The album has been certified 10x Platinum in the UK.
I’ve Been Expecting You was released in October 1998. It debuted at no.1 on the UK Albums Chart and went on to become the UK’s best selling album for that year. According to the BPI, the album has sold 2,563,106 copies in the UK as of June 2009, and has been certified 10x Platinum for shipments of 3 million copies. It is Williams’ best selling album in the country and the 38th best selling album in UK music history.
The album also received attention outside the United Kingdom, particularly in continental Europe and Latin America, and has sold a total of around 5 million copies worldwide.
The first single, “Millennium”, was inspired by John Barry’s music from the James Bond films. It became Williams’ first solo number-one single in the United Kingdom when it was released in September 1998, coincidentally knocking All Saints from the top spot. Williams commented that “Someone had to be knocked off and it may as well be the wife” as Williams and Appleton were engaged at the time. The song went on to sell over 400,000 copies in the UK being certified Gold by the BPI in November 1998. The song also became a top twenty hit in many European countries as well as in Latin America and Australia.
The second single was “No Regrets” is a collaboration with Pet Shop Boys’ singer Neil Tennant and The Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon. It was released in November 1998, reaching number-four in the UK Singles Chart, backed with the cover of Adam and the Ants 1981 hit “Antmusic”. The song became a substantial hit around the world and went on to sell over 200,000 copies in the United Kingdom where it was certified Silver in October 2004, almost six years after its original release.
The third single from the album, “Strong” was written in a hotel in Cologne, Germany, inspired by some of Williams’ more manic admirers whom he admitted “scared the living daylights” out of him. The song debuted at number-four in the United Kingdom and number-nine in New Zealand. The track became a hit peaking within the top forty around Europe and many other countries around the world.
The fourth single, “She’s the One”, was a cover of the Karl Wallinger track from his album Egyptology, and was a favourite song of Williams’ after his time in rehab. Becoming his second number-one hit in the United Kingdom, the song went on to win a number of awards around the world, including a BRIT Award for ‘Single of the Year’ and a Capital Radio Award for ‘Best Single’. The single was released as a double a-side with “It’s Only Us”, the official theme for Sony’s Playstation FIFA 2000. The single sold over 400,000 copies in the UK alone and was certified Gold by the BPI in early 2000. Williams finished the year with an extensive European Tour in the autumn of 1999.
In 1998, Robbie Williams was sued by Ludlow Publishing over the song “Jesus in a Camper Van” because it lifted lyrics from the Loudon Wainwright III song “I am the Way” (from his album Attempted Mustache). The lyric to “I Am the Way” is as follows:
Every son of God has a little hard luck sometime, especially when he goes around saying he’s the way.
The lyric to “Jesus in a Camper Van” is:
Even the son of God gets it hard sometimes, especially when he goes around saying, “I am the way.”
Williams claimed that he heard a young man say the line while in rehab and only found that it was a line from Wainwright’s song after he had already recorded “Jesus in a Camper Van”. Williams’ agents called Wainwright to notify him about this, but Wainwright had little say in the matter; “I Am the Way” was a parody of the Woody Guthrie song “New York Town”; Ludlow Publishing owned the line’s copyright.
In 2002, Ludlow Publishing won the lawsuit, receiving 25% of the income that “Jesus in a Camper Van” garnered; the album was re-issued replacing “Jesus in a Camper Van” with “It’s Only Us”.
Edited by Timitzi on 16 Feb 2010, 17:48
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