Beautiful World is the fourth studio album from the British pop group Take That. The album was released in November 2006, and was the band's first studio album in 11 years, and was also the band's first album to be released as a four-piece, without Robbie Williams. Five singles were released from the album: "Patience", "Shine", "I'd Wait for Life", the European-only single "Reach Out", and "Rule the World", which appeared on the deluxe tour edition.
The album features what Take That describe as "a throwback to the 90s, but with a modern twist". Beautiful World is their first album in which every member of the band sings lead vocals on at least one song. The album was number one in Ireland and the UK and was very well received critically. To date the album has sold over 3.5 million copies worldwide (including 2,820,079 in the UK alone as of July 2011). The album was the 2nd best selling of 2006 in the UK, after only being on sale for one month. The album was also the 4th best selling album of 2007, and 33rd best selling of 2008.
The album has spent a total of 132 weeks (2 years and seven months) in the UK top 100. The album has been certified 9× Platinum in the UK, and as of 2014 is the 32nd best selling album in British music history.
Two weeks before the official UK release of Beautiful World, iTunes UK made the album available for pre-order. It immediately shot up the online music store's Top Albums list, peaking at number 1 on the day of the release. In December 2006, Take That became the only act to secure a #1 position in the download chart, UK albums chart, singles chart, airplay chart and the video chart. The album received overwhelming positive reception from across the media, all praising the new musical direction that Take That had taken.
The album doesn't try for anything too dramatic and oozes with their obvious joy and gratitude at being back at the top of their game. Hearing Gary's voice on the majority of the tracks is a comforting reminder of times past, but having the other three as lead singers provides a refreshing change, with Jason Orange's Wooden Boat standing out particularly.
The songs are varied and more reflective than their previous work evoking the struggles to stick together and time passing. Their amazing comeback single 'Patience' jostles for prominence amongst a string of epic opening tracks including 'Reach Out' and 'Hold On' (Mark on lead vocal). Then there are the beautiful ballads 'Like I've Never Loved You At All', stand out track 'I'd Wait For Life' and the pensive 'What You Believe In'. The album gets its really interesting twist with the Beatles-esque 'Shine' and the folk-tinged 'Wooden Boat', with Jason taking his first lead vocal.
"Patience" was released on 13 November 2006 as the first single from the album. The single peaked at the top of the UK Singles Chart, and also topped the charts in Germany, Spain and Switzerland, as well as peaking with the top ten of the charts in Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Austria and Sweden. The song also won the Best British Single Award at the 2007 BRIT Awards and was voted The Record of the Year for 2006, polling 15.5% of the final vote.
"Shine" was released on 26 February 2007 as the second single from the album. The single peaked at #1 on the UK Singles Chart, and also peaked within the top ten in many other countries.
"I'd Wait for Life" was released in the United Kingdom on 18 June 2007. The song became the band's first single to miss the top ten since 1992's "I Found Heaven", and ended the band's streak of six consecutive number ones. One week before the official release, the single charted at 109 on the UK Singles Chart, but jumped to number 17 after the single's official release. It slipped out of the Top 40 the second week. Since, it is rarely played during the band's live shows.
"Reach Out" was released as the album's fourth single on 22 June 2007. The track was released exclusively in Europe, as an alternative to the British-only single "I'd Wait for Life". It performed well across Europe, peaking inside the top twenty in the Danish charts and narrowly missing the top ten in the Italian charts, peaking at #11. No official music video was produced for the release, although, the Italian division of Universal Music ran a competition for people to produce a music video based on the song, and the winning entry, directed by Alisha Antylla, was aired once on Total Request Live on MTV Italy.
"Rule the World" was released on 21 October 2007 as the fifth and final single from the album, appearing on the Deluxe tour edition as one of three bonus tracks. The song was recorded for the soundtrack of the 2007 film Stardust. The single peaked at #2 on the UK Singles Chart, being held off the top spot by Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love", but despite this, outsold Lewis and became the fifth best selling single of 2007.