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Spice Girls – Move Over

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“Luke, you simply have to write about the Spice Girls.”

You’d think this would be hard; every track the girls ever released as a single charted strongly, so what’s left to write about? The album tracks were fodder, surely?

Wrong.

Frankly I could’ve written about any song from Spiceworld that wasn’t released as a single (Never Give Up on the Good Times and The Lady is a Vamp may yet get the Popvoid treatment at a later date), but Move Over wins out on this occasion.

Ineligible to chart back in 1998, you had to collect 18 Pepsi ring pulls (or simply invest in one of the finest pop albums of the decade) to get your paws on this ditty. A promotional single, it featured on Pepsi adverts as part of a deal worth millions at the height of their three-year cultural omnipresence, a time during which these hard-working girls made their money advertising everything from Impulse body spray and Walkers crisps to Chupa Chups and Polaroid cameras.

However, while they were trailblazers of Big Marketing, not even the greatest girlband in recent memory could escape toeing the line, musically, of the time in which they existed; Move Over has elements that echo the snarliest ‘Madchester’ Britpop vocal delivery, a rap evocative of The Shamen’s Ebeneezer Goode, and an opening that’s a virtual carbon-copy of Blue Boy’s Remember Me:

What’s most evident though, thanks in part to this cobbled-together music video someone has thrown up on YouTube, is that the whole Spice Girls ‘thing’ was organic, frequently shambolic, and most importantly a hell of a lot of fun. The songs, the outfits, the public appearances – nothing was too polished, because that wouldn’t sit with the whole rebellious Girl Power movement. Even (or perhaps especially) the film that the Spiceworld album soundtracked was a hash-job, and yet it endures as a cult classic because the band were in on the joke.

Compare that with the latest cash cow megaband, One Direction – with their earnest songs and media-trained-to-death public personas – and you have to wonder if fifteen years from now some sad gay boy is going to be writing about their album tracks for a blog in his bedroom on a Tuesday night. One suspects not.

 

Entered chart: was not eligible

Who could sing this today and have a hit? Anybody who isn’t going to make me drink Pepsi before I can get my hands on it (that’ll be Stooshe then – Ed.)

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