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Viva Whatever: The Spice Girls Rare Music Page
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  • And then there were four
    The Spice Girls live on stage. You won't find live Spice performances here, except when they cover other people's songs.

    Last updated: 12/02/99
    ('Christmas Wrapping' added and sites list updated)

    
    
    
    ? OK, there are already dozens of Spice Girls sites out there, so why do another one, especially with so many other Gusworld tasks as yet unfinished?

    The answer is simple and stupid. Like several million other people around the world, I own both Spice Girls albums (the imaginatively titled Spice and Spiceworld). I'm not necessarily a big enough fan to buy all the singles (although I'm getting closer), but I am enough of a music obsessive to want to know what the B-sides, cover versions and other bits of Spice detritus sound like. I did some hunting around the Web, and here are the results.

    Note that I'm not offering links to tracks from the albums (either in their original or live versions), remixes, or interview audio. This is simply "tracks the Spice Girls have recorded/performed which ain't on either of their albums", briefly reviewed and linked to. Clarity of purpose is a wonderful thing, isn't it?

    All tracks are full versions unless otherwise noted.

    B-Sides
    Studio tracks that didn't make the final cut and wound up on singles. Most Spice singles are also boosted with remixes, which I find far too tedious to enumerate.

  • Bumper To Bumper (RA)
    A fairly standard funk/pop offering that could easily have sat on the first album. B-side to 'Wannabe'.
  • Take Me Home (RA)
    Promising 80s style string-laden opening that subsequently becomes a bit repetitive. Good atmosphere; needs a better tune. B-side to 'Say You'll Be There'.
  • One Of These Girls (RA)
    The lyrics sound like that song they used to play on Sesame Street, but this is probably the pic of the B-side tracks, and a very typical Spice number. B-side to '2 Become 1'.
  • Sleigh Ride (RA)
    Yes, it's that cheesy old Christmas chestnut, livened up with a little Spice Girl chat. B-side to '2 Become 1'.
  • Baby Come Round (RA)
    A vaguely upbeat ballad with some smoochy sax. OK, but not exceptional. Mel C prominent. B-side to 'Mama/Who Do You Think You Are?'.
  • Spice Invaders (RA)
    Less a song than a spoken-word sequence over a fairly basic musical loop -- a pattern the girls appear to be increasingly embracing for their flip tracks. B-side to 'Spice Up Your Life'.
  • Outer Space Girls (RA)
    Totally stupid but actually rather appealing excursion into outer space themes (presumably 'Outer Spice Girls' sounded a bit naff0. A tad Janet Jackson in sound. B-side to 'Too Much'.
  • Walk Of Life (RA)
    Reggae man! Well, reggae Spice style. Oddly anonymous. B-side to 'Too Much'.
  • Christmas Wrapping (RA)
    A funky cover of the Waitresses' seasonal classic. Well effective. B-side to 'Goodbye'.

    Cover Versions
    Although the Spice Girls have so far resisted the common teen band urge to release a cover version as a single, they have shown a fondness for covers in their live appearances. (See also 'Sleigh Ride' and 'Christmas Wrapping' in the B-Sides section.)

  • Don't Go Breaking My Heart (live with Elton John) (WAV)
    An acceptable if unadventurous cover of the John/Kiki Dee classic. Would doubtless be more fun with visuals (This is from the An Audience With Elton John special).
  • Leader Of The Gang (RA)
    As featured in Spiceworld: The Movie, this was scheduled to feature original artist Gary Glitter, but he was cut out in the wake of the whole child porn scandal. Surprisingly effective (although the sound quality of this recording is pretty poor).
  • Where Did Our Love Go? (live) (RA)
    Baby Spice's big live moment (complete with much punning over the song's 'Baby, baby . . .' intro), and a reminder that the Spice Girls still have to catch up with the Supremes in terms of all-female bands. Couldn't they have done something more interesting with the backing?
  • Sisters (live) (RA)
    More precisely, the Eurythmics/Aretha Franklin classic 'Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves', here reinterpreted by Mel B and Mel C (after a long intro by the others). The sound quality's a bit dodgy, and the backing track is just dire, but this could turn out OK with a studio treatment. (It's a rumoured inclusion on the third Spice Girls album.)
  • We Are Family (live) (RA)
    When in doubt, close your live show with a Sister Sledge disco classic. Or perhaps not.
  • Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now? (live) (RA)
    A duet with Luther Vandross from the An Audience With The Spice Girls special, and in fact the V-ster dominates proceedings. Nice but unadventurous. B-side to 'Stop'.

