Robbie Williams - "Angels"
Take That were obviously never going to be an easy act to follow.
Robbie Williams' first two singles had done pretty well, but the next two singles started a disturbing downward trend. It was at this point that his managers suggested the fifth songwriting collaborator in 18 months – a certain Guy Chambers. Rumour has it that Williams agreed mainly because his mum's boyfriend had 'quite liked' the mediocre pop outfit The Lemon Trees that Chambers had been in.
Whatever the reason, the pair hit it off straightaway and in the first session impressively wrote four songs. Even more remarkable was that "Angels" was the first song they tackled and apparently wrote it in under 30 minutes. Contrary to popular belief, Chambers wasn't responsible for the majority of the song and the credit is equally due : "in the main he was responsible for the lyrics and melody, and I did the music. It was very equal. Rob knew exactly what he wanted to say, and how he wanted to say it."
As important as the success of the single was the fact that he also ceased to be 'that fat dancer from Take That' (as Gallagher brothers from Oasis called him) and finally got the recognition he felt he deserved. Many Britpop fans felt that "Angels" was an attempt to cash in on the then huge Britpop craze by writing a mainstream song in a similar style.
Read how reviewer Dominic King described the musicality of the song and its impact on William's career : "This booted football fan Robbie Williams into the Premier Division. First the big move - a root triad leaps boldly to the ninth on "and through it all". Then some fancy footwork - on the last syllable of "protection" the ninth hangs suspended over the relative minor. A series of fluid passing notes lead us onto the winning score - the George Harrisonesque guitar solo kicking off on the dominant minor. Goooooaaaalllll !"
"Angels" is constantly played on pub jukeboxes. A review of it said that it "taps into the sentimental old git in all of us".
Available on the album "Life through a lens"