1001 Songs Challenge,  1990s,  Music

1001 Songs Challenge #858: Spice Up Your Life (1997)

On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.

My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.

I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.

So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!


Spice Girls – Spice Up Your Life (1997)

Spice Up Your Life – Wikipedia

” Spice Up Your Life” is a song by English girl group the Spice Girls from their second studio album, Spiceworld (1997). The song was co-written by the group with Matt Rowe and Richard Stannard, at the same time as the group was shooting scenes for their 1997 film Spice World , while production was handled by the latter two.


Lyrics (via Genius)


We’re leaving Turkey behind today, dear reader, and returning to the UK and find ourselves back in London. Formed in 1994, Spice Girls began as a quintet with Mel B (Scary Spice), Mel C (Sporty Spice), Emma Bunton (Baby Spice), Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice) and Victoria Adams (Posh Spice). The group took the music world by storm with their debut single, Wannabe, which topped the charts in dozens of countries. We join the group in 1997 though with the release of their second album – Spiceworld – and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track – Spice Up Your Life

Spice Up Your Life was written while the group were filming their movie, Spiceworld. Working with other songwriters the track recorded was fast-paced and with influences of Latin music thrown in. The lyrics are a rallying cry from the quintet to the rest of the world, calling on everyone to take part in a series of dance moves and using the refrain of “spice up your life”, insisting that they offer the music for everyone to embrace and become a part of. 

Spice Up Your Life received a mixed reception upon release but still topped many charts including no.1 in the UK giving the group at that time a record of 5 singles and 5 no.1 hits! I remember Spice Girls bursting onto the scene in the late 1990s and, dear reader, you will not be surprised to hear they were not to my taste. Of the group’s songs I didn’t think this was one of their stronger efforts but millions of fans across the world disagreed with me. The group would go their separate ways in 2000 to focus on solo careers but did not officially split up. They have reformed in patches since but their popularity remains.


Favourite songs so far:

The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)

Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)

The Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)

The Doors – The End (1967)

Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)

Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)

Ultravox – Vienna (1980)

Tracy Chapman – Fast Car (1988)

U2 – One (1991)

Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah (1994)

My name is Dave and I live in Yorkshire in the north of England and have been here all my life. I hope you enjoy your visit to All is Ephemeral.

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