This past spring, Harrison, who began his professional writing career a decade ago as a music columnist for Dayton City Paper, visited London where he held the “Record Redux: Spice Girls Walkabout” which allowed him to meet fans and tour various historical and contemporary “Spice sites.” In the book’s introduction, he warmly recalls purchasing the “Spiceworld” CD on his 13th birthday. It was the first CD he ever purchased and the material immediately stirred his imagination. He credits the “reflection, rebellion and joy” of the music as a specific cornerstone to understanding himself and the recording industry.
“‘Spiceworld’ was a combination of many things for me,” he said. “Musically, it laid the groundwork to recognizing different esthetics, styles and moods, the kinds of things I expect when I hear any record to this day. Personally, I admired the fact that there were simply no other groups like the Spice Girls. They weren’t necessarily uncool but they weren’t hip either. They occupied their own space and never apologized. Either you enjoyed them or you didn’t. And being a person of color I was aware of the stigma that I wasn’t really supposed to listen to their kind of pop music, but it didn’t bother me at all. The fearlessness, brashness and thoughtfulness of their music allowed me to imagine what it would be like to have that same kind of confidence in myself, to be more extroverted.”
Harrison’s book is the first in his proposed 12-book series documenting the discographies of women musicians. In fact, the next “Record Redux” release, slated to be available next year, spotlights singer/songwriter Carly Simon. Future editions will profile Sheena Easton, Janet Jackson, Donna Summer, Teena Marie, and Gloria Estefan among others. He hopes the series provides an education drawing attention to women recording artists whose legacies lack definitive discussion while examining the content and caliber of recorded output.
“I feel very proud of this book,” he said. “I feel I’ve created something that will hold up over time. I want this book to be seen as a great reference guide. If someone is writing a paper I want them to use my work as a resource. The Spice Girls seem to have a negative narrative, particularly from those viewing them as being pop fluff, but if I can reset the narrative and allow people to think in a different way I’ve succeeded. “
“Record Redux: Spice Girls” was released July 8 though Amazon.com in soft-cover format ($27.50). A digital download for any tablet device is offered through the Selz storefront ($13.50; Quentinharrison.selz.com). The book was manufactured by CreateSpace via Harrison’s Joy of Sound Publications imprint. For more information, visit
or follow Harrison on twitter at @The QHBlend.