Twenty-five years ago this week, Melanie Brown shouted it down the camera at us dancing around the St Pancras hotel in tiny crop-top of lime green colour and jazzy trousers, pop music developed.
‘Wannabe’ by the Spice Girls indicated the arrival of a new label of girl power and unlocked the door for a new wave of bands to even the score within the even more, male-dominated industry. I was at primary school and utterly uninterested in taking Baffled by why my pals admired them so much… and then the Spice Girls got along.
They were my primary music obsession (aside from Kylie and Michael Jackson, but Victoria and co. were my first foray into new music). I cherish feeling like an actual queen when I was the prime of my friends to get the Spice Girls annual. In 2008 I moved to The O2 excitedly to attend their reunion and cheered loudest for VB just doing a catwalk rather than singing a solo. Know your powers, guys. It’s OK!
The Spice Girls have always possessed loyal LGBTQ fans and even altered the lyrics to one of their biggest hits to verify their support. The original variant of 2 Become 1, as featured on their debut album Spice, includes the lyric: “Any deal that we endeavour / Boys and girls feel good together”.
Since then, the most prominent girl band has guided us fair few things about life, music, and everything within.
Here’s what we’ve discovered in the preceding quarter of a decade…
It’s straightforward to pick Robbie Williams.
Robbie Williams had a pleasant time in the ’90s and ’00s; we understand this. And possibly the most significant indicator of this being when he told the story of getting, er, serviced by a woman posing as a cleaner in a castle he’d hired. He also recently clarified that he didn’t sleep with four of the five Spice Girls, just the three. So it seems as if you were around Robbie for longer than 40 minutes between 1995 and 2010.
The Girl band is just the Beginning.
The girls cut into the cassette players and our hearts with their wall-to-wall bangers. They’ve all progressed from strength to strength. Sometimes it’s simple to forget that Victoria Beckham – global fashion stylist and make-up royalty – was even in a girl band. Emma Bunton now has a prosperous radio career; Mel C won an Olivier Award for her turn in Blood Brothers and perhaps the most successful solo career of them all; most importantly, she appeared on Celebrity Gogglebox year. Geri had a semi-decent solo profession (‘Mi Chico Latino’ remains a tune) and is now wedded to a squillionaire Formula One guy. Mel B has nevermore been far away from our screens and has had a massive career in the Simon Cowell world.
You can meet your heroes.
Let’s never forget the duets. Mel C’s ‘Baby When You’re Gone with Bryan Adams is one of the best pop songs of the last twenty years (don’t argue with me), and Mel B collaborated with Missy Elliot on ‘I Want You Back, an underrated R&B club classic. Neither of them compares to VB and Dane Bowers, though; ‘Out Of Your Mind’ is a truly iconic ’00s track beaten to its rightful place at the top of the charts by Sophie Ellis Bextor’s ‘If This Ain’t Love’.
If the Spice Girls have informed us anything, it’s that you can get wherever you desire to be if you work hard enough. You can go through the darkest times of your life and the stresses that come with completing the things you need to and come out the other side. With your best friends intact. That’s Girl Power.