Take a trip through Robbie's career and explore the defining moments in his 25 years as a solo artist.
1996 - 1998
Life thru a Lens and I've Been Expecting You: There are not many hopeful but uncertain 23-year-old performers – perhaps only one, in fact - who could honestly and accurately title their debut album Life Thru a Lens without raising a sceptical eyebrow in the jaded popworld observer. But the title of Robbie Williams’ first collection of songs as a solo artist, and the accompanying CD sleeve photographs showing him surrounded by a crush of paparazzi, were the result of the battle-hardened experience of the celebrity survivor, rather than the presumptuous projection of the upstart entertainer.
1999 - 2001
Sing When You're Winning and Swing When You're Winning: Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys, a Robbie Williams hero and occasional collaborator, as well as one of the sharpest minds in British pop, refers to it as the Imperial Phase – the period in a major star’s career when he simply can do no wrong. David Bowie and Elton John enjoyed Imperial Phases in the Seventies. George Michael and Tennant himself lived through theirs in the Eighties. And Robbie’s own Imperial Phase, straddling the years either side of the turn of the century, was at its peak in August 2000, when he released his third studio album as a solo artist, the bracing blast of controlled euphoria that you hold in your hands: the triumphant Sing When You’re Winning. Outside America – a country and a market destined never to quite appreciate his quirkily English combination of hilarious and heartfelt, sentimental and sardonic, silly and sublime – Robbie was now perhaps the biggest pop star in the world.
2002 - 2005
Escapology and Intensive Care: Robbie Williams’ fifth studio album in six years was written and recorded some time before but released shortly after the announcement, in the autumn of 2002, that he had signed what was then and remains today the most lucrative record contract in British music history.
2006 - 2009
Rudebox and Reality Killed the Video Star: A highly anticipated album since the press first caught wind of it, Rudebox saw Robbie collaborating with an array of musical mavericks, including his heroes the Pet Shop Boys, king of ambient William Orbit, fellow Stoke natives Danny Spencer and Kelvin Andrews (aka Soul Mekanik), disco-house icon Joey Negro and NYC-based DJ and producer Mark Ronson.
The 16 tracks are a collection of both new and original compositions, teamed with covers of some of his favourite tracks by artists such as Manu Chao, the Human League, My Robot Friend, Lewis Taylor and old friend Stephen Duffy "They might say its 'dance' or it's 'electro', but it's just what I like! It started off as a busman's holiday this time around, but it's become something on which I've found myself. I was just doing my YTS up till now," said Robbie about Rudebox.
"It has become something on which I've found myself. This is the right direction for me personally, this is what it is. I saw the whole Robbie thing coming to a close as it was, I couldn't make another album like the ones I'd made, and this has just opened up a thousand other doors. What I am excited about now is making more music. I love all the stuff on the album, I love Rudebox, it's a favourite song of mine. I don't know what's gonna happen now, I'm excited about getting it out there, but I'm more excited about making more."
2010 - 2012
In and Out of Consciousness and Take the Crown: In And Out Of Consciousness was the definitive collection of Robbie hits, celebrating his impressive career to that date. It was released on 11th October 2010.
2013 - 2015
Swings Both Ways and Under the Radar Volume 1: Swings Both Ways, was released on 18th November 2013. Following in the footsteps of Robbie's most successful album to date, 2001's Swing When You're Winning, the new record features a mix of classic covers and new material as well as duets with some of pop's biggest names, including Lily Allen, Michael Bublé, Kelly Clarkson, Olly Murs and Rufus Wainwright.
2016 - 2018
The Heavy Entertainment Show, Under the Radar Volumes 2 and 3: The Heavy Entertainment Show and was released on 4 November 2016: Explaining the title of the album, Robbie said 'I grew up in a time when light entertainment was king. I wanted to do some heavy entertainment. I wanted to do light entertainment but on steroids. So it's a play on me taking the piss out of light entertainment. But in a loving way." Speaking about the title track, Robbie described The Heavy Entertainment Show as 'bombastic, grandiose, silly, theatrical and glorious; I hope. If you've got a good sense of humour and don't take yourself too seriously, I'm sure you will love this song.'
2019 - 2021
The Christmas Present: On 22 November 2019 Robbie released his first Christmas album titled The Christmas Present, which features guest appearances from boxer Tyson Fury, Rod Stewart, Jamie Cullum, Helene Fischer and Bryan Adams. The following week saw Williams' album go to #1 in the UK. The Christmas Present was Robbie’s 13th UK number one album, tying Elvis Presley for the most UK number one albums.
A celebration of 25 years of Robbie as a solo artist the new album, 'XXV' revisits Robbie's biggest hits as a solo artist, newly orchestrated by Jules Buckley, Guy Chambers and Steve Sidwell, and re-recorded with the acclaimed Metropole Orkest. There will also be a tour and lots of other exciting events to remind everyone of Robbie's incredible legacy.