I’m not sure this story has ever been told and Annie might not thank me for telling it. But I think we were flying to New York and I sort of brought up midway in the flight and said I’ve just signed this girl group. And Annie was very interested.

She said “I want to meet them’. Almost directly, she was the one who got them to be louder and more brash and more specific. So Emma who was the sweet cute blonde girl became Baby Spice. She just played it and hammed it up – none of these names actually existed, but Annie gave them focus.

366 Songs 126: Say You’ll Be There

It’s genuinely hard to overestimate just how weirdly, surprisingly important the Spice Girls were back in 1996. Not only were they a genuine pop phenomenon™, but they were somehow beloved by those closest to me, too. We liked the songs in an unironic way, we liked the branding of “characters,” we talked about which ones we fancied.

Looking back, that seems kind of ridiculous and embarrassing. Apart from the bit about liking their songs unironically: “Say You’ll Be There” is still a great pop song, all squelches and singalong choruses offering a spectcularly desexualized worldview even as two of the band wear latex outfits. Everything’s forgiven once that harmonica hits, though…