Forever (Spice Girls album)

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Forever
Studio album by Spice Girls
Released 6 November 2000
Recorded July 1998; August 2, 1999 – July 17, 2000[1]
Genre
Length 49:28
Label Virgin
Producer
Spice Girls chronology
Spiceworld
(1997)
Forever
(2000)
Greatest Hits
(2007)
Singles from Forever
  1. "Goodbye"
    Released: 11 December 1998
  2. "Holler" / "Let Love Lead the Way"
    Released: 23 October 2000

Forever is the third and final studio album by the English pop girl group the Spice Girls, released in November 2000. It is their only album without Geri Halliwell, who later rejoined the group for their Greatest Hits album in 2007. Despite not selling as well as their previous two albums,[4] it has sold 5 million copies worldwide,[5] peaking at number two in the United Kingdom and later certified Platinum there for selling over 300,000 copies. A double-A side single was released of "Holler" / "Let Love Lead the Way", which peaked at number one in the UK Singles Chart.

Background[edit]

During the Spiceworld Tour in early 1998, the group took on an initial project to write and record songs for a possible third album and a live album. The original concept for this "3rd Album" was to showcase solos songs, duets, and cover songs featuring all five members, in order to promote the idea that the Spice Girl were all individuals, yet could come together as one. The girls went to Dublin's Windmill Lane Studios with long-time collaborators Richard Stannard and Matt Rowe to work on a new album and a create master recordings for a live album. With the sudden departure of Geri Halliwell, the project took a major turn, with many of the already produced songs scrapped and the live album cancelled.[6]

The Spice Girls recorded material for Forever in July 1998, during the North American leg of their Spiceworld Tour. Once again, the girls teamed up with Stannard and Rowe. This is when "Goodbye" was recorded. In the two years between the release of "Goodbye" in December 1998 and the release of Forever in November 2000, the group, along with the pop-music landscape in general, changed dramatically. Hoping to cultivate a more mature image, the group teamed up with a team of new, American producers to give Forever a more R&B sound. This meant that much of what was recorded with Eliot Kennedy, Richard Stannard and Matt Rowe would be excluded from Forever.

Among the excluded tracks is a song entitled "W.O.M.A.N." As late as December 1999, it appeared that the group had every intention of including it on their forthcoming album, as they performed it at their Christmas in Spiceworld tour. The song was thought to be too much in the vein of Spiceworld and ultimately this is why it was not included. In an interview with biographer David Sinclair, Stannard relays his disappointment of the omission of "W.O.M.A.N.": "I thought that song was really interesting lyrically, because it was making the progression from girls to women, which was something Matt and I thought it was time for them to do. They needed something to suggest that they were still the same group of friends, but they were gaining more maturity."[7]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (45/100)[8]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2/5 stars[9]
Amazon (negative)[10]
Billboard (positive)[11]
CDNOW (positive)[3]
Entertainment.ie 2/5 stars[12]
Entertainment Weekly (C)[2]
Rolling Stone 2.5/5 stars[13]
Sonic Net (mixed)[3]
Sputnikmusic 3.5/5 stars[14]

Upon its release, the album received mixed to negative reviews from most music critics, based on an aggregate score of 45/100 from Metacritic.[8] Stephen Thomas Erlewine, editor of AllMusic, rated it two out of five and said: "Sure, they make all the right moves, hiring superstar producer Rodney Jerkins to helm most of the tracks and attempting to seem mature, but this all results in a record that is curiously self-conscious and flat."[9] Erlewine concluded: "Forever plays like the Girls realized that it's their final album, and they put in just enough effort to make it palatable, but not enough to make it appetizing."[9] The Billboard review was positive, remarking: "The set oozes with timely funk beats and the kind of well-crafted songs that No. 1 hits are made of."[11] Courtney Kemp from Amazon was negative, judging that "Forever‍ '​s strategy is a bit different than the other two previous albums and this album could disappoint their old fans and alienate new ones."[10] A review from CDNOW was positive, feeling that Forever is "a frothy soufflé of an album, heavy on the groovy dance beats and go-girl goodwill, light on profundity."[3] Andrew Lynch from Entertainment.ie gave the album a rating of three and half-stars (out of five) and commented: "The production is as slick as ever, but a huge part of that old Girl Power enthusiasm seems to have drained and fallen away- and with it most of the fun that used to redeem their fundamental tackiness. A sorry, full-hearted footnote to a truly remarkable pop phenomenon."[12]

