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Spice Girls Revisited Paperback – August 1, 2008
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'...finally receives the insightful telling it deserves. Thorough and engaging.' Q'A sterling attempt to explain the success of [the Spice Girls]...definitive.' Observer Music Magazine
About the Author
David Sinclair was a close observer of the Spice Girls throughout their heyday and beyond. In the course of reporting on their adventures for The Times, he has met and interviewed them collectively and individually. He has drawn extensively on 20 years of experience as a pop critic.
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Anyway, that SHOCKING REVELATION aside, Spice Girls Revisited was a pretty good read. Sinclair maintains a good balance between exploring the Spice business -- from songwriting to product endorsements -- and gossip (apparently Mel B was unbearable by the end, but Posh is witty and self-aware).
What I particularly enjoyed were the chapters that put the Spice Girls in the context of wider media issues: a decision by The Mirror to declare the Spice Girls a failure while, by any objective standards they were the biggest band in the world, and the influence of the Spice Girls, and their one-time manager Simon Fuller in changing the face of the entertainment industry as we know it, with the rise of Popstars and Idol and family-friendly Disney popstars/actresses. Sinclair has a great deal of sympathy and affection for the Spice Girls, and points out every instance of institutionalised sexism in their media coverage, but he is detached enough to draw attention to bad decisions, poor behaviour and plain old obnoxiousness. It's only in the case of Emma, Baby Spice, that he never finds a bad word to say, and really, does anyone have a bad word for Emma Bunton?
I had greatly looked forward to reading this book, and I wasn't disappointed. I joke a lot about being into tacky biographies about British B-list celebrities of the 1990s, but really, that is a period of pop culture that I find deeply fascinating, and this book was a deeply rewarding read.