176. Spice Girls – ‘2 Become 1’ (1996)

“Once again if we endeavour
Love would bring us back together
Take it or leave it, take it or leave it”

Taken from the album Spice

Also released on Greatest Hits

UK #1, AUS #2, US #4

Their first two singles were phenomenal, but ‘2 Become 1’ was the first adult-pop classic from the Spice Girls. If they didn’t have that reputation as a bubblegum pop group, nobody would have guessed that this single was from the same group who brought you ‘Wannabe’ and ‘Say You’ll Be There’. A huge step forward in songwriting and just general maturity, ‘2 Become 1’ is the most successful Spice Girls single in the UK, after, of course, ‘Wannabe’.

I was always surprised at just how sexual this song was, especially the safe sex reference that I didn’t actually get until I was about 15. “Be a little bit wiser, baby, put it on, put it on”. I didn’t know what they were putting on – a jumper, perhaps – but I knew from Emma Bunton’s tone that it was something I was not to understand for a few years. All the girls suddenly went from brash, in-ya-face, if-ya-wanna-be-my-lover loudmouths to sultry vixens, or as sultry as Melanie C and B could ever hope to be. When Emma sings “Are you as good as I remember, baby?”, well… oh my.

Going “adult” didn’t sacrifice any of the pop brilliance that they became known for, and certainly didn’t mean a stop to the lyrical and melodic quality. ‘2 Become 1’ has a brilliant atmosphere just brimming with young love, curiousity, sexual adventurousness. I’ve never like ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ as much as everyone else does and I think it may have been because it feels like a disappointment coming after this. Remember to always listen to the single version, however, where Victoria replaces Geri’s verse from the original – if you’ve ever needed proof that Geri Halliwell cannot sing to save her life, listen to that album mix. Yikes.

Music video:

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