Melanie C aka Sporty Spice of the Spice Girls took the opportunity this week to celebrate her debut solo album, 1999’s ‘Northern Star‘, with the weekly pop podcast Track By Track to discuss the album in detail, track-by-track.
The year 2000 was a special time in music. TLC were on hiatus after the success of their mega-selling ‘FanMail‘ album and the record-breaking tour to support it, while the Spice Girls were also taking a break from world domination to focus on their solo projects.
Melanie C decided to team up with Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes on her debut solo album, which led to Melanie earning her first solo number one single in the UK in the summer of 2000, an exciting time for both TLC and Spice Girls fans!
The single in question was “Never Be The Same Again“. Melanie C gave us some beautiful memories of her time working with Lisa around the time of the single being released.
Melanie proudly states that the Spice Girls were huge fans of TLC. “I couldn’t believe my luck when I had the opportunity to work with [Lisa]. And she was perfect!”, Melanie exclaims.
Lisa was the only rapper Mel C wanted on the track with her. “She was the only person I wanted on that song. I was writing with Rhett Lawrence & we got to the middle 8 & all I could hear was a Lisa-style rap”, she recalls. “He gave her a call & next thing I knew she was on the track. So that was a wonderful experience”.
Melanie states that she shot the spiritual video with Lisa in Malibu, which features a scene with Lisa and Melanie performing tai chi moves together while Lisa lays down her iconic verse, once again proving why she was the perfect choice for the track.
Following the success of the single in March 2000, Melanie invited Lisa to promote the single with her in London for a couple of performances and interviews to help keep the track at number one for a second week!
At the time of the promotional run, Lisa told Top Of The Pops: Backstage how she felt about being part of the success with Melanie. “Now that we might be number one twice in a row, I feel like I’m running a marathon and I’m almost at the finish line!”, she says excitedly.
The solo recognition also meant a lot to Lisa, as she was seeking to launch her solo career in the UK. “It is important. I’m going to be coming back over here to do a solo project of mine, so it is always good to be recognised and especially if you can make that number one slot”.
Lisa and Mel C also stopped by at BBC Radio One, where Lisa further discusses her need to have her voice heard solo. “I’ve always wanted to do a solo album. I am an emcee, and I love TLC — but I’m very limited to the amount of work that I can actually do. It’s usually a few songs, 16 bars here and there, and I like to really strut my stuff.”
“But as far as the rumors, we’re fine. We haven’t broken up. We went through a little something last year, but it’s not the first time that we’ve been through something, it’s just the first time that it was publicized”, Lisa explains.
“The issues that have existed?”, Lisa continues, “personal differences when it comes to business decisions and the direction that we move forward in. It’s one group, with three different people with three different visions, so which direction do we go in?”.
Mel C co-signs with Lisa about the struggles of being in a group. “We have earned the right to yell at each other”, Lisa jests. “You spend so much time together that you become like sisters”, Mel adds. “And no matter what’s said you still love each other. You iron out your differences and you sort it out”.
Never Be The Same Again, my 1st UK No1 & my collaboration w/ the wonderful Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes. Myself & the @spicegirls were huge @OfficialTLC fans. Couldn't believe my luck when I had the opportunity to work w/ her. And she was perfect 😍 @trackbytrackuk#TBTNorthernStar
“Never Be The Same Again” will always be special to Mel C, not just because it blessed her with her first number one, but because Lisa was a part of it with her. “This will always be a very important song to me, obviously being my first UK No. 1 and really launching the whole album to new heights, but also sadly losing Lisa was so tragic, she was so young and such a huge talent, so I feel very lucky I was able to work with her and we have this piece of music, that we worked on together, forever”.
Melanie eventually got the chance to meet the rest of TLC in 2018 at the Mighty Hoopla in London, 19 years since she first worked with Lisa. Fans can always live in hope that the two biggest girl groups in history unite one day on tour. Lisa would have loved the idea.
On the eve of the 25th anniversary of TLC‘s record-breaking sophomore album, ‘CrazySexyCool‘, the girl’s decided to coincide the date with a major announcement!
T-Boz and Chilli will be returning to the UK in 2020 to embark on an exclusive one night only performance in London at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on June 29th to celebrate both the 25th anniversary of ‘CrazySexyCool’ and the 20th anniversary of TLC’s first headline FanMail tour 2000.
‘CrazySexyCool‘ was released 25 years ago on this day, on November 15, 1994. TLC‘s sophomore album went on to become a diamond-certified album, which was recently certified 14x platinum by the RIAA.
To celebrate the album’s milestone, Sony Music has decided to gift TLC fans with the official digital release of the four major singles lifted from the record-breaking project.
The four EP’s in question are; “Creep”, “Red Light Special”, “Waterfalls” and “Diggin’ On You“. The releases are available to stream on Spotify, and are available for purchase on iTunes.
25 years on and ‘CrazySexyCool’ continues to stand the test of time, remaining a favorite by millions across the world! Those who grew up with the album being the soundtrack to their lives will indeed remember the drama that surrounded the girls at it’s time of release — bankruptcy, arson and rumors of a break-up!
Despite serving time locked away in rehab during the creation of ‘CrazySexyCool’, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes made sure she used her leave time to work on the follow-up to 1992’s break-out hit, ‘Ooooooohhh… on the TLC Tip‘, which included her most iconic rap verse on their most important hit to date, “Waterfalls”.
Sony previously blessed TLC fans back in July 2017 with the release of their EP’s from their debut LP, including the festive release, “Sleigh Ride“, following the release of their final self-titled studio album.
TLC‘s biggest-selling album to date continues to achieve record-breaking sales, almost 25 years since it’s initial release in 1994!
‘CrazySexyCool‘ has officially earned itself a 12x platinum status, after becoming certified by the Recording Industry Association of America on October 11, 2019.
The album was last certified two decades ago on July 2nd, 1999, where the diamond-certified album had sold a whopping 11 million copies in the United States alone since it’s release on November 15, 1994.
It enjoyed an increase in sales in 2013, largely thanks to the VH1 biopic ‘CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story‘, which aired on October 21, 2013 and broke viewing records for a cable television movie. T-Boz and Chilli served as executive producers.
The album rose in sales continuously during that period, resulting in it’s steady pace of re-entries on the Billboard 200 album chart in 2013. It reached it’s peak position of #3 back on July 29, 1995.
‘CrazySexyCool’ now ties with the Dixie Chicks’ ‘Wide Open Spaces‘ album as the highest RIAA certified album by a female band (they are both currently 12x).
We’re just patiently awaiting the official updated sales for their 1999 follow-up, ‘FanMail‘, which the girls recently stated is also very close to achieving diamond status! With the recent exclusive re-release of the album, it shouldn’t be too long until this happens.