Robbie Williams Takes on Take That in Christmas Chart Battle
Robbie Williams has sparked a Christmas chart battle with his former Take That bandmates by announcing his surprise new album will be released on the same day as the grown-up boy band's III.
Williams hit social media on Friday to alert fans to the fact he would be releasing his first album since last year's Swings Both Ways on 1 December.
His latest offering, Under The Radar: Volume 1, will go head to head with Take That's first album as a trio, following the summer departure of Jason Orange.
In a video posted online, Williams says, "I'll let you into a secret, (producer/songwriter) Guy Chambers isn't happy with me putting these songs on this album. He thinks I'm a lunatic for not putting them on an album that we've promoted with TV performances and at radio stations and a big tour. But I'm impetuous, and I want them out now, now, now!"
Williams may have a tough fight on his hands, however. Take That’s III has already broken pre-order records on Amazon. It has now become the most pre-ordered album of all time on Amazon UK, knocking Pink Floyd off the top spot after less than a month. It is Take That's third album on the most pre-ordered chart – their 2008 disc The Circus sits at number 10 and 2010's Progress, the only reunion album featuring original member Robbie Williams, is in fifth place.
The boyband has withheld III from music-streaming service Spotify until January, favouring rival Google Play Music instead.