Album: Reality Killed the Video Star
Artist: Robbie Williams
2009 Chrysalis Records Ltd.
CD: 5099930969827 [deluxe edition]

Robbie Williams: vocals (all)
Trevor Horn: bass (1-3, 8, 11, 12), keys (2, 4, 8, 11, 12), piano (6, 11), backing vocals (2, 8, 12)
Chris Bruce: bass (5, 8), guitars (8)
Ash Soan: drums (1, 3, 6, 9-12), percussion (1)
Earl Harvin: drums (2, 5, 8)
Steve Lipson: guitars (1-3, 12)
Phil Palmer: guitars (1-6, 8-11)
Brandon Christy: guitars (2), keys (2), backing vocals (2), programming (2)
Randall Jacobs: guitar (5)
Fil Eisler: guitars (11), synth bass (11), backing vocals (11), programming (11)
Lol Crème: guitar (12), backing vocals (12)
Luis Jardim: percussion (1-3, 5, 6, 8-12)
Paul Beard: piano (9), percussion (9)
Anne Dudley: piano (1, 3, 4, 10, 12), organ (1, 3, 12), keys (1, 3, 10, 12), Rhodes (8)
Jamie Muhoberac: piano (1, 3, 8), organ (1, 3), keys (1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12), backing vocals (5, 12), programming (6, 9, 10)
Pete Murray: piano (3), organ (3), keys (1-3, 5, 11), Hammond organ (8), Rhodes (9), vibraphone (2, 8, 9)
Richard Scott: harmonica (1)
Mary Scully: double bass (4)
Chris Cowie: oboe (4)
Olivia Safe: operatic solo vocal (9)
Chris Braide: backing vocals (1)
Tracy Ackerman: backing vocals (2, 5, 6, 8-11)
Ijeoma Njaka: backing vocals (2)
Vie Le: backing vocals (2)
Malloy: backing vocals (2)
Isaac Gaulden: backing vocals (2)
Andy Cain: backing vocals (3)
Tessa Niles: backing vocals (3, 6, 9)
Ryan Molloy: backing vocals (3, 12)
Danny Spencer: backing vocals (5, 7), programming (6, 7)
Kelvin Andrews: backing vocals (5, 7), programming (6, 7)
Tim Weidner: backing vocals (11, 12), programming (9, 11)
Bruce Woolley: backing vocals (12)
Sarm Crowd: backing vocals (1), cheering (10)

Chuck Norman: programming (1)
Stephen Hague: programming (1)
Graham Archer: programming (3)

Orchestral arrangements and conductor: Anne Dudley
Orchestral contractor: Isobel Griffiths

Produced by Trevor Horn
Engineered by Tim Weidner
Additional engineering: Graham Archer; and Mark Lewis (1, 3, 4, 6, 10)
Additional production: Stephen Hague (5)
Based on original productions by Brandon Christy/Craig Russo (2), Guy Chambers (4), Soul Mekanik (8-10), iZLER (11)
Recorded at Sarm Studios (London), Sarm West Coast (LA), Capitol Studios (LA), Angel Studios (London)

Mixed by Weidner (3-6, 9), Robert Orton (4, 8, 11, 12), Weidner/Orton (1, 2, 10), Archer (7)
Mix editing (1) and additional editing (3) by Archer
Mixed at Sarm Studios (London)
Assistant engineering: Sam Farr; and Edd Hartwell (2, 9), Aaron Walk (5), Lewis (9)
Strings recorded by Niall John Acott (2-12), Acott/Steve Price (1); assisted by Jeremy Murphy
Mastered by Bob Ludwig

