Posts Tagged ‘melanie c’


Written by James Christopher Sheppard 

It’s exactly 15 years since the Spice Girls burst onto the British music scene with ‘Wannabe’ and stormed to number one. In July 1996 an unknown all-girl pop group were suddenly all over television and radio promoting a song more pop than pop itself, about really really wanting a zig-a-zig-ah and friendship never ending. The sentiment was fresh and girl power was born. The group were hard to miss, with each girl having their own individual style, which at the time was practically unheard of in the pop world. Prior to Ginger, Baby, Sporty, Scary and Posh, the commercial music industry, particularly in the UK, was dominated by indie pop bands like Oasis, Blur and Radiohead, the super divas Celine Dion and Mariah Carey, and boybands that dressed the same like Take That and Boyzone. Despite their beginnings as a manufactured group, Geri, Melanie C, Emma, Melanie B and Victoria broke away, wrote their own songs, got themselves signed and did it their way. The Spice Girls represented freedom, fun, girl power and individuality and the world loved it. In celebration of this 15 year anniversary, I’m going to look at some of the highlights that have come from this phenomenally successful group of girls over the years.

Spice was the must-have album of 1996 if you were at school. With only ten tracks, half of the songs were #1 singles. While people remember ‘Wannabe’, ‘Say You’ll Be There’, ‘2 Become 1’, ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ and ‘Mama’, the album also boasts some pretty extraordinary album tracks, like ‘If U Can’t Dance’ and ‘Naked’. Spice was released on 4th November 1996 and went on to sell over 23 million copies worldwide. In just a few months since the girls released ‘Wannabe’, Spicemania was hitting fever pitch. There were Spice Girls chupa chucks, Spice Girls duvet sets, Spice Girls wall-paper, Spice Girls Pepsi cans, Spice Girls chocolate bars, Spice Girls dolls- Spice Girls everything!

Just twelve months after Spice, came it’s second coming, SpiceWorld. If ever there was a part one and part two of an album, it was Spice and SpiceWorld. ‘Spice Up Your Life’, ‘Too Much’ and ‘Viva Forever’ all hit #1 in the UK, whilst ‘Stop’ stalled at #2. SpiceWorld was not only the band’s second album, but also the soundtrack to their movie of the same name. While the movie may have been panned by critics, it still managed to top the UK box office over Christmas 1997 and hit #2 in the USA, stopping behind ‘Titanic’. SpiceWorld seemed to pretty much mirror the success of Spice, selling over 20 million copies and sitting comfortably inside the Best Selling Albums of All-Time list.

In May 1998, during the ‘Spice World Tour’, Geri Halliwell split from the group, which certainly affected the future of the group. As chief songwriter and the master mind behind Girl Power, what seemed to be the passionate creator of the group, had jumped ship. Melanie B was the first of all of the girls to release a solo single, which was the urban ‘I Want You Back’ with Missy Elliot, which struck #1 on the same day as one of the group’s Wembley Stadium shows. Later that year, after almost a year of touring, the four remaining girls recorded and released ‘Goodbye’, scoring their eighth #1 and third consecutive Christmas #1.

1999 was a quiet year for the group, but was the first time we saw Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton and Melanie C step out as soloists. Geri Halliwell released her first solo album, Schizophonic, which closely followed the Spice Girl album ingredients- ten brilliantly catchy pop songs. ‘Look at Me’ hit #2, while ‘Mi Chico Latino’, ‘Lift Me Up’ and ‘Bag It Up’ all made it to #1. Emma’s first release outside of the Spice Girls was a cover of ‘What I am’, recorded with Tin Tin Out, which hit #2, behind Halliwell’s ‘Lift Me Up’. Melanie C initially experienced the least successful start to her solo career. While her duet with Bryan Adams, ‘When You’re Gone’ had a been a huge hit the previous year, Melanie’s first few solo singles, ‘Goin’ Down’ and ‘Northern Star’ were only moderately successful and her album Northern Star charted at #10 and swiftly fell out of the chart. Despite the luke-warm reception to Melanie C’s solo work, when ‘Never Be The Same Again’ was released in early 2000, the song soared to #1 and remained there for two weeks. Northern Star subsequently re-charted and climbed to #4, eventually shifting over 4 million copies worldwide. Northern Star remains the most successful release from any solo Spice Girl.

