Fifteen years ago, Spice Girls released their first single in the UK and set the pop world ablaze with a sassy little tune called “Wannabe” that introduced the duel concepts of Girl Power and zig-a-zig-ahhhhh. Eventually hitting #1 in thirty countries across the world, Spices Scary, Ginger, Posh, Sporty and Baby parlayed the “Wannabe” phenomenon into fame and fortune, selling twenty-three million copies of their debut album Spice and seizing the throne for the best-selling girl group in history.
Because we’re sentimental when it comes to all things pop culture, other fave lady jams started flooding our memory bank and got us thinking that, well, sometimes they can get a bit raunchy. However, to us, that’s the beauty of girl groups: They balance with one foot on the empowerment soapbox, and the other foot on the soapbox that reads “gimme some.” Maybe we have it all wrong, butthis list of ten anthems that say “come hither” all while commanding some R-E-S-P-E-C-T will bring you back in time and get you set for a (hopefully) spicy week.
10. Dream, “He Loves U Not”
Puffy’s Bad Boy girl grouppre-Danity Kane was sort of flop-ish, but their single wasn’t! And while the lyric “he’s into what he’s got” might be somewhat tame, it serves it’s purpose to give off a “there’s more where that came from” warning to ladies trying to steal their men.
9. Destiny’s Child, “Lose My Breath”
“Put it on me deep in the right direction,” demands Kelly Rowland in this uptempo Destiny’s Child track. Serving as both an aphrodisiac and a challenge, the entire song begs the question of the ladies’ male suitors: “Can you keep up?”
8. SWV, “Weak”
To play off the song’s title, this tune might be equally as mild as #10, but still incites enough romantical, PG lovin’ to make us fan ourselves a bit. And let’s be honest, Sisters With Voices needed to be on this list, did they not?
7. Bananarama, “Venus”
Before it got co-opted by the fine people at Gillette, this song belonged to a Dutch band called Shocking Blue and was then covered by Bananarama, making the ode to the power of fertile goddesses everywhere an international hit.
6. Xscape, “Just Kickin’ It”
Wait, wait! Before it gets too steamy, these amazing lady-goon vocalists make us take heed of their pre-nookie priorities, advising suitors to take off their shoes and relax their feet. And while you’re down there, boys, don’t forget the socks!
5. En Vogue, “Givin’ Him Something He Can Feel”
Depicted as burlesque dancers in the video, Terry, Cindy, Maxine and Dawn synchronized their hip movements on stage in front of a room full of lip-biting and cooing men, making it clear that their va-va-voom was all in the name of showing how “real” their love was. Rawr; can they reunite, please?
4. Salt N Pepa, “Push It”
Matching jackets, gold chains, and crotch thrusts! This to-the-point dirty ditty was the first Salt-N-Pepa track to catch mainstream ears, and you already know that it remains a sexy dance party staple to this day.
3. Pussycat Dolls, “Don’t Cha”
Nicole and her pack of kittens made us simultaneously love and hate them for this heaux-supporting anthem back in 2005. Penned by never-shy Cee Lo Green, “Don’t Cha” reminds us that nothing says “classy” like being the tempting other woman.
2. Danity Kane, “Right Now”
Not now, right now. Laced with whispery verses, breathy echoes, and a moaning vocal at the end, the Making The Band girls showed America just how sexy abstaining from doing the deed could actually be.
1. TLC, “Red Light Special”
Make no bones about it, T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli were as direct as they come on this seminal and sensual R&B classic. Urging their male objects of desire to be aggressive since “the body never lies,” the CrazySexyCool trio mount our list’s #1 position and show it who’s boss.