Spice Girls: Victoria, Emma, Melanie C., Geri, Melanie B.
Additional personnel includes: Absolute (various instruments); Greg Lester (guitar); Jackie Drew (violin); Tony Ward (cello); Judd Lander (harmonica); Matt Rowe, Richard Stannard (keyboards, programming, background vocals); Dave Way, Pete Davis, Paul Waller, Statik (programming); Mary Pearce, Eric Gooden (background vocals).
Producers: Richard Stannard, Matt Rowe, Absolute.
Engineers: Adrian Bushby, Jeremy Wheatley, Al Stone.
Personnel: Melanie B. , Emma Bunton, Victoria Adams, Geri Halliwell, Melanie C (vocals); Greg Lester (guitar); Jackie Drew (violin); Tony Ward (cello); Judd Lander (harmonica); Richard "Biff" Stannard (keyboards, programming, background vocals); Matt Rowe (keyboards, programming); Dave Way, Statik, Pete Davis, Paul Waller (programming); Eric Gooden, Mary Pearce (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Dave Way; Absolute; Al Stone; Mark "Spike" Stent; Andy Bradfield.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Victoria Adams; Geri Halliwell; Spice Girls.
Arrangers: Mark Beswick; Craig Armstrong.
There's a long tradition in England of kiddie-pop bands who harmonize well, look good, sell syrup by the millions in the U.K. and can't get arrested in the U.S. The Spice Girls smash that mold by adding a point of view. Having more pop hooks than your average bait & tackle shop doesn't hurt either. The five Spice Girls met when they answered a would-be svengali's ad looking for young women who could sing and dance. He got more than he bargained for. They also had spunk, and one of their first acts was to fire him and take control of their own career.
The group co-wrote every song on SPICE, and it's an audacious debut on the order of Madonna's first LP. The girls' songs, like Madonna's, are simultaneously about wanting sex and wanting empowerment; their mantra is "girl power." These are new kids on the block who've actually been around the block a few times. Calling their debut single "Wannabe" is merely the most obvious nod to the queen of pop; they pay further homage in the brazen way they grab for any pop style within reach. Hip-hop, dancehall reggae, dance-club beats and soft balladry and all thrown into this spicy pop stew with utter abandon. Vocal lines are wantonly tossed back and forth among the five like unsuspecting suitors. If they can figure out a way to keep it up, watch out.
Rolling Stone (5/13/99, p.80) - Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90's."
Spin (2/97, p.87) - "...Unless a new sensation arrives in the next few minutes, Spice Girls are the new Nirvana."
Entertainment Weekly (2/14/97, p.61) - "...what lifts the Spice Girls above female--Bay City Rollers status is that SPICE is a devilishly good pop collection, as the Girls deploy their thin, snarky voices in the service of white hip-hop that's not without soul..." - Rating: B+
Village Voice (2/18/97, pp.65-69) - "...their excess spunk already has allowed them to transcend their manufactured roots....the Spice Girls are Madonna X 5 and their debut sets the stage for their future as confidently as the Material Girl's glorious first LP..."
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