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Swing When You're Winning

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Barnes & Noble - Bill Crandall
Anybody who witnessed Robbie Williams's booty-shakin' Net Aid performance knows that this British pop star and former teen star has buckets of charisma. However, his charm has not traveled well across the pond, as he is still a virtual unknown in the U.S. Sing When You're Winning is Williams's latest attempt at victory abroad, and, as evidenced by the artwork photos of soccer players, referees, and fans/hooligans -- all of whom are Robbie, he is going all out. And the music backs up the handsome faces. Smarter, edgier, and more stylish than tracks from American boy bands, Sing mixes electronic beats and heavy electric guitars and charges them up with an '80s British ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Bill Crandall
Anybody who witnessed Robbie Williams's booty-shakin' Net Aid performance knows that this British pop star and former teen star has buckets of charisma. However, his charm has not traveled well across the pond, as he is still a virtual unknown in the U.S. Sing When You're Winning is Williams's latest attempt at victory abroad, and, as evidenced by the artwork photos of soccer players, referees, and fans/hooligans -- all of whom are Robbie, he is going all out. And the music backs up the handsome faces. Smarter, edgier, and more stylish than tracks from American boy bands, Sing mixes electronic beats and heavy electric guitars and charges them up with an '80s British pop sensibility. The infectious dance-floor gem "Rock DJ" blends the beat of Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Relax" with the vocal styling of the Pet Shop Boys' "West End Girls." "Better Man" and "If It's Hurting You" are custard-smooth, achy ballads sure to make the birds as he calls them weepy. But the real highlight is "Kids," Williams's alternately bubbly and pounding duet with Australia's princess of '80s pop, Kylie "Locomotion" Minogue. The two reveal their record-business scars and find dignity in their pursuits "We'll paint by numbers/'Til something sticks/Don't mind doing it for the kids". Minogue even gets off the line, "I've been dropping beats since Back in Black" -- yes! Like the rest of Sing, it's a winner.
All Music Guide - John Bush
Performance dynamo and chameleonic entertainment personality Robbie Williams made a rapid transformation -- from English football hooligan to dapper saloon singer -- for his fourth LP, Swing When You're Winning. Still, Williams' tribute to the great American songbook is a surprisingly natural fit with its intended target: '50s trad-pop patriarchs like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. And just like those two loveable rogues, Williams has brawled and boozed in the past, but isn't afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve; in fact, he's one of the few modern pop stars to fully embrace affecting balladry and nuanced singing. Williams and longtime producer Guy Chambers are also extremely careful with their product, so it shouldn't be surprising that Swing When You're Winning has innumerable extra-musical touches to carry it over: the cover features Williams relaxing in the studio in a period suit; his contract with EMI enabled the addition of the treasured Capitol logo at the top of the sleeve, and several tracks were even recorded at the famed Capitol tower in Hollywood. Fortunately, Williams is no less careful with his performances. Since he lacks the authoritative air of master crooners like Sinatra and Bing Crosby (along with the rest of humanity), he instead plays up his closer connections to the world of Broadway. His readings are dynamic and emotional -- sometimes a consequence of trying to put a new spin on these classics (six of the covers are Sinatra standards, three are Bobby Darin's). He also invited, with nearly universal success, a series of duet partners: Nicole Kidman for the sublime "Somethin' Stupid," Jon Lovitz for the irresistibly catty "Well, Did You Evah," Rupert Everett for "They Can't Take That Away From Me," longtime Sinatra accompanist Bill Miller on "One for My Baby," even Sinatra himself for a version of "It Was a Very Good Year" on which Williams takes the first two verses (over the 1965 arrangement), then bows out as Sinatra's original counsels him concerning the later stages of life. Though it may be an overly close tribute to a familiar original (like many of the songs here), Williams' considerable skills with expression and interpretation largely overwhelm any close criticism. He's definitely much better on the comedy songs, especially the hilarious "Well, Did You Evah" (originally a duet for Crosby and Sinatra in the 1956 film High Society). Lovitz's rounded tones and faux-affected airs are a spot-on interpretation of Brother Cros, while Williams' emulation of a boorish lug ("That's a nice dress -- think I could talk her out of it?") is nearly perfect as well. Though arranger Steve Sidwell hasn't done many charts (and those for the movies Moulin Rouge, Bridget Jones' Diary, and Romeo + Juliet), he also acquits himself nicely aping classic scores for "One for My Baby" and "Beyond the Sea." The lone Robbie Williams original is "I Will Talk and Hollywood Will Listen," a sweeping pipe-dream fantasy of true American superstardom for Britain's biggest pop star. It could happen, too; Pierce Brosnan surely isn't growing any younger.
Entertainment Weekly - Tom Sinclair
...Winning is a winner, offering ample reason for connoisseurs of great pop to rejoice, whatever their age.

