Monday, 6 April 2009

The Spice Girls 'Wannabe'

Chart Peak: 1 (7 weeks)


Yes, those footsteps are on the record, as well as the video...

Making a slight detour from the search for historic instalments in the Now series, Now 34 is one I picked out because it was the first I ever heard: my brother either bought it or got it for his birthday in 1996. This has the extra advantage that I know where I can find a copy of the CD if any of the tracks are difficult to source online.

That was never going to be a problem with 'Wannabe' though. If anything, I face the opposite difficulty, as with 'Fairytale Of New York' back there: it's hard to imagine that anyone who cares doesn't know what this sounds like, or needs any explanation of its origins. What stands out most at this juncture, I think, is how well-tailored a debut single it was: everything about it is cleverly designed to grab the attention and stick in the memory, like it or not. Smartly, the band are introduced, but not as the focal point of the song (compare and contrast 21st Century Girls) and they all get to do a bit of singing, but Victoria Addams (as she then was) has as little as possible. There's even a made-up word to keep people talking.

It seems almost irrelevant to talk about liking or not liking this record, but it hasn't aged brilliantly, thanks to its concessions to mid-90s RnB sounds. But maybe that's part of the reason it was so successful at the time: not just that long run at the top, but a 26-week chart run (half a year!). Like it or not, we were going to have to get used to it.

Also appearing on:
Now 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 47
Available on: Spice

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