Greatest Hits is a greatest hits album by the English girl groupSpice Girls. It received a physical release worldwide throughout November 2007, except for the United States where it received a limited release on 6 November 2007 through Victoria's Secret and a full release on 15 January 2008. It was their first album to be released in seven years and was supported by an accompanying world tour. In August 2012, after the Spice Girls' performance at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the album re-charted in the top ten, twenty and thirty of most major charts worldwide including the United Kingdom, United States, New Zealand and Australia.
The plan to reform and release a greatest hits had long been speculated by the media, but its planned release was first confirmed by Mel B in June 2005. She stated, "We'll get back together because we all want to. I know everyone is up for it. There is going to be a greatest hits album and we've got loads of new songs that nobody has heard yet." On 28 June 2007, the group held a press conference at The O2 Arena revealing their intention to reunite. During the conference, the group confirmed their intention to embark upon a world wide concert tour, starting in Vancouver on 2 December 2007. "I want to be a Spice Girl again. We are like sisters and we have our arguments, but by the end of the day we get back together", said Emma Bunton, while Melanie Chisholm commented that the tour "will be a proper good farewell to our fans". The group's comeback single, "Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)", was announced as the official Children in Need charity single for 2007, and released on radio on 23 October, whilst released digitally on 5 November and commercially on 19 November 2007.
The album was released in several different formats, including versions with bonus DVDs and CDs. The limited edition box set includes the normal standard edition CD, a karaoke CD (of all 13 previously released tracks), a remix CD, a DVD of the group's music videos, individual postcards of each Spice Girl and a friendship bracelet bearing the words Spice Girls.
In the United States, the album was initially released only through Victoria's Secret stores (which came with three downloadable remixes of "Wannabe", "2 Become 1" and "Spice Up Your Life") together with a digital release via the iTunes Store. It was announced that other retail outlets would receive them on 15 January 2008; however, online retailers listed the date as 11 December 2007, and copies of the album were found in retail outlets outside of Victoria's Secret on the release day. Despite the revision of the Billboard charts (beginning the week of 7 November 2007) in the United States, defining that albums sold by exclusive retailers (e.g. Walmart, etc.) were eligible to chart on the Billboard 200,Greatest Hits sold over 600,000 copies through Victoria's Secret stores, but was not eligible to chart in the week of 13 November 2007 due to Victoria's Secret not being SoundScan enabled.
The artwork for Greatest Hits was revealed through the group's official website in August 2007. According to the announcement, the group were all involved with the design, and were pleased with the outcome. It features a £1,000,000 jewel encrusted logo, which pays homage to their debut album, Spice (1996). The jewels were designed by David Morris and each letter represents one member of the group. The "S" is made from amber and represents Victoria Beckham; the ruby pink "P" is Emma Bunton; Melanie C's letter "I" is made from a diamond; Geri Halliwell is the "C", made from amethyst stones and the emerald "E" is Melanie B. According to a source, they wanted something simple and stylish, and it is one of the most expensive album covers ever made.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic wrote that the songs featured on the album have aged "exactly as you thought they might". Spence D. of IGN cited Greatest Hits as being "pretty much what you would expect it to be". According to a writer from The Daily Collegian, the greatest hits compilation "shows us that when these five women sing, they sound awesome", while also commenting that its members "have changed in their time away from each other, but the distinctive sound of the Spice Girls remains the same as it always was". Talia Kraines, writing for BBC Music was positive in her review, saying that "if you were one of the many haters of the Spice Girls back in the day, then this CD isn't going to change your mind about them. But if you grew up watching their every move, then this is a slice of nostalgia that miraculously still sounds fresh today".NME gave the compilation a mixed review, stating that "about halfway through this comp it hits home how dramatically the Spice Girls lost the plot, [...] The likes of ‘Say You’ll Be There’ and ‘Goodbye’ are fine songs in any age".
In the group's home country of the United Kingdom, the album missed the top spot, peaking at number 2 on the UK Albums Chart. To date, it has sold in excess of 400,000 in the country. Despite missing number one in the United Kingdom, it managed to become the group's first number-one album in Australia, and was certified platinum there (for shipments of over 70,000 units). For reasons stated above, despite selling over 600,000 copies through Victoria's Secret stores in the United States, the album barely made the top 100 of the Billboard 200, peaking at number 93. Elsewhere, the album peaked at number 9 in Ireland, number 15 in New Zealand, and managed to peak inside the top 20 in Italy, the top 50 in Sweden, and the top 75 in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and the Netherlands. The album made the top 10 at number 7 on the European Top 100 Albums chart, published by Billboard. In August 2012, after the Spice Girls' performance at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the album re-charted in the top ten, twenty and thirty of most major charts worldwide including the United Kingdom, United States, New Zealand and Australia.
In November 2007, the group performed together for the first time in nearly a decade at the 2007 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, held in Los Angeles, California. The group dressed in military-themed outfits performed "Stop" and "Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)" miming to a backing track, in front of giant glittering lights that spelled out "Spice" in the background. A taped performance of the group lyp-synching the songs, while dressed in blue sailor outfits, aired on 17 November 2007 for the Children in Need 2007 marathon. The song was also the official Children in Need single of 2007. In addition, they performed "2 Become 1" on the finale of the fifth season of the British television show Strictly Come Dancing. They wore floor-length gowns and used microphones covered in glitter, while professional dancers did a choreography in front of them. Filmmaker Bob Smeaton, directed an official documentary on the reunion. It was entitled Spice Girls: Giving You Everything and was first aired on Australia's Fox8 on 16 December 2007, followed by BBC One in the United Kingdom, on 31 December.
On 28 June 2007, the group held a press conference at The O2 Arena revealing their intention to reunite and embark upon a tour. They announced the The Return of the Spice Girls tour on their website, and it would start in Vancouver on 2 December 2007. Ticket sales for the first London date of the tour sold out in 38 seconds. It was reported that over one million people signed up in the UK alone and over five million worldwide for the ticket ballot on the band's official website. Sixteen additional dates in London had been added and sold out. In the United States, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Jose shows also sold out, prompting additional dates to be added. It was announced that the Spice Girls would be playing dates in Chicago, Detroit and Boston, as well as additional dates in New York to keep up with the demand. On the first concert in Canada, they performed to an audience of 15,000 people, singing twenty songs and changing a total of eight times. On 1 February 2008, it was announced that due to personal and family commitments their tour would come to an end in Toronto on 26 February 2008, meaning that tour dates in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sydney, Cape Town and Buenos Aires were cancelled.