Spice Girls songs

Ranked!

The Guardian - G2 - - Front Page - By Alexis Petridis

1 ho Do You Think You Are 1996 Time has been kin­der to the Spice Girls than de­trac­tors at the height of their 90s fame might have ex­pected, not least be­cause of a new gen­er­a­tion of fe­male artists laud­ing their in­flu­ence. Yet their mu­sic some­times seemed sec­ondary, a means by which their per­son­al­i­ties could be mar­keted. How­ever, at the core of their ap­peal are a string of punchy, un­de­ni­able pop songs and this is the best: a rich, brass-driven disco pas­tiche.

2 ay You’ll Be There 1996 The fol­low-up to their de­but sin­gle Wannabe was a more so­phis­ti­cated song. The verse and cho­rus here are in­stantly mem­o­rable, the G-funk in­flu­ence is audi­ble; there’s a Ste­vie Won­der­ish har­mon­ica solo; and Mel C gets to re­ally ex­er­cise her pipes.

3 Stop 1997 This is as close as the girls came to join­ing in with the retro­ma­nia of Brit­pop, although it fo­cused on an area of 60s pop that most plat­inum indie bands ig­nored. Although there is some­thing oblig­a­tory about a girl band mak­ing a Mo­town pas­tiche, Stop is joy­ous enough to dis­arm any crit­i­cism.

4 2 Be­come 1 1996 The clunky safe-sex lyric isn’t great, but the tune here is fan­tas­tic and the ar­range­ment lush, with strings cour­tesy of Mas­sive At­tack-ap­proved com­poser Craig Arm­strong. Plus, in a world of Au­to­Tune, the vo­cals sound gen­uinely charm­ing and full of char­ac­ter.

5 Wannabe 1996 By far their most en­dur­ing song – with 250m more plays on Spo­tify than its clos­est ri­val – there is al­most noth­ing to Wannabe: a bassline in­debted to EMF’s Un­be­liev­able, a jin­gle-like cho­rus and some shout­ing. It is not snippy to say that the shout­ing is cru­cial: it gives Wannabe a dif­fer­ent en­ergy to your av­er­age girl group ef­fort.

6 Viva For­ever 1997 Re­leased as a sin­gle in July, timed to sound­track hol­i­day ro­mances, Viva For­ever lays it on a bit thick: fla­menco gui­tars, “hasta mañana”, etc. But its note of lush melan­choly (for all the pledges of undy­ing love, you some­how know that it’s over) is hard to re­sist.

7 Walk of Life 1997 Yes, the Spice Girls did record a reg­gae track. More­over, it is sur­pris­ingly good, although you could per­haps live with­out Mel B’s toast­ing. In its com­bi­na­tion of a re­mark­ably gritty back­ing skank and lyri­cal homage to the streets of the UK cap­i­tal, it presages Lily Allen’s LDN.

8 Spice Up Your Life 1997 Sec­ond al­bum Spice­world was recorded – as pro­duc­er­song­writer Matt Rowe has re­called – “in the mid­dle of the chaos” and oc­ca­sion­ally it showed: Spice Up Your Life was writ­ten and recorded in an af­ter­noon. This ac­counts for both its woe­ful lyrics (“Yel­low man in Tim­buktu / Colour for both me and you”) and a cer­tain raw en­ergy that pow­ers it along.

9 Baby Come Round 1996 One of their few B-sides to war­rant re­peated lis­tens, the R&B-in­fused Baby Come Round is an in­fin­itely classier, no­tice­ably tougher track than the dou­ble A-side of Mama and Who Do You Think You Are and brings an­other de­mon­stra­tion of Mel B’s cheer­ingly Leeds-ac­cented rap­ping.

10 Love Thing 1996 Love Thing ended up as an al­bum track, but the record la­bel ap­par­ently pro­posed it as an early sin­gle. What would have hap­pened to them had they agreed is an in­trigu­ing ques­tion, but it’s a su­pe­rior pop con­fec­tion that would cer­tainly have been a hit in the wake of Wannabe.

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