"Goodbye" is a song recorded by British girl group Spice Girls. It was written by the Spice Girls, Richard Stannard and Matt Rowe, while it was produced by the latter two. The song became the group's first song without the vocals of Geri Halliwell. It was released by Virgin Records on 14 December 1998 as a Christmas single, along with the B-side, "Christmas Wrapping". The song was composed by Richard Stannard and Matt Rowe along with the remaining Spice Girls. It was later included as the eleventh and final track on their third studio album Forever.
"Goodbye" was a commercial success, peaking at number one on the UK Singles Chart, and making the Spice Girls the first act to have three consecutive Christmas number-one singles since The Beatles.
"Goodbye" was originally written by Emma Bunton, Geri Halliwell, Matt Rowe and Richard Stannard intending it to be on Spiceworld. However, due to time constraints it was not recorded by the Spice Girls at the time. During the American leg of the Spiceworld Tour in July 1998, after the departure of Halliwell, Stannard and Rowe flew to Nashville, Tennessee to meet the group and rewrite the song. The group put input on the song and recorded it. In the Spice Girls' third autobiography, "Forever Spice", Melanie C said "Goodbye" was originally about a relationship ending, but now it's about Geri and it's really sad.
The single contains a cover of The Waitresses' 1981 single, Christmas Wrapping. The cover was recorded in November 1998, and only features vocals from Melanie C and Emma Bunton, due to the pregnancies of Mel B and Victoria. The lyrics in the cover features anglicized lyrics to mention the Spiceworld Tour, and British supermarket chain, Tesco.
"Goodbye" was released in a two-CD format (a standard single and a maxi single). The typical track listing internationally followed the UK track listing. In the U.S., the single was released as an EP and contained only the B-side, "Christmas Wrapping" (which only featured vocals from Melanie C and Emma Bunton due to the pregnancies of Mel B and Victoria), and live versions of "Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves" and "We Are Family", which were recorded at their Wembley Stadium concert on 20 September 1998. The U.S. single also included a set of four stickers of the girls, portraying them as fairies, similar to their appearance in the music video of "Viva Forever". In November 2000, it was included on the group's third studio album, Forever.
"Goodbye" was met with positive reception. A review of Sputnikmusic considered the song "very tasteful and emotionally sweeping," while Tania Kraines from BBC Music said "the heartbroken post-Geri 'Goodbye' provided the girls with their last really good single."
In the United Kingdom, the single became the group's eighth number-one single, topping the charts for one week, selling 380,000 in the first week. "Goodbye" got them into the records as the first act to have three consecutive Christmas number-one singles since the Beatles. As of December 2013, the song has sold 884,000 copies in the UK alone, becoming their fourth best-selling single. In New Zealand, it debuted and peaked at number one for two weeks, their second consecutive number one after "Viva Forever", which also debuted and peaked at number one for two weeks. "Goodbye" was their third and final number one hit in New Zealand, with "Wannabe" in 1996 being the first. It was also their ninth consecutive top ten hit for the girls in that country. "Holler" would be their tenth.
The song debuted and peaked at number eleven on the Billboard Hot 100, with sales of 74,000 copies at number four on the Hot 100 Singles Sales, and certified Gold for shipments of 600,000 copies
In Canada it peaked at number one on the Canadian Singles Chart making it their first and only number one single in Canada.
The music video for the song was filmed at Mentmore Towers in Mentmore, Buckinghamshire on 1 and 2 November 1998. It opens with each of the girls in four different black cars: 1957 Cadillac Fleetwood 75, 1941 Cadillac Fleetwood 75, 1955 Imperial Newport, 1958 Imperial Crown, and white wolves running. They arrive at a castle and walk up the stairs arm-in-arm. When they enter there are frozen couples that the girls observe. The video also shows shots of each girl in a different setting with falling objects and then together as a group. The video ends with the ice melting off the people as they come back to life, then shows the shot of the girls entering in reverse to look like they are leaving.
"Goodbye" was included on the setlist of Christmas In Spiceworld Tour in 1999. The song was performed at the 2000 Brit Awards along with "Spice Up Your Life", "Say You'll Be There" and forthcoming single "Holler". During the ceremony the Spice Girls received an Award for Outstanding Contribution To The British Music Industry. It was also performed on the Royal Variety Performance, Live & Kicking, Pepsi Chart and Top of the Pops in 1998 to promote the single. Mel B and Victoria also appeared on TFI Friday to promote the single.
In 2007 and 2008, the song was performed on Return of the Spice Girls tour. Geri Halliwell sang the harmony with the rest of the girls. It was the only song recorded without her vocals that she participated in.
These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "Goodbye".
Published by EMI Music Publishing (WP) Ltd., Universal Music Publishing.