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Spice Girls: What They Really, Really Want Is For You To Love Them... Again

Feb 6, 2008
"Yo, I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want,
So tell me what you want, what you really really want,
I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna really,
Really really wanna zigazig ha."

Apparently the concert-going public has spoken and what they really, really want is to see the Spice Girls perform together once again.

They're back...!

Just when you thought the whole reunion nostalgia thing must be losing its steam, one of the most famous of the "girl bands," The Spice Girls, have just launched a reunion tour that will take them well into 2008. With Simon Fuller once again steering the ship, there is little doubt that this will be a heavily promoted, successful, and lucrative endeavour for all involved.

A pop music phenomenon, the Spice Girls launched a career that included three albums, multiple world tours, sales of 55 million records and even a Spice Girls movie. Like few groups before them, the Spice Girls became a fixture in the British press. Their Girl Power mantra (emphasising loyalty and friendship) was heavily marketed and made the Spice Girls internationally famous. They were unabashedly pop, shamelessly aggressive self-promoters, and their individually developed personas brought comparisons to the Beatles and Beatlemania. While British radio had been dominated in the early 90's by guitar-based bands like Blur and Oasis, the Spice Girls were pure pop and aimed squarely at a young female audience.

It all started in London in 1993 with an open audition for a girl group being put together by Bob and Chris Herbert. Their group - Touch - was finalised based on these auditions and the line-up included Victoria Adams, Melanie Brown, Melanie Chisholm and Geri Halliwell. The women were moved into a house together and began a demanding routine of song and dance rehearsals. The pace was too much for the fifth member of Touch, and she left to be replaced by Emma Bunton.

After a disagreement over the band's direction with Chris Herbert, the band quit and broke away in 1994. In the fall of that year they met Simon Fuller (yes, that Simon Fuller; not the caustic judge, but the creator of the various Pop Idol television series including American Idol) and by spring of 1995, they had signed with Fuller and his company, 19 Management.

In September 1995, the band officially became the Spice Girls and Fuller landed them a recording contract with Virgin Records. He quickly whisked them off on a promotional tour of the United States followed by filming for their first video, Wannabe. By May of 1996, Wannabe was a hit on video stations and the Spice Girls were on the road to fame.

In July of 1996, Top of the Pops magazine ran a feature on the Spice Girls, in which the editor suggested that nicknames for each of the Spice Girls might be a good idea: Posh, Ginger, Baby, Scary and Sporty made their first appearance in the music press and the nicknames stuck.

Simon Fuller turned out to be a master of promotion and worked every angle to get the Spice Girls out there. They toured the United States again, appeared at a Christmas tree lighting in London in 1996 that drew 500,000 people, and began promoting a myriad of products, including Pepsi, Polaroid and Cadbury's. By February 1997, Wannabe had become the number one song in the UK and US charts, and by this point, the Spice Girls had amassed world CD sales of six million, along with seven million singles. Not bad for a debut.

Their follow-up album, Spice, was released in March of 1997, and sales climbed to 14 million copies by July of that year. Their third album, Spiceworld, was released shortly after in November 1997, and just prior to the release of their movie, Spiceworld, on Boxing Day of 1997. The film grossed $75 million worldwide. Then in a bombshell announcement, the Spice Girls dropped Simon Fuller as their manager just prior to the start of a massive world tour. Probably not a good move, given that he appeared to be crucial to their success.

1998 started off with the news that Victoria Adams was engaged to soccer star David Beckham. In February, the Spice Girls began the previously planned, 102-date world tour in support of Spiceworld, but the cracks were beginning to show. Geri Halliwell failed to appear at several gigs in Norway in May and soon released a letter announcing her departure from the group. In June, the Spice Girls, minus Ginger, undertook the American leg of the tour, but rumours of the group's imminent demise were fuelled by the news in August that both Victoria Adams and Melanie Brown were pregnant. The Spiceworld Tour concluded with a pair of sold out shows at Wembley Stadium, but it was to be their final tour.

Brown married in 1998 followed by Adams in 1999. In October 2000, the Spice Girls released their final album, Forever. They never officially broke up, but the group didn't release any more material and each went her own way.

Discography

1996: Spice (UK #1)
1997: Spiceworld (UK #1)
2000: Forever (UK #2)
2007: Greatest Hits (UK #2)

Number 1 Singles (UK Charts)
1996: Wannabe, Say You'll Be There, 2 Become 1
1997: Mama/Who Do You Think You Are?, Spice Up Your Life, Too Much
1998: Viva Forever, Goodbye
2000: Holler/Let Love Lead The Way

So where have the Spice Girls been for the past seven years?

Melanie Brown (aka "Scary Spice," aka "Mel B") released a solo album in 2000 and has since concentrated largely on an acting career. Her credits include roles in the BBC3 sitcom Burn It, movies Lethal Dose and The Seat Filler, a Broadway appearance in the musical Rent, a part in The Vagina Monologues in London, and appearances on television reality shows This Is My Moment and Dancing With The Stars. A second solo CD was released in 2004, after her autobiography was published in 2002. Melanie has two children, daughters Phoenix Chi and Angel Iris. Brown garnered considerable tabloid press in 2006 when a relationship with actor Eddie Murphy ended, with Brown claiming that Murphy had fathered Angel Iris.

Melanie Chisholm (aka "Sporty Spice," aka "Mel C") has enjoyed a busy solo career since the Spice Girls split up, releasing four albums and performing a hit duet with Canadian singer Bryan Adams. She formed her own label, Red Girl Records, and has been actively touring in support of her material.

Victoria Beckham (aka "Posh Spice") has recently had considerable attention with the American tabloid press, following her move to Los Angeles with husband, soccer star David Beckham, who joined the L.A. Galaxy football team. The Beckhams have three sons. Victoria hasn't pursued a solo singing career, unlike the other girls, but has followed her interest in fashion, acting as a guest fashion editor with Harper's Bazaar magazine and releasing several clothing lines as well as her own fragrance (Intimately Beckham). Beckham has made several television appearances, including a stint on Ugly Betty. Beckham has also published a fashion guidebook and an autobiography.

Geri Halliwell (aka "Ginger Spice") has released three solo albums, contributed a hit single to the movie Bridget Jones's Diary (It's Raining Men), released two autobiographies, released two yoga videos, and appeared on the television show Sex In The City. Apparently not content to sit still, Halliwell is also an ambassador for The Prince's Trust, has written six soon-to-be-published children's books and became a mother with the birth of daughter Bluebell Madonna in 2006.

Emma Bunton (aka "Baby Spice") has released three solo records, appeared on BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing, and in August of 2007, became a mother with the birth of her son, Beau Lee.

So, now we come to 2007. Hard feelings are put aside, and everyone is back on board. Even Simon Fuller. A formal announcement of the reunion was made via a press conference on 28th June: the Spice Girls would reunite for a world tour to support the release of a greatest hits CD. The tour will be filmed for a documentary to be released by the BBC. And true to their past pattern, the Spice Girls and Fuller are already lining up corporate sponsors for the tour, including a £5 million fee to appear in advertisements for the Tesco supermarket chain.

The initial concert took place on December 2 in Vancouver, Canada. A sell-out crowd of 16,000, which paid up to $550 CDN for tickets, was reportedly heavily skewed toward the teen female demographic. Reviews of the concert were good - the Telegraph's Catherine Elsworth said:

"They performed for almost two hours, rattling through 22 songs including old favourites such as Spice Up Your Life and Wannabe as well a few covers and tracks the girls had recorded while pursuing solo careers. The exuberant set - which took in eight costumes and elaborate choreography including a spot of pole dancing - had fans screaming from beginning to end and betrayed no signs of the intervening years."

Sounds like the Spice Girls shouldn't have any problems selling tickets for the rest of the tour dates.
Links
www.thespicegirls.com
Tour Dates
LONDON - The O2 Arena
January 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22

MANCHESTER - MEN Arena
23 & 24 Jan 2008
About the Author
This article was written by Brad Moon for Viagogo.co.uk, a leading European ticket hub. Viagogo connects buyers and sellers of tickets, concert tickets, theatre tickets and more. Viagogo also guarantees all the transactions, so if you are looking for tickets online, Viagogo is the place to go!
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