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The Spice Girls entered the music scene in 1996 with the in-your-face “Wannabe” and dominated the world with their first two albums. They have been honored with numerous prizes and awards.
All good things have to come to an end (at least temporarily) and when the girls were promoting their eighth single “Viva Forever” in August 1998, Geri made the shocking decision to leave the band. The other four girls stated that this was not the end, but solo projects quickly followed.
September 98 – Melanie B becomes the first Spice Girl to debut a solo track as “I Want You Back” at the top of the UK Official Singles Chart. The track was a nervous piece of R&B pop and featured hip hop queen Missy Elliott. The video featured Mel’s brand new husband (and Spice Girl dancer) Jimmy Gulzar.
December 98 – Mel C duets with Bryan Adams on “When You’re Gone,” which hit the UK charts 3 rises and has since been officially confirmed as the best-selling single by a solo Spice Girl from Charts Company.
December 98 – Spice Girls claim their third Christmas in episode no. 1, their first as a four-part piece, with “Goodbye”.
May 99 – Geri surprises everyone by getting back to music so quickly and releasing her cheeky debut track “Look At Me”. Complete with a new sleek look and long pale ginger hair, the video featured a funeral scene in which she buried Ginger Spice. The controversy took the song to number two, but was pushed out of the top by Boyzon’s “You Needed Me”.
June 99 – Geris “Schizophonic” is Spice Girl’s first solo album to be released. It peaked at number 4 when it was released and spent 27 non-consecutive weeks on the album chart. It has now been awarded double platinum.
July 99 – Mel B releases her cover of Cameo’s “Word Up” from the soundtrack “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me”. It was actually published as Melanie G to reflect her married name Gulzar. It hit 13 in the UK charts.
August 99 – Geri shows off her Spanish heritage (and a little bit of Italian) as “Mi Chico Latino” becomes her first solo # 1 single and she becomes her second solo Spice -Girl who does the trick.
October 99 – Mel C’s first solo single “Goin Down” rocks our socks off as she flaunts a new short blonde haircut and punk attitude. It peaked at number 4. The album “Northern Star” will be released later in the month and will initially reach number 10 on the official album table.
November 99 – With two Spice Girls not yet offering solo tracks, Emma is the next to emerge from the shadows of the Spice Girls. Like both Mels, she does this as part of a collaboration with Tin Tin Out on the recording of Eddie Brickell’s “What I Am”. She enters a chart fight against Geri’s “Lift Me Up” by former bandmate Geri. With media interest as to whether the girls were still friends or not, it becomes a high-profile battle in which the artist formerly known as Ginger triumphs and Emma has to be content with No. 2.
December 99 – Mel C releases the title track for their solo debut album “Northern Star”, which is the No. 4 highlight of their previous single.
March 00 – Geri wins her third place in a row in the UK Singles Chart with “Bag It Up”. She also comes off a huge pair of legs to play the song at the BRIT Awards.
Apr 00 – Mel C releases mid-tempo track “Never Be The Same Again” with rap from TLC’s Lisa “Left Eye.” “Lopes. Mel gives her her first solo UK single # 1. The title’s popularity brings Northern Star back to the UK’s top 10.
Aug 00 – Mel C scores a second straight single in the UK with a danced version of her album title “I Turn To You” while serving Ibiza vibes in the video. Hex Hector takes the single mix one step higher. The success of the single means that the parent’s album “Northern Star” achieved a new personal best of No. 4 in the official album table and sold over 700,000 copies. This makes it Spice Girl’s best-selling solo album to date.
Victoria Beckham is the last girl to release her solo offering, and like Emma and the Mels, her first release wasn’t entirely solo as she was about to “Out Of Your Mind” with Dane Bowers on The True Steppers Guest is. What follows is another hotly contested chart fight, this one against Spiller and Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s “Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)”. She just missed the top spot and landed at number 2. Unfortunately, she remains the only Spice Girl who does not have a solo No. 1 in the British charts.
Oct 00 – Mel B releases “Tell Me”, which comes in at number 4 and deals lyrically with her ex-husband after their short-lived marriage. Her debut album “Hot” follows later in the month but peaked at 28 and only spent a week in the top 40 album chart.
Nov 00 – Spice Girls release their last studio album “Forever” (as a four-part track), which is preceded by the double-a-side album “Holler / Let Love Lead The Way”. This gives them their last of nine No. 1 singles. The album “Forever” misses first place on Westlife’s “Coast To Coast” and spends only five weeks in the Top 40.
December 00 – Mel C releases the fifth and final single from their “Northern Star” album, the Ballad “If That Were Me”. It is her first single to fall short of the top 5 when she is at number 18 on the UK’s official singles chart.
