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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - I’ve Been Expecting You [Vinyl Reissue]
Artist - Robbie Williams

For those not in the know, Robbie Williams today reissues his first two multi-million selling solo albums Life Thru A Lens and I’ve Been Expecting You on vinyl for the very first time -- including a special edition white vinyl of Life Thru A Lens and aquamarine for I’ve Been Expecting You that are available exclusively at: Official Purchase Links.

Released August 27th, 2021, both titles have been newly mastered at Abbey Road Studios, are pressed on 180 gram heavyweight vinyl and housed in gatefold sleeves, reproducing the original distinctive artwork. Both titles come with Download codes.

Now certified 10 x Platinum by the BPI, with UK sales in excess of 2.5 million, I’ve Been Expecting You was originally released in October 1998 when it entered the chart at number one. It returned to the summit the following January and once again a month later.

It includes the hit singles Millennium (#1), No Regrets (#4), Strong (#4) and She’s The One (#1). No Regrets features backing vocals from Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant and The Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon, while album track Win Some Lose Some includes the ‘Telephone Voice’ of All Saints’ Nicole Appleton.

Side A:
1. Strong
2. No Regrets
3. Millennium
4. Phoenix From The Flames
5. Win Some Lose Some
6. Grace

Side B:
1. It’s Only Us
2. Heaven From Here
3. Karma Killer
4. She’s The One
5. Man Machine
6. These Dreams

Robbie Williams’ second solo long-player saw the one-time boyband singer stretch his creative wings in a fashion entirely unexpected, embracing not only sumptuous (read: overblown to some ears) string arrangements but also bruised pop-soul and boisterous, hook-heavy rock.

While his debut, the preceding year’s Life Thru a Lens, was an album typical of its type, full of missteps in pursuit of a sound guaranteed to maintain a long and successful career, I’ve Been Expecting You focused on the finest aspects of its predecessor to come across as a 12-track collection with emphasis on accessibility only through greater investment of attention.

While it lacked a sing-along anthem in the styling of Angels (for Millennium is a wholly different-of-mood piece) Williams and his songwriting partner Guy Chambers achieved a consistency that marks this record out as perhaps his strongest to date.

Granted, there’s no real single of memorable note beyond the aforementioned over-ubiquitous John Barry-sampling number, but the bitterness of Karma Killer – the line “I hope you choke on your Bacardi and Coke” may seem trite on paper, but Williams’ delivery confirms he means business.

And, for sure, the wonderful No Regrets, featuring subtle backing vocals from Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant and The Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon, are songs that keep the listener engaged with the narrative.

And it’s here that I’ve Been Expecting You impresses – our once cocksure protagonist reveals a sensitive side, often sounding broken by the weight of emotion and expectation, and is all the more endearing for it. His stories seem real, believable, and sympathies are stirred.

“I don’t want to hate, but that’s all you’ve left me with / A bitter aftertaste and a fantasy of how we all could live”, from No Regrets, is a telling line.

After the paparazzi-baiting and headlines-courting hi-jinx of his debut, Williams found the cheekiness had drained away somewhat for this often reserved and only intermittently energized set.

Even Millennium, the record’s upbeat high, offers an idea of where Williams’ head was at: “Come and have a go, if you think you’re hard enough”.

In truth, few critics dared to knock the man down a peg or two, as by being lyrically open like never before Williams scored, and what has still since been referenced as, his greatest album hit yet. That’s now been certified 10× Platinum and counting, since you asked, and little he’s produced since has seemed quite so times-defining of content.

Official Purchase Links

Official Website

Robbie Williams - Millennium (Official Music Video)

Robbie Williams @ Facebook

Robbie Williams @ Twitter

Robbie Williams @ Instagram

Robbie Williams @ YouTube

Robbie Williams @ Spotify