1. Morning Sun [Robbie Williams/Daniel Spencer/Kelvin Andrews/Richard Scott/Scott Ralph/Don Black] (4:06)
2. Bodies [Williams/Craig Russo/Brandon Christy] (4:04)
3. You Know Me [Williams/Spencer/Andrews/Françoise Hardy] (4:21)
4. Blasphemy [Williams/Guy Chambers] (4:18)
5. Do You Mind [Williams/Spencer/Andrews/Chas Jankel] (4:06)
6. Last Days of Disco [Williams/Spencer/Andrews] (4:50)
7. Somewhere [Spencer/Andrews/Andy Stubbs/Jonathan Hand/Stephen Cadman] (1:01)
8. Deceptacon [Williams/Spencer/Andrews/Scott/Ralph] (5:01)
9. Starstruck [Williams/Spencer/Andrews/Paul Beard] (5:21)
10. Difficult for Weirdos [Williams/Spencer/Andrews] (4:29)
11. Superblind [Williams/Fil Eisler] (4:46)
12. Won't Do That [Williams/Spencer/Andrews/Scott/Ralph] (3:38)
13. Morning Sun Reprise (1:22)
14. Arizona [Williams/Spencer/Andrews] (5:38) Japanese and digital download bonus only

Deluxe edition, disc 2 (DVD):
Shoot the Video Star

Notes: Horn uses his usual team again, including all of The Producers (Soan, Lipson, Crème, Braide), Magnification producer Weidner (engineering and singing), third Buggle Woolley and others (including Harvin, Bruce, Dudley, Muhoberac, Palmer, Niles, Hague, Orton, Griffiths).

Former Take That member Robbie Williams has had a hugely successful solo career and this was seen as something of a comeback album given the three year break since Rudebox. Williams' 8th solo album, it had the third highest first week sales (238,125) of 2009 in the UK, but was unlucky to be the first of his albums not to reach #1 in the UK as it came out in the same week as the album with the second highest first week sales of the year (the debut release from JLS). Reality Killed the Video Star sold over 85,000 copies in the UK on its first day and has already gone double Platinum (>600,000 sales). It did make #1 in Argentina, Australia (Platinum; >70,000 sales), Austria (Platinum; >20,000 sales), Croatia, Netherlands, Germany (2 x Platinum; >400,000 sales) and Switzerland. It also made the top ten in Belgium (Gold in Flanders and Wallonia; >15,000 sales each), Czech Rep., Denmark (Gold; >15,000 sales), France, Finland (Gold; >14,000 sales), Hungary (Gold; >3,000 sales), Italy, Ireland, Mexico (Gold; >50,000 sales), New Zealand (Gold; >7,500 sales), Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden, plus #57 in Canada and #160 in the US. That's total sales in excess of 1.2 million, one of the best-selling Yes-related albums of all time.

One of the last tracks to be done for the album was "Morning Sun", co-written by James Bond lyricist Don Black and something of a tribute to the late Michael Jackson. "Blasphemy" was left over from when Chambers was Williams' main collaborator. Fil Eisler, who co-wrote "Superblind", is a member of Williams' touring band. (3) is based on an original French song, "Voilà", by Hardy.

"Bodies" was the debut single, preceding the album on 12 Oct 2009. It made #2 in the UK with 89,000 first week sales (Williams' best first week sales since "Rock DJ" in 2000). It made #1 in Austria, Netherlands, Germany (4 non-consecutive weeks), Italy, Switzerland and Turkey, and went top ten in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland and Sweden. It made the top twenty in Spain and Norway, and the top thirty in New Zealand. It went to #54 in Japan and #21 on the US Hot Dance Club Songs chart. The album was released 6-24 Nov across various countries, and a second single, "You Know Me", followed 7 Dec. It made #6 in the UK and #10 in the Netherlands. It went top forty in Australia, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Sweden, plus #47 in Austria and #85 in Switzerland.

In support of the album, Williams played a special concert as part of the BBC Electric Proms series in London on 20 Oct 2009. The musical director for the event was Horn, who also played bass, while Dudley, Crème and others were in the backing band, along with Williams' usual touring crew. The show was broadcast live to nearly 200 cinemas across Europe, earning it a world record for most simultaneous cinematic screenings of a live concert. The set list featured much of the new album and ended with a performance of The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star". The album name is, of course, a reference to "Video Killed the Radio Star" and the rise of 'reality' TV. (HP, 10 Jan 10)
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