March 1st – Mel B releases “Feels So Good” as the next single from the “Hot” album, reaching number 5. Mel wrote the track with Janet Jackson’s longtime collaborators Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
April 1st – Emma Bunton releases her first real solo single “What Took You So Long” and it goes straight to # 1, which makes her the fourth solo spice to accomplish the feat. Her debut album “A Girl Like Me” follows and reaches number 4
May 1st – Geri gets her fourth and last solo number. 1-hit single with her interpretation of The Weather Girls’ classic “It’s Raining Men” from the movie “Bridget Jones Diary”. Geri recreated the dance audition for “Flashdance” for the video, which shows her super toned yoga body and a short, blonde bob hairstyle. This puts Geri in the record books for the British Female Act with the most singles in the UK. A record she held until a former bandmate Cheryl hit 5 in November 2014 and then trumped Jess Glynne both to have 7 for her name.
Later this month Geri will release her second album “Scream If You Wanna Go Faster”, which is number 5. on the UK album charts.
June 1st – Mel B releases the last single from “Hot” as “Lullaby”, a tribute to her daughter Phoenix Chi, who reached number 13.
August 1st – Geri releases the title track from her second album “Scream If You Wanna Go Faster”, which is number 8 in the UK charts.
September 1st – Emma releases “Take My Breath Away” as the next single from “A Girl Like Me” and it gives her a third Top 5 hit.
Meanwhile, Victoria Beckham’s much-touted debut solo single “Not Such An Innocent Girl” sees VB in another chart fight, this time against Kylie’s “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head”. Victoria has to settle for # 6 despite a cracking good / bad twin video.
December 1st – Geri releases “Calling”, the third and final release of “Scream If You Wanna Go Faster”.
Emma releases her last single “We Are Not Gonna Sleep Tonight” from her debut album. It’s a slightly redesigned version to give it more party flair, and it hits # 20.
February 2nd – Victoria’s second single “A Mind Of It’s Own” is the highlight # 6 of their previous release. The video shows her in a much more informal, relaxed look than her futuristic debut.
March 3rd – Mel C precedes their second album “Reason” with the more adult rock sound of “Here It Comes Again”, which ranks at # 7. The album moved up two places at number 5 and then achieved gold status.
June 3rd – Mel C releases “On The Horizon,” written with The New Radicals frontman Gregg Alexander and Nick Rowells (Belinda Carlisle, Madonna).
After the split from Virgin EMI is Emmas second solo album available through their management company’s record label 19 Records. It seems that Baby is grown up serving us “Free Me,” a Bond theme that never existed and that she shows off in a new ’60s sex siren mode. It reached place 5 in the singles table.
October 3rd – Emma gives us the contagious “Maybe”, which reaches its peak in 6th place and takes the mood of the 60s with the bizarre video and dance routine.
November 3rd – Mel C releases the double A-Side “Melt / Yeh Yeh Yeh”, which is number 27 on the official charts.
Jan 4th – Victoria is now signed to Telstar / 19 Records and tries an interesting tactic to release a double-a-side single “Let Your Head Go / This Groove”. She asks the fans to say which is their favorite style. 3 in the UK charts. The first is Kylie-esque dancepop and the second is more of a slower R&B jam. She had two albums in similar styles and should choose one based on which of the two tracks got better reception. In the end, neither album was released, instead a six-track EP was recorded on a DVD called “The Real Beckhams,” which was a reality show about the Beckhams released in February. Interestingly, this EP contained “Resentment” which was then recorded by Beyonce for her “B’Day” album.
February 4th – Emma releases “I´ll Be There” as the third single from her “Free Me” album, also released this month, and continues the retro vibes. Both reach number 7 in the respective single and album charts.
June 4th – Emma releases the fourth and final single from the album “Free Me”, “Crickets Sing For Anamaria”, which reaches its peak at 15 . It’s their take on an old bossa nova track from the 60s by Marcos Valle.
December 4th – Geri releases “Ride It”, the first foretaste of their third album “Passion”. It will be their 8th UK Top 10 single when it comes to number 4.
April 5th – Mel C releases “Next Best Superstar”, the lead track of their third album “Beautiful Intentions”. It gives Mel her 7th Top 10 single when she is 10th. This is Mel’s first independent release on her own label, Red Girl Records, and the album follows that same month, reaching number 24.
June 5th – Mel B releases their first new material in four years and with “Today” takes us on a more laid-back MOR guitar pop route that just misses the UK top 40 at 41. She also released the album ‘L.A. State of Mind’
Geri releases “Desire”, her second single from “Passion”, which peaked at 22. The album just misses the top 40 at number 41.
August 5th – Mel C releases “Better Alone” as the second single from “Beautiful Intentions” in the UK.
September 5th – Mel C releases the brand new title “First Day of My Life” as the title song for a new German-language TV show “Ways to Happiness” in some European countries. It becomes her biggest European hit and tops the charts in Germany. Portugal, Spain and Switzerland. It was stripped on their “Beautiful Intentions” album in Europe, but in the UK it was only jammed on the later single “Carolyna”.
November 6th – Emma releases her version of Petula Clark classic “Downtown” as the official “Children in Need” single of the year after finishing second on “Strictly Come Dancing”. It reached number 3 and marks the last time a solo spice hit the top 10 on the singles chart.
December 6th – Emma releases her third solo album “Life In Mono”, another retro album full of great pop styles.
