Spiceworld (album)

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Spiceworld
Studio album by Spice Girls
Released 4 November 1997
Recorded 1997
Genre
Length 38:47
Label Virgin
Producer
Spice Girls chronology
Spice
(1996)
Spiceworld
(1997)
Forever
(2000)
Singles from Spiceworld
  1. "Spice Up Your Life"
    Released: 13 October 1997
  2. "Too Much"
    Released: 15 December 1997
  3. "Stop"
    Released: 9 March 1998
  4. "Viva Forever"
    Released: 20 July 1998

Spiceworld is the second studio album by British girl group the Spice Girls. Its music incorporates dance-pop music and production. The album became a huge hit worldwide, lengthening the so-called "Spicemania" of the time. It debuted at number one in the UK, with first-week sales of 190,000 and shipped 1,400,000 copies in two weeks.[1] The album also reached number one in 13 countries, while peaking inside the top three positions in Australia, Canada, France, Switzerland and the United States. It has sold 4.1 million copies in the US,[2] 5 million across Europe[3] and over 20 million copies worldwide.[4]

It produced four singles all of which saw commercial success. Its lead single "Spice Up Your Life" became an international hit, peaking in the top five positions in the most countries, it was followed by "Too Much" as the second single, "Stop" as the third single and "Viva Forever" as the final single, all receiving commercial success in the charts. To promote the album, the group embarked the Spiceworld Tour, covering Europe and North America for a total of 97 dates.

Background[edit]

After releasing their debut album Spice to huge success and later became one of the best selling albums of all time, the group later announced they would be in the works of a second studio album.[5] During the recording and writing of Spiceworld the group also filmed Spice World, a musical comedy film with the Spice Girls playing themselves. The album worked as a soundtrack to the film, with many of the songs from the album appearing in the film.

The Spice Girls performing "Stop" at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada; during the Return of the Spice Girls tour.

During 1997 the Spice Girls receivied massive media attention, that also came with some controversies. The group performed their first time live for the Royalty of Great Britain. At the show, they breached royal protocol when Mel B and then Geri Halliwell planted kisses on Prince Charles' cheeks and pinched his bottom. Because of this, it received ultimate controversy throughout the media. The group were criticized in the United States, because of the album just releasing nine months after its debut. They were later criticized because of the impact and amount of sponsor deals they had signed, over twenty in total.[6] They also made a decision to fire their manager Simon Fuller in November 1997, the firing was front page news around the world.[7]

In October 1997 the Spice Girls held a two date concert in Turkey, the concert named Girl Power! Live in Istanbul was sponsored by Pepsi. During the concert the group premiered three new unheard songs from Spiceworld; "Too Much", "Stop" and "Saturday Night Divas". Two promotional singles from Spiceworld was released prior the album release in 1997; "Step to Me" and "Move Over (Generation Next)". Both songs were used in the Pepsi advertising campaigns and were also given away free with special ring-pulls. The album version of "Step to Me" is slightly different from the original release of the song, while "Move Over (Generation Next)" was only released as an live version during its promo release.

Composition[edit]

A 20-second sample of the song, featuring the group singing the last part of the chorus, followed by a spoken bridge, in which they mention different dance styles, with a backing track that have influences of Latin rhythms such as salsa and samba.

A 26-second sample of the song, featuring the group during the second chorus. Bunton sings the high part; Brown, Beckham and Halliwell the lower and middle parts, while Chisholm adds the ad-libs

Problems playing these files? See media help.

The album consists of pop music with dance-pop songs and production, they had said that most of the music was "catchier" and had an "intoxicating sense of fun".[8] The album was also used as a possible soundtrack of their 1997 movie Spice World. "Spice Up Your Life" is an uptempo dance-pop song, with influences of Latin rhythms such as salsa and samba.[9][10] The first verse follows, the lyrics are an international rally cry, targeted to a global market,[11] as Melanie Chisholm described it: "We always wanted to do a carnival tune and write a song for the world."[12] "Too Much" is a pop ballad, with influences of R&B music and doo-wop sounds.[13] "Stop" is an uptempo dance-pop song with influences of Motown's blue-eyed soul,[14] and is reminiscent of classic singles by The Supremes or Martha and the Vandellas.[15] Lyrically, the song calls for a slowing down on the courtship process, and it is particularly addressed to appeal to the young female audience, as the female to female bonds are not threatened.[16] Viva Forever is a pop ballad with influences of Latin music.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars [17]
Robert Christgau (choice cut) [18]
Entertainment Weekly (B+) [19]
Houston Press 3/5 stars[20]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars [21]

