The Spice Girls were fully involved in the writing of all the songs. Geri in particular was clearly a fund of ideas for songs, arriving at sessions with her book of jottings, notes and miscellaneous scribblings which often produced the starting point of a lyric or a song title or just an agenda for the day's work. The girls then as a group wrote the lyrics for the rest of the song, building up a bulk of the work by coming up with sections and melodies.
They "conceptualized" and sang bits of melody and wrote the lyrics. But in musical terms it was not a partnership of equals. For some tracks, Rowe and Richard would prepare something beforehand and then play it to them, then the Spice Girls wrote the next verses.
Recording and productionEdit
The first writing session was with Eliot Kennedy which was booked by the Herberts before the Girls left the management. In the writing session, they managed to write two tracks for the album Love Thing and Say You'll Be There.
In the following months, they met with Richard Stannard and Matt Rowe, whom they previously met when they left Heart Management. They co-wrote Feed Your Love, and then proceeded on to write Wannabe and then 2 Become 1. In May 1995, the group was introduced to Absolute, whom were really satisfied and impressed by their song Feed Your Love. A songwriting session was booked within the next few days, but the musical association between them didn't seem to go well at the beginning as Wilson found their music "Poptastic" which included Wannabe. The next session was the definite one, either they continue to work with the group or break up their relationship, but instead wrote and composed the disco-fuelled backing track to Who Do You Think You Are.
The girls went on to write Something Kinda Funny, Last Time Lover and Naked with Watkins and Wilson, all of the tracks lent a touch of classy R&B feeling to the Spice album. Absolute also produced all of these songs as well as the two tracks penned with Eliot Kennedy: Say You'll Be There and Love Thing giving the duo a guiding hand in six of the ten tracks that eventually ended up on Spice. The tracks that Absolute produced were recorded for the most part at Olympic Studios in Barnes. At this time, 1995, the Autotune facility had yet to come to the market and most of the vocals were recorded with few adjustments made afterwards.
Absolute told Simon Fuller about the group they had worked with and asked whether he would consider managing them. Fuller received a demo of Something Kinda Funny, one of the songs the group wrote with Absolute . He showed interest in the group, began a relationship and decided to sign them at 19 Management in March 1995. In September 1995 the group signed a deal with Virgin Records, and continued to write and record tracks for their debut album while touring the west coast of the United States, where they signed a publishing deal with Windswept Pacific in November.
The Spice Girls introduced two key innovations that have had a lasting impact on the way which modern pop acts go about their creative business. Firstly they introduce the idea of songwriting identity. This was a familiar concept in rock bands like Queen or The Sex Pistols, but not in the world of "manufactured pop", where the credits of songwriting would be divided out strictly in accordance with whoever had written the song. The Spice Girls recognized their solidarity as a group, which depended on maintaining parity in all departments, including the songwriting credits and the resulting royalties. They share the songwriting royalties on all the songs irrespective of what any member of the group had or had not contributed to any particular song. The second thing the Spice Girls established from the outset was a straight 50/50 split between them and their various songwriting collaborators. Here they anticipated one of the key developments in the pop industry since the 90s, namely the increasing importance of publishing royalties as opposed to royalties payments made for the performance of the song on the record.
Eleven songs made it onto the final album, four songs became b-sides, the rest were never used.