20 years in the past, Mel B turned the primary Spice lady to launch a solo single outdoors the group
After seismically altering the face pop music as a quintet within the late '90s, the Spice Girls had been at all times going to wrestle to make anyplace close to the identical influence as solo artists. Yet the notion that their respective careers have little so as to add to the group’s legacy is fully f the mark.
Sure, there’s been a couple of ill-judged missteps (see: Mel B’s whole L.A. State Mind album, Geri’s well-meaning however mawkish George Michael tribute). But over the 16 solo albums recorded by the 5 members, you’ll discover lots materials worthy sitting alongside the pure pop perfection Spice and Spiceworld. To have a good time the 20th anniversary the very first solo Spice launch, Mel B’s Missy Elliott collaboration “I Want You Back,” Billboard ranked the 20 finest particular person singles from Baby, Sporty, Ginger, Posh and Scary.
20. Victoria Beckham, “This Groove” (2003)
Victoria Beckham’s hip-hop album by no means ficially noticed the sunshine day – her label, Telstar, folded reportedly beneath the load its recording prices. But its classes did a minimum of spawn one her most interesting solo moments, a slick and sensual R&B mid-tempo which briefly instructed that partnering with producer Damon Dash could not have been such an incongruous alternative in any case. Interpolating the melody The System’s 1987 hit “Don’t Disturb This Groove,” this 2003 monitor was additionally one the few occasions that Beckham regarded and sounded fully relaxed going it alone.
19. Tin Out & Emma Bunton, “What I Am” (1999)
Geri Halliwell’s “Lift Me Up” gained the inter-Spice chart battle that made the entrance pages the British tabloids in late 1999. But Emma Bunton’s contender, a collaboration with former tranceheads Tin Out, stays the superior tune. A comparatively trustworthy tackle Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians’ 1988 Top 10 hit, “What I Am” tackles some barely extra existential themes than you’d count on from a debut Baby Spice single (“Philosophy is the discuss on a cereal field/ Religion is the smile on a canine”). Yet Bunton’s usually charming vocals and the breezy manufacturing wraps them up in one thing fully palatable.
18. Melanie C, “Rock Me” (2011)
Melanie C hasn't scored a real chart hit for the reason that mid-‘00s, however her current output nonetheless accommodates a number of hidden gems that will little question have charted had they been recorded by newer artists. There’s the break-up disco-funk “Anymore,” the Katy Perry-esque pop-rock “Think About It” and the dramatic balladry “Weak.” But “Rock Me,” the colourful first taster from 2011’s return-to-form The Sea is the best that latter-day Sporty Spice has to fer.
17. Emma Bunton, “All I Need to Know” (2006)
Like Geri’s “It’s Raining Men” 5 years earlier than her, Emma Bunton’s resolution to launch a canopy a well-worn pop traditional as a lead single -- her 2006 rendition Petula Clark's "'Downtown" -- labored within the short-term (it peaked at No. three within the U.Ok.) however derailed her profession in the long term (it motivated few to purchase poorly promoting mum or dad album Life in Mono). It’s a disgrace, as this follow-up single (and the remainder the LP) instructed that she had lots nonetheless to fer. A gorgeously tender piano ballad co-written by Ben’s Brother frontman Jamie Hartman, “All I Need to Know” proved as soon as and for all that Baby Spice was all grown up.
16. Melanie C feat. Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, “Never Be the Same Again” (1999)
The first two consecutive U.Ok. No. 1s, “Never Be the Same Again” inarguably rescued Melanie C’s solo profession and helped to propel Northern Star to U.Ok. gross sales practically 1,000,000 after that LP's first two singles acquired a comparatively lukewarm reception. It’s not arduous to see why it made a lot extra an influence: Rhett Lawrence’s polished R&B-lite manufacturing was simpler on the ear, Mel’s vocals sounded extra relaxed than ever earlier than and Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes’ delightfully laid-back circulation linked collectively two one of the best and largest lady teams the ‘90s.
15. Geri, “Scream If You Wanna Go Faster” (2001)
“Scream If You Wanna Go Faster” was the one that broke Geri’s spectacular run 4 U.Ok. No. 1s in a row, peaking at a comparatively lowly No. eight. But the title monitor from her second album is maybe her most under-rated single. In truth, with its twangy surf-rock guitars, swirling Hammond organs and unabashedly nonsensical lyrics, “Scream…” was doing early Girls Aloud’s extra celebrated schtick 18 months earlier than Girls Aloud even shaped.
