Friday, January 06, 2006

1001 Greatest Pop Songs Of All Time - #2 - Wannabe by The Spice Girls

Claire: So where do you begin? I mean, it's an obvious induction - a classic not just of it's time, but of all time, one of the finest songs ever constructed, the song that started the teen pop explosion of the late 90s/early 00s that makes up most of this list - you could make a case that it's the one of the most important Pop songs of all time. It made Pop acceptable for adults to like, and above all else, there have been few bands in this time so universally loved by everyone as the Spice Girls were in 1996 and 1997. In fact, if you are talking about one song marking the distinction between what this list is calling "pop" and what this list is calling "boring", it's this one. Criticising or analysing the song, that's just pointless, you know it, you love it. That they went on to better Wannabe several times over just adds to the fact the Spice Girls, in my opinion, are the greatest Pop Band of all time. In fact, The Spice Girls, to me, proved just how awful Britpop had been. Ocean Colour Scene? Chas and Blur? Cast?

So what is there to say in 2006? As the girls now have a critical respect somewhere just below a Big Brother winner? As you actively wonder what WAS it you liked about Mel C? Did you have to be there, is that it? I went to a Spiceworld screening and actively soaked in a teen pop mania that was exciting, and face it, wouldn't you cry out for such a band now, a band of purest, purest pop instead of the rubbish churning through the charts? But if that is the case, girls who were 8 when it came out will turn 18 in the near future, so there's bound to be a nostalgia rush coming up, in which those girls who collected the stickers and the posters will dig them out again and enjoy them - there will be a rush akin to that that ABBA had in the future, it's just a matter of time. So do they reform, a la Take That? I'd hope not, the Spice Girls died the day Geri walked, and everyone knows it. Once a spell is broken, it's time to move on. My memories of Spice are of their time, I don't need nostalgia. I know where I was when I first heard Wannabe, you probably know yourself. I bought the T-shirts, I bought the singles, I bought the posters - I'm forever Spice, they were my teen band, and I loved them with all my heart. Are they why I moved to London? Partly, I would have taken a year off just to follow them around the country I think - THAT is how much I loved them.

You can make an argument that while The Spice Girls (ie. Posh, Sporty) were fantasic, the Spice Girls (ie. Vicky B, Mel C) are rather unappealing people. As their solo careers piled up on the side of the road, you really did think, why, why were they so loved? Of course, Wannabe was just to good to flop. And despite what you might think now, Ginger Spice is one of the finest Pop stars to come out of Planet earth - fame crazed and shameless - in fact, the qualities you probably hate in Geri Halliwell. As for the song, to touch on it briefly, I'll get to my favourite Spice Girls song in time, but I know I found it inspirational, it was just the band I needed. Dayglo in the best sense, and lyrically under-rated, speaking to a generation of teen and pre teen girls in a way Mr so called musical poet Bob Fackin Dylan could only dream of. But enough of that, get it out, play it, and enjoy it. It's the kind of song we desperately need now.

This is brilliant, lest we forget.


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