|Single by Spice Girls|
|from the album Spiceworld|
|Released||20 July 1998|
|Length||5:09 (album version)
4:10 (radio edit)
|Spice Girls singles chronology|
"Viva Forever" is a song by the Spice Girls from their second album, Spiceworld. Originally set to be released alongside the track “Never Give Up on the Good Times” the double A-Side was then pulled as member Geri Halliwell left the group. The song was released on 20 July 1998 in the United Kingdom and gained positive reviews from critics. The song also charted fairly well becoming the band’s eighth number one single gaining a Platinum certification whilst also topping the charts in New Zealand. The single was a commercial success despite the poor promotion.
An accompanying music video directed by Steve Box was released featuring the five band members as animated fairies that interact with two friends in a forest. The four remaining members performed the track on shows Top of the Pops and on the National Lottery television show. An adapted duet version was performed with Pavarotti at his annual charity event Pavarotti and Friends. The song was also performed live as a five-piece on their return concert tour, Return of the Spice Girls. Viva Forever is widely considered as the best work of the Spice Girls in their career.
Background and release
In late March, the single was finally revealed as "Never Give Up on the Good Times"/"Viva Forever". Smash Hits' famous "Bandwatch" section provided a close watch on the status of the single, and the first piece of news it gave was that one of the songs was to have a cartoon-based video. Originally, the single was going to be released on 11 May 1998. Soon after, it was pushed back, in this first case to 25 May. The release date was then pushed back to 8 June in late April, and at this point a promotional cassette for "Viva Forever" appeared on the internet with no sight of "Never Give Up on the Good Times". In early May the release date changed again to 29 June. A competition appeared in the Evening Mail (19 May 1998) saying the following: "10 copies of the video to be won. Each prize winner will also receive a Spice Girls T-Shirt and a copy of the new double A-side single Viva Forever/Never Give Up on the Good Times, released on 29 June."
The group's last number-one single with Ginger Spice, Geri Halliwell.
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On 27 May, the Spice Girls were due to appear on the National Lottery, and they were due to perform two songs on the show, believed to be "Viva Forever" and "Never Give Up on the Good Times". On that night, the Spice Girls performed "Viva Forever" and "Spice Up Your Life" without Geri, the excuse being that she was ill. "Spice Up Your Life" was chosen to be performed because it only featured one solo line by Geri Halliwell. "Stop" was scrapped from the performance due to Geri Halliwell singing the opening lines: "You just walked in, I make you smile, It's cool but you don't even know me". The lines in the song were impossible to be covered by any of the other four girls because it was not a 'live' performance and it was being lip-synced. In early June, the single was confirmed to be "Viva Forever", with no explanation given for its missing partner on the double A-side front. Most believing that the single was dropped because there was no time to produce a music video, the Spice Girls were touring in America at the time, and Halliwell's vocals being in the opening lines to the song: "She used to be a chancer, sparkle in the rain, Told me she needed a friend". The single was to be released on 13 July, over two months after the original release date of 11 May. Even though posters were printed showcasing the 13 July release date, it was not long before the release dates started changing again. On the day of release, stores around the United Kingdom received a notice saying that the single was not going to be released on 13 July, and it would be released in a week or two. After the constant delays, the single was finally released on 20 July.
"Viva Forever" was well received by music critics. Sputnikmusic called it "a genuinely great song" adding that it is "sincerely moving" and that "never would I have imagined the Spice Girls could pull off a song like this". Rolling Stone called it "a big ballad that is about as convincing as the Spices' Spanish accents". Yahoo! Music compared the song with "Mama", and add "a tear-jerking flamenco guitar and lush strings weave into this break-your-heart, 'I Will Always Love You' ballad with a touch of Madonna about it [...] inspired".
