Greatest Hits (Spice Girls album)

Greatest Hits is a greatest hits album by the English girl group Spice Girls. It received a physical release worldwide throughout November 2007,[1] except for the United States where it received a limited release on 6 November 2007 through Victoria's Secret and a full release on 15 January 2008. It was their first album to be released in seven years and was supported by an accompanying world tour. The album was the world's best selling girl group album of 2007.[2] In August 2012, after the Spice Girls' performance at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the album re-charted in the top ten, twenty and thirty of most major charts worldwide including the United Kingdom, United States, New Zealand and Australia; and again when the Spice Girls reunited for Spice World – 2019 UK Tour.

Greatest Hits
Spice Girls Greatest Hits.png
Greatest hits album by
Released7 November 2007 (2007-11-07)
RecordedDecember 1995 – February 2007
GenrePop
Length54:54
LabelVirgin
Producer
Spice Girls chronology
Forever
(2000)
Greatest Hits
(2007)
Singles from Greatest Hits
  1. "Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)"
    Released: 5 November 2007

The album's only single, "Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)", was released on radio on 23 October, whilst released digitally on 5 November and commercially on 19 November 2007.[3][4] It was also announced as the official Children in Need charity single for 2007.[5] The single managed to go to number three on the UK Physical Singles Chart.[6]

BackgroundEdit

"I think for us it was about celebrating the past, enjoying each other and it's about our fans. It was the right time. For us it's about celebrating the past, enjoying each other and it's about our fans. It was kind of now or never."
"A girl is allowed to change her mind [about the regrouping] and also this is something that we have only seriously started this year really. I think really all of us have had our fears and doubts but we feel that the time is right."

Geri Halliwell and Melanie Chisholm talking about the group's reunion.[7]

The plan to reform and release a greatest hits had long been speculated by the media,[8] but its planned release was first confirmed by Melanie Brown in June 2005.[9] She stated, "We'll get back together because we all want to. I know everyone is up for it. There is going to be a greatest hits album and we've got loads of new songs that nobody has heard yet."[9] In 2007, rumours aroused again about the group's reunion. Melanie Chisholm commented about the rumours, saying "For the first time ever, there is some truth in the rumours…it could happen", but it would just be for "a very short space of time…a final goodbye", and a thank you to the fans.[10] She also added that when it came to decide whether they would regroup or not, the singer was the last to make her decision, as she was "scared we couldn't do it again. It was a weird time of my life, I had a lot of personal s**t to get over after the Spice Girls".[11]

On 28 June 2007, the group held a press conference at The O2 Arena to finally reveal their intention to reunite.[12] During the conference, the group confirmed their intention to embark upon a worldwide concert tour, starting in Vancouver on 2 December 2007.[13] The tour would cover six continents within 11 dates.[7] "I want to be a Spice Girl again. We are like sisters and we have our arguments, but by the end of the day we get back together", said Emma Bunton, whilst Chisholm commented that the tour "will be a proper good farewell to our fans".[14] Victoria Beckham also elaborated that "My main reason for doing this is for my kids - so they can see what mummy used to do. I'm going to be the cool one in the family for once!". They reportedly received £10 million each for the reunion.[12]

ReleaseEdit

The album was released in several different formats, including versions with bonus DVDs and CDs.[1] The limited edition box set includes the normal standard edition CD, a karaoke CD, a remix CD, a DVD of the group's music videos, individual postcards of each Spice Girl and a friendship bracelet bearing the words Spice Girls.[15] In the United States, the album was initially released only through Victoria's Secret stores, including three downloadable remixes of "Wannabe", "2 Become 1" and "Spice Up Your Life",[16] Simon Fuller, the group's manager, said, "I am delighted to be working with Victoria's Secret on the Greatest Hits album and welcome their innovative approach to marketing".[15] The album was released digitally via the iTunes Store on the same day. The album was released nationwide on 15 January 2008.[17] Despite the revision of the Billboard charts in the United States, defining that albums sold by exclusive retailers were eligible to chart on the Billboard 200,[18] Greatest Hits sold over 600,000 copies through Victoria's Secret stores, but was not eligible to chart in the week of 13 November 2007 due to Victoria's Secret not being SoundScan enabled.[18]

ArtworkEdit

The artwork for Greatest Hits was revealed through the group's official website in August 2007. According to the announcement, the group were all involved with the design, and were pleased with the outcome.[19] It features a £1,000,000 jewel encrusted logo, which pays homage to their debut album, Spice (1996). The jewels were designed by David Morris and each letter represents one member of the group. The "S" is made from amber and represents Victoria Beckham; the ruby pink "P" is Emma Bunton; Melanie C's letter "I" is made from a diamond; Geri Halliwell is the "C", made from sapphire stones and the emerald "E" is Melanie B.[20][21] According to a source, they wanted something simple and stylish, and it is one of the most expensive album covers ever made.[21]

