C.x (itsjustc) wrote,

65 years of UK Christmas No1s - 1997

Spice Girls - Too Much

"Too Much" is a pop ballad by the British pop group Spice Girls. Written by the group members with Paul Wilson and Andy Watkins at the same time as the group was filming scenes for their movie Spice World, it was produced by Wilson and Watkins for the group's second album Spiceworld, released in November 1997.

In June 1997, the group began filming scenes for their movie Spice World. At the same time, Virgin Records started the first marketing meetings for the Spiceworld album's promotional campaign, set to be released in November. No songs had been written for the album at this point, so the group had to do all the song-writing and recording at the same time as they were filming the movie. Between takes, and at the end of each filming day, the group usually went straight into a mobile recording studio set up in a Winnebago, which followed them between film sets. The schedule was physically arduous with logistical difficulties, as Melanie Brown commented in her autobiography: "doing the two full-time jobs at the same time took its toll and within a couple on weeks, exhaustion set in."

The concept of "Too Much" was mainly penned by Geri Halliwell while the group was filming Spiceworld in a closed set besieged by fans and the media, in London's Docklands. While Halliwell left the set, sitting in the backseat of a car, she started scribbling a few lines in a notebook about "love being blind and how words that appear deep may be meaningless". The other members then helped to complete the song. Halliwell, inspired by a T-shirt that said "What part of no don't you understand?", wrote the song's middle eight with Melanie Chisholm at Paul Wilson and Andy Watkins' studio in Richmond, London.

The format was for Emma Bunton to sing the high part, Melanie Brown, Victoria Beckham, and Halliwell singing the lower and middle parts, and Chisholm adding the ad-libs. The song was recorded in a caravan in the middle of mayhem. Wilson and Watkins doggedly worked on it with whichever of the group's members were available from the filming set at any given point. A considerable amount of production work was required afterward before the track reached its final form.

"Too Much" was released in the United Kingdom on 15 December 1997, in two single versions. The first, released on cassette and in a standard CD single format, included an exclusive PlayStation postcard from the group's upcoming video game Spice World. The track listing contained the radio edit of the track, a Soulshock & Karlin remix, and the B-side "Outer Space Girls"—written by the group with Matt Rowe and Richard Stannard. The second version, released on a standard CD single, contained the radio edit, an orchestral version, and "Walk of Life", a different B-side, written by the group with Absolute. The images on the single's cover were taken from a photoshoot the group did for the October 1997 issue of Elle magazine.

It debuted at the top of the UK Singles Chart, becoming the Spice Girls' second consecutive Christmas number-one single. It made the group the first act to reach number one with their first six singles, and the first to debut at the top of the chart five times in a row. It stayed at number one for two weeks, and was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) in December 1997.

"Too Much" was moderately successful in Europe. It peaked inside the top ten in Denmark, Finland, Ireland, and Spain, and inside the top twenty in Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland. The song was also a moderate success in Oceania. In New Zealand, it peaked at number nine, In Australia, it peaked at number nine and was certified gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA).

In the US, "Too Much" did better than its predecessor, "Spice Up Your Life", but was not as successful as Spice's singles had been. It peaked at number nine, becoming the group's fourth and final top ten hit. It peaked at nine on the Canadian Singles Chart.

Tags: 1997, the spice girls, too much, uk christmas no1s

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