Spiced Up Again

On my way to the office yesterday, I had a brief reminiscent sound tripping when a medley of selected Spice Girls (SG) hits played on the FX radio. At first it was just “Wannabe.” It didn’t have that much effect to me but towards the end, a series of other hits were played like “Say You’ll Be There,” “Spice Up Your Life,” etc. It played on for another 5 minutes I guess before the song ended up with “Wannabe” again.

During those 5 minutes, I felt myself being dragged back to the past when I was just 14 years old. And though I haven’t sung or even heard the songs for about a decade, I realized I still know the lyrics. I guess that’s what you call, knowing by heart.

I loved SG and back in the era of their fame, almost every girl I know, friends, classmates and relatives, loved them too. I had always tuned in to MTV and MYX for their videos and interviews. At first, I recorded them through cassette tapes. Technology was old (hehe) and yet it had been overwhelmingly joyful to listen and was contented to just imagine the videos or how they looked during the interviews (haha). Soon afterwards, I was able to tape the videos too, via the VHS (so delightful!) But for a student with meager funds, I could not afford to buy a lot of VHS tape. They had too many songs topping the hits and too little space in the tapes and so some of the older videos and other interviews were written over by newer ones. (And okay, I admit it, I had other preferences too, like the “famous” Backstreet Boys and Boyzone making the decision on which videos to keep a bit more difficult.)

What made the SG special is that though they were a group, each girl stands out and makes a distinct character for herself. To wit, the girls were:

Emma Bunton, aka Baby Spice. Blonde haired and sweet, she loves to wear her long hair in bangs and pigtails, and prefers pink short dresses and originated the 4-inch high platform shoes along with Geri.

Redhead Geri Halliwell, or Ginger Spice is a lot like Baby but is more daring in colours and style.

Melanie Chisholm (Mel C), Sporty Spice, is the tomboy in the group but personally, I think she’s the prettiest. Dark-haired and creamy complexioned, she manages to look very attractive, in sporty outfit naturally.

Victoria Adams, aka Posh Spice, perhaps was the darling of the group being very chic and elegant and all.

And last but not the least is Melanie Brown (Mel B) or Scary Spice. Bronze skinned and fluffy perm-haired, her tough appearance gives the impression that she’s the leader. Personally, I wouldn’t want to be called “scary” or anything like that though.

The SG opened up discoveries for me. Through them, I learned the beauty of blending of voices in music. My cousins and I would learn their different parts and we’d sing them together. Sometimes, we’d hit it and sound wonderful but most times we sounded awful and out of tune. It didn’t discourage us though, we’d even associated ourselves to each individual: Lhit was Geri, Joy was Victoria and I was Mel C. (Didn’t I mention that for me, she was the prettiest? Haha!) Zhel, who was the oldest among us, seldom took part in this folly but whenever she did, she was either Emma or Mel B.

Later on, when my cousins got busy they could no longer visit our house frequently, I resorted to my sister Julie, who was ten years my junior, to practice the latest second voices I learned. To my astonishment, I discovered that my sister was a natural-born singer! For a 6-year-old, she managed to make our blendings magnificent so I took the advantage that she followed my every order. Afterwards, when she maybe discovered that I was overusing her talent, she got fed up and started to disobey me. Perhaps she got fed up with SG too, because she continued with singing second voices and all, but with different artists. So much for my singing career (haha, just kidding).

As for me, it took a few more years before I eventually grew out of my SG devotion. I felt sad when Geri first left the group. They were still able to release other songs like “Goodbye,” which encompassed sorrowful feelings ironical for the christmas holidays (it was released in December 1998) and the much lighter “Holler,” but as expected, their fame slowly died down because of this.

Finally, the group was disbanded during the year 1999 in time with my shifting to college studies. I knew I grew out of my fondness for SG by then and possibly diverted to more mature entertainment. But SG made an impact in my life and I know I will always feel nostalgic whenever I hear their songs. They had become part of my childhood and had formed a part of who I am now.

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