February 7th – Emma releases “All I Need To Know” from “Life In Mono”, but what is shocking is that the beautiful ballad doesn’t affect the top 40. No more singles from the album will be released.
March 7th – Mel C releases “The Moment You Believe” as their first European single from their upcoming “This Time” album and it goes to No. 1 in Spain.
April 7th – In the UK, Mel C releases her Bow Wow Wows “I Want Candy” cover as the first track of “This Time”. It’s also on the soundtrack for the new comedy film of the same name, starring Carmen Electra. It peaked at number 24 and she released “This Time” shortly thereafter, but it will be her first album to not make it into the top 40 in the UK.
June 7th – Mel C releases “Carolyna” as the next single from their fourth studio album “This Time”. It was written with Steve Mac who is famous for writing for the likes of Westlife and various X-Factor alumni but couldn’t crack the top 40.
November 7th – Mel C releases the title track of “This Time” in a slightly accelerated version of the album version.
July 8th – Mel C releases “Understand” as the last single of the “This Time” album in Canada only.
June 11th – Mel C releases “Rock Me” as the first taste of the fifth album “The Sea” in Germany, but the title failed to make the UK tracklist for the album for some reason.
September 11th – Mel C releases “Think About It” as the first UK single off their new album “The Sea”. The latter has critics falling over themselves to declare it their best album in years; including Entertainment Focus!
November 11th – Mel C releases “Weak” as the second UK single from “The Sea”. It was produced by Andy Chatterly who worked with Nerina Pallot and Kylie.
December 11th – Mel C releases “Let There Be Love” by “The Sea” as the last single for the German market. The track was an exclusive British iTunes bonus song, so not in the standard version.
May 12th – Mel C releases an EP with DJ and drag Jodie Harsh “The Night” with three new tracks by the couple.
September 12th – After stints at productions of West End shows like Blood Brothers and a new run in Jesus Christ Superstar, Mel C released a collection of musical covers entitled “Stages”.
November 12th – Mel C reunites with Emma Bunton on a cover of the chess classic “I Know Him So Well”, best known by Elaine Paige and Barbra Dickinson from their “Stages” album.
August 13 – Mel C plays a duet with former X-Factor winner Matt Cardle in “Loving You,” which brought her her first Top 20 hit in the UK in eight years.
September 13 – Mel B releases For Once In My Life and hits # 2 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart.
October 13 – Geri, fresh off a jury at Got Talent in Australia, releases “Half of Me”, her first single in eight years.
April 14th – Mel C partners with Peter Aristone to help with his single “Cool As You”.
July 16 – Mel C can be seen on the Sons of Sonix track “Numb”, which introduces a return to a more electro-dancing sound.
September 16 – Mel C continues the electro sound with “Anymore”, the first official single from album number seven.
October 16 – Mel C releases their seventh album “Version of Me”, which reached number 25 in the UK charts.
November 16 – Mel C releases “Dear Life” as the second single from “Version of Me”, a track she wrote with longtime collaborator Adam Argyle.
April 17 – Mel C duets with the aspiring British singer / songwriter Alex Francis on the new track “Hold On”, which can be seen in a German film soundtrack “Unter Deutsche Betten”.
June 17th – Geri publishes a tribute to her dear friend George Michael called “Angels in Chains”. It contains references to some of his songs in his lyrics, including “Heal The Pain”, “Faith” and “Young Guns”.
October 17 – Mel C releases “Room For Love” as the next single from “Version of Me” with a video combining fan material with Melanie’s live performances.
February 19th – Emma releases “Baby Please Don’t Stop”, one of two non-covers on her upcoming fourth studio album.
April 19th – Emma releases the fourth studio album “My Happy Place” and just misses the top 10 with place 11.
May 19th – Emma releases a duet with partner Jade Jones, whose version of “Du is all I need to get through “originally by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell in 1968.
Mel C releases “High Heels” with the drag group and the famous LGBTQ club night “Sink the Pink”.
March 20th – Melanie C releases “Who I Am” as the first single from her upcoming 8th studio album. The video shows a look back at her career in a museum exhibit with sporty and spiky blonde crop looks.
May 20th – Mel C brings us to the beatings in the video for the new single “Blame it on Me” – a death!
July 20th – “In and Out of Love” becomes single 3 from Mel C’s new self-titled album.
September 20th – Mel C releases “Fearless” with Nadia Rose as single four from their new album.
October 20th – Mel C releases her self-titled album and it hits the top 10 at 8, making it the first solo Spice album since Emma’s “Free Me” in 2004.
November 20 – Geri announces Rainbow Woman, a project celebrating women throughout history. Not officially a single release, but the new track was used as a soundbed for one of their videos.
December 20th – Mel C releases “Into You” as the fifth single from their self-titled album. Interestingly, this banger of one track is only available on the bonus CD of the special edition of the album.
And there it is, a release timeline for the Spice Girls’ solo careers. There have been ups and downs, bangs and ballads, some are still going strong while others hung up their microphones many years ago.
I’ve put all the singles in chronological order in a Solo Spice playlist. Note – Unfortunately, not all versions are currently available on Spotify, so there are gaps in the playlist.
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