James Hunter from Rolling Stone gave a mixed review, writing: "Forever will probably provoke a reaction somewhere in the middle — with one exception, it's just OK."[13] David Browne from Entertainment Weekly gave to the album a "C" rating, summarizing: "Every genre cliché, from homogenized harmonies to delicately plucked stringed instruments to male rapper interjections, is securely in place. The music is so tasteful, restrained, and assembly line proficient that it makes early singles like 'Say You'll Be There' sound like the rawest punk rock."[2] The Sonic Net review judged: "Yes, this is their 'mature' album, the one where the once effervescent combo that could be counted on for enough hooky innuendoes to excite pre-teen girls and dirty young men alike aspire toward some sort of longer-lasting pop relevance. Which translates here into ballads and a huge dose of R&B-lite. It all sounds very professional, though only a hardcore fan can deny that the bloom is definitely off the rose."[3] A positive review came from Sputnikmusic, opining: "With Forever the Spice Girls showed that every pop act has its lifespan. They sound a bit tired and their hearts were not in the album. Forever also shows what could have been if they really gave it their all and made an album that was truly them. The five good songs on Forever can carry the album but not quite."[14]

Chart performance[edit]

The Spice Girls as a four-piece performing "Holler" in Cologne, Germany.

Forever is considered a mostly commercial disappointment. The album peaked at number 2 in the United Kingdom and spent a total of eight weeks in the charts.[15] It was certified Platinum there for selling over 300,000 copies there.[16] In Australia it peaked at number nine,[17] and was certified Gold there. The album reached number ten in Austria,[18] and was also certified Gold there. In Canada it peaked at number six,[19] and was certified double Platinum there making it the highest certification for Forever. The album also peaked at number six in Germany,[20] but was certified Gold there. In Ireland it reached a peak at number 25.[21] The album reached number fifteen on the charts in New Zealand,[22] it was certified Gold there. In Switzerland it peaked at number eleven,[23] and was certified Platinum. In the United States the album achieved highly moderate success, it only peaked at number 39 there selling 207,000 copies.[24]

Singles[edit]

"Holler" and "Let Love Lead the Way" were chosen to serve as the lead single from Forever. Released as a double A-side single, it charted at number-one on the UK Singles Chart and became the Spice Girls' ninth number-one single in the United Kingdom. It also peaked in the top 10 in nine other countries. In the United States it failed to gain much success and did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. "Goodbye", released two years prior as a single in 1998, was included on the album as the eleventh track. "Goodbye" peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart and at eleven on the Billboard Hot 100. "Tell Me Why" and "If You Wanna Have Some Fun" served as promo singles prior to the album's release, but were only sent to UK radio stations in October 2000, and never commercially released.

Promotion[edit]

The girls performed "Holler" and "Let Love Lead the Way" at the 2000 MTV Europe Music Awards, Top of the Pops, National Lottery CD:UK. Bunton and Beckham also appeared on The Daily Show on October 25, 2000 to promote the single.[25]

Track listing[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Forever.[26]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Holler"  
  • Jerkins
  • Daniels[a]
4:15
2. "Tell Me Why"  
  • Jerkins
  • Jerkins III
  • Daniels
  • Mischke Butle
  • Beckham
  • Brown
  • Bunton
  • Jerkins
  • Daniels[a]
4:13
3. "Let Love Lead the Way"  
  • Jerkins
  • Daniels
  • Jerkins III
  • Harvey Mason Jr
  • Beckham
  • Brown
  • Bunton
  • Chisholm
  • Mason Jr
  • Jerkins
  • Daniels
4:57
4. "Right Back at Ya"  
  • Beckham
  • Brown
  • Bunton
  • Chisholm
  • Eliot Kennedy
  • Tim Lever
4:09
5. "Get Down with Me"  
  • Jerkins
  • Daniels
  • Jerkins III
  • Robert Smith
  • Butle
  • Beckham
  • Brown
  • Bunton
  • Jerkins
  • Smith
  • Daniels[a]
3:45
6. "Wasting My Time"  
  • Jerkins III
  • Daniels
  • Brown
  • Bunton
  • Chisholm
  • Uncle Freddie
  • Daniels
4:13
7. "Weekend Love"  
  • Jerkins
  • Jerkins III
  • Daniels
  • Beckham
  • Brown
  • Bunton
  • Chisholm
  • Jerkins
  • Daniels[a]
4:04
8. "Time Goes By"  
  • Jerkins III
  • Jerkins
  • Daniels
  • Butle
  • Beckham
  • Brown
  • Bunton
  • Jerkins
  • Uncle Freddie
  • Daniels
4:51
9. "If You Wanna Have Some Fun"  
  • James Harris III
  • Terry Lewis
  • Beckham
  • Brown
  • Bunton
  • Chisholm
Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis 5:25
10. "Oxygen"  
  • Harris III
  • Lewis
  • Beckham
  • Brown
  • Bunton
  • Chisholm
Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis 4:55
11. "Goodbye"  
  • Stannard
  • Rowe
4:35
Japanese import bonus track
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
12. "Holler" (MAW Remix)
  • Jerkins
  • Daniels
  • Jerkins III
  • Beckham
  • Brown
  • Bunton
  • Chisholm
  • Jerkins
  • Daniels[a]
8:30
Notes

Personnel[edit]

Outtakes[edit]

Eliot Kennedy[edit]

The following tracks were produced by Eliot Kennedy and written by the Spice Girls, Tim Level, and Kennedy. These tracks were leaked online on February 2, 2015.