...Winning is a winner, offering ample reason for connoisseurs of great pop to rejoice, whatever their age.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/14/2002
  • Label: Emi Europe Generic
  • UPC: 724353682620
  • Catalog Number: 536826

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Robbie Williams Primary Artist, Vocals
Dave Bishop Tenor Saxophone, Saxophone
Simon Gardner Trumpet
Gordon Campbell Trombone
Iain Dixon Alto Saxophone
Pete Christlieb Tenor Saxophone
Derek Watkins Trumpet
Julie Andrews Bassoon
Richard Berry Horn
Peter G. Hanson Violin
Stan Sulzmann Flute
Chuck Berghofer Bass
Mark Berrow Violin
Leon Bosch Bass
Jeff Bunnell Trumpet
Roger Chase Viola
Nick Cooper Cello
Jim Cox Piano
Ben Cruft Violin
Mitch Dalton Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Electric Guitar
George Doering Guitar
Liz Edwards Violin
Chuck Findley Trumpet
Andy Findon Flute, Piccolo
Gary Grant Trumpet
Dan Higgins Alto Saxophone
Greg Huckins Baritone Saxophone
Alexander Iles Tenor Trombone
Garfield Jackson Viola
Harold Jones Drums
Skaila Kanga Harp
Paul Kegg Cello
Gary Kettel Percussion
Chris Laurence Bass
The London Session Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Martin Loveday Cello
Sal Lozano Tenor Saxophone
Eric Marienthal Alto Saxophone
Andy Martin Tenor Trombone
Kate Musker Viola
Bruce Otto Tenor Trombone
Anthony Pleeth Cello
Frank Ricotti Percussion
Ralph Salmins Drums
Steve Sidwell Trumpet, Conductor
Sonia Slany Violin
Paul Spong Trumpet
Jonathan Strange Violin
Phil Teele Bass Trombone
Cathy Thompson Violin
Philip Todd Flute
Chris Tombling Violin
Justin Ward Viola
Craig Ware Bass Trombone
Kate Wilkinson Viola
Dave Woodcock Violin
Gavyn Wright Violin, Leader
Dave Arch Piano
Bill Benham Violin, Viola
Richard Bissill Horn
Dermot Crehan Violin
Gillian Findlay Violin
Ian McKinnon Violin
Paul Morgan Bass
Maurice Murphy Trumpet
Mary Scully Bass
Helen Tunstall Harp
Ben Chappell Cello
Peter Lale Viola
Julian Tear Violin
Paul Willey Violin
Patrick Kiernan Violin
Boguslaw Kostecki Violin
Eddie Roberts Violin
Frank Schaefer Cello
Jackie Shave Violin
Bruce White Viola
David Fuest Bass Clarinet
Peter Murray Synthesizer, Accordion
Wayne Bergeron Trumpet
Susan Bohling English Horn
Philip Dukes Viola
Paul Gardham Horn
Lynda Houghton Bass
Helen Keen Flute, Piccolo
Julian Leaper Violin
Donald McVay Viola
John Pigneguy Horn
Anthony Pike Clarinet, Bass Clarinet
Robert Smissen Viola
Michael McMenemy Violin
Richard Skinner Bassoon, Contrabassoon
Richard Watkins Horn
Rachel Allen Violin
Tim Grant Viola
Everton Nelson Violin
Rebecca Hirsch Violin
Nigel Black Horn
Mike Thompson Horn
Phillip de Groote Cello
Simon Benson Bass
Rachel Bolt Viola
Emlyn Singleton Violin
Warren Zielinski Violin
David Ayre Bass
Nick Bucknall Clarinet
Paddy Lannigan Bass
Simon Fischer Violin
John Anderson Concert Orchestra Oboe
Naomi Wright Cello
Nicole Kidman Vocals
David Daniels [cello] Cello
Pete Davies Trombone
Richard Edwards Bass Trombone, Trombone
Dennis Farias Trumpet
Lowell Frank Conductor
Stephen Holtman Tenor Trombone
Brian Kilgore Percussion
Bill Liston Alto Saxophone
Mark Nightingale Trombone
J. Neil Sidwell Trombone
Jamie Talbot Saxophone, Alto Saxophone
Andrew Crowley Trumpet
Anthony Kerr Vibraphone
Bill Miller Piano
Adrian Hallowell Bass Trombone
Jon Lovitz Vocals
Jane Horrocks Vocals
Pete Murray Synthesizer, Accordion
Katherine Shave Violin
Frank Sinatra Vocals
Gordon Jenkins Conductor
John Barclay Trumpet
Stuart Brooks Trumpet
Technical Credits
Marc Blitzstein Composer
George Gershwin Composer
Kurt Weill Composer
Bobby Darin Composer
Al Jolson Composer
Irving Mills Composer
Harold Arlen Composer
Richard Rodgers Composer
Bertolt Brecht Composer
Charles Trénet Composer
Sammy Cahn Composer
Guy Chambers Composer, Audio Production, Producer
Nat King Cole Composer
Ervin Drake Composer
Duke Ellington Composer
Ira Gershwin Composer
Lorenz Hart Composer
Jerry Jeff Walker Composer
Jack Lawrence Composer
Johnny Mercer Composer
Cole Porter Composer
Bob Russell Composer
James Van Heusen Composer
Robbie Williams Composer
Dave Dreyer Composer
C. Carson Parks Composer
Billy Rose Composer
Vince Mendoza Orchestration
Steve Power Producer
Jeff Bova Digital Editing
Jim Brumby Digital Editing, Engineer
Al Schmitt Engineer
Richard Flack Digital Editing
Lowell Frank Arranger
Steve Sidwell Arranger
Gavyn Wright Orchestration
Ricky Graham Engineer
Gordon Jenkins Arranger
Nicky Holland Vocal Producer
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    stuck in 2nd gear

