Zigga Zig Ah: 10 Girl-Powered Facts About The Spice Girls
Today, November 4, marks 15 years since the Spice Girls first album, Spice, was released. Closing out 1996 with a titanic dose of girl power, the album would go on to sell almost 24 million copies and spawn countless imitators like B*Witched, All Saints, and later on, the Pussycat Dolls.
Obviously to most rock fans, November 4, 1996 is a date which lives in infamy, ushering in a new era of pop dominance at the hands of boy bands, MTV's Total Request Live, and screaming rabid pre-teen girls. The Spice Girls came on the scene armed with hooks, big production, ready-made marketable personalities, big dumb sex, and the blessing of pop impresarios hellbent on world domination.
This is a blog that Rocks Off has been waiting over a decade to write, as the embers of girl power keep reigniting the music world in different ways. Current chart sensation Adele has been a vocal fan of the group, turning ten years old just as the girls were going global and inspiring her to begin a singing career.
After years of music at large being dominated by country, grunge, and hip-hop, something like the Spice Girls was all too fresh. Their hooks on songs like "Wannabe," "Say You'll Be There," and "2 Become 1" proved irresistible to fans, and were the bane of the existence of everyone else.
Rocks Off saw the seeming inanity of the Spice Girls, but could at least respect the craft, and the chicks were hot, and when you are 14 years old that counts for something. OK, that was everything.
The girls, Geri "Ginger Spice" Halliwell, Emma "Baby Spice" Bunton, Melanie "Scary Spice" Brown, Victoria "Posh Spice" Adams, and Melanie "Sporty Spice" Chisholm, found themselves getting adopted by their female fans as sort of role models for fashion and behavior. Girls latched on to the members that they felt they resembled, which was genius marketing on the part of Spice's handlers.
For Rocks Off, Ginger Spice was just a continuation of a fascination and attraction to redheads that began with Miss Yvonne from Pee Wee's Playhouse, and continues to today with Mad Men's Christina Hendricks. But you all knew that.
If you haven't seen their 1997 film, Spice World, then you are missing out on the real best picture of that movie season. Titanic was funny and all, but Spice World had the Spice Girls in it. The whole thing is on YouTube, so tell your boss that you are under the weather or something and dial it up. Elvis Costello, Meat Loaf, Roger Moore, Elton John, and even Hugh "Crippled Angry Doctor" Laurie all make cameos. Ginger Spice dresses up in all kinds of slutty outfits and the girls cover a Gary Glitter song while bare-assed men dance behind them.
Ginger left the group in the summer of 1998 and soon began a solo career. The group carried on with a world tour, hitting Houston on August 25. We were there a few rows back in the pit with our friend Natalie, who cried with joy for most of the set, while we made do ogling Posh Spice since Ginger was gone. Oh, and we were sophomores in high school if that matters.
So on this 15-year anniversary we dive into a ten little-known facts about the group that you either forgot, try to not remember, or keep hidden in a special box in your brain that gets pulled out when no one is in the car with you or it's girls night out.
The group began life in 1994 as Touch, with the original five answering an ad put up in pubs and dance studios. Emma Bunton replaces Michelle Stephenson who leaves the fold in July 1994.
The video for "Say You'll Be There" was filmed in the Mojave Desert. Each Spice Girl took a pseudonym for the shoot, placing them as some sort of crime fighters. Well, there was leather and dancing, we know that much. There was Katrina Highkick, Trixie Firecracker, Kung Fu Candy, Midnight Miss Suki and Blazin' Bad Zula.