WHATEVER was said, whatever he did — take drugs, miss rehearsals, fight with Gary Barlow — it appears Robbie Williams didn’t mean it.
Fulfilling a 15-year fantasy for the gazillions of Take That original boyband fans, Williams has reunited with the Fab Four confirming what for months has been mere rumour and conjecture.
Yesterday Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Jason Orange, Mark Owen and Williams confirmed they have been recording a studio album as a five-piece, due for release in November. It is the first time they’ve recorded a full album together since the release of their number one album Nobody Else, in 1995.
“Getting the five of us to be in a room together, although always a dream, never actually seemed like becoming a reality. Now the reality of the five of us making a record together feels like a dream. It’s been an absolute delight spending time with Rob again. But I’m still a better footballer,” Mark Owens said after the news broke.
Robbie Williams said it “feels like coming home”. “I get embarrassingly excited when the five of us are in a room,” he said.
Jason Orange said he was “over the moon that Robbie’s back with us” adding rather ominously “however long it lasts”. “I just want to enjoy our time with him. Life is beautifully strange sometimes,” Orange said.
A spokesman would not confirm whether an arena tour was in the offing, but an announcement of live dates seems likely.
The first hint that the long-lasting acrimony between Barlow and Williams may have abated surfaced in New York last September, following Take That’s record-breaking The Circus Live tour. Shortly afterwards all five of the original Take That secretly wrote and recorded the six songs which would set the foundation for the forthcoming album.
On healing the rift with his old band, Robbie admitted last October: “It’s a complete weight of my shoulders I didn’t know it was there.
“You carry around all this resentment and bitterness for such a long time I thought it wasn’t there anymore... We put everything out on the table — I thought this, they thought that, and then at the end we had a hug up and what was left was what we had at the beginning... just five guys that love each other.”
Since then the band have been hard at work finishing their new, as yet untitled, record, which will be released through Polydor Records in November. The album has been produced by Stuart Price.
On June 7 the Robbie Williams website gave news of a single called Shame which was co-written by Barlow and Williams and which will feature both artists performing vocals on the track. The single is included on Williams’ new greatest hits album, In and Out of Consciousness: The Greatest Hits 1990-2010 which is due for release in October. The single was the first time the two collaborated for 15 years.
For Take That diehards, whether or not Robbie is back for good is a moot point. All that matters, a million love songs later, is they will get to see the world’s original boyband perform again.
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