    great songs poor delivery again from robbie the lack of new material can only be an attempt by the record company to cash in on his massive uk appeal covers of classic songs in an attempt to broaden his artistic appeal fails because he adds nothing new or improves in any way on the originals his version of mr bojangels is truly awful this cd will sound great to 10 year old girls not familliar with them robbies stuck in 2nd gear when he should be burning rubber

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Very addicting....great musical arrangements and vocals

    Never heard of Robbie Williams before recently hearing this CD. Wish he would hurry and do another CD of broadway standards....would buy it in a flash! Love his phrasing, can't help but to sing along. I like a wide range of music and this is one of the best evah! Recently played it for my 85 year old grandmother and now she is also in love with Robbie Williams. (He sings Cole Porter on DeLovely also, check it out) All the duets are surprisingly wonderful, John Lovitz is a hoot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    ROBBIE RULES

    I´ve a fan of Robbie since he was a member of Take That and I can (proudly) say that this is his best album ever since. I recommend it to everyone who losves jazz, swing or just POP. I love Rob!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Orgasmic CD

    It is the best CD you will ever get. Not only is it to praise Sinatra, but, you will fall in love with Robbie, just like me. Personal Recomendation: Me and My Shadow

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The guy's a star

    You can shove all your over-hyped, pretty boy dance bands, and listen to a guy who is a true original. He can hold you with a song, and although he isn't quite up to being a Sinatra, who is.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Robbie Williams is Great!

    It's a really great CD-I was fortunate enough to get a copy as it wasn't released in the US. It's very different from his other stuff, but it's great anyway! ''Me and My Shadow'' is a great track. I recommend this for any Robbie fan or for a swing fan!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    AWESOME SINGER!!!

    I love Robbie Williams, he has so much meaning in his music abotu everyday life, without going too deep of course.

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    Posted November 6, 2008

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    Posted September 20, 2009

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    Posted June 29, 2010

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    Posted April 13, 2009

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