"Spice Up Your Life" is a pop–samba song by the Spice Girls. It was released as the first single from their second album Spiceworld in October 1997. After its first appearance on British radio, the song received an overwhelmingly positive initial reaction.
It became the girls' fifth consecutive number-one single in the UK and was very successful in Europe reaching the top five in most countries. In the US it was less successful than their previous singles, peaking at number eighteen, their first single that had not reached the top five.
The song is also known for the girls having a single-line solo in the third verse, whereas the rest of the track is sung by all five of them (however, Colours of the world...Every boy and every girl...People of the world is sung by Mel B alone and If you're having a good time...If you know how to feel fine is sung by Melanie C alone). This song is considered to be their second signature song along with "Wannabe".
The video itself is one that the girls themselves were far from happy with (in Melanie B's biography it was stated they wished it had a carnival theme but were too tired to fight this theme at the time).
It was directed by Marcus Nispel who also directed music videos for No Doubt, Gloria Estefan and Elton John. With a multi-million dollar budget, the self-aggrandising promo sees the group in a futuristic setting possibly inspired by the 1982 film "Blade Runner", controlling every aspect of society.
The group stated that the video was a reaction to the press who criticized the group for selling out to a number of worldwide brands in the Summer of 1997, including Pepsi, Walkers, Cadbury's, Chupa Chups, Impulse, ASDA, Polaroid, and Channel 5.
The video shows the girls in a spaceship going through the city and looking at themselves on the various billboards. There are also shots of rooms and bars where there is a television showing the videos for "Say You'll Be There" and "Wannabe". The girls then fly aimlessly around the city on flying boards.
Melanie C once stated that she almost ruined the filming of the video, since it was filmed during two days, and in the second day she forgot to put the glasses she was wearing on her head during the first day. So in some scenes she is with the glasses and in some others she isn't.
Across Europe, "Spice Up Your Life" was largely successful, reaching the top five on most countries, but was unable to top the charts, being blocked off the number one spot by Elton John's "Candle in the Wind 1997" and Aqua's "Barbie Girl"; these was the case in the Euro Hot 100, and France, where the song debuted at thirteen, reaching a peak position of three (the group's last top ten single) and stayed seventeen weeks on the chart. In Italy the song debuted at four, reaching a peak of number two for two weeks being blocked off the number-one position by "Barbie Girl". In Norway the song stayed ten weeks on the chart, reaching a peak position of three. In Sweden the single debuted at number two, but was unable to reached the top being blocked by "Candle in the Wind 1997", and stayed in the charts for fourteen weeks.
In Australia it debuted at number seventeen, it peaked at number eight two weeks later, spending twenty weeks on the chart, and was certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association.
In New Zealand the song debuted at number two staying in that position for four consecutive weeks, (held off by "Candle in the Wind 1997") and spend fifteen weeks on the chart.
The chart trajectory of "Spice Up Your Life" in the United States, however, was somewhat less successful. Due to the song's idiosyncratic sound—a hybrid of pop and samba—it was unable to fit into a particular musical mould. Hence, the song was seldom played on US radio (peaking at a very low number seventy-two on the Hot 100 Airplay), resulting in it stalling at a lowly number eighteen on the Billboard Hot 100.
Despite its disappointing chart position in the U.S., the track added another U.S. top-twenty to the group's already impressive list. "Life" also helped the Spiceworld LP debut on the Billboard 200 albums chart at number eight (it would eventually climb to a peak of number three after the release of the group's first film, Spiceworld: the Movie). However, despite the track's weak airplay, the CD single sold well, peaking at number eleven on the Hot 100 Singles Sales, and eventually received a gold certification by the RIAA.
It was also a dance hit, reaching number four on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, but did not succeed on the Hot Dance Singles Sales, reaching number twenty-two. On the Top 40 Mainstream it barely cracked the chart, climbing to number thirty-seven, and reached number twenty-seven on the Rhythmic Top 40.
Overall, despite not being as popular as the Spice Girls' first three releases ("Who Do You Think You Are" couldn't be counted, since it was only released in the United Kingdom), the song was still an international hit, peaking within the top-twenty of the majority of the charts it charted on in the world.
"Spice Up Your Life" was performed many times in different British television programmes like "Top Of The Pops" and the "National Lottery", they also performed the song on All That and programmes of Germany, Italy, Spain and other European countries.
It was also used during the end of the Spice Girls movie Spiceworld (1997), where the girls performed at the Albert Hall surrounded by media and thousands of fans, there are also scenes of the rest of the supporting cast dancing and singing while the girls performed the song. This was one of two song that was shown as a full-length performance in the film, the other being "Too Much".
It was also used as the opening & closing act in the Spice Girls Reunion Tour in 2007 with the opening having the lyrics upon the screen in masses of colours and speed with a remix for the closing act displaying flags of the world.
Though not sung by the girls themselves, Mel B. used this song for week 5 on Dancing the with the Stars.
|UK Singles Chart||1|
|Spanish Maxi-Singles Chart||1|
|Danish Singles Chart||2|
|Dutch Top 40||2|
|Finnish Singles Chart||2|
|Irish Singles Chart||2|
|Italian Singles Chart||2|
|Latvian Airplay Top||2|
|New Zealand Singles Chart||2|
|Swedish Singles Chart||2|
|United World Chart||3|
|Euro Hot 100||3|
|French Singles Chart||3|
|Norwegian Singles Chart||3|
|Belgian Singles Chart||4|
|Swiss Singles Chart||5|
|Australian Singles Chart||8|
|Austrian Singles Chart||12|
|German Singles Chart||14|
|Brazil Hot 100||1|
|Canadian Singles Chart||2|
|U.S. ARC Weekly Top 40||8|
|U.S. Hot Dance Music/Club Play||4|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||18|
|U.S. Hot Dance Singles Sales||22|
|U.S. Rhythmic Top 40||27|
|U.S. Top 40 Mainstream||37|
|U.S. Hot Dance Club Play||171|
UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA ANCHORAGE'S STUDENT HEALTH, COUNSELING CENTER PRESENTS 'SPICE UP YOUR SEX LIFE' WITH ELLEN COLE
Mar 29, 2007; The University of Alaska at Anchorage issued the following news release: UAA's Student Health and Counseling Center presents Dr....