Spiceworld had received mixed reviews from music critics. Stephen Thomas Erlewine from Allmusic gave it a praising review, awarding it four and a half out of five stars. He mostly praised the new fun formed of the groups new album, saying it is "intoxicating sense of fun" and "even catchier". He even praised the group for improving their vocal skills, as he concluded "The girls -- Mel C. in particular -- are actually turning into good vocalists, and each song plays to their strengths, giving each Spice a chance to shine. Best of all, each song has a strong melody and a strong, solid beat, whether it's a ballad or a dance number. It's a pure, unadulterated guilty pleasure and some of the best manufactured mainstream dance-pop of the late '90s". David Browne from Entertainment Weekly gave it a B+. He had said "Trading verses in this and other songs, they transform the numbers into audio pajama parties full of sisterly advice, support, and warnings. Part heart, part mind, all cotton candy, Spiceworld may just be the answer to one of life's most vexing quandaries." Rolling Stone said: "To get to the toppermost of the poppermost, the Spice Girls have traded shamelessly — which is not to say shamefully — on their much-vaunted Girl Power, selling themselves as feminist cheesecake. On Spiceworld, they've added a sexy new curve to the mix — a learning curve. The act behind the smash "Wannabe" sounded like wanna-be's themselves on some of their hit-and-miss debut effort, Spice, an album that made Hanson's weightier Middle of Nowhere look like Robert Johnson's King of the Delta Blues Singers. Spiceworld is, relatively speaking, a masterful effort; at its best, it reaches creative heights that are downright Bananaramian."[21] Houston Press gave the album a mixed review saying: "Anyone expecting a maelstrom of artistic evolution from these women ought to relax a little; it's only music, for chrissakes. And the Spice Girls and their handlers deserve bonus points for showing a little common sense. After all, if this were seven years ago, they might have taken their precious time releasing Spiceworld, while the group's hype was irreversibly extinguished. You go, girls!"[20]

Commercial performance[edit]

Spiceworld topped the charts in 13 countries, several countries less than the group's previous album Spice. The album went to number one in most European countries, including the United Kingdom. The album debuted at number one in the UK, with first-week sales of 190,000 and shipped 1,400,000 copies.[1] In total the album was certified 5× Platinum in the UK, and sold 1,575,941 copies.[22] It also made an impact in Asian countries, peaking at number one in Japan. It was certificated 2× Platinum by Oricon. It sold over 420,000 copies in Australia, certificated 6× Platinum by ARIA and peaked at number 2 on the charts. The album is currently the number 39 best-charting album in Australian albums chart history.[23] The album peaked at number one in New Zealand, being certificated 3× Platinum by RIANZ, and shipping over 45,000 copies in the country.[24] Prior to the positions and charts, the album became a great success.

The album debuted at number 8 in the Billboard 200 with 83,000 copies. Sales increased week by week, its best week being that of 3 January 1998 when it sold 284,000 copies. The album finally peaked at number three on 14 February, when Spice also returned to top ten, making the Spice Girls the first British band to have two albums in the Billboard 200 top ten at the same time since The Rolling Stones in summer 1975.[25] In the first 12 weeks the album sold 1,740,000 copies,[26] and in the first ten months the album sold 3.2 million.[27] In total, it sold 4.1 million copies and was certified 4× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)[28] In Canada, the album debuted at number two in the Canadian Albums Chart. It was certified 10× Platinum (Diamond) by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) for shipments of 1 million copies. Worldwide, the album has sold 20 million copies.

Singles[edit]

The lead single from the album "Spice Up Your Life" was released in the United Kingdom on 13 October 1997. The song became an instant worldwide hit, although it received negative reviews from music critics. In the United Kingdom the song peaked at number one, becoming the group's fifth consecutive chart-topper, the song was also certified Platinum from BPI. "Spice Up Your Life" reached top five in over 14 countries, while reaching number 18 on Billboard Hot 100 in the United States.[29] The group's next single from the album was "Too Much". The song was released on 15 December 1997 and hit number one in the UK becoming the group's second consecutive Christmas number-one single. The song was certificated Platinum in the UK. In the United States "Too Much" peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100, their fourth top 10 hit there and last. The song also peaked a nine in Australia, New Zeeland and Canada.

The group's third single from Spiceworld was "Stop". Critically, the song received mainly positive reviews from music critics, mostly praising the Motown-inspired music and production. It was released 9 March 1998 and peaked at number two in the United Kingdom, ending the Spice Girls' streak of consecutive number-one singles in the United Kingdom at six. The single received a Silver certification. In the US the song reached top 20 peaking at number 16 on the charts. Elsewhere "Stop" reached the top 10 in nine other countries. The group's fourth and final single from the album was intended to be a double A-side release of "Never Give Up On the Good Times" and "Viva Forever". However, due to Halliwell's departure from the group, the plan was scrapped. Instead, "Viva Forever" was released alone on 20 July 1998. The song received positive reviews from critics, as some called it "genuine".[30] "Viva Forever" reached number one in the United Kingdom and was certificated Platinum in the UK. The song debuted at number one in New Zealand, becoming the band's first number one since "Wannabe". "Viva Forever" did not receive a single release in the United States.

