'90s Masters Of Music | Spice Girls 'Spice' (1996)

 

The Spice Girls wormed their way onto the '90s pop music scene in late 1996. By 2000 they had gone, but not before they had stamped their platform-booted footprint into the pages of pop history.

Spice was a cracker of a debut album; every bit as kitsch as we'd hoped it would be following that toxic ear-worm song Wannabe. For someone who wasn't a dedicated Spice Girl fan, I sure do know a lot of these lyrics; I even know some genuine 1996 Girl Power dance choreography.

I don't even know who I am anymore...

 
 

Say what you like about Scary, Sporty, Ginger, Baby & Posh - they delivered some damn good pop songs. And who doesn't love a bit of bubblegum pop every once in a while? I can't speak for the rest of the tracks on the album, but the singles I can definitely appreciate for what they were/are...

I'm pretty sure Wannabe has been used as a method of torture at least once, somewhere in the world. And that film clip!? Bloody hell! I'd love to know if the Spiced Ones can watch it now without shielding their eyes in embarrassment.

But the song got the ball rolling and helped make them a squillion dollars in the end, so they probably console themselves with that very comforting thought when the lights go out at night.

 
 
 

By the time they released Say You'll Be There we were so sick of that other damn song that we were just thankful for the variety. And sweet baby cheeses the film clip was amazing! Who could forget Baby's blue dishwashing gloves, Scary's very scary hairy hair, and Posh struggling to move at all in her black leather catsuit? Fan-frigging-tastic!

I think if we're all being honest here girls, much of the appeal of the Spicies - for most of us - was their hair & clothes. 2 Become 1 was one of those music videos that made me covet their increasingly enviable wardrobes. If I had to pick just one outfit I'd be torn between Baby's purple velvet winter coat, knee high boots, and mini skirt OR Ginger's identical ensemble in a shade of forest green.

So much to love here, with one notable exception - Sporty looked like she didn't have time to change after a weekend of fly fishing. She rocked a collection of pieces that screamed ARMY DISPOSAL STORE, but she wore it with confidence, so I say good on you Sporty... good on you.

If 2 Become 1 was the video with style that we fell in love with, Who Do You Think You Are was the one that seriously made us question our new style icons. The following articles are hereby entered into evidence in the case of Spice Girls, for crimes against style...

  • GINGER SPICE: red leather playsuit & white wedding dress with approximately 33 layers of tulle too many.
  • SPORTY SPICE: actually Sporty commits no real crime here, other than her little spaghetti strap petticoat didn't quite 'gel' with her fellow spices. To be fair to Ms Sport though, I'm not sure there was anything that was ever going to 'gel' in the grand scheme of things, so I'm letting her off the hook on this one.
  • SCARY SPICE: leopard print material. Again. The problem here was not the animal print material itself, but the lack thereof in one particular outfit that struggled to hold her jubblies in place.
  • POSH SPICE: silver catsuit (?) & bikini with chainmail overlay (?) Sometimes it's best not to ask questions when it comes to Victoria.
  • BABY SPICE: I've left Baby until last, because she was always - ALWAYS - the one you could turn to for rhyme & reason when the others had left you seriously confused. But those ringlet curls were never going to fly, at least not with me. Paired with a white mini & $2 pink top, the word 'hooker' really did come to mind. If hashtags were around in 1997, #prostitutechic would probably have been a thing.
 
 

I really don't want to end my little rehash of Spice on such a downer though. Luckily, Who Do You Think You Are was a double A side, with Mama getting it's own music video too. Here the girls belt out their ode to maternal love in an intimate setting, while excerpts of childhood videos play (presumably early video footage of the Spiced Ones themselves); and motherly-looking women wave excitedly from the audience (presumably the actual Mother Spices, although how funny would it be if they were just all actors?)

Oh roffle... that would be a classic Spice shananigan.