Thursday, September 10, 2009

Is The 90's Worth Remembering? Hmmm...

Aw jeez turn it off! Oh wait, it's just a picture. Whew.

When I blog about pop culture, I usually cover the 80's or the modern day. In between there is a huge decade long gap we call The 90's. And the reason why I don't cover the 90's? I don't remember a lot of it in terms of pop culture. It's just a vast blank. Sure there was grunge which wasn't bad, alternative rock, Forrest Gump, new James Bond movies and the Star Wars special editions...and that was about it. So like a brutal hypnotist I'm going to force myself to try to remember the 90's, the missing link. Because the truth is out there...

My first choice for the 90's, might as well start at the top (or bottom) - The Spice Girls!

Let's see, there was Sporty Spice, Scary Spice...Cranky Spice? Skanky Spice? Smack Addict Spice? Julia Roberts Spice? I can't remember their names - Bend It Like Beckham Spice? Like many, my first exposure to the Spice rack was to hear that insipid yet undeniably catchy hit that says "I'll tell ya what I want what I really want." The light pop rap and Barbie doll characters got the tweens in a frenzy. Soon their faces were plastered all over magazines and the telly. After the billionth time I involuntarily heard this song I was ready to pull what was left of my hair out. Even as eye candy only the red headed girl looked attractive to me, in that L.A. streetwalker kinda way. Copycat groups like All Saints came out of the woodwork to hock their wares, further flooding the market with this junk.

They had a second song, I think it's called "Say You'll Be Mine" which was at least passable with that wannabe (that's the name of the first song, "Wannabe") Stevie Wonder harmonica lick. They were on top of the world but all was not well in Spice World. The red headed girl got the platform shoe sized boot (not the red head! Noooo!) leaving them a redheadless quartet.

After that there was a movie which, hey, I think it was called Spice World. Look at us guvnor, we're cheeky British girls don't you like us yeah? The incessant commericals featuring some song with I think it was a Latin beat played often, I don't know if I'm thinking of them or a Ricky Martin song to be honest. Was it "Shake Your Bon Bons"? (note: after linking this video it looks like the red head girl was still here at this point. See what I don't remember.) Either way it was never the same without Charlie Brown's red headed girl in the lineup, as Austin Powers would say they had lost their mojo. Their five minutes of fame were up. At least as a musical act.

I can't remember any other music from this group but have seen them in the supermarket checkout line a lot in those rumor rags. Scary Spice had like a thing with Eddie Murphy and bore him a Golden Child or something? Then she got ripped like Mark McGwire which was truly scary (While playing for the A's Mark McGwire walked past me once, his bicep was the size of my head!). The skinny girl (Fashion Spice? Gucci Spice? Damn, still can't remember these names) married the soccer (sorry England, football) player boosting her fame so we see amazing media coverage of her walking in and out of her house a lot. Thank you very little Access Hollywood. The redheaded one became an amabassador I think? Some outlandish thing. Like most acts they've all released solo albums that would come out with a little bit of hype and then disappear. And did they reunite about a year ago? It sounds familiar, like a surreal memory that you're not sure actually happened. I'm talking David Lynch territory here.

I found the Spice Girls era to be pretty tepid, for the most part hated the music and the media saturation of their images that followed. Sure, every eight years or so there has to be an annoying musical act that hits that tween market right on the mark unraveling millions of parents dollars into their bank accounts. It's unavoidable. When I worked at a theme park this guy said we were lucky to have Duran Duran, at least they wrote and performed their own music. How right you were sir, how right you were.


Jeannie said...

I didn't even know that the Spice Girls got to be that big. Good thing that when it comes to pop culture, I completely checked out of the 90's.

Mr. Mike said...

Lucky Bunny!