Robbie Williams: Remastered ‘Life Thru a Lens’ & ‘I’ve Been Expecting You’ Vinyl Reissues Out Now, Massive Germany Gig Detailed for 2022


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Rock Cellar Magazine
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English pop singer/global superstar Robbie Williams recently released newly remastered editions of his first two solo albums, Life Thru a Lens and I’ve Been Expecting You.

While Williams didn’t catch on stateside until a few years later — and briefly — with “Millennium” and “Angels” — this pair of albums put the world on notice that the former Take That boy band member was ready for the spotlight.

For some context, here’s a bit of the impact Life Thru a Lens had, per a news release:

Originally released in October 1997, Life Thru A Lens was Robbie’s debut solo album. It entered the chart at number 11 but had to wait almost six months before it reached number one. It eventually spent 147 weeks on the Top 100 and has been certified 8x Platinum by the BPI for UK sales in excess of 2 million copies. It includes the hit singles “Old Before I Die” (No. 2), “Lazy Days” (No. 8), “South Of The Border” (No. 14), “Let Me Entertain You” (No. 3) and “Angels” (No. 4), the latter his biggest selling single to date and voted the best song of the last twenty-five years at the 2005 BRIT Awards.

“Old Before I Die,” with its jangly guitar riffs and alt/rock energy, blended a strong pop hook with a Britpop feel that sounds like vintage 1996-’97:

Click here to pick up Life Thru a Lens on newly remastered vinyl from our Rock Cellar Store

The anticipated follow-up, I’ve Been Expecting You, continued that success with even more acclaim. Via a news release:

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” (No. 1), “No Regrets” (No. 4), “Strong” (No. 4) and “She’s The One” (No. 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.

Click here to pick up I’ve Been Expecting You on remastered vinyl from our Rock Cellar Store

There are also limited edition formats of the reissues available at Williams’ website.

Songs from both of those albums were compiled into 1999’s The Ego Has Landed, which served as Williams’ first full-length album released in the United States.

In addition to these vinyl reissues, Robbie Williams on Monday also revealed plans for a massive gig in Germany coming next summer.

Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Williams had completed a very successful Las Vegas residency at the Encore at the Wynn, and had a second engagement set for Spring 2020. Those dates were cancelled due to the pandemic, and as of yet he has not announced plans to return for another run of shows.

The shows marked his first stateside performances in 15 years, as he’d never found a way to “crack” America like he had so many other countries around the world. The following is taken from Rock Cellar’s review of one of the Vegas shows:

There were the jokes — from “If you loved the show, I’ve been Robbie Williams. If you hated the show, I’ve been Liam Gallagher” — a short speech about his new ambassadorship with Weight Watchers, stories of his life back in Stoke-On-Trent, and more. Williams glided around the stage, clearly having a great time while a bit out of his element playing a tiny, intimate theater instead of a gigantic seat-filler like he’s accustomed to everywhere else.

And the set list, while absent of many of Williams’ signature songs, never lets up. The Vegas audience isn’t a regular audience, it’s easy to assume, so making the evening’s performance geared to please everybody was a good idea.

That being said, there were some moments that implied Williams and his band might add in more of his original material as the residency goes along. Specifically, he teased the audience with “Strong” and “She’s the One” to see if they knew the words — and for the most part, they did, visibly impressing him as he tried the experiment out from the stage.

Also, he hinted a couple times about coming back to the States for a proper tour, which he wisecracked would be “Robbie Williams’ Pointless Tour of America” — a concept his American fans definitely hope to see at some point in the future, cheeky title or not.

Catching Robbie Williams live after waiting as long as all of his American fans have in a setting as intimate as the Encore Theatre was a real treat for the many fans who have waited years to see it, and by the time his residency is completed, there’s no doubt Robbie will have won over a significant number of new fans in the United States.


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