"Viva Forever" was poorly promoted, due to the four remaining girls touring in America. Its only real driving promotional force behind the release was the hype from Geri's departure. The song was released on 20 July 1998, selling 100,000 in the first three days and 277,000 copies in its first week. It stayed at number one for two weeks in the UK, spending nine weeks in the top 40, and thirteen weeks inside the top 75; it went on to be certified platinum, and sold 675,000 copies in the UK as of August 2013. In Italy the single debuted at number three, reaching number two for five non-consecutive weeks, being blocked from the first position by Des'ree's "Life" and Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing", and stayed sixteen weeks in the charts. In Switzerland the single debuted on 9 August 1998 at number six, reaching a peak position of three two weeks later. It stayed thirteen weeks in the top ten, twenty-two weeks in total, and was eventually certified Gold by the IFPI. In Austria the single debuted at number fifteen, reaching a peak position of four for two weeks (their highest peak position since May 1997 when "Mama" reached the top of the chart), staying ten weeks in the top ten and fifteen weeks in total. In New Zealand the song debuted at the top, staying at number-one for two weeks, and eleven weeks in total on the chart. In Australia, it debuted at number eight, peaking at number two for two weeks (held off by "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing"), spending twenty-one weeks on the chart, and receiving a Platinum certification by ARIA.
Background and release
The music video, which featured stop motion animation of the Spice Girls (including Halliwell), as fairies, was directed by Oscar winner Steve Box of Aardman Animations. Box was the key animator on Aardman's film Chicken Run, which also used stop motion animation. For the video, he created five, 12-inch-high Spice Girl tin puppets with wings who coax one of two astonished real-life teens into growing up, and took five months to make, considerably longer than it took to make Spiceworld: The Movie. It was screened for the first time in the United Kingdom on 22 June 1998. The video remarks the final appearance of Geri with the Spice Girls because it was commissioned months before her departure. The video could be viewed as an interactive element on UK CD1, the first time this feature was available on a Spice Girls CD.
The video starts off with a storybook about two boys who are assumed to be best friends, running around the woods when they encounter a case (similar to the case that is inside a Kinder Surprise, but life-sized) that opens by itself which reveals a toy chicken. The two friends chase after the chicken until they see another case, which the toy chicken bounces on. It opens by itself, and five fairies, the Spice Girls, come out. While one boy runs away frightened, the other, presumably older, stays, and the fairies play with him, give him a kiss on the nose, whisper a secret, and other similar things. They also remove his glasses revealing a cute face. Then they fly him to another place in front of a huge Rubik's Cube. The fairies dance on the cube, to the song, until the middle on the top opens. The boy, assisted by the fairies, climbs inside. Meanwhile the younger boy sees the fairies about to close the cube. By the time he gets to the cube, his friend is gone, the fairies disappear, and the cube becomes smaller (but still over-sized). He then walks in the woods by himself with the cube (which has shrunken to a normal size) until he sees a giant coin-vending machine which contains other cases. A blue light shines in front of him. He puts the now-solved Rubik's Cube inside a case, throws it in the coin-vending machine and walks away sadly. The video ends with four fairies, Baby, Posh, Scary and Sporty flying in the sky, with Ginger being left behind.
The song was included on the set list of the Spiceworld Tour. After Geri left during the North American leg, on the Back to Britain portion of the tour, Melanie C sang "... Spice Girls forever" rather than the original lyrics "... viva forever" near the end of the song. The song was also performed on the Christmas in Spiceworld tour. "Viva Forever" was the group last performance on television as a quintet, on Top of the Pops. The performance was recorded on May 21, 1998, and it was broadcast on June 5, 1998. They also performed the song with Geri on Live & Kicking, This Morning, and HitMachine. It was also the first song they performed on television without Geri, on May 27, 1998 at the National Lottery. The Spice Girls (4 girl line-up) performed this song in 1998 with Pavarotti on the annually hosted Pavarotti and Friends (friends for the children of Liberia) charity concerts. The Pavarotti version is featured on Pavarotti's album entitled Pavarotti and Friends. The song was re-imagined on the Return of the Spice Girls world tour in 2007 with Spanish themed costumes and backing music. At the end of the song, Halliwell made a platform exit off the stage, symbolising her leaving the group. It was easily noticed because all spotlights go on her.