ReceptionEdit

Critical responseEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic     [22]
The Austin Chronicle     [23]
BBC Musicpositive[24]
IGNpositive[25]
NME          [26]
The Daily CollegianA[27]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic wrote that the songs featured on the album have aged "exactly as you thought they might".[22] Spence D. of IGN cited Greatest Hits as being "pretty much what you would expect it to be".[25] According to a writer from The Daily Collegian, the greatest hits compilation "shows us that when these five women sing, they sound awesome", whilst also commenting that its members "have changed in their time away from each other, but the distinctive sound of the Spice Girls remains the same as it always was".[27] Talia Kraines, writing for BBC Music was positive in her review, saying that "if you were one of the many haters of the Spice Girls back in the day, then this CD isn't going to change your mind about them. But if you grew up watching their every move, then this is a slice of nostalgia that miraculously still sounds fresh today".[24] Nick Levine of Digital Spy website noted that "none of the group's three albums was devoid of filler, and their singles tended to be their very best songs, so Greatest Hits is a very welcome addition to the band's canon".[28]

NME gave the compilation a mixed review, stating that "about halfway through this comp it hits home how dramatically the Spice Girls lost the plot", whilst commenting that songs like "Say You'll Be There" and "Goodbye" were "fine songs in any age".[26] San Francisco Chronicle's Aidin Vaziri commented: "After an exuberant run out of the gate with delicious pop fodder such as "Wannabe" and "Say You'll Be There," things go horribly wrong midway through the set. All of a sudden, Ginger goes missing, self-awareness kicks in and the girls start playing catch-up with Destiny's Child, using songs that sound like that band's castoffs".[29] San Antonio Current criticized their solo vocals and called them the reason why they did not have successful solo careers, and commented that it was "no surprise, then, that the Spices sound best in the anonymous disco surroundings" of "Who Do You Think You Are", "Stop", and "Spice Up Your Life".[30] Criag Mathieson from The Age newspaper said "With their failed third album, Forever, getting cursory coverage, it's all about their first two discs", whilst adding that "their debut single Wannabe remains a zesty proposition", and "the plethora of sleeve photos allow you to compare before-and-after plastic surgery looks".[31] Darcie Stevens of The Austin Chronicle gave the album one out of five stars and said "Fifteen songs of girl power, in case you didn't get enough the first time around".[23]

Commercial performanceEdit

In the group's home country of the United Kingdom, the album missed the top spot, peaking at number two on the UK Albums Chart, beaten by Leona Lewis' Spirit by 300,000 copies.[32] To date, it has sold in excess of 400,000 in the country. Despite missing number one in the United Kingdom, it managed to become the group's first number-one album in Australia,[33] and was certified platinum there (for shipments of over 70,000 units).

For reasons stated above, despite selling over 600,000 copies through Victoria's Secret stores in the United States,[18] the album barely made the top 100 of the Billboard 200, peaking at number 93. Elsewhere, the album peaked at number 3 in Ireland, number 15 in New Zealand,[34] and managed to peak inside the top 20 in Italy, the top 50 in Sweden, and the top 75 in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and the Netherlands.[34] The album made the top 10 at number 7 on the European Top 100 Albums chart, published by Billboard.[35] In August 2012, after the Spice Girls' performance at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the album re-charted in the top ten, twenty and thirty of most major charts worldwide including the United Kingdom, United States, New Zealand and Australia.

In June 2019, the Greatest Hits album was certified Double platinum for sales of 600,000 in the UK.

PromotionEdit

 
The Spice Girls performing their first worldwide hit "Wannabe" during their reunion tour

In November 2007, the group performed together for the first time in nearly a decade at the 2007 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, held in Los Angeles, California. The group dressed in military-themed outfits performed "Stop" and "Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)" miming to a backing track, in front of giant glittering lights that spelled out "Spice" in the background.[36] A taped performance of the group lyp-synching the songs, while dressed in blue sailor outfits, aired on 17 November 2007 for the Children in Need 2007 marathon.[37] The song was also the official Children in Need single of 2007.[38] In addition, they performed "2 Become 1" on the finale of the fifth season of the British television show Strictly Come Dancing. They wore floor-length gowns and used microphones covered in glitter, while professional dancers did a choreography in front of them.[39] Filmmaker Bob Smeaton, directed an official documentary on the reunion. It was entitled Spice Girls: Giving You Everything and was first aired on Australia's Fox8 on 16 December 2007,[40] followed by BBC One in the United Kingdom, on 31 December.[41]