14. Truesteppers feat. Victoria Beckham and Dane Bowers, “Out Your Mind” (2000)
Beckham’s first musical enterprise outdoors the group will endlessly be overshadowed by the high-prile chart battle that surrounded it. A collaboration with manufacturing duo Truesteppers and Another Level frontman Dane Bowers, “Out Your Mind” was an impressed try to gatecrash the two-step storage motion that dominated the London membership scene on the flip the century. Of course, it was nonetheless crushed to the U.Ok. chart's high spot by the Ibiza anthem the 12 months (Spiller ft. Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s “Groovejet”). But few different Spice tracks, with group or solo, have had their fingers so firmly on the heartbeat.
13. Melanie C, “Melt” (2003)
The marketing campaign for Melanie C’s less-successful second album might have turned out oh so totally different had it led with this majestic pop-rock ballad as an alternative the plodding “Here It Comes Again.” Co-written with British hitmaker Guy Chambers, “Melt” undoubtedly shares some DNA with one the songwriter’s best Robbie Williams collaborations, “Feel.” But Melanie C’s haunting, weak vocals make sure that the Reason standout is much from only a carbon copy.
12. Geri Halliwell, “Bag It Up” (1999)
Geri’s fourth launch from her debut album, Schizophonic, might by no means be described as understated. There's the neon-pink video wherein Geri bosses round a parade shirtless, oiled-up and bunny ear-wearing intercourse slaves. There was the show-stealing BRITs efficiency when she entered the stage a a pair big, inflatable unfold legs. And then there’s the tune itself, a full-throttle tongue-in-cheek disco quantity which even outcamped her future cowl The Weather Girls’ “It’s Raining Men.” But you don’t flip to Geri for subtlety, and “Bag It Up” captures what made her one '90s pop’s most colourful figures.
11. Melanie C, “Goin’ Down” (1999)
After testing the rock waters with Bryan Adams, Melanie C then threw herself utterly into the deep finish together with her first correct solo launch -- and just about scaried away half her younger fanbase within the course of. Gone had been the ponytails and tracksuits, and in got here bleached-blonde spikes and a tartan miniskirt which left her resembling extra Johnny Rotten than Sporty Spice. But as soon as you bought over the shock issue, you had been left with a gloriously defiant assertion intent which channeled components Garbage and The Cardigans to surprisingly thrilling impact.
10. Emma, “Free Me” (2003)
Released merely beneath the mononym Emma, Free Me is maybe essentially the most cohesive solo Spice album up to now. The gorgeously-produced tribute to the classic pop the Swinging Sixties predated related efforts from the likes Duffy and Candie Payne by a number of years, and it arguably did the entire throwback factor even higher. A luxurious, string-soaked pastiche John Barry’s traditional James Bond themes, this title monitor additionally helped Bunton promote extra copies her sophomore album than her debut -- the one Spice Girl to realize such a feat.
9. Mel B ft. Missy Elliott, “I Want You Back” (1998)
The very first solo Spice single -- and what a curveball it was. Featuring each cutting-edge manufacturing and a few imposing opening rhymes from the cooler-than-cool Missy Elliott, “I Want You Back” couldn’t be additional faraway from the pure, hook-laden pop Mel B’s day job. Indeed, the sparse but seductive monitor consists little greater than an eerie violin loop, some fractured beats and the odd crunching guitar riff. But this intriguing, virtually minimal strategy brilliantly enhances a commanding vocal from Mel B which, alongside the dominatrix-themed video, actually lived as much as her Scary Spice nickname.
eight. Victoria Beckham, “Let Your Head Go” (2003)
The different, extra playful half her 2003 double A-side (see No. 20), “Let Your Head Go” was Victoria’s final musical hurrah earlier than her transfer into the world excessive vogue. It additionally turned out to be her most interesting hour. The U.Ok. hit took an "in case you can't beat 'em, be a part of 'em" strategy, aiming for the variety irresistible dance-pop that resurrected Kylie Minogue’s profession only a few years prior. And its impressed satirical video proved that, regardless of her lethal critical picture, Posh Spice definitely wasn’t averse to poking enjoyable at herself. It’s only a disgrace she solely discovered her sound when it was too late.
