Take That & Party is the debut studio album by British boy band Take That. The album was released on 17 August 1992 by RCA Records. It reached number two on the UK Albums Chart and stayed in the UK Top 75 album chart for 73 weeks (one year, five months and one week). The album has been certified two times platinum in the United Kingdom.
In 1989, Manchester-based music mogul Nigel Martin-Smith sought to create a British male vocal group. Martin-Smith's vision, however, was a teen-orientated group that would aim across more than one demographic segment of the music industry. Martin-Smith was introduced to young singer songwriter Gary Barlow, and was so impressed with Barlow's catalogue of self-written material that he decided to build his new look boyband around Barlow's musical abilities. A campaign to audition young males with abilities in dancing and singing followed, and took place in Manchester and other surrounding cities in 1990. At 22, Howard Donald was one of the oldest to audition, but he was chosen after he got time off work as a vehicle painter to continue the process.
Martin-Smith soon managed to get the band a slot on hit television series The Hitman and Her in 1990. The band chose to perform two of Barlow's self-written tracks: "Love" and "My Kind of Girl", neither of which have ever been commercially released. Shortly after the performance, Martin-Smith got the band a studio session with music producer Ray Hedges, where Barlow wrote "Do What U Like", "Take That and Party" and "Waiting Around", the first three tracks to be written specifically to be recorded by the band. "Do What U Like" was then released as the band's lead single on Martin-Smith's own label, Dance UK, on July 15, 1991, with "Waiting Around" appearing as the B-side, and "Take That and Party" being sidelined for release on the band's debut album.
The single, despite being at #82, was enough for the band to be noticed by RCA Records, who signed them up to their label, and got them in contact with one of their most prolific songwriters, Graham Stack. Stack and Barlow then co-wrote the band's debut single on RCA, "Promises", which was released on November 18, 1991, with "Do What U Like" appearing as the B-side. Shortly after the single peaked at #38, the band began recording again, this time with producers Billy Griffin and Ian Levine, with "Once You've Tasted Love" being the first single to be released from their sessions together. A remix and reprise of the track, "Guess Who Tasted Love", was released as the B-side. Although it peaked at #47, the band were given once last chance by the record label. Levine and Griffin persuaded the band to release a cover of the 1975 Tavares hit "It Only Takes a Minute". And despite reservations from the band, the single peaked at #7 on the UK Singles Chart. For the release, the band recorded "I Can Make It" and "Never Want to Let You Go", two original tracks self-penned by Barlow, both of which later made the album release, but both in a slightly remixed form.
Riding on the crest of a wave, the band released the single "I Found Heaven", which was written by producers Griffin and Levine, as their next single, and for the first time, band member Robbie Williams took lead vocals on the track. It was not as successful as it's predecessor, only peaking at #15. During the recording of the song, the band had a bust-up with Levine, and requested that they did not record or write with him anymore. The single's B-side, "I'm Out", was written about the band's bust-up with Levine. As such, RCA Records enlisted the help of executive producer Duncan Bridgeman, who decided to change the direction of the band's musical influence, and chose to record "A Million Love Songs", a song penned by Barlow when he was just fifteen years old. The song was a massive success, also peaking at #7 on the UK Singles Chart. Bridgeman also decided to release the band's cover of "Could It Be Magic", recorded shortly after their version of "It Only Takes a Minute", as a single after positive reception from critics. "Could It Be Magic" was the first song recorded with Williams on lead vocals. The single peaked at #3 on the UK Singles Chart.
During Bridgeman's time with the band, they also recorded "Why Don't I Wake Up with You", a saxophone-assisted ballad, which was later reworked into an electronically advanced number, and released as the lead single from the band's second album, Everything Changes. The album's tracklist was completed with "Satisfied" and "Give Good Feeling", two tracks recorded during the time with Levine and Griffin, which remained unreleased until that point. The album was released on May 17, 1992, on a limited edition vinyl pressing and cassette, containing twelve tracks. "Could It Be Magic" was first released on the compact disc version of the album, made available on August 17, 1992, thus meaning vinyl and cassette copies do not contain the tracks. The album was re-issued in July 2006, to celebrate fifteen years of the band, complete with three bonus tracks, including the B-sides "Waiting Around" and "Guess Who Tasted Love", as well as "How Can it Be", one of three songs written to accompany the release of "A Million Love Songs". Around the time of the original album release, a VHS video entitled Take That and Party was also released, containing eight music videos, two compilation videos, a live a cappella performance, plus footage and interviews with the band. It is notable that the album does not feature Mark Owen performing lead vocal on any of the tracks.