223. Robbie Williams – ‘Radio’ (2004)

“Something’s happening I can feel it”

Taken from the album Greatest Hits

UK #1, AUS #12

This is the best thing Robbie Williams has ever done. From the first “ouch” to the huge, anthem of a chorus, ‘Radio’ takes everything that is good about Robbie, his endless charisma, wacko lyrics and amplified, dramatic vocal style. This track saw him embracing his eighties influences while keeping things contemporary, exploring new sonic opportunities while staying commercial. Everything really came together on this one.

‘Radio’ is also memorable because of it’s steamy video, which including a gigantic snake emerging from Robbie’s pants while cheerleaders prance around – two completely unrelated events, I’m sure. The track is a massive sing-a-long to an expert production by Stephen Duffy, and signalled a turning point for Robbie’s career, into new and more interesting styles than he had previously been exploring. While I have a passing interest in his early recordings, from ‘Radio’ onwards is where his career really gets going for me.

Considering how successful Greatest Hits was – it was the biggest selling album of 2004 in the UK – it is amazing ‘Radio’ was still able to go to number one, but the 9 weeks spent at the top for the album in Australia probably impacted on ‘Radio’s Australian chart position. It doesn’t matter though, because although it may still be slightly underrated, ‘Radio’ stands out as the perfect summation of everything that made Robbie so successful.

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