Remember when the Spice Girls enthusiastically shouted: "God help the mister that comes between me and my sisters!" Well, that happened a long time ago, after first Ginger Spice left the group and then after the limited success that they saw with their third album (which I actually bought, at a real CD store, and has some nice tracks), Forever.
I loved the Spice Girls, both when they were together and when they were apart. Each of them released at least one solo album, each with varying degrees of success (mostly in Europe). Sure, Posh sells tabloid covers better than she sells albums, but the other girls named spice put out expensive, well-produced, and at times interesting music.
Here are my top 10 favorite Spice Girls songs, post-Spice Girls. Feel free to add your favorites in the comments.
10. Geri Halliwell (aka Ginger Spice) released three albums after being the first to leave the Spice Girls. Her first album was a big success, but sales tapered off afterwards and she was eventually dropped from her label, EMI, says her solo career is over, and is rumored to have a greatest hits album in the works. This is "Ride It," from her third album. Pure disco.
9. Emma Bunton's (aka Baby Spice) songs on this list all come from her second album, Free Me. She ended up making four, but Free Me was by far the most fun, the most interesting, and saw the most commercial success.
This is Crickets Sing for Anamaria an Astrud Gilberto cover. She has an pretty voice, but definitely wouldn't have had a solo career if it weren't for her involvement with the Spice Girls. But this song is fun, and it's great to hear someone cover a Gilberto song that isn't "The Girl from Ipanema."
8. Melanie C (aka Sporty Spice) had the most commercial success after leaving the group, most likely because she was the only Spice Girl who had more than a pretty voice and pretty face, but actual music talent. She released four studio albums, and has one due out in 2010.
When I first heard "First Day of My Life," I remember thinking Is she doing an Enrique Iglesias cover? That sounds really Enrique Iglesias. I'm kinda stoked to find out, when looking up the Wikipedia page for this song just now, that it was in fact co-written by Enrique Iglesias.
The person who uploaded this onto YouTube declared it "The best song EVER," but, come on, I have seven songs left on this list.
7. Mel B's (aka Scary Spice) most recent album went hip hop, and here's "I want you back." I really like use of strings in the beat. Missy Elliot, as she always seems willing to help a European pop star out.
6. Emma Bunton's "Free Me." It has a relaxed, loungey sound, with strings that give it a certain sophistication. The horn leading into the chorus are a nice production touch as well, especially since it's the strongest part of the song. I probably would have put it higher on the list, though, if she used less autotune.
5. Geri Halliwell's "Look at Me" is probably the most accurate title of any of the songs on this list. As the first Spice Girl to leave the group to pursue solo work, Geri Halliwell didn't shy away from any camera. While her voice is very different, her singing actually reminds me a lot of Victor Willis in this style, except electronically touched-up a bit more.
This is one of four number 1 UK singles on her first solo album, but, honestly, all the other ones sound the same.
4. Mel B's "Feels So Good." Church bells and a simple melody, a good combination for a Spice Girl. The beat's cute and it's a lot more poppy than most of Mel B's other solo work, and much earlier than "Want You Back," above.
3. Melanie C's "I Turn to You" (below is the Hex Hector remix, since that's the version that ended up going with the video).
2. Melanie C's "Never Be the Same Again," which is the first single I heard from any of them when they went solo. Melanie C was, by far, the best singer of the Spice Girls, which is why she always had more solos than the rest of the group. The melody is pretty, Melanie's vocals are engaging, but the bells and melody give it an eerie tension that makes this track memorable.
Left Eye Lopes of TLC also appears on this track.
1. Emma Bunton's "Maybe." This song is just awesome. The James Bond feel, the 70's aesthetic, the pacing, the Motown-esque horns, the percussion.... While Emma didn't have the same success with this track as she saw with "Free Me," it's a personal favorite.
Just in case you were wondering.... Victoria Beckham's (aka Posh Spice) singles aren't on this list simply because the others' body of work is clearly superior to hers, and I'm saying that as someone who joined the official Spice Girls' Fan Club by filling out the card and saying Posh was my favorite Spice (my parents must have known I was gay before I came out...). But if you just want to see what she did in terms of music after leaving the group that rarely gave her solos (for good reason), here's her biggest hit, "Not Such an Innocent Girl."