Three years after Spiceworld, came Forever. The album was heavily R&B influenced, apposed to the previous pure pop sound the group had stuck to. The double A-side ‘Holler’ and ‘Let Love Lead The Way’ hit #1 and the album made #2 but quickly disappeared from the chart and memory. The album was largely seen a failure, both commercially and critically and spelled out the end of the Spice Girls.

Also at the end of 2000, came Melanie B’s debut solo effort, the underperforming Hot. While the album produced a couple of top ten hits, ‘Tell Me’ and ‘Feels So Good’, Melanie B’s solo career never really gained any momentum. Just when it was looking like the golden five-year wonder of the Spice Girls was coming to an end, Geri Halliwell released her biggest success to date, her cover of the Weather Girls’ ‘It’s Raining Men’, which stayed at #1 for two weeks and served as the theme to the massive movie ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’. Around the same time Emma Bunton released her debut solo album, A Girl Like Me, with lead single ‘What Took You So Long’ which, like Halliwell’s ‘Men’, hit #1 and stayed there for two weeks.

Victoria Beckham was the last Spice Girl to release a solo album. Her self titled album received very poor critical and commercial success and she has yet to make another. Where her singing career has waned, Victoria has become the best known of all of the girls. She is now a very successful fashion designer, television personality and is, of course, married to David Beckham and is mother to their four children. Victoria’s most successful single remains ‘Out of Your Mind’ with Truesteppers, although it is ‘Let Your Head Go’ which seems to be the favourite with fans.

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James Christopher Sheppard divulges the tracks he has on repeat.

 

Korn ‘Get Up’ (featuring Skrillex)

At school in the late 90’s, if you liked metal, Korn were a pretty good starting point. Now, seventeen years since the debut, Korn release their freshest single in years. I first heard ‘Get Up’ on kerrang radio and had to double check who it was. The collaboration with master of dubstep, Skrillex, throws Korn’s aggressive thrashing metal sound into brand new industrial waters. This is the best song Korn have released since 2002’s ‘Here to Stay’. Fucking incredible. Watch the video for ‘Get Up’ below.

 

Melanie C ‘Rock Me’

Rock Spice Melanie C finally returns with the first release from her long-awaited fifth solo album, The Sea. ‘Rock Me’ is vibrant, simple, catchy, up-beat and addictive. With her own very loyal following, and sales of over ten million albums worldwide, sporty spice still has a great deal to offer. Watch the video for ‘Rock Me’ below.

 

Within Temptation ‘Sinead’

New single from Within Temptation’s flawless album The Unforgiving is ‘Sindead’- the beat-heavy, industrial tinged dance/symphonic metal track. Yes, ‘Sinead’ is the most cross-over single Within Temptation have released and it’s gaining all sorts of attention. For the first time ever, the band have had official remixes commissioned from the likes of German hard dance band Scooter. The most surprising thing about the remixes is that they actually work. Check out the ‘VNV Nation Club Mix’ video below.

 

Charlie Simpson ‘Parachute’

Fightstar front man Charlie Simpson, will unleash his debut solo album in August and ‘Parachutes’ is the second single, following the mellow ‘Down Down Down’. ‘Parachutes’ isn’t a million miles from the sound of Fightstar, but is enough of a departure to be only Simpson’s. The song is softer and relies more on acoustic sounds to build song to it’s climax. Vulnerable and powerful at the same time. I am truly impressed by the quality of this.

 

Amy Winehouse ‘Back to Black’

For me, ‘Back to Black’ is the ultimate Amy Winehouse song. Following her tragic passing on Saturday 23rd July, this song seems more painful and sadder than ever. Winehouse was a visibly very troubled soul, who sadly lost her battle with depression and addiction. ‘Back to Black’ will stand testament to what incredible art she created, if only for a short time. You will be forever remembered, Amy.

Leave your thoughts about these tracks below. Feel free to send me links to what you’re listening to or would like to see included next time!

Read the full article at Eyewear