CSPC: Spice Girls Popularity Analysis

Spice Girls

Exactly 20 years ago, the music industry was going through one of the most hyped eras that it had ever had. The Girl Power phenomenon was everywhere thanks to their unstoppable flagship, the iconic Spice Girls. Wannabe was concluding its run at #1 in the US, and the album Spice was on its way to climbing the top of the album chart as well. In the UK, both the album and the single Mama / Who Do You Think You Are? were dominating, the latter being their fourth #1 hit in their native country. Less than a year prior they were unknown. This was the Spice Girls – an utterly massive, dominant, group from the very first day.

As usual – we already met the case with the Beatles or ABBA – when a music act destroys the charts like no one else myths quickly start surrounding it them. Some are true, others aren’t. Their countless #1s were all over the place, as were their record breaking sales in each field – album, singles and videos. The legend tells that the Spice album sold over 30 million units while Spiceworld moved 22 million, while the group as a whole set a mark of 85 million physical records sold. As you can guess, this includes a fair share of exaggeration. With the Spice Girls, the case is quite easy in reality – all their official album sales are known and you will be finding them right here. As they did well in various formats, we need to check the complete picture to accurately rate their success.

As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept in order to relevantly gauge their results. The concept will not only bring you sales information for all the Spice Girls’ albums, physical singles, download singles, and music videos and streaming, but it will also accurately weight all this information to conclude their true popularity. If you are not yet familiar with the CSPC idea, the next page explains it with a short video. I fully recommend you check it out before getting into the sales figures. Of course, if you are a regular visitor feel free to get straight into the figures. Let’s go!

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Marcus André

I know that. But the 100k of Forever were not destroyed in Brazil, they were sold for low prices, if they flopped (I never saw this album sold for low prices here, but I live in a small city and it’s impossible to say for all the country). And how you know this album was not well here? We don’t’ have charts in Brazil till 2009. The albums are certified Gold by ABPD here (now Pro-music Brasil), only when the 100k were given to the stores, not when the Record company produced 100k CDs…

Marcus André

Hi. I would like to make a possible correction… Here in Brazil, the album Forever was certified Gold, for 100,000 sold. I said sold, because here, unlike Europe and United States, when the stores buy the CDs, they can’t return it to the Record companies or retaliers, when the CDs flop. The only solution to them is to sold the record for a very low price (sometimes 99% cheaper), so it’s impossible one say that the CD sold 40,000 in Brazil. There was no chart here till 2009, and probably if the CD floped here, what I think unlikely, they… Read more »

Dabbyy

What about Forever album sales ?
It’s certified double platinum in Canada, so shouldnt be above 200K at least ?
or gold in Germany, so 100K+ ?
and platinum in UK (300K+) ?
I’m confused a bit.
Thanks !

Matthew Barron

I would love to know a Cher one! She has always interested me since she has had some huge flops but then some huge successes.

:)

Very interesting. Thank you!
Spice Girls were huge back in the day.

Mirai

Thank you so much for that one MJD! I wasn’t expecting it so it came as a very pleasant surprise! Keep up with the great work!!

Stephen

Thanks for doing this! Now we have pretty much all the most important acts from the teen pop era (Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Christina Aguilera, Destiny’s Child and Spice Girls). Only NSYNC is missing! Regarding Spice Girls, the sales for their first two albums (particularly their debut) are impressive, but I wasn’t expecting their third album to be such a massive bomb. 1.2 million in 2000 after coming off two massive sellers is VERY disappointing and has to be one of the biggest declines in pop music. Also, I love how you included Asian sales for their first album! Makes… Read more »

Al

Wow! This article clearly shows how exaggerated sales of some artists can be, I expected them to be at least at 70 million CSPC.

teen_pop

I’m not an expert, but I think you’ve underestimated the success of spice girls. They were much more bigger than Backstreet Boys and Britney. I lived that time. But according to your data, Spice sold less than Millenium or Baby one more time. How?

teen_pop
Teen_Pop

I had no idea. Why was the billboard so unfair? Did they have favoritism for certain record labels?

And why was the decline of the spice girls so immediate? Maybe Britney and the Backstreet boys and Desteny Child were responsible?

Teen_Pop

You are so nice. Thank you for explaining it.
Does Riaa account all sales?

Michael

MJD, do you really think its a wise decision to make teen pop star sounded more mature and looking more mature barely a few year into their career. If you look at Madonna back in the early 90s, she rely’s on sex image even more than when she started and immediately her fame started dropping. It wasn’t until she released frozen that she managed some rebound. The same could be said for Britney when she started exploring a little bit element of sex for her third album, her album sales started dropping massively. However, if you look at Taylor Swift.… Read more »

Emily

So was the World Music Awards right when they honored DC as the best selling girl group?

pat200
Debbie

Maybe they honored them in terms of albums + singles. Im not sure, but I believe DC must have sold a lot more singles than Spice Girls. Considering the fact that they have more singles than Spice Girls.

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