Times we would play about, the way we used to scream and shout
Tonight The Oxford Street lights will be turned on. My imagination immediately transfixes me back to November 1997 when the Spice Girls turned on the Oxford Street lights. Wearing fur collared coats, buffalos and Addidas.
At a recent event I got into conversation with an editor at a magazine. We discussed the Spice Girls and the controversy surrounding their potential reunion, the question being will there be one and is it necessary.
At the moment I unshamably have The Spice Girls third and final album ‘Forvever’ on repeat in my car everyday for the last month.
Yes I am singing and dancing to my rear view mirror. It’s either that Maxwell or any Mariah Carey album. The third spice Girls album was produced by Rodney Jerkins an extremely talented musical producer from LA who produced Destinys Child, Jennifer Lopez and Whitney Houstons albums. His chords and instrumentals can be heard and identified on 4 out of the 11 songs as it is really similar to Destinys Child ‘Bills, Bills, Bills’. I just wish there had been a few more albums after this maybe with Rodney or an exploration of other producers. There body of work I feel could have been explored further.
There is nothing I love more than 90’s music. It’s cheesy, it’s memorable and it’s most of all fun! Spice Girls defined an extremely special time in England. Tony Blair resided at Downing Street, Oasis had a Wonderwall, The year 2000 was fast approaching, The Met Bar was the obligatory go to place- there was no ‘Sexy Fish’??? Brit Pop was at its peak and the decade marked the formation of The Spice Girls.
Always an avid fan. Listening to the album now evokes so many childhood memories. Going to Woolworths with my school friends to buy those strawberry scented soaps for Christmas, buying copious amounts of Body Shop Kiwi Lip Balm and always having my VCR on to tape The Spice Girls on TOTP (Top of the Pops for those who are wondering- British TV show shown every Friday at 7.30 UK with live musical performances), being in the school Talent show performing as The Spice Girls twice and practising our routines in the school courtyard. I even remember someone saying they would use an iron to straighten their hair into Poshs bob and having the L’Oréal hair mascara to streak ginger into our Geris hair for the talent show:). That’s how crazy the Spice bubble was.
I think the Spice Girls taught us that if you have a dream, you can be that dream. If you have a talent you should reach for the stars. I think this was a message they conveyed through their music and their presence.
They had no filter, they were relatable to every girl and they just had a magic. I remember watching a Spice Girls Viva Forver Documentry a few years back and Melanie B saying the love between her and these 4 girls was unbearable they were her 4 best friends. It was beautiful.
Bob and Chris Herbert didn’t really know what to do with them in terms of management and the next step. They had become ‘Frankensteins Monster’ they had created this thing but didn’t know how to control it.
The Spice Girls wanted to be superstars, wanted to be on TOTP and it just was not happening. So they sacked their manager, put all their clothes in bin liners and into Geris Fiat Uno.
They then drove to Sheffield to seek out Take That song writer Elliot Kennedy with their demo tape secured in Geris pants. Kennedy stated “They were essentially girls with no management, skint in the middle of Sheffield”. Kennedy further ensued that there fearlessness was “bulletproof and intoxiacating’. They then went on to meet manager Simon Fuller who they went on to sack. The rest they say is history.
The Spice Girls success can be attributed to Svengali Simon Fuller, having a Strong brand DNA and evident branding structure from the very beginning. They were compared to Spice bottles on a Spice rack to define their characteristics and personalities. Posh liked the nice clothes and restaurants therefore she was ‘Posh, Melanie B had crazy hair and a penchant for leopard print therefore she was ‘Scary’. This was also the beginning of another brand emerging at the time ‘Brand Beckham’.
The Spice Girls captured many moments in time for a nation of women, maybe some men too. They displayed that as women we can achieve despite race, creed and social barriers. Today is filled with so much manipulated imagery with teenage girls not being able to really be themselves. With social media, Botox and plastic surgery being a multiple obsession. We can be happy without all that.
I think we can all learn from them there is no box, to never give up, the sky is the limit and that Friendship never ends.
Watch the documentary here:
La Fin X