

*Technically 7,500,000 in the U.S. 23,000,000 worldwide

Brad: No. I  don’t think I own this one.

Jason: Really? I am going to check your CD wall when we get home. Had you listened to the entire album before?

Brad: It is possible that I bought a used copy of this eventually but I didn’t buy it when it was first out. In fact, it felt like I was hearing half of these songs for the first time.

Jason: I think I have heard most of these before but it’s possible that some were in movies or at clubs or something. Because I recognized more than not. The only song I don’t care for is that last one in Spanish, “If U Can’t Dance”.

Brad: That is one of the songs I had never heard before. It samples “The Humpty Dance” which is one of my all-time favorite songs so I would have remembered that.

Jason: Do you like “If U Can’t Dance?”

Brad: Yeah, I like that song. It sounds like a pop remix of “The Humpty Dance”

Jason: I like the chorus but the Spanish bugs me a bit. Is one of them Spanish? 

Brad: Not that I know of. I think Mel B & Geri Halliwell do the raps on that one.

Jason: By the way, the first 55 seconds of “Last Time Lover” really sound like TLC to me.

Brad: I thought the same thing. It sounds so 90s.

Jason: The whole album sounds pretty 90s. Do you feel it holds up well?

Brad: This is one of those albums I enjoy but I often find myself thinking “This is not very good”. For example, some of the vocals sound like they should have kept singing until they got a better take.

Jason: Like every time Posh sings. Speaking of I can usually tell Emma’s voice, definitely Mel C. (I think she has the strongest voice.) Ginger and Mel B. I confuse sometimes when I hear them. Does Posh ever get her own solo lyrics?

Brad: Here are some of her solos listed out.

New Spice vs. Old Spice

Jason: Interesting. So can you think of a song or part of a song that should’ve been re-recorded?

Brad: The “take it or leave it, take it or leave it” line in “2 Become 1” bugs me.

Jason: Guess who sings that…Posh, natch.

Brad: It sounds like bad karaoke and you know how I feel about karaoke. I’m also not a big fan of any of their raps.

Jason: No, the raps aren’t good. Spice Girls were inescapable around this time.  Remember when we saw them on the top of a building?

Brad: We actually saw them on top of a double decker bus at the Planet Hollywood in Chicago when they were promoting the Spice World movie. In fact, HERE is a link to the Tribune article about it.

Jason: For some reason I have a false memory of them being on the top of Planet Hollywood but maybe that was a conversation we had about how we would’ve been able to see them better if they had been there instead on top of a London Night Bus. What is your favorite song on Spice? Is there a favorite song? Do you even like the Spice Girls?

Brad: I think “Say You’ll Be There” is really pretty good. When I was listening to it earlier today I was really getting into “Mama”. Also, “Who Do You Think You Are” is a fun disco song.

Jason: Those are decent. “Wannabe” gets stuck in everyone’s head all of the time but I don’t get tired of it. I like Baby’s and Sporty’s voices on “2 Become 1” and “Naked” is an okay ballad. The whole album is…fine.

Brad: I agree. I always thought they were a manufactured girl group. It sounds like their original formation was like that but then that deal fell through. They decided to make a go of it on their own. They wrote all the songs on the album. So I’m kinda impressed with that. 

Jason: Yes, I also assumed they were a product but turns out they named themselves and wrote all of their own music and promoted themselves so that’s pretty impressive. None of their solo careers did much but I remember liking Mel C’s album and a few Geri songs. I also like Emma as the host of The Great American Baking Show and of course Posh has basically turned into a fashion mannequin at this point. Are you interested in listening to their other albums or is this a “best of” only group?

Brad: I love Melanie C’s solo album “Northern Star”. Her song “I Turn to You” is still pretty great. I even went to see her in concert once at the House of Blues. My favorite Spice Girls song is “Spice Up Your Life”. They only released 3 albums and the third doesn’t include Ginger. So they don’t have a lot of music. 

Jason: I do like Spice Up Your Life. I didn’t realize Geri wasn’t on the third one. For being a “flash in the pan” group they are still really in demand. They are almost like ABBA at this point. People are offering tons of money for them to reunite. So what grade are you giving this album?

Brad: I’m giving it a B- because I mostly enjoy it.

Jason: I think that is the right grade. Nothing offensive but nothing remarkable. It’s just pop fluff that sparked a revolution. B- for me as well. By the way, Who is your favorite Spice Girl?

Brad: Mel C – AKA Sporty Spice. You?

Jason: I don’t discriminate; I love allspice.

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Below is the scratch-off artwork from the 100 Bucket List poster.