Tue 18 Dec 2018

When Three Become One: Spice Girls’ Christmas Chart-Toppers

From festive-themed tours to reunions, Christmas has always been an exciting time for the Spice Girls. In the late 90s in particular, the pop sensations made history as the first female group to snatch the Christmas number 1 for three consecutive years; beaten to it only by The Beatles thirty years prior. These three separate songs have gone to be huge hits for the five-piece and will always feature on our Christmas playlists!

2 Become 1 – 1996

Released: 16th December

Album: Spice

‘2 Become 1’ may have only been the group’s third ever single but it was a game changer for them. After showcasing their strengths in writing pop bops with ‘Wannabe’ and ‘Say You’ll Be There’ earlier in the year, they chose to try their hand at a slow ballad. They went into the studio with songwriters/producers Matt Rowe and Richard Stannard, branching out their instrumentation to feature sweeping strings and subtle acoustic guitar melodies while still including gentle electric beats to keep their signature pop sound. The emotive pace of the song also allowed the girls to show off their elegant harmonies and prove themselves to be more than just your average pop group.

According to the Official Charts Company, over 462,000 copies were sold within the first week and now stands at an estimated 1.14 million 22 years later. It stayed at the top of the UK singles charts for three weeks, and is certified 2x Platinum in the UK, Platinum in Australia and the US, and Gold in France and New Zealand.

  • In the video, they’re seen in front of a green screen with time-lapsed scenes of New York’s Times Square flashing by them. Despite not being a Christmas song, their iconic winter coats, the ice rink, fairy lights and the short appearance of a deer in the closing shot made this apt for the time of year.

Too Much – 1997

Released: 15th December

Album: Spiceworld

Once again, Spice Girls’ Christmas chart topper was a slow one, but this time they ventured into swung Doo-wop-style RnB. Like all other songs from the Spiceworld album, ‘Too Much’ was written and recorded in between filming scenes of their movie of the same name, with Geri Halliwell as the main songwriter. Despite the chaos of filming and being mobbed by fans on set, the track itself has a calming element to it, featuring whirling string and brass sections.

Coinciding with the production of their own film, the music video for this song comprises of each member individually performing scenes based on their own chosen movie. Victoria Beckham portrayed herself as Catwoman from Batman Returns (1992), stood next to a rocket. Emma Bunton is seen reenacting scenes from Poltergeist (1982) as she is dressed in white pajamas and surrounded by floating objects. Mel C’s scene was set in Chinatown, wearing traditional Asian clothing for Year of the Dragon (1985). Mel B chose Mad Max Beyond Thunderdrome (1985), which was represented through its post-apocalyptic setting. Geri Halliwell’s segment was based on Gilda (1946) as she portrayed the lead character performing on a smoky stage.

This track stayed at number 1 in the singles chart for two weeks, and made them the first act to hit the top spot in the UK with their first six singles. It’s certified Platinum in the UK and Gold in Australia, France, New Zealand and the US.

Goodbye – 1998

Released: 14 December

Album: Forever

‘Goodbye’ was originally written by Emma Bunton, Geri Halliwell, Matt Rowe and Richard Stannard about break-up, however it became a lot more personal when Ginger Spice left the group before it was even recorded. The meaning changed for the remaining four as they rewrote it and it became their first song without her.

While it may be their most wintry video of the three, it’s also the darkest as it sees the Spices drive in individual classic cars to a castle while being pursued by white wolves. When they reach the castle, however, it is full of frozen people mid-movement. Their presence causes them to melt but as soon as they leave, an ice cloud ascends over the them again.

This track went reached 2x Platinum status in Canada, Platinum in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, and Gold in the US and Sweden. It reached number 1 in three countries (the UK, Ireland and New Zealand) and critics were all sympathetic with the situation the girls were in.

In spite of how dark their last Christmas hit was, fear not for Spice Girls are back, with tickets to their huge UK tour are on sale now!