The Spice Girls sold a staggering 85 million records during their hugely successful careers, making them the biggest-selling all-female group of all-time. The group enjoyed nine UK number one hits, which spent a combined 22 weeks at the top of the UK charts, and produced singles that spent 50 weeks in the top 10. “Wannabe” was the Spice Girls’ debut single and it entered the UK charts at number three before climbing to the top spot one week later. It stayed at number one for seven weeks and went on to sell over seven million copies worldwide in the first year of its release. Next up was “Say You’ll Be There” released in October 1996 which went into the UK charts at number one where it stayed for two weeks and it spent five weeks in the top 10. The lyrics of the song describe the things the group went through together and how they were always there for one another.
The third best-selling single by the Spice Girls was “2 Become 1” and it topped the charts for three consecutive weeks, becoming the group’s second million-selling single and the first of three Christmas number ones. 2 Become 1 was the group’s first slow ballad where its lyrics describe the coming together of two lovers and the importance of contraception. Coming in at number four in the Spice Girls best-selling single is “Mama/Who Do You Think You Are” a double A-side single. Who Do You Think You Are became the official single of the 1997 Comic Relief and featured a video with the Sugar Lumps, a satirical version of the Spice Girls. It was released with “Mama” and became the bands fourth consecutive number one, making them the first act in the UK to have its first four singles reach number one.
“Spice Up Your Life” released in October 1997, was yet another number one hit for the Spice Girls and was written for the group’s second album, Spiceworld. It is a dance-pop song with some Latin influences and became the Spice Girls’ fifth-consecutive number one single, breaking their own record of four-straight number ones. The group’s next single, “Too Much” also made it to number one, once again breaking the record for consecutive number ones. It was produced while the band was filming scenes for their Spice World movie and Geri Halliwell was instrumental in the song’s backing track and initial lyrics. “Stop” was released in March 1998 and came in at number two in the charts, ending the band’s streak of consecutive number ones despite selling 115,000 copies. Number one that week was “It’s Like That” by Run-D.M.C vs Jason Nevins. The song is an uptempo dance-pop song that is influenced by Motown’s blue-eyed soul.
It is amazing to think the Spice Girls enjoyed six consecutive number ones and were only pipped to the post for their seventh. It does make you wonder if the music scene will ever see another all-female band that even comes close to the success of the Spice Girls.