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Greatest Hits ()

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Well, of course the Spice Girls needed a greatest-hits album. They'd need one even if they weren't reuniting for a world tour that is as heavily hyped if not as anticipated as Led Zeppelin's (which of course is just a one-time shot, right?), as they were a singles-oriented group without a singles album in their catalog. And so, 2007's Greatest Hits, which has everything you know plus a few songs you don't and no left-field choices (if you were hoping that "Bumper to Bumper" would gain its rightful place as one of their finest, you're out of luck!). The songs have aged exactly as you thought they might: "Wannabe" is still too familiar, "2 Become 1" too drippy, "Spice Up Your Life" plain ridiculous, but "Say You'll Be There" is still sexy, "Stop" is as awesome a slice of obligatory British Tamla/Motown as you'll get, and "Goodbye" is actually a pretty good finale, while the rest is forgettable, as are the two new songs, the sleepy "Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)" -- which isn't as self-referential or clever as its title suggests -- and the peppy "Voodoo." But music was always secondary to the Spice Girls' girl power image: they had enough great singles to be huge for a couple years but not enough to be more than a quicksilver pop culture phenomenon and that brief moment in time is documented better on this Greatest Hits than any of their three albums. [Like any big-budget release in the late 2000s, Greatest Hits was available in a variety of formats all over the world upon the time of its release. First, the set was available in three incarnations in the U.K. and Europe: as a single CD, as a set including a DVD with all their videos -- which, frankly, is as tempting a collection as the CD, if not more -- then a box set containing those two discs, plus a karaoke CD and a disc of remixes. In the U.S., this Greatest Hits was initially available only at Victoria's Secret, then was available at other retailers in early 2008.] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi Hide synopsis

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