Remember that other Fierce Five? The Spice Girls are reportedly returning to form this Sunday for the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics. They'll deliver a one-two punch of performances as part of the "Symphony of British Music," a theme I can only hope proves more compelling than that of the part tacky, part WTF opening ceremony.
It certainly sounds promising: Artistic director Kim Gavin is said to be packing the show with performers like Adele, Muse, George Michael, the Rolling Stones, Queen, Elton John and, of course, the Spice Girls. I know what you're thinking -- one of these things is not like the others.
But hey, I'll be honest. Now that we've got the inane One Direction boys on the pop scene with their undetectable harmonies (no, seriously -- where are they?), my appreciation for the Spice Girls is much higher than it used to be. Despite their depthless vocals and caricaturized brand of girl power, they at least had a vision. They were shameless. Colorful. Distinguishable. Comical. They had a distinct place in pop culture, and there's something to be said for that.
Plus, if you were a pre- or early teen in the late '90s, the Spice Girls were more than a spunky girl band with catchy tunes; they were a license to pluck out your favorite characteristic and attach it to a heroine. No longer were you just an 11-year-old girl playing club soccer -- you were the Sporty Spice of your circle of friends, damn it. (As for me, I was always pegged Posh Spice, but I secretly wanted to be Baby Spice. Don't judge on either account.)
Maybe that extra layer of marketing is how the Spice Girls have managed to stay relevant a decade and a half later. In 2007, their worldwide reunion tour sold out the famed O2 Arena in just 32 seconds and ended up grossing more than $70 million. And earlier this summer, the girls announced a Spice Girls-themed musical, "Viva Forever!," which premieres at the Piccadilly Theatre in December. It seems that even in today's in-with-the-new culture, there's still an appetite for the Spice Girls brand, be it nostalgia- or music-driven.
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I'm not ashamed to say I still dig this well-structured, retro pop song, which ironically ended the girls' streak of No. 1's on the UK charts back in 1998:
We'll see how much of that organic energy the girls are able to channel on Sunday (the ceremony airs at 6 p.m. CST). In the meantime, I suggest you make yourself a strong drink and brush up on this Nicki Minaj-lite breakdown that I know you know. Enjoy:
So here's the story from A to Z,
You wanna get with me, you gotta listen carefully,
We got Em in the place who likes it in your face,
We got G like MC who likes it on a -
Easy V doesn't come for free; she's a real lady,
And as for me - ah, you'll see,
Slam your body down and wind it all around,
Slam your body down and wind it all around.