Yesterday, inspired by having heard I Turn To You on the radio, followed by Mel C talking about her new album, I started thinking about the Spice Girls. I asked my friend Richard who his favourite solo Spice Girl was. He said Emma, because he loves Maybe, and then we got into a discussion that ended with me favourably comparing the Spice Girls with the Beatles. And getting away with it, I think.
Anyway, so I got to thinking that there’s a blog post in all this. My ten favourite solo Spice Girls singles, in no particular order.
I Want You Back – Melanie B
Mel B was the first Spice Girl to have a solo number one. and I helped her get it. I loved this when it first came out, which is odd, because I’ve never been a Missy Elliot fan. I still enjoy listening to it, and can just about sing every word. This is her only appearance in my top ten, Feels So Good also made it (even if the “We’re gonna get all soft and smoochy” bit at the beginning makes me want to hurt myself), but it wasn’t quite good enough.
What I Am – Emma Bunton featuring Tin Tin Out
I used to be quite the fan of Tin Tin Out, and this was a pretty decent collaboration. Emma’s voice really works with their style of music. Her look in the video is an obvious attempt to move away from Baby Spice – shirt open to show bra with nothing on her bottom half, though frankly it could have been a lot worse.
Out of Your Mind – True Steppers & Dane Bowers featuring Victoria Beckham
I am breaking my self-imposed rule here, by including a song that featured a Spice Girl, as opposed to songs by them. And that’s simply because a) I love this song and b) I wanted each Spice Girl to be represented, and I wasn’t including Not Such an Innocent Girl. This is a firm favourite for a few reasons. Firstly, I actually quite enjoy listening to it. Secondly, I love Victoria Beckham. And thirdly, it reminds me of Sixth Form. My friend Dan used it on a video that I helped him make of a business course we went on.
Never Be the Same Again – Melanie C featuring Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes
I love this song, purely and simply I enjoy listening to it. Having been looking into it to write this post though, I discovered that there is a school of thought that thinks it may have a lesbian theme to it, which if you listen to the lyrics, definitely makes sense. Allegedly though, it was written by Melanie C about Anthony Kiedis of The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, after they had a brief relationship. He wrote a song about her too, called Emit Remmus, which featured on the album Californication. Anyway, my mum also loved this song. She was a bit of a Mel C fan on the quiet.
Bag It Up – Geri Halliwell
One of the tweets that I missed out of the conversation up there was me replying to Richard’s assertion about Geri’s best song. I said that I was fond of both Mi Chico Latino and Lift Me Up. I’m fairly certain that I bought Mi Chico Latino on cassette. But then when it came to reminding myself of the songs for this post, I realised that it’s a bit rubbish, and actually Bag It Up is better.
We’re Not Gonna Sleep Tonight – Emma Bunton
This isn’t a popular Emma Bunton single, in fact it’s one of her worst performing as far as the charts are concerned. But I really like it! For a start it’s refreshing that a modern pop song by a woman is about something other than a man. And I like the less than subtle Latin sounding undertones from someone who couldn’t be less Latin if she tried.
If That Were Me – Melanie C
When she started releasing solo songs, Mel C tried to go a bit punk; she released Goin’ Down, the video for which found her with blonde spiky hair and a tartan mini skirt. The short blonde hair survived into Never Be the Same Again (see above), but by the time this one came around, it was longer, though still blonde. These days she’s back to brunette, and much better for it. This is a bit of an odd song, because it is explicitly about homelessness, which seems like an odd choice for a pop song. But she was clearly using homelessness to talk about some of the problems she was having herself, so it sort of makes sense. And I do think she has a beautiful voice, that this shows off very well. Just ignore the line “I couldn’t live without my phone/But you don’t even have a home.” Because it’s a bit rubbish. As is the video.
Lift Me Up – Geri Halliwell
This was a tough one to decide on. I thought it was my favourite Geri song, and then I listened to it again, and I wasn’t sure. But I’m including it because I think I prefer it to Lift Me Up, and I know I prefer it to Scream if You Wanna Go Faster. I’m not in love with the sound of Geri’s voice, but I like the song. The video’s ridiculous though.
Maybe – Emma Bunton
This a firm favourite of Richard’s, and I’d actually forgotten how much I loved it until I listened to it again. It was when Emma was going through her 60s phase, and it totally works for her, both musically and stylistically.
I Turn To You – Melanie C
If I had to pick one, I think this would be my favourite Spice Girls solo single. The video is terrible, again, but the song is ace. I’m not even a fan of dance music, per se, and I know that this probably counts as very pop-py dance music, but still. Part of my love for it comes from its appearance in Bend it Like Beckham, but I think I probably loved it before that. Little known fact, when it reached number one, it made Mel C the first female solo artist to have a number one after topping the charts with a quintet, a quartet and a duo.
A special mention to When You’re Gone, which didn’t make the cut because Mel C features on it as a Bryan Adams song. But it’s awesome.
This post took me so much longer than I anticipated!