Viva Forever

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This article is about the song. For the 2012 musical, see Viva Forever!
"Viva Forever"
Viva Forever.jpg
Single by Spice Girls
from the album Spiceworld
Released 20 July 1998 (1998-07-20)
Recorded Summer 1997
Length 5:09 (album version)
4:10 (radio edit)
Label Virgin
  • Matt Rowe
  • Richard Stannard
Spice Girls singles chronology
"Viva Forever"
Music video
"Viva Forever" on YouTube

"Viva Forever" is a song by the Spice Girls from their second album, Spiceworld. The song was released on 20 July 1998 in the United Kingdom and received critical acclaim. The song also charted fairly well becoming the band’s seventh UK 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 video was commissioned months before Geri's departure, and as such she appears in the video and the accompanying single artwork. 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.[1] In the book "The Spice Girls Revisited" by David Sinclair it was confirmed by the co-writers/producers of the song Matthew Rowe & Richard Stannard that Geri Halliwell was the main songwriter of "Viva Forever".

Background and release[edit]

In late March, the single was first reported 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.[2] 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.[3] The release date was then pushed back to 8 June in late April, and at this point a promotional cassette for "Viva Forever" circulated 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."[2]

On 27 May, the Spice Girls appeared on the National Lottery, performing "Viva Forever" and "Spice Up Your Life" without Geri Halliwell, the excuse being that she was ill.[4] In early June, the single was confirmed to simply be "Viva Forever". 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.[2] 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.[5]


Critical response[edit]

"Viva Forever" received critical acclaim from 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".[6] Rolling Stone called it "a big ballad that is about as convincing as the Spices' Spanish accents".[7] Yahoo! Music compared the song with "Mama", and added "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".[8]

Chart performance[edit]

"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.[9][10] 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;[11] it went on to be certified platinum,[12] and sold 675,000 copies in the UK as of August 2013.[13] In Italy the single debuted at number three,[14] 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",[15][16] 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,[17] and was eventually certified Gold by the IFPI.[18] 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),[19] staying ten weeks in the top ten and fifteen weeks in total.[20] In New Zealand the song debuted at the top, staying at number-one for two weeks, and eleven weeks in total on the chart.[21] In Australia, it debuted at number fifty-nine,[22] peaking at number two for two weeks (held off by "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing"), spending thirty-one weeks on the chart,[23] and receiving a Platinum certification by ARIA.[24]

Music video[edit]

Background and release[edit]

The Spice Girls in the music video as fairies.

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.[25] 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.[26] It was screened for the first time in the United Kingdom on 22 June 1998. The video marks the final appearance of Geri with the Spice Girls because it was commissioned months before her departure.[27] The video could be viewed as an interactive element on UK CD1, the first time this feature was available on a Spice Girls CD.[28]


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, whisper a secret, give him a kiss on the nose, 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 the fairies flying out of the vending machine.

Live performances and covers[edit]

The song was included on the set list of the Spiceworld Tour. After Geri left, on the American and Back in Britain legs of the tour, the girls sang the radio edit of the song instead of the album version. Melanie C also 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.[29] "Viva Forever" was the group last performance on television as a quintet, on Top of the Pops. The performance was recorded on 21 May 1998, and it was broadcast on 5 June 1998.[30] It was also the first song they performed on television without Geri, on 27 May 1998 at the National Lottery.[4] 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.[31] The Pavarotti version is featured on Pavarotti's album entitled Pavarotti and Friends.[32] The song was re-imagined on the Return of the Spice Girls world tour in 2007 with Flamenco elements, and the girls standing on rotating podiums.[33] [34]

"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[edit]

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "Viva Forever":

Credits and personnel[edit]

Published by Windswept Pacific Music Ltd/Polygram Music Publishing Ltd.


Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Steele, Matt (30 May 2014). "Every Spice Girls Original Song, Ranked From Worst To Best". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Double-A side. . Retrieved 29 September 2007.
  3. ^ Original Release Date. Retrieved 13 October 2007.
  4. ^ a b Geri Halliwell on the National Lottery. Retrieved 13 October 2007.
  5. ^ Viva Forever reached number-one. Retrieved 13 October 2007
  6. ^ Sputnikmusic Review. . Retrieved 29 September 2007.
  7. ^ Rolling Stone Review. . Retrieved 29 September 2007.
  8. ^ Yahoo! Music Review. . Retrieved 29 September 2007.
  9. ^ UK Sales in three days. Retrieved 13 October 2007.
  10. ^ UK Sales first week. Retrieved 6 October 2007.
  11. ^ UK Chart-History. Retrieved 13 October 2007.
  12. ^ UK Certification. . Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  13. ^ a b Justin Myers (9 August 2013). "Official Charts Flashback 1998: Spice Girls – Viva Forever". Official Charts. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  14. ^ Italian debut. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  15. ^ Des'ree-Life. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  16. ^ Aerosmith-I Don't Want to Miss a Thing. . Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  17. ^ a b Swiss Charts. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  18. ^ Swiss Certification. . Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  19. ^ Mama-Austrian Charts. Retrieved 13 October 2007.
  20. ^ a b Austrian Charts. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  21. ^ a b New Zealand Charts. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  22. ^ "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles Chart - Week Ending 30 Aug 1998". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2 February 2016. 
  23. ^ "ariaNET The Chart! Top 100 Singles - Week Commencing 29th March 1999". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2 February 2016. 
  24. ^ Australian Certification. . Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  25. ^ Steve Box. . Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  26. ^ Viva Forever video. Retrieved 6 October 2007.
  27. ^ Video Release. Retrieved 6 October 2007.
  28. ^ "Enhanced CD Format & How To Use It, Part 1". 
  29. ^ Christmas in Spiceworld-Set list. Retrieved 13 October 2007.
  30. ^ Last performance as a quintet. Retrieved 13 October 2007.
  31. ^ Viva Forever with Pavarotti. Retrieved 13 October 2007.
  32. ^ Pavarotti and Friends. Retrieved 22 September 2007.
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^ Australian Charts. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  36. ^ Belgian Ultratop 50 Chart. Retrieved 7 October 2007.
  37. ^ Dutch Charts. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  38. ^ French Charts. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  39. ^ German Charts Archived 17 June 2009 at WebCite. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  40. ^ Irish Charts. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  41. ^ Italian Charts. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  42. ^ Norwegian Charts. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  43. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Chart Top 100". 
  44. ^ Swedish Charts. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  45. ^ UK Charts. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  46. ^ Australian Recording Industry Association (1998). "Aria 1998 Charts". Retrieved 3 January 2011. 
  47. ^ "Jahreshitparade 1998" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  48. ^ "Rapports annuels 1998" (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  49. ^ RPM 1999 (1998). "Top 100 Hit Tracks". Retrieved 3 January 2011. 
  50. ^ "Classement Singles - année 1998" (in French). SNEP. Archived from the original on 5 September 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  51. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts". GfK Entertainment (in German). Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  52. ^ "I singoli più venduti del 1998" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  53. ^ "Single Top 100 Van 1998" (PDF) (in Dutch). Stichting Nederlandse Top 40. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  54. ^ 1998 Swedish Singles Chart [1] . Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  55. ^ "Swiss Year-end Charts 1998". Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  56. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1998 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  57. ^ "Ultratop 50 Albums Wallonie 1998". Ultratop. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  58. ^ "French single certifications – Spice Girls" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  59. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Spice Girls)" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  60. ^ "Top 50 Singles Chart, 25 October 1998". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  61. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  62. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Spice Girls)". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  63. ^ "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

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Deeper Underground" by Jamiroquai
UK Singles Chart number-one single
26 July 1998 – 8 August 1998
Succeeded by
"No Matter What" by Boyzone
Preceded by
"Lost in Love" by Deep Obsession
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart number-one single
23 August 1998 – 30 August 1998
Succeeded by
"Ghetto Supastar" by the Pras, Mýa and ODB