On 28 June 2007, the group held a press conference at The O2 Arena revealing their intention to reunite and embark upon a tour.[42] They announced The Return of the Spice Girls tour on their website, and it would start in Vancouver on 2 December 2007.[13] Ticket sales for the first London date of the tour sold out in 38 seconds.[43] It was reported that over one million people signed up in the UK alone and over five million worldwide for the ticket ballot on the band's official website.[43] Sixteen additional dates in London had been added and sold out.[44] In the United States, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Jose shows also sold out, prompting additional dates to be added.[45] It was announced that the Spice Girls would be playing dates in Chicago, Detroit and Boston, as well as additional dates in New York to keep up with the demand. On the first concert in Canada, they performed to an audience of 15,000 people, singing twenty songs and changing a total of eight times.[46] On 1 February 2008, it was announced that due to personal and family commitments their tour would come to an end in Toronto on 26 February 2008, meaning that tour dates in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sydney, Cape Town and Buenos Aires were cancelled.[47]

SingleEdit

The album's only new single, "Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)", was released on radio on 23 October, whilst released digitally on 5 November and commercially on 19 November 2007.[48][4] It was also announced as the official Children in Need charity single for 2007.[49] Spice Girls member Geri Halliwell described the song as a "big love song" and "a Spice Girl classic".[4] "Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)" peaked at number 11 in the United Kingdom. However, the single managed to go to number three on the UK Physical Singles Chart.[6]

Track listingEdit

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Wannabe" (radio edit)
  • Rowe
  • Stannard
2:54
2."Say You'll Be There" (single mix)Absolute3:58
3."2 Become 1" (single version)
  • Spice Girls
  • Stannard
  • Rowe
  • Rowe
  • Stannard
  • Andy Bradfield[a]
4:04
4."Mama" (radio version)
  • Spice Girls
  • Stannard
  • Rowe
  • Rowe
  • Stannard
3:42
5."Who Do You Think You Are" (radio edit)Absolute3:46
6."Move Over"
  • Spice Girls
  • Clifford Lane
  • Stannard
  • Mary Wood
  • Rowe
  • Stannard
2:44
7."Spice Up Your Life" (Stent radio mix)
  • Spice Girls
  • Stannard
  • Rowe
  • Rowe
  • Stannard
2:56
8."Too Much" (edit)
  • Spice Girls
  • Watkins
  • Wilson
Absolute3:53
9."Stop"
  • Spice Girls
  • Watkins
  • Wilson
Absolute3:26
10."Viva Forever" (radio edit)
  • Spice Girls
  • Stannard
  • Rowe
  • Rowe
  • Stannard
4:14
11."Let Love Lead the Way" (radio edit)
  • Mason Jnr
  • Daniels
  • Jerkins
4:16
12."Holler" (radio edit)
  • Beckham
  • Brown
  • Bunton
  • Chisholm
  • Daniels
  • Jerkins III
  • Jerkins
  • Daniels
  • Jerkins
3:57
13."Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)"
  • Spice Girls
  • Stannard
  • Rowe
  • Rowe
  • Stannard
3:31
14."Voodoo"
  • Spice Girls
  • Stannard
  • Rowe
  • Rowe
  • Stannard
3:11
15."Goodbye" (single edit)
  • Beckham
  • Brown
  • Bunton
  • Chisholm
  • Stannard
  • Rowe
  • Rowe
  • Stannard
4:22
Total length:54:54

NotesEdit

ChartsEdit

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[72] Platinum 70,000^
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[73] Gold 30,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[74] Gold 50,000^
Ireland (IRMA)[75] Platinum 15,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[76] Gold 7,500^
United Kingdom (BPI)[77] 2× Platinum 600,000^
United States 600,000[18]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release historyEdit

Country Date Format Label
Japan[78] 7 November 2007
EMI Music Japan
Germany[79] 9 November 2007
EMI
United Kingdom[80] 12 November 2007 Virgin
Canada[81] 13 November 2007 CD Virgin
United States[82] Virgin
Japan[78] 28 November 2007 Box set EMI Music Japan
United States[82] 15 January 2008
  • Box set
  • CD
  • CD+DVD
Virgin
Japan[83] 10 February 2010 CD EMI Music Japan
5 December 2012
11 June 2014 SHM-CD

ReferencesEdit

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  78. ^ a b Release of Greatest Hits in Japan:
  79. ^ Release of Greatest Hits in Germany:
  80. ^ Release of Greatest Hits in the United Kingdom:
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  83. ^ Reissues of Greatest Hits in Japan: