I've Been Expecting You

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I've Been Expecting You
Studio album by
Released26 October 1998[1]
StudioTrident, Abbey Road, Bath Street, Wheeler End, Angel, Battery and Jacob, London[2]
75:14 (2002 reissue replacement track)
Robbie Williams chronology
Life thru a Lens
I've Been Expecting You
The Ego Has Landed
Singles from I've Been Expecting You
  1. "Millennium"
    Released: 7 September 1998
  2. "No Regrets"
    Released: 30 November 1998
  3. "Strong"
    Released: 15 March 1999
  4. "She's the One / It's Only Us"
    Released: 8 November 1999
  5. "Win Some Lose Some"
    Released: 22 May 2000

I've Been Expecting You is the second studio album by English recording artist Robbie Williams. It was released on 26 October 1998 through Chrysalis Records. The album spawned five singles, including lead single "Millennium", which became Williams' first UK number-one hit.

A critical and major commercial success, it debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, marking Williams' second consecutive chart-topper, and has been certified 10× Platinum.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores

John Bush of AllMusic rated the album four stars out of five, and stated that the album is both a "studied" and "more mature, calculated album" than its predecessor Life Thru a Lens (1997) "from a pop star who's often gloried in being immature and spontaneous."[4] He noted the album "may suffer from comparisons to its excellent predecessor, but it also finds Robbie Williams weathering the sophomore storm quite well."[4] NME rated the album 8/10, saying "boy, what a record" and that Williams' "writing skills have improved enormously".[5] The reviewer also noted the album's "impressive diversity" and concluded that "sure, Robbie's still more Michael Barrymore than Michael Stipe, and he'll never be 'cool' by that constipated, soul-crushingly snobbish James Lavelle definition. But he's a natural-born star and he wants you to love him. I've Been Expecting You provides 12 good reasons why you should."[5]


Williams and Chambers started the writing process of the album in Jamaica in the spring of 1998. I've Been Expecting You was released in October 1998. It debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, and went on to become the UK's best selling album for that year. According to the Music Week, the album has sold 2,582,016 copies in the UK as of November 2016,[6] and has been certified 10× Platinum for shipments of 3 million copies, making it Williams' best-selling album in the country.

The album also received attention outside the United Kingdom, particularly in continental Europe and Latin America, and has sold a total of five million copies worldwide.[7] Williams finished album promotion with an extensive European tour in the autumn of 1999. I've Been Expecting You was ranked 91st in a 2005 survey held by British television's Channel 4 to determine the 100 greatest albums of all time.[8]


  • "Millennium", a song which was inspired by John Barry's music from the James Bond film You Only Live Twice, became Williams' first solo number-one single in the United Kingdom when it was released in September 1998, 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 Nicole 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.[9] The song also became a top twenty hit in many European countries as well as in Latin America and Australia.
  • "No Regrets", a collaboration with Pet Shop Boys singer Neil Tennant and The Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon, was released as the album's second single 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.[10]
  • "Strong", a song 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, was released as the album's third single. 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.
  • "She's the One", a cover of the Karl Wallinger track from the album Egyptology, was a favourite song of Williams' after his time in rehab. The song was released as the album's fourth single, 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 EA Sports' video game FIFA 2000. The single sold over 400,000 copies in the UK alone and was certified Gold by the BPI in early 2000.[11]
  • "Win Some Lose Some" was released as the album's fifth and final single in May 2000 in New Zealand only.[12] The song reached the top 10 there, and the physical copy of the single has since become a very sought-after item amongst fans.[citation needed]


In 1998, 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" in question is: "Even the son of God gets it hard sometimes, especially when he goes around, saying I am the way."

Williams claimed that he had heard a young man say the line whilst in rehab, and only found that it was a line from Wainwright's song after he had already recorded it. 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, and subsequently, the album was re-issued replacing "Jesus in a Camper Van" with "It's Only Us".

During a show at the Roundhouse London in October 2019, Williams performed the song and also revealed, "That lyric cost me £2.5 million! Truth to God!"[13]

Track listing[edit]

I've Been Expecting YouStandard edition
2."No Regrets"
  • Williams
  • Chambers
4."Phoenix from the Flames"
  • Williams
  • Chambers
5."Win Some Lose Some"
  • Williams
  • Chambers
  • Williams
  • Chambers
7."Jesus in a Camper Van"
8."Heaven from Here"
  • Williams
  • Chambers
9."Karma Killer"
  • Williams
  • Chambers
10."She's the One"Karl Wallinger4:18
11."Man Machine"
  • Williams
  • Chambers
12."These Dreams"
  • Williams
  • Chambers
13."Stand Your Ground" (hidden track)
  • Williams
  • Chambers
14."Stalker's Day Off (I've Been Hanging Around)" (hidden track)
  • Williams
  • Chambers
  • Fil Eisler
I've Been Expecting You2002 edition replacement track
7."It's Only Us"
  • Williams
  • Chambers
I've Been Expecting YouBack for B-sides (MVC special compilation CD)
1."Karaoke Overkill"Williams • Chambers3:30
2."Average B-Side"Williams • Chambers2:59
3."Cheap Love Song"Williams • O. Morris • C. Abbott4:10
4."Better Days"Williams • Chambers3:31
5."Antmusic"Adam Ant • M. Pirrioni3:30
6."Deceiving Is Believing"Williams • Chambers4:30
7."Rome Munich Rome"Williams • Chambers3:07
8."Falling in Bed Again"Williams • Matt Hay3:28
9."Get the Joke"Williams • Chambers • Gary Nuttall3:02
10."Love Cheat"Williams • Chambers3:45
11."I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing"Neil TennantChris Lowe3:07
12."Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye"Cole Porter3:03
13."Happy Song"Williams • Chambers2:53
14."I Am the Res-erection"Williams • Chambers3:48
15."Kooks"David Bowie2:37
16."She Makes Me High"Williams • Chambers • Nuttall3:10
17."Teenage Millionaire"Williams • Chambers3:16
18."Sexed Up" (demo)Williams • Chambers3:58
19."Making Plans for Nigel"Colin Moulding4:06
20."Walk This Sleigh"Williams • