Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I Will Talk And Singapore Will Listen: Robbie Williams

               Robbie Williams/Nicole Kidman - Somethin' Stupid.

Songs I Love

Nicole Kidman and Robbie Williams were in Singapore's newspapers recently. The actress' father passed away on the island and the pop male singer had a concert during the Formula One Race at Marina Bay last Saturday. Such a coincidence.

At the beginning of this century I was introduced to Robbie Williams when I first heard his duet with Nicole Kidman singing, Somethin' Stupid. I love this particular recording but not the older one by Frank and Nancy Sinatra.  I  didn't think the lyrics were suited for a father and daughter dialogue and found their version corny.
Again, the Sinatras' cover was pale compared to the one above (personal choice) recorded in 2001. I was struck by their interpretation  and on-screen chemistry (on video) of this cute classic composed in 1967.  But strangely, although it was a hit for Williams I forgot all about him after the song.

When I toured China's provinces in the mid-2000s I managed to buy a few inexpensive CDs there. They were supposed to be originals with authentic brand markings (unless you scrutinised the labels). The price was the give-away as the albums cost two Singapore dollars each.  I didn't test the five copies I bought and took them home.

Sexed Up

Surprise, surprise! Three of them were blanks and except for pretty pictures of the singers with printed title tracks there was no music *(so always buy originals or choose individually on-line), but one album which I specially bought had Robbie Williams' Sexed Up cover with 30 of his songs in it.  Luckily it played and I realised I had not given Mr. Williams a chance. I must admit that he's a fantastic singer. 
        Actual footage - Williams', I Will Talk and Hollywood Will Listen.

I Will Talk and Hollywood Will Listen

I enjoy his songs like I Will Talk and Hollywood Will Listen, the big hit Feel, the intoxicating Rock DJ, Come Undone and a few others on the album but what attracted me most was the evergreens he recorded which included, Beyond The Sea and Straighten Up and Fly Right, the first, a Bobby Darin hit, and the second a Nat Cole classic.

He had recorded other standards and some are on his album, Swings Both Ways.  The songs Dream a Little Dream of Me, Putting On the Ritz, Little Green Apples  were beautifully rendered as he sang duet with some of  the biggest names in today's pop world like, Lily Allen, Michael Bublé, Kelly Clarkson, Olly Murs and Rufus Wainwright.

            You Tube Video: Williams singing: Paul Anka's My Way

My Way

Selling nearly 80 million copies internationally Williams covers were just as popular.  Some of them that I love would include: I Started a Joke, It was a Very Good Year, Sixteen Tons, It's De-lovely, The Lady is a Tramp, Me and My Shadow, Mack the Knife, Muñequita Linda (Te Quiero, Dijiste) and That's Amore.

Then there was the song about the street performer and tap dancer Mr. Bojangles, One for my Baby, Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone, That Old Black Magic, Things, We Are The Champions, Ain't That A Kick In The Head, Well Did You Evah? and My Way (below). 

There are about 60 of these songs, spiced, mixed, tossed in the recording kitchen and presented most deliciously by Master Chef Williams.
Actual footage Williams with Gene Kelly's Singing In the Rain.

Singing In The Rain

During the concert at the Formula 1 Meet @ Marina Bay Sands last Saturday Robbie Williams was literally, Singing In The Rain and the heavy September showers drenched both the singer and crowd but not their spirit. 

The man did not disappoint. He sang classic pops like, New York, New York, Hit The Road Jack, We Will Rock You, I Love Rock n Roll, Proud Mary and the dessert  of the evening, Elvis Presley's hit from King Creole, Trouble.
                 Actual footage Williams with Elvis Presley's Trouble.

This is a 60s music blog but you can understand why I wrote about Robbie Williams.  "I'm singing in the rain /Just singing in the rain/ What a glorious feelin'/Why does September /Seem sunny as spring?"

Like my son remarked when I asked for his comment on the show, "A true professional indeed. He gave his all."

(There are tons of articles on Robbie Williams but this is the only posting that lists his 60s music numbers :-) 

*Careful of buying so-called cheap CDs in certain countries. Check Comment page below. 

 Robbie Williams Channel. Copy and Paste:

Images: You Tube and Google. 


chakap chakap said...

It's quite obvious why Robbie Williams is on this blog. The singer covered Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Lou Reed, Percy Mayfield, Queen, Joan Jett, CCR, Bee Gees, Bobby Darin, Jeff Walker, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Johnny Cash and a good many others.

His own songs too were hits. He should make another album shouldn't he?


Yep. He is good in his own style. But still prefer Frank Sinatra and Paul Anka's My Way. Think this is his last appearance in SG.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Think so too. But he's bold and brassy. A good style in today's climate. Anybody?

Catriona Sutcliffe ST Lifestyle said...

Robbie rocked The Padang!

joven.at.heart said...

It’s been too long since Robbie Williams performed in Singapore. I don’t know it if it is 14 years as Robbie said but it’s definitely more than 10 years.

I also must say that I was really happy that Robbie didn’t do his Swing set from his current tour and he threw in lots of his old hits in for this special performance at the Singapore GP.

Check out the whole article @ joven.at.heart

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

*When you travel in a bus during guided tours in ANY COUNTRY, be very careful about buying CDs (or whatever else) during the stops in between journeys. You can't return what you have purchased and if you bought a lemon, then it's good-bye to good money. Unless it's small change?

YEN CHOW said...

Well-written Andy!

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks Mam. Now SHE'S my teacher.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Ooh, that's a big thank you from me. Yes, and Robbie too.

(A link to this article on Yen Chow's FB)

YEN CHOW said...

U r most welcome! I find the article interesting.

chakapchakap said...

Thanks to Erwin Maisch and Doris Lim for LIKING article on FB.


Yes better than Sinatra.


I think Robbie Williams just noticed how far he have achieved and that was brought him to tears, just the though that he couldn't believe it what he has achieved himself

MegaDragonflight (you tube) said...

He is good, but Elvis owned this song.

KINGMJ1990 said...

nothing man... I love Nicole Kidman and Robbie Williams and this song... But it's Sinatra's song.he made it famous... I am not disrespecting anyone.