Spiceworld (album)

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Spiceworld
Spice Girls - Spiceworld.png
Studio album by Spice Girls
Released 3 November 1997 (1997-11-03)
Recorded 1997
Genre
Length 38:37
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 English girl group the Spice Girls. It was released on 3 November 1997 by Virgin Records. Its music incorporates dance-pop music and production. The album became a commercial success worldwide, lengthening the so-called "Spicemania" of the time. It debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, with first-week sales of 190,000 and shipped 1.4 million copies in two weeks. The album also reached number one in 13 countries, while peaking inside the top three in Australia, Canada, France, Switzerland and the United States. Spiceworld has sold over 13 million copies worldwide.

The album spawned four singles, all of which saw commercial success. Its lead single "Spice Up Your Life" became an international success, peaking in the top five positions in 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 on 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, later becoming one of the best-selling albums of all time, the group announced they were working on a second studio album.[1] 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 during the Return of the Spice Girls tour

Throughout 1997, the Spice Girls received massive media attention, which also included a few controversies. The group performed live for the first time for the British royal family. At the show, they breached royal protocol when Mel B and then Geri Halliwell planted kisses on Prince Charles's cheeks and pinched his bottom. The group was also criticised in the United States for releasing their second album Spiceworld just nine months after the American release of their debut album Spice. They received further criticism because of the impact and amount of sponsorship deals they had signed.[2] They also made a decision to fire their manager Simon Fuller in November 1997, which was front-page news around the world.[3]

In October 1997, the Spice Girls held a two-date concert in Istanbul named Girl Power! Live in Istanbul, sponsored by Pepsi. During the concert the group premiered three new songs from Spiceworld: "Too Much", "Stop" and "Saturday Night Divas". Two promotional singles from Spiceworld were released prior to 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 promotional release.

Composition[edit]

The album consists of pop music with dance-pop songs and production. According to AllMusic, the album's music is "catchier" and has an "intoxicating sense of fun".[4] The album was also used as the soundtrack to their 1997 film Spice World. "Spice Up Your Life" is an uptempo dance-pop song, with influences of Latin rhythms such as salsa and samba.[5][6] The first verse follows, the lyrics are an international rally cry, targeted to a global market,[7] as Melanie Chisholm described it: "We always wanted to do a carnival tune and write a song for the world."[8] "Viva Forever" is a pop ballad with influences of Latin music. "Too Much" is a pop ballad, with influences of R&B music and doo-wop sounds.[9] "The Lady Is a Vamp" has influences of jazz, whereas "Never Give Up on the Good Times" is a dance-pop song with influences of disco. "Stop" is an uptempo dance-pop song with influences of Motown's blue-eyed soul,[4] and is reminiscent of classic singles by The Supremes or Martha and the Vandellas.[10] 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.[11]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[4]
Robert Christgau (choice cut)[12]
Entertainment Weekly B+[13]
Houston Press 3/5 stars[14]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[15]

Spiceworld received positive reviews from music critics. Stephen Thomas Erlewine from AllMusic wrote that the album "boast[s] a more consistent (and catchier) set of songs [than Spice] and an intoxicating sense of fun", concluding that "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."[4] David Browne from Entertainment Weekly stated, "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."[13]

Rolling Stone's David Wild commented that, compared to Spice, Spiceworld is "a masterful effort; at its best, it reaches creative heights that are downright Bananaramian."[15] In a mixed review, Craig D. Lindsey of the Houston Press expressed, "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."[14]

Commercial performance[edit]

Spiceworld debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, selling 192,000 copies and shipping 1.4 million copies in its first week.[16][17] The album was certified five-times platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) on 19 December 1997,[18] and had sold 1,575,941 copies in the United Kingdom as of December 2007.[19] The album reached number one in several European countries, including Austria, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands and Norway.[20][21][22] It was certified five-times platinum by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), denoting sales in excess of five million copies across Europe.[23] In Japan, Spiceworld peaked at number six on the Oricon Albums Chart and earned a double platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ).[24][25] In Oceania, the album reached number two in Australia and number one in New Zealand;[20] it was ceritifed six-times platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) and triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ).[26][27]

The album debuted at number eight on the US Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 83,000 copies.[28] 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 the top 10, making the Spice Girls the first British band to have two albums in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 at the same time since the Rolling Stones in summer 1975.[29] The album sold 1.74 million copies in the first 12 weeks[30] and 3.2 million in the first 10 months.[31] It was certified four-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on 19 May 1999,[32] and by July 2006, it had sold 4.1 million copies in the US.[33] In Canada, the album peaked at number two on the Canadian Albums Chart and was certified diamond by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) for shipments of one million copies.[34][35] Spiceworld had sold 13 million copies by the end of 1998, making it one of the world's best-selling albums by a girl group.[36]

Singles[edit]

"Spice Up Your Life" was released as the lead single from the album on 13 October 1997. The song became an instant worldwide success, 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, and was certified platinum by the BPI. "Spice Up Your Life" reached the top five in over 14 countries, while reaching number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States.[37] The album's second, "Too Much", 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 certified platinum in the UK. In the US, "Too Much" peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100, their fourth and so far last top-10 single there.[37] The song also peaked at number nine in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

