The Big Reunion relived my love for boy and girl bands. I am proud to say that I grew up in an era where pop music dominated the charts and most artists wrote their own material. For some reason, I prefer British acts over the American ones. I wrote a number of posts on how the Spice Girls inspired me to do better as a child and how the music of various artist mold me into an imaginative person like me today.
One of the Boy Bands who dominated the charts in the early 90’s is Take That. When you do the math, I was just five years old when the five boys from Manchester and Stoke-on-Trent made girls and gays giggle with their charisma. Honestly, I had a big crush on Robbie Williams when he emerged as a solo artist in the late 90’s. The MTV Asia addict that I am, I often catch the videos of Take That through MTV Classic. If the USA have the New Kids On The Block, UK is definitely proud of Take That!
The story of Take That is passable for a telenovela series. An ambitious manager named Nigel Martin-Smith held auditions for the next important boy band. He met Gary Barlow while he’s performing in a local pub. He is amazed with his songwriting and his vocal abilities. He then figured out that this talented fella may not be able to make it as a successful solo artist. The audition for the remaining Take That members was launched
The small but energetic Mark Owen, breakdancers Howard Donald and Jason Orange, and the youngest member is a cute guy named Robbie Williams. He is the only minor when the group started performing in several clubs.
The management produced the first music video for the group – Do What You Like is one iconic music video, which featured the five boys wearing black-leathers suits while they spread jellos and creams at each other. It’s like a pre-pr0n video for teenage girls…. Or kids.
The video successfully captured the interest of the main stream media. Several music videos followed: I Found Heaven, Relight My Fire and Could It Be Magic, a remake of the Donna Summer hit featuring the teen Robbie Williams on lead vocals. My favorite original song of theirs though is ‘Pray’.
Before you know it, TAKE THAT dominated the market. They have young female fans and even the gay community loved them. Like, why not? They’re outfits and movements in their music videos will make one think if any of the members are gay. You know how the media works. Who is the gay one? Who is the straight one? They have a wide selection of merchandise that the die-hard fans bought. Take That is the top UK boyband from 19992-1995. Well, East 17 is their top competitor, although I believe they’re different in many aspects.
In the Philippines, the original ballad song ‘Back For Good’ is the most popular Take That song. It is also the last music video Robbie Williams participated in. The youngest member left the group after he faced a number of problems related to drinking and heroine. Some said he was sacked, but the truth is he quit. Full of teenage angst, he then took a break and waited for his recording contract with Take That expire before he released his debut album.
Just seven months after Robbie’s departure, the four-piece Take That announced in a press conference that ‘How Deep is Your Love?’ is their last single – and the group disbands effective that day. That announcement broke the hearts of teenage girls all over the world.
POST TAKE THAT: Robbie Williams obviously wanted to prove that he is the most talented member of Take That. When his first album was released, he was on the verge of being dropped by the label. His first three singles didn’t do well in the charts, but the ballad ‘Angels’ saved him. The powerful song, which I consider as one of his best works touched the hearts of many. From then on, his albums and singles topped the charts.
In some of his performances, he would dedicate the song ‘No Regrets’ to the four other members of Take That. He would shout the last line loudly – The Love We Once Had is Officially DEAD.
Gary Barlow, the lead vocalist and songwriter of the band had a challenging solo career. His first few singles were hits in their own right, but didn’t really exceed the expectations of the producers. He was dropped by his recording label when his second album flopped. He suffered from public humiliation and he admitted that he wanted to disappear from the limelight for good. As Robbie’s popularity rises, Gary’s self-confidence decreased. He started his own family and gained weight. Knowing that Gary is already at the bottom, Robbie still continued to let his former band mate down by stating sarcastic comments to the press.
After ten years, Gary Barlow reunited with former band mates Mark, Howard and Jason for a reunion album and tour. By 2006, Robbie had gone through the ups and downs of fame. Yes, he is on the top of the charts and is even considered as one of the biggest British pop star of all time, yet his personal life suffered. He went to rehab and he had a number of failed relationships. On the other hand, Gary Barlow is not as successful professionally, but he is happy with his lovely wife and kids. On the 2005 Take That Reunion Documentary, Robbie expressed how he regrets saying the negative things against his former band mates. He even said that he is willing to trade places with Gary Barlow.
Robbie Williams didn’t join the 2006 Take That reunion album and tour, but he made Take That fans happy when he agreed to participate in the documentary and performed ‘Could it be Magic’ via Hologram. Maybe the right time will come soon.
By 2010, Take That were recording their album ‘Progress’ in LA. Mark Owen informed Robbie Williams that they’re working on a new album and they’re just within the area. Scared yet excited, Robbie dropped by and viola, the once misunderstood boy band member reunited with his former band mates to record an album and do a world tour with them!
Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow even recorded a duet entitled ‘Shame’, where they openly expressed the regrets they had about their feud in the past. The video is quite funny because they chose to do a Brokeback Mountain parody. In their interviews together, they often mention that they loved each other romantically that’s why they fought a lot LOL.
In 2011, Take That released the album ‘Progress’ with Robbie Williams. Some of their singles include The Flood, Happy Now, Kidz, Love Love and When We Were Young.
^Happy Now. A parody video with Fake That :))
As of writing, Gary Barlow is busy with his stint with The X Factor UK, while Robbie Wiliams focuses on his solo material. And yeah, he is now married with a little baby girl to inspire him. I guess it only took time (more than a decade!) for the guys to realize how they truly loved each other. Rumor has it that Take That is working on a new album.
Whew. What an interesting story, right? The history of the band can be transformed into a full-length screenplay. There’s an element of music, dance, drama, comedy, action and even unrequited love. 😉
When Robbie Williams performs his song ‘No Regrets’, he changes his last line to ‘The Love We Once Had is Officially ALIVE’.
Do you like Take That? Who is your favorite member and can you share some of your favorite songs recorded by the band?
UP NEXT: EAST 17 – The Misunderstood Boyband