Promotion[edit]

Live performances[edit]

The group performing a remix version of the "Spice Up Your Life" during the show's encore, at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

The Spice Girls performed "Spice Up Your Life" for the first time in the UK on 27 September 1997, on the BBC's National Lottery programme, which attracted more than nine million viewers.[31][32] The song was subsequently performed many times on television, in both Europe and the US, including An Audience with..., Top of the Pops, All That, The Jay Leno Show, the Late Show with David Letterman, and The Oprah Winfrey Show.[33][34][35][36][37] "Spice Up Your Life" was also performed in many award ceremonies such as the 1997 Smash Hits! Awards, the 1997 MTV Europe Music Awards, the 1997 Billboard Music Awards, the 1997 Premios Ondas, the 1997 Channel V Music Awards, and the 2000 BRIT Awards.[38][39][40][41][42][43] "Too Much" was performed several times on television, including An Audience with..., Top of the Pops, and the 1997 Royal Variety Performance.[44][45][46] The group also performed it at the 1997 Smash Hits! Awards,[47] and at the 25th Annual American Music Awards.[48] "Stop" was also performed many times on television, in both the UK and the US, including An Audience with..., Top of the Pops, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and the Late Show with David Letterman.[49][50][51] For their "Stop" performance at the 1998 BRIT Awards, the group adopted a Supremes-like look, and appeared on the stage in a 1960-style car.[52][53] The group performed "Stop" and "Viva Forever" without Halliwell in Modena, Italy; for the annually hosted Pavarotti and Friends charity concert in June 1998.[54] "Viva Forever" was performed with Geri on Top of the Pops and without her on 27 May 1998 at the National Lottery.[55][56] In October 1997 the Spice Girls held a two date concert on Abdi İpekçi Arena in Istanbul, Turkey, performing four songs of Spiceworld; "Spice Up Your Life, "Too Much, "Saturday Night Divas and "Stop". The performance was broadcast on Showtime in a pay-per-view event titled Spice Girls In Concert Wild!.[57]

Concert tour[edit]

In early 1998, the Spice Girls embarked their first world tour that Fuller had set up for them covering Europe and North America for 97 dates. The Spiceworld Tour kicked off in Dublin, Ireland on 24 February 1998 before moving on to mainland Europe and then returning to Britain for two gigs at Wembley Arena and twelve gigs at Birmingham’s NEC Arena.[58] On 31 May 1998, Geri Halliwell left the group during the tours run. The remaining girls continued the tour to its last date without Halliwell. A VHS release of the groups performance during Wembley Arena titled; Live at Wembley Stadium, was released on November 24, 1998.[59]

Track listings[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Spiceworld.

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Spice Up Your Life"  
  • Stannard
  • Rowe
2:53
2. "Stop"   Absolute 3:24
3. "Too Much"  
  • Spice Girls
  • Watkins
  • Wilson
Absolute 4:31
4. "Saturday Night Divas"  
  • Spice Girls
  • Stannard
  • Rowe
  • Stannard
  • Rowe
4:25
5. "Never Give Up on the Good Times"  
  • Spice Girls
  • Stannard
  • Rowe
  • Stannard
  • Rowe
4:30
6. "Move Over"  
  • Spice Girls
  • Cindy Lane
  • Mary Wood
  • Stannard
  • Rowe
2:46
7. "Do It"  
  • Spice Girls
  • Watkins
  • Wilson
Absolute 4:04
8. "Denying"  
  • Spice Girls
  • Watkins
  • Wilson
Absolute 3:46
9. "Viva Forever"  
  • Spice Girls
  • Stannard
  • Rowe
  • Stannard
  • Rowe
5:09
10. "The Lady Is a Vamp"  
  • Spice Girls
  • Watkins
  • Wilson
Absolute 3:09
Total length:
38:47

B-sides[edit]

  • "Spice Invaders" (B-side on "Spice Up Your Life") – 3:48
  • "Outer Space Girls" (B-side on "Too Much") – 3:58
  • "Walk of Life" (B-side on "Too Much") – 4:16
  • "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" featuring Luther Vandross (B-side on "Stop") – 4:55

Personnel[edit]


Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[80] 6× Platinum 420,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[81] Platinum 50,000x
Belgium (BEA)[82] 2× Platinum 100,000*
Brazil (ABPD)[83] Platinum 250,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[84] Diamond 1,000,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[85] 2× Platinum 92,178[85]
France (SNEP)[86] 2× Platinum 629,500[87]
Germany (BVMI)[88] Platinum 500,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[89] Platinum 20,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[90] 2× Platinum 400,000^
Mexico (AMPROFON)[91] Gold 100,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[92] Platinum 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[93] 3× Platinum 45,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[94] Platinum 50,000*
Poland (ZPAV)[95] 2× Platinum 200,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[96] 3× Platinum 300,000^
Sweden (GLF)[97] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[98] 2× Platinum 100,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[99] 5× Platinum 1,575,941[22]
United States (RIAA)[100] 4× Platinum 4,100,000[28]
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[101] 5× Platinum 5,000,000*

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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