  • "Right Back at Ya" (pop version)[27]
  • "A Day In Your Life"[28]
  • "Give You What You Want"[29]
  • "Pain Proof"[30]

Matt Rowe and Richard Stannard[edit]

  • "W.O.M.A.N"
    • The original studio version was never finished and never surfaced, but it was performed during the Christmas in Spiceworld Tour and broadcast live on television. It was written by Matt Rowe, Richard Stannard and the four Spice Girls on August 2, 1999. It is considered to be one of the most famous unreleased Spice Girls songs. The song was originally set to be included on Forever but after it was decided that the third album would have a more R&B influence, the song was cut as it was thought that its bubblegum pop sound did not fit in with the rest of the album. It is a jazzy pop song that is similar in style to "Who Do You Think You Are".
  • "Voodoo"
    • The track was written by all five members of the Spice Girls with Richard Stannard and Matt Rowe in 1998 during the Spiceworld Tour. The track was intended to be written for Forever. However, due to time constraints it never was recorded by the Spice Girls. It was eventually placed onto their Greatest Hits album.

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[42] Gold 35,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[43] Gold 25,000x
Belgium (BEA)[44] Gold 25,000*
Brazil (ABPD)[45] Gold 100,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[46] 2× Platinum 200,000^
France (SNEP)[47] Gold 100,000[47]
Germany (BVMI)[48] Gold 150,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[49] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[50] Gold 7,500^
South Korea (RIAK)[51] Platinum 12,159[51]
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[52] Gold 50,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[53] Platinum 50,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[54] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[55] 207,000[56]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://spicegirlsgeneration.tripod.com/3rdalbum.html
  2. ^ a b c David Browne (6 November 2000). "Forever (Spice Girls) - News - EW". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Critic Reviews for Forever at Metacritic". Metacritic. 7 November 2000. Retrieved 2011-04-25. 
  4. ^ resultpage=1&table=SEARCH_RESULTS&action=&title=&artist=spice%20girls&format=&debutLP=&category=&sex=&releaseDate=&requestNo=&type=&level=&label=&company=&certificationDate=&awardDescription=&catalogNo=&aSex=&rec_id=&charField=&gold=&platinum=&multiPlat=&level2=&certDate=&album=&id=&after=&before=&startMonth=1&endMonth=1&startYear=1958&endYear=2010&sort=Artist&perPage=25 US RIAA Spice Girls' certifications]
  5. ^ Griffe David and Victoria Beckham: Carreira com as Spice Girls (Portugues). Perfumes - A Moda Invisível. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
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  11. ^ a b "Forever - Spice Girls - Billboard Review". Billboard. 7 November 2000. Retrieved 2011-04-25. 
  12. ^ a b Andrew Lynch (11 November 2000). "Spice Girls - Forever. Review by Andrew Lynch". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-04-25. 
  13. ^ a b James Hunter (21 November 2000). "Forever by Spice Girls - Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2011-04-25. 
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  16. ^ http://www.bpi.co.uk/certified-awards.aspx
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  25. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/23/victoria-beckham-jon-stewart-video_n_3325475.html
  26. ^ Forever (CD liner notes). Spice Girls. Virgin Records. 2000. 7243 8 50467 4 2. 
  27. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KCWcbF74E8
  28. ^ "Spice Girls - A Day In Your Life". YouTube. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  29. ^ "Spice Girls - Give You What You Want (If It's Lovin' On Your Mind)". YouTube. 10 February 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  30. ^ "Spice Girls - Pain Proof". YouTube. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
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  32. ^ "Belgian Walloon Albums Chart". Ultratop. Hung Medien. 1999-08-07. Retrieved 2009-07-13. 
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  43. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Spice Girls – Forever" (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved 2011-09-28.  Enter Spice Girls in the field Interpret. Enter Forever in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
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  46. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Spice Girls – Forever". Music Canada. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
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  50. ^ "December 17, 2000". RIANZ. Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  51. ^ a b "Korea Database, Best Selling Foreign Album in Korea (1999-Now)". 
  52. ^ "Spanish Certifications for 2000-2002" (PDF). Sólo Exitos, Año a Año 1959*2002. 
  53. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Spice Girls; 'Forever')". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  54. ^ "British album certifications – Spice Girls – Forever". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2011-09-28.  Enter Forever in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  55. ^ "American album certifications – Spice Girls – Forever". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  56. ^ Caulfield, Keith. "Ask Billboard Jul 19 2006. GREATEST SPICES.". Billboard Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2009-04-09.