Music / Robbie Williams

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"So come on let me entertain you!"

Robbie Williams is a former boy bander, known for a song called "Angels" and a fascination with the supernatural. Formerly of the band Take That!, he has found a way to a successful and long solo career.

Williams rose to fame in the band's first run in the early- to mid-1990s. After many disagreements with the management and group members, Williams left the group in 1995 to launch his solo career. Unlike many people who'd been in boy bands, Williams had a keen interest in many rock music, particularly britpop inspired by Oasis, and worked with Guy Chambers to create credible songs in this style, starting with the album "Life Thru A Lens". Despite this, he had breakthrough success with the ballad "Angels" and the hard rock inspired "Let Me Entertain You". A few months later, his second album "I've Been Expecting You" came out, with a similar style to the first album but considerably more experimentation and a slightly more mature image. His third album "Sing When You're Winning" set the tone.

On 15 July 2010, it was announced that he had rejoined Take That and that the group intended to release a new album in November 2010. Progress eventually became the second fastest-selling album in UK chart history and the fastest-selling record of the century so far. He bowed out from the band for a second time in 2014 due to the birth of his second child but amicably this time and both Williams and Take That have said he may rejoin at an unspecified future date.

Williams has sold over 70 million records worldwide, which ranks him among the best-selling music artists worldwide. He is the best-selling British solo artist in the UK and the best selling non-Latino artist in Latin America. Six of his albums are among the top 100 biggest-selling albums in the UK. He has also been honoured with seventeen BRIT Awards — more than any other artist — and seven ECHO Awards. In 2004, he was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame after being voted as the "Greatest Artist of the 1990s." He ended at #77 in One Hundred Greatest Britons.

Williams is married to actress Ayda Field, and they have two young children.

Not to be confused with the late Robin Williams.

Needs a Better Description.

Discography

  • Life thru a Lens (1997)
  • I've Been Expecting You (1998)
    • The Ego Has Landed (Compilation of above two albums, debut album in America) (1999)
  • Sing When You're Winning (2000)
  • Swing When You're Winning (2001)
  • Escapology (2002)
  • Greatest Hits (2004)
  • Intensive Care (2005)
  • Rudebox (2006)
  • Reality Killed the Video Star (2009)
  • In and Out of Consciousness: Greatest Hits 1990–2010 (2010)
  • Take the Crown (2012)
  • Swing Both Ways (2013)
  • Under the Radar Volume 1 (2014) (Compilation of demos, B-sides and rarities)
  • The Heavy Entertainment Show (2016)

Tours:

  • The Show Off Must Go On (October–November 1997)
  • The Ego Has Landed (May–June 1998)
  • One More for the Rogue Tour / For a Few Dollars More... Tour (1998–99)
  • Robbie Williams North American Tours (1999)
  • The Sermon on the Mount Tour (2000–01)
  • Weddings, Barmitzvahs & Stadiums Tour / Sing When You're Pacific Rimming Tour (2001)
  • Weekends of Mass Distraction Tour / Cock of Justice/Aussie Typo Tour (2003)
  • Close Encounters Tour (2006)

Tropes:

  • Always Someone Better: "She's Madonna", inspired by how Guy Ritchie told his ex he was leaving her with "Look, you know I really love you, but she's Madonna."
  • Audience Participation Song: All of his songs.
  • Badass Boast: Addressing a huge crowd at his solo concert at Knebworth Castle, we get this gem:
    "My name is Robbie Williams...This is my band...and for the next two hours, YOUR ASS...IS MINE!"
  • Bi the Way: Williams for reason enjoys teasing the audience with suggestions that he's bisexual, although he's always had female partners. For instance in Old Before I Die "Am I straight or gay?", in Kids "Press be asking, do I care for sodomy? I don't know, yeah, probably" and the title of the album Swings Both Ways. And then there is Shame which is basically his and Gary Barlow's very own Brokeback Mountain.
  • Breakup Breakout: From Take That!.
  • Break Up Song: "These Dreams", "No Regrets", "If It's Hurting You", "Man Machine" "Sexed Up".
  • Camp Straight: Is considered as such, as evidence in the Take the Crown era.
  • The Casanova: "Cursed", "Feel".
  • Cluster F-Bomb: "Dickhead".
  • Cover Album: Swing When You're Winning and much of Swings Both Ways.
  • Cover Version: Several. Three covers were singles - his first single "Freedom" was a cover of George Michael's Freedom '90, "She's The One" was a cover of World Party song and his collaboration with Nicole Kidman - "Something Stupid" - was a cover of a song by Frank and Nancy Sinatra. Several covers were B Sides especially in the Life Thru A Lens period.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Battled both alcoholism and an addition to prescription drugs.
  • Gratuituous Foreign Language: "Party Like A Russian" drops a few Russian words.
  • Incoming Ham: "Let Me Entertain You" seems to exist for the sole purpose of Robbie being this at concerts, and it works.
  • Intercourse with You: "Lazy Days", "Let me Entertain You".
  • Mr. Fanservice: Provides a lot of this in his music videos and various photoshoots. Rock DJ features him stripping down until he is nude, Radio has him shirtless, wet and being fondled by a crowd of cheerleaders as well as giving the audience various pleasing shots of his bulge. He also takes his shirt off in the videos for Let Me Entertain You, Millennium, Kids, Eternity, Feel, Come Undone and Shame.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Stalker's Day Off", the secret track on I've Been Expectring You, is a minimal piano ballad about a Stalker with a Crush.
  • New Sound Album: Sing When You're Winning. It features a far more mainstream pop sound, with less of the rock influences and more
ballads. The only song that really resembles Williams' older work is "Forever Texas", which not coincidentally was written and played live over a year before the other tracks.
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