How about that super secret Spice performance at the Olympics Closing Ceremonies ay? I’d wager a pretty penny that it was the single greatest thing to happen to this world since Alan Cumming joined the cast of Spice World. They had glitz and glam and cabbies galore. Posh didn’t smile! Baby wore pink! USA swimming sensation Missy Franklin knew the words to “Spice Up Your Life” and she was a mere fetus when their debut album was released in 1996! I don’t think I’m alone when I say that the only thing missing was a double-decker bus wrapped up tight in the British flag.
The Spice Girls just make me smile. Hearing their music brings me back to a much simpler time, a time when I would sneak into my big brother Alex’s room to steal his Spice CD and listen to it on my boom box on repeat. Now hear me out — If Alex knew I was sharing this with you, it would be noogie central, so let’s just keep that between you and me, shall we? The truth is, Alex SWEARS that he did not own the album…but I SWEAR he did! I can picture it now, smack dab in between his copy of the Space Jam soundtrack and Seal’s single “Kiss From A Rose.” Why I didn’t just go to The Wall and buy my own copy is beyond me (The Wall? Anyone? Where my suburbies at?) Lord knows I was at the mall every Friday night anyway.
My first taste of the Spice Girls was, like most tweens at the time, on MTV. “Wannabe” (and its accompanying music video) was the biggest British thing to happen to America since
blood pudding The Beatles and everyone from Madonna to Nelson Mandela was embracing Girl Power. The girls were fun and the song was loud and Mel B. was rapping and all was right with the world. Show me a girl from 1996 who didn’t know that Em was in your face and V didn’t come for free and I’ll.. I’ll.. OK I can’t do anything, but I’m pretty sure they’ll at least remember Scary Spice’s green tube top.
In their heyday, Spice Style was crazy and out there yet totally relatable, which made Halloweens’ 1996-98 a breeze. Throw on a track suit and an arm band tattoo and you’re Mel C or simply rock a Union Jack flag on your tummy and you’re easily the best Ginger Spice in your neighborhood. Spice Style weaved all the way down to my suburban 6th grade class – remember those super high platform sneakers favored by Ms. Emma Bunton? Well you better believe that when Steve Madden came out with a slightly less platformed version they were the first item on my holiday wish list. Man, what I wouldn’t give to wear a pair of those puppies again. They were caj yet surprisingly fancy. True story – I once wore them to a funeral (elementary school fashion is clearly meant for another blog, another time).
The Spice Girls came into our lives at the perfect time. While there were haters aplenty, the world was ready to embrace their silliness and revel in their infectiousness. Like a mid-90s Carly Rae Jepson, whether you liked them or not, they got you tapping your toes and whistling their tunes when they burst through the speakers of your local coffee shop. There’s a reason Spice sold 28 million albums — and I don’t think it has anything to do with Alan Cumming.
Now it’s time for what really matters. Voice your choice in today’s poll and tell us which single off the Spice Girls’ debut album is your favorite!
“2 Become 1”
“Say You’ll Be There”
“Who Do You Think You Are”