Robbie Williams is enjoying life at the top again. The 36-year-old newlywed just scored his ninth No. 1 album in the UK with his second solo career retrospective, In and Out of Consciousness: Greatest Hits 1990-2010. He and his Take That bandmates seem to be getting on better than ever, too, for the pop five-piece are readying the release of their sixth studio effort, Progress, in November. It marks the band’s first set of new material under the original lineup since 1995’s Nobody Else.
In an in-depth interview with Q Magazine, the former bad boy entertainer says that he prefers being back with his old mates over supporting his solo career. Williams goes on to discuss the anxiety surrounded his last solo outing, 2009’s Reality Killed the Video Star, referring to the comeback as a “compromise” to its poorly-received predecessor, Rudebox.
"When suddenly you're not on top of the wave anymore and the imperial phase is over, you panic," he says. "You're left to compromise, basically. The last album was schizophrenic – it was like, 'I'll put 'Morning Sun' on it because I know [the fans] will like that kind of thing'."
The Trevor Horn produced LP was Williams' only album that failed to reach No. 1 in the UK, but its lead single "Bodies" topped in at No. 2. Still, Williams slags it off.
"[It's] a great track but the lyrics are f**king gibberish. You look at them and go 'stop watching documentaries, you kn*b'. Who knows what I was going on about? I was f**king stoned. The edge had gone." (Digital Spy)
The next issue of Q, featuring Take That on the cover, hits newsstands October 26.
Here's some vintage Take That for your Friday afternoon:
Take That – "Everything Changes"
Take That – "Babe"