    Solo
    Doing solo recordings has always been part of the Spice plan, but the exit of Geri and a sudden rash of pregnancies no doubt assisted matters. We can expect lots more additions to these pages over the next few months.

  • I Want You Back (RA) -- Mel B featuring Missy Elliot
    Less poppy than the usual Girls' fare, this track (from the soundtrack of the Frankie Lymon biopic Why Do Fools Fall In Love?) is a tad monotonous at first, but grows on you with repeated listens.
  • When You're Gone (RA) -- Bryan Adams featuring Melanie C
    Technically, Mel C's only a backing vocalist, but since she sings throughout the song she definitely deserves the credit. An absolutely typical Bryan Adams track, and therefore catchy in its own way; again, this shows how Mel C could work outside the conventional Spice context (which bodes well for her rumoured solo work with Madonna).

    Commercials
    Spice Girl-boosted commercials tend to either feature no music or one of their well-known tracks (cue Pepsi, Impulse and so forth). But there are exceptions . . .

  • Power Of Five (RA)
    A bright and poppy theme for the launch of Britain's Channel 5, based on the old theme for 'Ready Steady Go', I believe. Now Geri's left, maybe they could re-record it and sell it to Channel 4?
  • Step To Me (WAV)
    OK, not strictly speaking an ad, but the only way to get this song was by buying lots of Pepsi. More guitar-oriented than most Spice work, but kinda ephemeral. Music Week commented that the actual ad theme song, 'Generation Next' (featured on Spiceworld) was the better track; I'd agree.
  • On Top Of The World (RA)
    Well, if a football song isn't an ad, then what is? The Spicies join a lineup of other UK stars to sing the praises of the English soccer team. Not much good it did 'em . . .

    Obscurities
    Stuff I couldn't dump under the other categories.

  • Sound Off (RA)
    The 'marching song' featured in Spiceworld: The Movie.
  • One Of These Girls (acapella) (WAV)
    I've broken my remix rule to include this brief acapella version of 'One Of These Girls' see above, which is offered off the Virgin Records US site, presumably in order to silence any 'these girls can't sing' rumours. Which it kinda does.

    Do your eyes hurt yet?
  • Downloading hints
    The majority of these tunes are in RealAudio (RA) format, so you'll need Real Networks' RealPlayer. The best method of listening to them is to right click on the link, select either 'Save Link As' or 'Save Target As' (depending on your browser) and then select a directory on your local drive to save the file to.
        Once the file finishes downloading, you can open it up locally in RealPlayer using the Open File option.
    The same method can be used for the (relatively few) WAV files on offer, except you'll need a different application (such as the Windows Media Player). The files aren't hosted locally, so let me know if one of the links dies completely.
    Most of those recordings are unauthorised and vary widely in quality (virtually all are in mono). If you're heavily into any of these tracks, you should buy the relevant singles (as I did after developing this page!).

    
    
    Other handy sites
    If you're looking for even more Spice Girls audio and video online, here's a selection of sites. Note this is far from complete, just a brief rundown of places I personally found useful for tracking down unusual Spice Girls recordings (most of the links on this page are to one of these sites).

    Rickard's Spice Girls Site
    The key source for many Spice Girls numbers, especially the rarer live tracks. Chiefly in RA format; dangerously close to comprehensive BUT currently appears to be unavailable.
    Real Audio Files: 2 Much - Spice Girls
    Also a highly comprehensive site, with RA-only links. Specialises in remixes and alternate versions of the band's key songs.
    Spice R Us
    Mostly external links to tracks from both albums in AU and RA format, plus a good selection of live tracks and other bits and pieces.
    Spice Girls Forever
    A solid selection of tunes, mostly in RA format and largely on other sites.
    Spice Girls at Virgin America
    Offers brief WAV extracts of all the tracks from both albums.
    SpiceWorld (the girls' official site)
    A good selection of Spiceworld-era tracks in RA and AU format.
    Spice-Girls.co.uk
    A somewhat strange selection of tracks in multiple formats.


    Yahoo's Spice Girls Index
    Good starting point for heavy-duty Spice surfing.

    My arm ain't half stiff!