The album received mixed reviews from pop music critics.
Allmusic's reviewer Stephen Thomas Erlewine gave a positive review: Thomas called the album an "immaculately crafted pop" that is "infectious" and "irresistible", adding that "Spice doesn't need to be original to be entertaining" and that "none of the girls have great voices, but they do exude personality and charisma".
Ken Tucker from Entertainment Weekly gave a positive review: Tucker called the album a "devilishly good pop collection", and said that the lead single "Wannabe" is "perky yet tough, catchy yet melodically surprising".
Lois Alter Mark from the same magazine gave a negative review: Mark called the Spice Girls, "Go-Gos with attitude" and described the content of the album as a "PG-rated fantasies and come-ons", adding that "the girls may not be ideal role models".
LAUNCHcast's Dev Sherlock gave a positive review: called the album "pure upbeat ear candy" and that it was "one of the most fun and exciting pop releases of the year", adding that their Girl Power philosophy is "a well-balanced manifesto for young women everywhere that is neither twee nor riot grrrl-angry".
Daniel Incognito from Sputnikmusic gave a negative review: Incognito commented that while "other pop music can feel generic, copied and lacking in emotion the Spice Girls bounce about with unbridled enthusiasm", adding that the album "defined the word spirit" and that it "socially, culturally and musically, truly did make the 90s a decade to remember" calling the album "the Thriller of the 90s".
Christina Kelly from Rolling Stone gave a negative review: Kelly called the group "another bubblegum pop group" that "offer a watered-down mix of hip-hop and cheesy pop balladry", adding that the Girl Power concept is just a "pro-woman posing", and that "the girls don't get bogged down by anything deeper than mugging for promo shots and giving out tips on getting boys in bed".
In November 1996, the Spice Girls released Spice in Europe. Despite negative reviews from others, it became an enormous success globally. The success was unprecedented and drew comparisons to Beatlemania (it was dubbed "Spicemania") due to the sheer volume of interest in the group. In just seven weeks Spice had sold 1.8 million copies in Britain alone, making the Spice Girls the fastest selling British act since The Beatles. In total, the album sold 3 million copies in Britain and peaked at number 1 for 15 non-consecutive weeks. In Europe the album became the biggest-selling album of 1997 and was certified 8x Platinum by the IFPI for sales in excess of 15 million copies. In the United States Spicebecame the biggest-selling album of 1997, peaking at number 1 and being certified 7x Platinum (for sales of over 7 million) by the RIAA.
The album entered number one on the UK Top 75 with sales of 114,000.
Certifications, peaks and salesEdit
|Canada||1||10× Platinum (Diamond)||1,000,000|
|France||1||3× Platinum (Diamond)||1,075,000|
|Hong Kong||1||4× Platinum||800,000|
|Japan||1||4× Platinum||1 million|
|New Zealand||1||7× Platinum||105,000|
|Spain||1||10× Platinum (Diamond)||1,000,000|
|United Kingdom||1||10× Platinum (Diamond)||3 million|
|United States||1||7× Platinum||7.4 million|