Since scooping the Christmas Number No1 spot for the third year running with 'Goodbye', the Spice Girls collective have taken a break from the world of pop... Victoria and Mel G have been too busy extending the Spice family with the births of Brooklyn Joseph (Baby Posh) and Phoenix Chi (Baby Scary).
Wait, does that mean Beau Jones is Baby Baby? And does Amy Grant know about this? 'Goodbye' was of course the first single by the Spice Girls as a quartet and its release less than sixth months after 'Viva Forever' served a double purpose, both in securing them that Christmas chart-topper (they were only the second act to do so, after the Beatles, though Cliff Richard had also managed three over the course of 29 years) and proving the act to be a going concern without Geri Halliwell. In the event, they didn't release anything else for almost two years and were never really the same again, but for the time being they hadn't collapsed.
Musically, it's a big sweeping ballad that more or less picks up where 'Viva Forever' had left off, though the lyric seems quite consciously to refer to their now ex-member's departure: my recollection is that it was denied at the time, though possibly more for the publicity value of making the song's content a story than because they thought anyone would believe them. Certainly it's hard to hear the chorus of "Goodbye my friend/It's not the end" as anything other than a message to the fans now. In paces the song seems a bit rushed ("look for the rainbow in every star" is a bit of a mangled metaphor) but it slips down easily enough and it's probably the context that's the main reason you don't often hear it nowadays. In fact you're more likely to hear its B-side, the Anglicised cover of 'Christmas Wrapping' that's wheeled out by radio stations every December these days. And in the light of the previous post, I should probably mention that the Spice Girls are proof not every attempt at a songbook musical works.
Also appearing on: Now 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 47
Available on: Greatest Hits [+video]