By Maxine Todd & Jennifer Lynn
Cast your mind back to July 1996. The Spice Girls were at number one with debut single Wannabe, the Macarena was the ultimate tune to play at your birthday party and those Peter Andre stickers you got free with Smash Hits magazine adorned the cover of your homework jotter. Yes, the nineties was not only the grunge era, but also a decade of happy, smiley, cheesy pop tunes.
Then with the turn of the century things became a little… serious. Sure, reality TV rejects were still churning out light-hearted nonsense (The Cheeky Girls’ Touch My Bum, anyone?) but indie rock ‘n’ roll reigned supreme, as The Killers and Kings of Leon set the tone of things to come in the noughties.
However, hell hath no fury like an ex-popband member running low on funds (Kerry Katona, we’re looking at you), so it was only a matter of time before our childhood favourites resurfaced – for better or worse. New ITV2 show The Big Reunion attempts to revive to careers of Atomic Kitten (Kezza’s band), Liberty X (original reality TV losers), 5ive (now with four members), B*Witched (Irish double denim-lovers), 911 (err…) and The Honeyz (even bigger err…), but we’re all about the bands who done it for themselves.
When Take That released Never Forget – The Ultimate Collection in 2005, and announced a reunion for the following year, it sparked insane levels of excitement in women across the country; specifically women who were too old for the youthful Take That in the nineties, but could pass themselves off as cougars in today’s liberal society. Hi Mum.
Their highly anticipated comeback album Beautiful World, although Robbie-free, achieved huge success and charted at number one in the UK. New single Patience was universally adored and showed that the nation’s favourite boy band still had it. Then in 2008 the ‘boys’ released another album, The Circus. Its accompanying tour quickly became the fastest selling in UK history, proving that Take That fever was still infecting ladies (and men) around the country.
In July 2010 the TT reunion elevated to another level when Robbie Williams announced he would be returning to the band – squeal! They released the album Progress as a five-piece and held the number one spot for six consecutive weeks in the UK, and once again tour ticket sales smashed records, selling over 1.1 million in a day.
We can only hope that rumours of a seventh studio album will be confirmed later in the year – in time for those all-important Christmas stockings, of course.
The Spice Girls
On June 28th 2007, Scary, Baby, Ginger, Sporty and Posh announced their intention to reunite for a world tour, seven years after they had split up for reasons no one has ever really been sure of.
The first London date of their Return of the Spice Girls world tour sold out in thirty-eight seconds. THIRTY-EIGHT! Extra dates were soon added, all of which sold out almost immediately. Then the iconic girl band’s comeback single Headlines was announced as the official Children in Need charity single and was first performed at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, along with the classic Stop. Although the (notably shit) single only peaked at number eleven in the UK charts, their album hit the number two spot, allowing the girls’ dignity to remain intact.
The reunion snatched Team Spice the Best Band trophy at GLAMOUR’s Women of the Year Awards, and Best Live Return at the 2008 Vodaphone Live Music Awards, beating off stiff competition from the likes of Led Zeppelin and the Sex Pistols – Girl. Power.
A second reunion for a show- stopping performance at the London 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony was the most tweeted about moment of the entire Olympics, which just goes to show how much of a reaction these girls can still provoke. They may not have the best singing voices on the block, but the Spice Girls will forever be known as the best girl band of all time.
As much of a TRAGEDY as it is, we couldn’t 5, 6, 7, 8 to get in the middle of a CHAIN REACTION and tell a certain pop band that they weren’t BETTER BEST FORGOTTEN, and that the world had been A DEEPER SHADE OF BLUE since they disappeared in 2001. Yes, we just used Cockney rhyming slang to fit an extra song title into that incredibly cheesy intro, but would you expect anything less for Steps?!
In 2011, everyone’s favourite guilty pleasure announced a tour and released another greatest hits album, The Ultimate Collection, which shot to number one in the UK album chart. Two Sky Living documentaries, Steps Reunion and Steps: On the Road Again followed, allowing everyone to fall in love with Faye, Claire, H, Lisa and Lee all over again.
With “Claire from Steps” proving her popularity in the Celebrity Big Brother house last month, we don’t think it’ll be too long before we see the fab five reunited again… with guest vocals from Rylan, perhaps? Now there’s an idea.
After six years apart, the Backstreet Boys reunited with fifth member Kevin Richardson last year,
returning to the world’s stage with a performance on Good Morning America, and announcing that 2013 “is going to be a big year”. Altogether now: Backstreet’s back, ALRIGHT!
Catch The Big Reunion on Thursday nights on ITV2