"Viva Forever" has been covered by Jim O'Rourke on the "Guilt By Association" compilation album, and Deja Vu, which can be found on the "Tribute to the Spice Girls" album. In 2013, Australian UK Hardcore artist S3RL released a high-tempo dance cover.
Formats and track listings
These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "Viva Forever":
Credits and personnel
Published by Windswept Pacific Music Ltd/Polygram Music Publishing Ltd.
"Deeper Underground" by Jamiroquai
|UK Singles Chart number-one single
26 July 1998 – 8 August 1998
"No Matter What" by Boyzone
"Lost in Love" by Deep Obsession
|New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart number-one single
23 August 1998 – 30 August 1998
"Ghetto Supastar" by the Pras, Mýa and ODB
Notes and references
- Steele, Matt (30 May 2014). "Every Spice Girls Original Song, Ranked From Worst To Best". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- Double-A side. Foreverspice.com . Retrieved 29 September 2007.
- Original Release Date. News.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 13 October 2007.
- Geri Halliwell on the National Lottery. News.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 13 October 2007.
- Viva Forever reached number-one. News.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 13 October 2007
- Sputnikmusic Review. Sputnikmusic.com . Retrieved 29 September 2007.
- Rolling Stone Review. Rollingstone.com . Retrieved 29 September 2007.
- Yahoo! Music Review. Uk.launch.yahoo.com . Retrieved 29 September 2007.
- UK Sales in three days. News.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 13 October 2007.
- UK Sales first week. Rollingstone.com. Retrieved 6 October 2007.
- UK Chart-History. Hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 13 October 2007.
- UK Certification. BPI.co.uk . Retrieved 18 September 2007.
- Justin Myers (9 August 2013). "Official Charts Flashback 1998: Spice Girls – Viva Forever". Official Charts. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
- Italian debut. Hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
- Des'ree-Life. Hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
- Aerosmith-I Don't Want to Miss a Thing. Hitparadeitalia.it . Retrieved 18 September 2007.
- Swiss Charts. Hitparade.ch. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
- Swiss Certification. Swisscharts.com . Retrieved 18 September 2007.
- Mama-Austrian Charts. Austriancharts.at. Retrieved 13 October 2007.
- Austrian Charts. Austriancharts.at. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
- New Zealand Charts. Charts.org.nz. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
- Australian Charts. Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
- Australian Certification. ARIA.com.au . Retrieved 18 September 2007.
- Steve Box. Screenonline.org.uk . Retrieved 18 September 2007.
- Viva Forever video. News.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 6 October 2007.
- Video Release. Highbeam.com. Retrieved 6 October 2007.
- Enhaced-Cd. Soundonsound.com. Retrieved 13 October 2007.
- Christmas in Spiceworld-Set list. Melanie-c-news.com. Retrieved 13 October 2007.
- Last performance as a quintet. News.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 13 October 2007.
- Viva Forever with Pavarotti. News.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 13 October 2007.
- Pavarotti and Friends. Shopping.yahoo.com. Retrieved 22 September 2007.
- Belgian Ultratop 50 Chart. Radio2.be. Retrieved 7 October 2007.
- Dutch Charts. Radio538.nl. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
- French Charts. Lescharts.com. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
- German Charts. Charts-Surfer.de. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
- Irish Charts. Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
- Italian Charts. Hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
- Norwegian Charts. Norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
- Swedish Charts. Swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
- UK Charts. Theofficialcharts.com. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
- "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1998 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
- "Ultratop 50 Albums Wallonie 1998". Ultratop. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
- "French single certifications – Spice Girls" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
- "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Spice Girls)" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
- "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
- "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Spice Girls)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
- "British single certifications – Spice Girls". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2011-09-28. Enter Spice Girls in the field Search. Select Artist in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search