7. Geri Halliwell, “Mi Chico Latino” (1999)
“Mi Chico Latino” could have arrived in the summertime 1999, a interval wherein Ricky Martin, J. Lo and Enrique Iglesias all lit up the charts. But it has much more in widespread with a Latin pop hit from the earlier decade: Madonna’s “La Isla Bonita.” The second single from Schizophonic undoubtedly borrows a couple of methods from the Queen Pop, from its flamenco guitars to the phrasing the tune’s title. But the entire thing -- sure, even Geri’s Spanglish! -- is so gloriously infectious that it’s arduous to care.
6. Melanie C, “Northern Star” (1999)
Madonna additionally proved to be a serious supply inspiration for an additional Spice Girl in 1999, though it was a completely totally different period that Melanie C. Northern Star is full the hovering strings, digital bleeps and bloops and soul-searching lyrics that outlined Ray Light. And it’s on this beautiful windswept title monitor, produced and co-written by common Madonna collaborators Marius de Vries and Rick Nowels, respectively, the place they most got here to life.
5. Mel B, “Feels So Good” (2000)
Head-scratchingly launched only a month earlier than the Spice Girls’ underwhelming 2000 comeback, Mel B’s debut solo album, Hot, featured contributions from R&B heavyweights Rodney Jerkins, Sisqo and Teddy Riley. But its opening monitor left you wishing that Jimmy Jam and Lewis, who produced it, had taken management the entire undertaking. A bouncy, feel-good slice city pop, “Feels So Good” evoked the duo’s common muse Janet Jackson at her most carefree. Still, with its candy nothings delivered in that sturdy Yorkshire accent (“I’m gonna get all st and smoochy”), Mel B ensured that you just wouldn’t mistake her for anybody else.
four. Geri, “Look at Me” (1999)
Just like how “Wannabe” highlighted every thing that was so magical concerning the Spice Girls in a single compact debut single, so did "Look at Me” for the artist previously referred to as Ginger Spice. Ballsy, brash and barely bonkers (that operatic middle-eight!), the primary launch following her surprising exit instantly quashed any doubts that the Spice Girl with the weakest vocal chops would wrestle to make it on her personal. She dedicated to her solo reinvention with a brassy jazz-pop manufacturing closely impressed by The Propellerheads and Shirley Bassey’s equally magnificent “History Repeating” -- and obtained the precise response she hoped for within the tune's title.
three. Emma Bunton, “What Took You So Long?” (2001)
“What Took You So Long?” isn’t the showiest solo Spice Girls single. In truth, it’s one the best. But Bunton was by no means the showiest Spice Girl herself, and this shimmering slice grownup modern pop completely suits the inherently candy tones which ten anchored the group’s most interesting ballads. Taking influences from early Sheryl Crow, Texas and a complete host different female-fronted AOR acts, this U.Ok. No. 1 sounds tailored for drive-time radio, which is strictly the place Bunton’s profession later ended up.
2. Melanie C, “I Turn To You” (1999)
The album model “I Turn to You” was maybe the Northern Star monitor most indebted to Madonna’s Ray Light. However, the one model remix noticed DJ Hex Hector shave f practically 90 seconds and throw in some epic, trancey synths and four-on-the-floor beats, leading to the one Spice Girls single that would realistically be described as an absolute banger. The radical transformation labored: Mel secured a second consecutive U.Ok. chart-topper and a No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music chart stateside, whereas Hector picked up a Grammy Award for his efforts.
1. Emma, “Maybe” (2003)
Bunton had 5 songs that charted larger than “Maybe” within the U.Ok., however the truth the she carried out this one throughout her solo slot on the Spice Girls’ reunion tour proves simply how way more an influence it made. The second single from Free Me doubles down on the 1960s aesthetic, transporting listeners again to the heyday London’s Carnaby Street with its fashionable mix bossa nova, lounge music and Gallic pop -- to not point out a perfectly choreographed video impressed by Bob Fosse’s Sweet Charity. Emma additionally appears to be like and seems like she’s having the time her life, and it’s little surprise why: No different solo Spice monitor exudes as a lot pleasure.