Monday, December 29, 2014

Robbie Williams - Under The Radar Volume I

hi there

no, google enthusiasts, there is no link to an illicit download of this album here. for the sake of £4.99 for the official download of it, go and be decent and purchase it at the official store, look you see. i would say purchase the CD, like what i did, but it appears to be sold out for the time being.

right, with the pirates gone off to hunt it elsewhere, back to you, the person presumably interested in obtaining this the "right" way. or indeed the wrong way; but you just want to see a review of it first.

i found out about this new album off of Robbie Williams by accident. NME ran a story saying that it "wasn't eligible" for a chart battle with the new Take That one, as it was not a barcoded release through conventional shops or online retailers. what new Robbie Williams album, i asked, and with the help of google i found it.



yes, that is, i am assured, the cheeky chap himself showing off his back cheeks to the world on the cover.

Under The Radar Vol 1 is, as the name somewhat suggests, a collection of rare and previously unreleased tunes by the Williams of Robbie. for reasons i am unsure of, but may well guess at later on in this post, it seems that Robbie has opted against dealing with the more regular of record labels and is selling this more or less himself, off of his website alone.

with it being what it is, the first question you may well have would be is it worth it? my answer is yes, indeed it is, there are some superb tunes on here. there are two schools of thought on this whole "previously unreleased" business. some get excited about the idea of hearing yet more from a favourite artist. others, in particular some musicians i am honoured to know (heya, Nasher), believe that unreleased tracks were not released for a reason, and are better off left unheard by fans.

what's the deal here? are they worthwhile hearing? as i said, yes they are, and as it happens on the inside of the CD what i ordered Robbie says something similar too. yes, he would, since they are his tunes and he is selling them, but still, he is honest on this subject



just about every track on this CD would have effortlessly slipped on to any of his releases in the 90s or early 2000s; those wild and wonderful days when music still mattered and was not quite so transient and utterly disposable as we have allowed it to become. when you consider the exceptionally high standards of the music he created then - pop music, yes, but brilliant, intelligent and truly memorable pop music - it is intended as the highest praise i can possibly give when i say that nothing here would have been out of place on a "proper" release from the cheeky lad.

i really like all fourteen tracks on the disc, but if i had to select but one highlight, it would be the second track, Raver. i would really like to know the provenance or if you like history of this tune. i am unsure if this is an unreleased one or an obscure b-side, but i know that it sounds very, very much like Barriers off of the Suede. now then, did Brett hear this and "borrow", or did Robbie hear the Suede do their thing and "borrow", i wonder? either way, it doesn't really matter, as the result is the world has two awesome songs that sound rather similar.



yeah, the above picture is basically what arrived in the post for me after i ordered it, and has been put in here more or less as an excuse to let you have a look at his backside once more. i know that some of you will appreciate this; yes Gillian i am talking about you.

as for the practicalities of this release - one can only purchase it directly from the Williams of Robbie via his official internet site of the web -  it's a good thing and a bad thing. the bad, mostly, is that it got released without some people - me - knowing about it. my fault, or if you like my bad, for not subscribing to him on email, twitter or what have you i suppose. for the good, well, as far as i can see he sells and ships it worldwide, so no fans need miss out. also, a download of the album was included when you purchased the CD, allowing one to hear it straight away.

it is smart that he can do this. i wish that more musicians could, but alas they can't. not every band or singer is in a position where they own all the rights - publishing, releasing, etc - to all their songs, and they are not, sadly, free to do with them what they like. great that Robbie can.



i have had a quick look at the official site and, as of the day today, the initial run of CDs has sold out, but it looks like they are making more to order. nice one. in the mean time, if you are that keen, click on the links i have sporadically put over this post and you can buy a relatively instant download of it. well worth it, but i think you have got that message from me by now.

sorry, this and just about all of my blog posts of late feel like they are unstructured and rambling. not sure where i lost the knack to do it all free flowing. or maybe i am, and i am just over-thinking or being paranoid about it or something.

another look at that magnificent CD cover? sure, why not.


i do not, i confess, have the CD any more. i never ever intended to keep it. i bought it for one reason and one reason only - to send all the way to New Zealand.

my sister is, as a number of you will be all too aware, quite the fan of the Williams of Robbie. i suspect that she, like me, will have had no idea that this was released, so it was nice to be able to get it for her and surprise her with it.

at least i think it was a surprise. maybe she did know that it was being released and went "oh that's nice".

yes, indeed, the observant of you. sticking out of the Robbie Williams CD is in fact the Sainsbury's voucher for 1p that Spiros sent me. i had no idea at all what to do with it, so thought i would send it to New Zealand and see if they could work out some practical use. actually, they are very welcome to come up with an impractical use for it too.

i did have hopes that this would arrive at its new home in New Zealand prior to the dawn of Christmas, but alas no, it was not to be. arriving the next working day after the Christmas festivities was not too bad, considering the fact that, as i recall, i was only able to post it some 10 days before the event.

yeah, i am busy trying to fill up the space next to this picture for you, hope you appreciate it.

what else can i say about Robbie Williams, or if you like the Williams of Robbie? i do hope that this release has been enough of a success for the lad for him to consider further releases in general and a volume two of this in particular. if volume two featured the same picture but taken from the other side, well, no doubt my sister and many, many other fans would be all the more delighted with that particular release.

many of you out there are no doubt all too ready and willing to pour scorn on the Williams of Robbie. knock away, if that amuses you. i happen to prefer living in a world where there are massive, big, pop and rock stars, making excellent music and doing their thing to entertain the world. just enjoy it, man, dig what you dig.

right, as ever, hope this has been of use to someone somewhere! if you happen to buy the album, i hope you enjoy it as much as i do!




be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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