Robbie Williams - Rudebox

NME.COM feature on Robbie Williams - Rudebox album including album review, artwork, tracks, listen now, tour dates, discography and more.

Album Review

Release date: 28 August 2006

Robbie Williams - Rudebox

Robbie Williams: Rudebox

Your least favourite popstar’s gone electro and it’s – whisper it – good

With his Take That past coming back to haunt him, tabloids sharpening their knives and missed appearances, clearly all is not well with Williams. And yet he has claimed that this is the first musical venture where he is being himself. The stakes are extremely high. Luckily, ‘Rudebox’ is the best thing he’s ever put his name to. From a career of trying on different ill-fitting...

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  • Oct 23, 2006

Tracklisting click track to read more

  1. Rudebox (Album Version Radio Edit)
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Robbie Williams - Rudebox: Wikipedia Album Entry

Rudebox is Robbie Williams' seventh studio album (10th overall), released on October 23, 2006 in the UK. The album features collaborations with William Orbit, Mark Ronson, Soul Mekanik and two collaborations with the Pet Shop Boys: "She's Madonna" and "We're the Pet Shop Boys". Lily Allen provides backing vocals on the songs "Bongo Bong and Je Ne T'aime Plus" and "Keep On".

Williams covers five songs on the album: "Louise", a 1984 hit for The Human League, "Kiss Me", the biggest hit for Stephen Duffy, "Lovelight" by Lewis Taylor, "We're the Pet Shop Boys" by My Robot Friend, and "Bongo Bong and Je Ne T'aime Plus", by Manu Chao.

Getting a mixed reception from critics, the album reached the top position in fourteen countries including United Kingdom, Australia, Switzerland, Germany, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Italy and Finland.

In the United Kingdom the album sold 54,667 copies on its first day in stores, taking the number-one slot on the albums chart midweek. By Wednesday the album had sold over 75,000 copies. The album debuted at number-one on the Official UK Albums Chart selling over 147,000 copies on its first week Despite reaching the number one spot, sales were far below what was expected by his label EMI, and overall sales were overtaken by his former band Take That's Beautiful World. However, the album performed better than 'Beautiful World' outside the UK. The fallout of the album's relative failure led to the firing of two music executives responsible for the album's development.

The album was released in the Netherlands on October 20, 2006, on the same day the album was certified platinum as a result of pre-order sales of over 70,000.

In Belgium the album sold 50,000 copies and went Platinum. It was released on October 23, 2006 in Australia and debuted at number-one achieving Platinum status in its first week. It has since been certified 2x platinum (140,000). The album has reached number one in 14 countries around the globe.

The album shipped 220,000 in France in its opening week, as well as 600,000 in Germany, and 700,000 in the UK. On November 20th 2006, the album reached number-one in Mexico becoming Williams' first number-one album in that country on the main Top 100 Chart, and has gone platinum with at least 100,000 copies sold. On November 8th 2006, IFPI certified the album 2x Platinum in Europe with sales of over 2 million making it the fastest platinum selling album of 2006.

Rudebox was the 18th best selling album of 2006 worldwide according to the IFPI.

Though not widely released in America, copies of Rudebox were available in certain stores as an import. However, the album was available in the US as a digital download via iTunes.

"She's Madonna" was the centre of a tabloid storm after Ashley Hamilton claimed that he came up with part of the song with Williams. Hamilton has claimed he wishes to take the matter to court as he is not credited as a co-writer on the album.

Further controversy arose over the track "The 90s", part of which implies that Williams was ripped off by Take That's manager Nigel Martin-Smith after the band failed to make a profit from a European tour. The song raised the ire of Martin-Smith, who demanded that the song be removed from the album.

The omitted lyrics were rapped during the break before the second verse:

"Now I'm managed by a prick and I'm 16 and chubby. Told me to lose 20 pounds and you're not Rob, you're Robbie, and if I see you with a girl, then you're gonna be sorry and if you don't sign this contract, get your bags from the lobby. He's such an evil man, I used to fantasize of taking a Stanley knife and go and play with his eyes. I pray to the Lord he won't have any children. He didn't spot Elvis leaving the building."

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