Out Now: Global Superstar Robbie Williams Celebrates 25 Years with New ‘XXV’ LP, ‘Life Thru a Lens’ Reissue 12/2


Adrian GarroCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

Global pop superstar Robbie Williams put together a rather elaborate method of celebrating his 25th year as a solo artist, with a special collection titled XXV that was released on Sept. 9.

For this project, Williams, who rose to stardom in the 1990s with English boy band Take That before heading out on his own solo career — a career that made him an even bigger star in the U.K., Europe and most countries around the world — headed to the studio to record largely orchestral rearrangements of some of his biggest hits of the past two-plus decades of his catalog.

XXV features many of Williams’ biggest hits, the tracks that have made him a household name across countries all over the globe (except for the United States, where he remains a more niche act with a few minor radio hits in the late ’90s). The material was newly orchestrated by Jules Buckley, Guy Chambers and Steve Sidwell, and re-recorded with the acclaimed Metropole Orkest for this XXV collection.

One of his most notable songs here in the States was “Angels,” which he of course recorded for XXV:

“Millennium,” another of his Stateside successes, is also represented:

“I’m so excited to announce my new album ‘XXV’ which celebrates many of my favourite songs from the past 25 years,” said Williams when he first announced the collection. “Each track has a special place in my heart so it was a real thrill to record them again with the Metropole Orkest. Can’t wait for you all to hear it.”

Click here to pick up XXV on 2-CD from our Rock Cellar Store
Click here to pick up XXV on 2-LP from our Rock Cellar Store

1. Let Me Entertain You
2. Come Undone
3. Love My Life
4. Millennium
5. The Road To Mandalay
6. Tripping
7. Bodies
8. Candy
9. Supreme
10. Strong
11. Eternity
12. No Regrets
13. She’s The One
14. Feel
15. Rock DJ
16. Kids
17. Angels
18. Lost
19. Nobody Someday

Deluxe Additional Tracks (ft. three more new, original songs):

20. Lazy Days
21. Hot Fudge
22. Sexed Up
23. More Than This
24. Disco Symphony
25. Better Man
26. Home Thoughts From Abroad
27. The World and Her Mother
28. Into The Silence
29. Angels (Beethoven AI)

Williams will also revisit his 1997 solo debut, Life Thru a Lens, on Dec. 2 for its own 25th anniversary reissue.

Announced recently, the new collection features a wealth of additional material. Per a news release, the reissue combines the original chart-topping record – including the hit singles “Angels,” “Let Me Entertain You,” “Old Before I Die,” “Lazy Days,” and “South Of The Border” – as well as bonus tracks and B-sides. The new edition will also feature previously unreleased demos, rehearsal recordings, and rare remixes, as well as the first audio release of the complete concert recorded at London’s The Forum in June 1998, released that November as “Live In Your Living Room” on VHS tape and VCD but never reissued.

Click here to pre-order Life Thru a Lens on 4-CD from our Rock Cellar Store — On SALE
Click here to pre-order Life Thru a Lens on LP from our Rock Cellar Store — On SALE

Here’s a rather remarkable note about Williams’ enduring success in his native U.K.:

Robbie secured his 14th UK Number 1 album last month with XXV, which topped the chart in its first week of release. With this amazing achievement, the music icon has now broken the record for the solo artist with the most UK Number 1 albums – only The Beatles now have more UK Number 1 albums than Robbie with 15. His total chart-topping UK albums across his solo work and records released with Take That now stands at 19. It places him in the top two acts of all time with the most Number 1s across their catalog, with only Paul McCartney with more.

And the track listing for the Life Thru a Lens reissue:

CD1 – Life Thru A Lens: The Original Album

Lazy Days
Life Thru A Lens
Ego A Go Go
Angels
South Of The Border
Old Before I Die
One Of God’s Better People
Let Me Entertain You
Killing Me
Clean
Baby Girl Window
(silence)
Hello Sir (hidden track)

