64. Spice Girls
Spice (Virgin, 1996)
20 years ago, the sound of platform sneakers scuttling across the floor hit American airwaves, giving way to the laugh heard round the world. Those three seconds before the beat drops serve as the introduction to "Wannabe," Spice Girls' first single from their debut album, Spice. They are so universally recognizable that "Wannabe" was ranked the catchiest pop song since the 1940s in a recent study. Ushering in a new wave of zealous pop, Spice Girls knew what the world really, really wanted — and delivered. "Wannabe" topped the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks and became the best-selling single by a girl group in history. The rest of Spice followed suit, borrowing from R&B, hip-hop and even disco to relay messages about safe sex ("2 Become 1") and female solidarity ("Love Thing"). Scary, Sporty, Ginger, Baby and Posh influenced a whole generation of women (even Adele is a fan) and last year, Project Everyone's #WhatIReallyReallyWant campaign repurposed "Wannabe" as a call for women's rights internationally. While riot grrrl champions Bikini Kill released a zine titled 'Girl Power' in 1991, The Spice Girls were the first to peddle the concept to the mainstream. Despite the complicated implications of their commodified feminism, their overarching message of empowerment and strength in numbers was one to get behind. And as a unit, they were a multifaceted force to be reckoned with. Spice was a manifesto by women who ditched their management team in search of more independence and evenly split song royalties amongst the group, and its endurance is palpable; Spice is still the best-selling album ever released by an all-female group. Now, that's girl power. —Desiré Moses (WNRN)
http://www.npr.org/2017/07/20/538354622 ... men-page-9
This list was complied by NPR, National Public Radio, an American media organization and national syndicator to 900 public radio stations in the United States.
It took 20 years, but it seems critics are beginning to appreciate the group.