MTV TJ Challenge 3:
Personal: What three musical moments have impacted your life most?
I’ll be posting one impact per day over the next 3 days.
Today, let’s start with girl power. I do not suggest that driving (I’m the driver in the hat) and dancing to the Spice Girls is okay, but sometimes you just have to dance with your friends. My friends LOVE the camera, but I get a couple of bars of the song in somehow:
Okay before you go and start judging me because I like like the Spice Girls, let me tell you that growing up in the 90s it was hard to find a tween who didn’t know every single lyric to “Wannabe.” I am proud of who I am and how I got there, and yes Sport Spice helped me get there.
My first true love was the Spice Girls, as bizarre and discrediting as it may be to most music snobs. I was OBSESSED with them. I of course had their first 2 CDs, 2 posters in my room, all the bubblegum that had their stickers in the wrappers, and of course bought a Chupa-Chup every single time I saw one, because Baby Spice ate one in Spiceworld.
One of the posters that I had in my room was the one that had their printed autograph. Mel B signed her name with a peace sign, so I went through my middle school years writing notes to friends (like we did before text messaging was ever a thought in our heads, or before parents let children have cell phones) where I would sign EVERY note with a peace sign. Here is the exact poster I had with Mel B’s signature (center with a peace sign), and the back of a school picture I gave to my best friend in probably 7th or 8th grade:
I am pretty sure Brittney did end up “keeping it real.”
Anyway, most people remember where they were when they heard Geri left the group. And though I was obsessed with them, for some reason I can’t remember where I was or even what my reaction was. I think my brain was trying to protect me, so I just spiraled in to a deep phase of denial.
Geri released Schizophonic in 1999 and I ordered it with 9 other full-length CDs from a BMG Music House catalog that I was supposed to pay 99 cents for, and never did. To this day I still love that album. Mi Chico Latino, Bag It Up, Sometime: all pop music gold!
Then, my prayers were answered when the four-remaining members released an R&B album Forever, which I remember going to Wal-Mart at midnight to buy (keep in mind I was like 14 – LOL!). The album was produced by Rodney Jerkins (I think*) and I remember reading on a Spice Girls message board that it only sold 11,000 copies in the United States! And, frankly, I’m glad I could contribute to being one of the 11,000 who never gave up on the good times. The album is fun, but very different from the pop culture staples of Spice and Spiceworld.
After that commercial disaster, Mel C released Northern Star the very next year, and I could NOT stop listening to it. I still do! I had the physical CD for about a year until my brother shot it with his BB gun. 😦 It was so hard to find a copy of the CD back then because there wasn’t iTunes, and Lars Ulrich of Metallica was on MTV News every 15 minutes screaming about how he’s going to sue me if I use Napster. Anyway, I eventually caught back up with Northern Star a few years ago, and Mel C has released a couple of decent albums. Her latest, This Time is by far her best though.
Emma had a few songs that weren’t even released in the States that are still on my iPod: Free Me, Crickets Sing for Anamaria, I’ll Be There, Maybe.
Mel B’s solo career kind of tanked but when she had that cover of I Want You Back with Missy Elliot, I couldn’t stop playing it. In fact, (don’t cringe when you read this), I remember trading my friend my No Doubt Tragic Kingdom CD for the Austin Powers soundtrack that that song was on! WHAT WAS I THINKING!? Looking back now, I would have loved to have my original Tragic Kingdom album.
Moving on, you could imagine my excitement when pretty much completely randomly the Spice Girls announced a return. I freaked out, I cried, I threw babies, I honked vuvuzelas (no I didn’t), I screamed! I obviously HAD to see them, and luckily did when they came to D.C. on a perfect weekend for me!
It was a very magical weekend that I tried to capture on my not-so-great digital camera and before I knew how to edit! Here is the a video from 3 years ago, which feels like A CENTURY ago:
The Spice Girls, no matter which way I try to slice it, will always be a huge part of my musical upbringing. Thanks girls!