The Spice Girls are undeniably one of the biggest bands of all times. I mean you can be critical of their music if you like. (And Many are.) You could also point to the fact that they are just a pop band, they don’t play their own instruments etc. And many of you will! But you cannot argue with their accomplishments.
Why is their reunion a big deal?
Well for starters they have sold an impressive forty million albums worldwide! Making them twenty times platinum artists. Those are not rookie numbers! To put that into context Girls Aloud have only managed a tenth of that. But it’s not just about album sales – after all the Spice Girls only made three of them. Their singles records are equally impressive.
The single queens
Over the course of their career, the Spice girls have released eleven singles in the UK. All but two of them hit the number one spot. On a side note how did “Stop” only get to number two? Easily one of their best! eight of those singles went platinum, some of them multiple times. As well as this their singles faired well in the US, consistently charting in and around the top ten. In addition, they were doing rather well in Europe.
Their career was huge. They rode the wave of popularity and probably ended it at the right time. The girl’s all had solo careers. Mel C or Geri probably had the best careers, with the former receiving considerable praise for her vocal style. Victoria, of course, managed to remain in the spotlight with her work in the fashion industry, oh yeah and she went and married David Beckham. That didn’t hurt either. Mel B did some work for some talent contest thing and Emma became a TV presenter.
The first reunion
This is not the first time the fab five have reunited (although Mrs Beckham hasn’t signed up for the current tour with the girls) the first reunion went side by side with a greatest hits album and an accompanying new single, “Headlines”. I hadn’t heard of it either! It hit number 11 in the UK and didn’t chart well anywhere else, apart from Sweden! Which begs the question, why is this? After all Take That (for argument’s sake let’s say they that they are the male equivalent) went away and came back bigger than ever. So what’s the difference?
I think primarily the difference is that the boy band came back as a “man band” they had reinvented themselves. The tweaks were subtle. But no longer were they about slick choreography. Their music had matured and they weren’t afraid to experiment either (see the Flood!) having said that the boys released singles that didn’t chart well, but they still had it in them to pull platinum records out of their proverbial backsides.
So girl power is dead?
Don’t get me wrong. Tickets to the Spice Girls gigs are selling quicker than that bloody dress that Geri wore. But if they ever wanted to be more than a nostalgia kick reinvention would be necessary. Girl Power was a movement, let’s be honest about it. The reason the Spice Girls were so popular is that the embodied the 90’s woman. They were a way of saying, you can be posh, you can be sporty, you can be scary – all types of women are cool. It was empowering then, it’s condescending now. If they want a modern pop career they need a new shtick. If they don’t then I think most of us will quite happily pull out our copies of Wannabe and bop along! Now that’s what I REALLY want.