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October 07, 2013

Introducing... Shine My Shoes

Each week for the next 13 weeks we'll be taking you by the hand and sweeping you off your feet as fox-trots out in to the big wide world of Swings Both Ways to squeeze every last little drop of gossip we can from the people who helped make Robbie's forthcoming album as awesome as it is.

We've spoken to Robbie. We've spoken to his collaborators. We've scoured every last lyric and sang along to them like howling alley cats. And now it's time for you to hear our findings.

So head back to every Saturday brunch (UK time) between now and the New Year to read a brand new edition of our all-new 'Introducing…' Swing series, as we get all to know one song from the album a little better each week.

First up, let us formally introduce you to someone we think you're going to really hit it off with: please meet Shine My Shoes…

Shine My Shoes, the defiant and upbeat opening track to Swings Both Ways, sees Robbie re-united with his long-term writing partner in crime, Guy Chambers.

Of course, Robbie and Guy go back years. The duo co-wrote some of Robbie's biggest hit singles - including Angels, Rock DJ, Feel, Millennium, Let Me Entertain You, No Regrets, Supreme and Eternity - and last year they paired up on-stage for the first time in more than a decade for a good ol' singalong around the piano during Robbie's sell-out run of shows at the O2 in London. Guy also produced Swings Both Ways and co-wrote six songs on the album.

The third writer of Shine My Shoes is Chris Heath. Confidant and author of both Robbie's biographies, Feel (2004) and You Know Me (2010), Chris helped lend a lyrical sprinkling to three tracks on the new album - Go Gentle, No One Likes A Fat Pop Star and Shine My Shoes.

"It's in the spirit of a Sammy Davis Jr. song," explains Robbie about the latter, once again inspired by one of his all-time idols to whom he also dedicated Swing When You're Winning alongside Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.

In the biopic The Rat Pack there's a dream sequence where Sammy Davis Jr. is dancing against the racists. I'm singing against the haters and the naysayers, giving them my time in the form of a swing song detailing exactly why they should hate me.

Robbie certainly loses none of his inspiration's defiance in the translation from scene to song. "The smugness will infuriate the haters," Robbie explains, "and the people who kind of like me will just think that it's sweet".

Swing along to the lyrics by watching the following video below.

Swings Both Ways is released on 18th November, but you can download Shine My Shoes instantly when you pre-order the album on iTunes.



Kings Of Swing: Sammy Davis Jr.

The multi-talented Sammy Davis Jr. was born in 1925 in New York City and was famed for winning his battle against racism to become one of the biggest and brightest stars of the Swing era, not to mention being a key member of the acclaimed Rat Pack alongside the likes of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

He was a hugely versatile performer - both on stage and on the silver screen - combining his comedic, acting, dancing and singing showbiz talents to help transform prejudices forever by refusing to appear in any clubs that practiced racial segregation. In 1960, Davis Jr. married Swedish actress May Britt at a time when interracial marriages were forbidden by law in 31 states across America.

Davis Jr. was also notorious for enjoying the finer trappings of his glamourous 1950s Hollywood lifestyle and he continued to perform until the early 1980s. The legendary trailblazer passed away in 1990 in Beverly Hills, California, leaving a glittering career of music, movies and mayhem behind for millions to enjoy the world over for decades to come.