The 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 on 9 March 1998 and peaked at number two in the United Kingdom, ending the Spice Girls' streak of consecutive number-one singles on the UK chart at six. The single received a silver certification. In the US the song reached peaked at number 16 on the Hot 100. Elsewhere "Stop" reached the top 10 in nine other countries. The 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".[38] "Viva Forever" reached number one in the United Kingdom and was certified platinum by the BPI. The song debuted at number one in New Zealand, becoming the band's first chart-topper in that country 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 United Kingdom on 27 September 1997, on BBC's programme National Lottery, which attracted more than nine million viewers.[39][40] 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, Late Show with David Letterman, and The Oprah Winfrey Show.[41][42][43][44][45] "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.[46][47][48][49][50][51] "Too Much" was performed several times on television, including An Audience with..., Top of the Pops, and the 1997 Royal Variety Performance.[41][52][53] The group also performed it at the 1997 Smash Hits! Awards,[54] and at the 25th Annual American Music Awards.[55] "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.[41][56][57] 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.[58][59] The group performed "Stop" and "Viva Forever" without Halliwell in Modena, Italy; for the annually hosted Pavarotti & Friends charity concert in June 1998.[60] "Viva Forever" was performed with Halliwell on Top of the Pops on 21 May 1998 and without her on 27 May 1998 at the National Lottery.[61][62] 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!.[63]

Concert tour[edit]

In early 1998, the Spice Girls embarked on 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 the UK for two gigs at Wembley Arena and 12 gigs at Birmingham's NEC Arena.[64] On 31 May 1998, Halliwell left the group during the tour's run. The remaining girls continued the tour to its last date without Halliwell. A VHS release of the group's performance at Wembley Arena, titled Live at Wembley Stadium, was released on 24 November 1998.[65]

Track listing[edit]

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
  • Mary Wood
  • Clifford Lane
  • 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: 38:37

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Spiceworld.[67]

  • Spice Girls – vocals
  • Absolute – instruments (tracks 2, 3, 7, 8); production (tracks 2, 3, 7, 8, 10)
  • Adrian Bushby – engineering, recording (tracks 1, 4–6, 9)
  • Jake Davies – additional engineering (tracks 1, 4–6, 9)
  • Pete Davis – additional programming (tracks 1, 4–6, 9)
  • Snake Davis – flute (track 5)
  • Anne Dudley – string arrangement (tracks 5, 9)
  • Magnus Fiennes – additional programming (tracks 4, 5, 7); additional keyboards (track 7)
  • Paul Hicks – engineering (track 3)
  • Mike Higham – additional programming (tracks 2, 3, 7, 8, 10)
  • Stephen Hussey – string arrangement (track 3)
  • Robbie Kazandjian – assistant engineering (track 3)
  • Kick Horns – brass (tracks 2, 3)
  • Jan Kybert – mixing assistance (track 3); assistant engineering (tracks 7, 8, 10)
  • Shawn Lee – guitar (track 5)
  • Steve Lewison – bass guitar (track 5)
  • Milton McDonald – guitar (tracks 2, 3, 8); additional guitar (track 7)
  • Steve Pelluet – assistant engineering (track 10)
  • Pure Stringz – strings (track 3)
  • Matt Rowe – keyboards, production, programming (tracks 1, 4–6, 9)
  • Steve Sidwell – orchestral arrangement (track 10)
  • Richard Stannard – production (tracks 1, 4–6, 9)
  • Mark 'Spike' Stent – mixing
  • John Themis – acoustic guitar (track 9)
  • Mark Tucker – engineering (track 10)
  • Paul "P. Dub" Walton – mixing assistance (tracks 1, 2, 4–10)
  • Jeremy Wheatley – engineering (tracks 2, 7, 8, 10)
  • Paul "Tubbs" Williams – bass (track 8)

Charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[26] 6× Platinum 420,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[116] Platinum 50,000*
Belgium (BEA)[117] 2× Platinum 100,000*
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[118] Platinum 250,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[35] Diamond 1,000,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[119] 2× Platinum 92,178[119]
France (SNEP)[120] 2× Platinum 629,500[121]
Germany (BVMI)[122] Platinum 500,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[123] Platinum 20,000*
Italy 200,000[124]
Japan (RIAJ)[25] 2× Platinum 400,000^
Mexico (AMPROFON)[125] Gold 100,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[126] Platinum 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[27] 3× Platinum 45,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[127] Platinum 50,000*
Poland (ZPAV)[128] 2× Platinum 200,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[129] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Sweden (GLF)[130] 2× Platinum 160,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[131] 2× Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[18] 5× Platinum 1,575,941[19]
United States (RIAA)[32] 4× Platinum 4,100,000[33]
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[23] 5× Platinum 5,000,000*
Worldwide 13,000,000[36]

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

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Ref.
Japan 1 November 1997 CD EMI Music Japan [132]
United Kingdom 3 November 1997 Virgin [133]
Canada 4 November 1997 Universal [134]
United States Virgin [135][136]

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