“Wannabe” by incredible British girl pop group the Spice Girls, has been credited for not only launching the group straight to global stardom, but also for changing the mid 1990s pop music scene.
“Wannabe” was released in 1996 and is the first track off of the band’s 1996 album: “Spice”. The song had a bumpy beginning. It was written by all member of the Spice Girls except Posh (Victoria Beckham) as she missed the writing session for the track and tried to pitch in over the phone, therefore only ending up being in the backing vocals. It was written and recorded quickly, which the label didn’t like. So the original outcome of the song got remixed by producer Dave Way to give the track an R&B feel to it, but the group weren’t too happy with that version, so sent it to be mixed by Mark “Spike” Stent, which became the version all listeners love and know today. The track ended up being the debut single for the band rather than their track “Say You’ll Be There” as suggested by their label. The song essentially encompasses the value and importance of female friendship over a romantic relationship with a male. It became the Spice Girls’ signature song and a symbol of female empowerment.
The music video was directed by Johan Camitz, who had directed advertisemtns for Volkswagen, Nike and Diesel. Camitz’ original concept for the track was a one-take shot of the band arriving in an exotic building in Barcelona and taking over the building and causing chaos. A few days before the shoot in April 1996, Camitz was not allowed to use the building he had found in Barcelona, so the music video was shot in the Midland Grand Hotel in St Pancras in London. The music video was uploaded on the Spice Girls VEVO music channel on YouTube in March 2009, and it now has over 380 million views, with over 2 million likes.
Release Date: 26th June 1996
Songwriter/s: Spice Girls, Matt Rowe & Richard Stannard
Producer/s: Matt Rowe & Richard Stannard
Music Video Release Date: 1996
Music Video Director: Johan Camitz
Chart Rankings, Certifications, Awards & Accolades: Upon its year of release, “Wannabe” went to #1 in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US. It has a Platinum certification in New Zealand and Norway, 2x Platinum in Australia and the UK, 3x Platinum in the US, and 6x Platinum in Italy. It also received a Gold certification in Japan, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherland, Sweden and Switzerland. “Wannabe” won the “Best British-Written Single” at the 1997 Ivor Novello Awards and the “British Single of the Year” award at the 1997 Brit Awards. The track is also the best-selling single by a girl group in the world, as well as a 2014 study carried out y the University ofb Amsterdam and the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester discovering that it is the most easily recognisable pop song of the last 60 years.