[17] Justice, ‘D.A.N.C.E.’

Justice, ‘D.A.N.C.E.’

Not for the first time this week, Junior retrieved the Spice Girls’ ‘Wannabe’ from the CD shelves and tried to stick it in the player. Not good news for Justice. Happily, they’re wannabes themselves – wannabe Daft Punks – so this was heavy irony, toddler-style.
I know we’ve mentioned Daft Punk quite enough for one Top 20, particularly one in which they don’t actually appear. Sorry about the spoiler. Anyway, they have to be invoked here because while they’ve been fannying around making dreadful albums and eye-wateringly boring (I’m told) films, Justice have bounced in on a filter-disco spacehopper and stolen their thunder. And they’re French, of course. ‘D.A.N.C.E.’ makes childlike vocals sound good, puts the house back in funk – and indeed the funk back in house – and spells out “P.Y.T.” and “B.E.A.T.” with bare face. Yes, it’s fun.
Coming on Monday: a girl-pop treble whammy.

[4] All Saints, ‘Never Ever’

Junior just stood in the middle of the room, flexing her knees. She could’ve been an Appleton.

I used to think this record sounded fairly lush, but it’s a typically clinical late 90s production. The lushness more likely stems from Mel Blatt’s honeyed vocals and, erm, Shaznay Lewis’ honeyed vocals. It’s a doo-woppy song, beguiling in its languor, effortlessly catchy, and for a little while it made me think that the Saints were better than the Spices.

And maybe they were, with their hoity toity Lahndan sophistication, just for a few months. The competition was ‘Spice Up Your Life’, and you won’t be finding that in the Top Three.

You’ll be finding a trio of astonishing singles in the Top Three. Believe me, 1997 was good after all.

Spice Girls, ‘Wannabe’

Slam your body down and zig-a-zig-ahh. Euan, Paddy, OP and I did some impromptu street theatre on the Edinburgh Fringe the best part of 10 years ago, trying to show how the Spice Girls’ orders could be carried out. We decided that you couldn’t really slam your own body down, assuming that you had to land with said body horizontal to the floor for full slamming effect. You couldn’t get the full force behind you; it would be mere falling.

I didn’t ask Junior to replicate the slam but, like many little girls before her, she found the Spices’ song and message beguiling – although the fact that she was managing to do the zig-a-zig move as demonstrated in the video was more down to maternal manipulation than free will. 

So, whatever happened to the Spice Girls? One minute it was world domination with infectious tunes and sketchy empowerment poses, the next it was, well, we know what it was. Eye-wateringly bad solo careers, babies with silly names (Junior’s a very sensible name) and desperately misguided attempts to bed George Michael.

In our very first entry we mused on who would win a fight out of the Spice Girls and Girls Aloud. It’s time for you to decide. These are the bouts:

Mel B vs Sarah
Mel C vs Nicola
Baby vs Kimberley
Geri vs Nadine
Posh vs Cheryl