CD2 – Life On The Flipside; B-Sides and Bonus Tracks

Freedom (from “Freedom” CD Single 1, July 1996)
Better Days (from “Old Before I Die” CD Single 1, April 1997)
Average B-Side (from “Old Before I Die” CD Single 1, April 1997)
Making Plans For Nigel (from “Old Before I Die” CD Single 2, April 1997)
Kooks (from “Old Before I Die” CD Single 2, April 1997)
Teenage Millionaire (from “Lazy Days” CD Single 1, July 1997)
Falling In Bed (Again) (from “Lazy Days” CD Single 1, July 1997)
She Makes Me High (from “Lazy Days” CD Single 2, July 1997)
Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye (from “Lazy Days” CD Single 2, July 1997)
Lazy Days (Original Version) (from “Millennium” CD Single 2, September 1998)
Cheap Love Song (from “South Of The Border” CD Single 1, September 1997)
Walk This Sleigh (from “Angels” CD Single 1, December 1997)
Karaoke Overkill (from “Angels” CD Single 2, December 1997)
Get the Joke (from “Angels” CD Single 2, December 1997)
Angels (acoustic version) (from “Angels” CD Single 2, December 1997)
Angels (Spanish Version) (from “The Ego Has Landed” (South America Editions). April 1999)
Let Me Entertain You (Full Length Version) (from “Let Me Entertain You” CD Single 2, March 1998)
Medley Of Songs From The Motion Picture Soundtrack The Full Monty (from “Let Me Entertain You” CD Single 1, March 1998)
I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind Of Thing (from “Let Me Entertain You” CD Single 1, March 1998)
I Am The (Res)erection (from “Let Me Entertain You” CD Single 1, March 1998)

CD3 – Work In Progress: The Making of Life Thru A Lens

Freedom (Ambient Mix) (July 1996 Promo Release)
Freedom (New Sound Dub) (July 1996 Promo Release)
Hey Little Girl (Axis Studios Demo, October / November 1996)
Clean (working title Mr. Sheen) (Axis Studios Demo, October / November 1996)
Old Before I Die (Crescent Moon Studios Demo, October 1996)
Lazy Days (Tower Studios Demo, January 1997)
Angels (Tower Studios Demo, January 1997)
Red Lights (Tower Studios Demo, January 1997)
Average B-Side (Westside Studios Demo, February 1997)
Teenage Millionaire (Rehearsal Recording, Spring 1997)
South of the Border (Rehearsal Recording, Spring 1997)
Killing Me Rehearsal (Rehearsal Recording, Spring 1997)
Life Thru A Lens Rehearsal (Rehearsal Recording, Spring 1997)
South of the Border (Mother’s Milkin’ It Mix)
Let Me Entertain You (The Bizzaro Mix)

 

CD4 – Life On The Stage

Let Me Entertain You (Live at The Forum, London 3 June 1998)
I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind Of Thing (Live at The Forum, London 3 June 1998)
Clean (Live at The Forum, London 3 June 1998)
South Of The Border (Live at The Forum, London 3 June 1998)
Average ‘B’ Side (Live at The Forum, London 3 June 1998)
Baby Girl Window (Live at The Forum, London 3 June 1998)
One Of God’s Better People (Live at The Forum, London 3 June 1998)
There She Goes (Live at The Forum, London 3 June 1998)
Killing Me (Live at The Forum, London 3 June 1998)
Life Thru A Lens (Live at The Forum, London 3 June 1998)
Teenage Millionaire (Live at The Forum, London 3 June 1998)
Lazy Days (Live at The Forum, London 3 June 1998)
Ego A Go Go (Live at The Forum, London 3 June 1998)
Old Before I Die (Live at The Forum, London 3 June 1998)
Angels (Live at The Forum, London 3 June 1998)
Back For Good (Live at The Forum, London 3 June 1998)

It remains to be seen if Williams will re-engage with the Las Vegas residency he delivered in early 2019. Without much of a sizable American audience over the years compared to other countries around the world, he’s largely stayed away from the country as far as live performances are concerned. However, these Vegas shows were a triumph, a perfect pairing of vibe and atmosphere to match Williams’ dynamic stage presence (and at a venue much more intimate than he’s used to playing, making it a special treat for those in attendance).

The first batch of Vegas shows went off to great fanfare and sold-out audiences, with a second leg announced for early 2020 … only to have the COVID-19 pandemic upend those plans. Since those shows were scrapped, there has been no mention of any makeup shows or another Vegas run, but here’s hoping that does happen in the future.



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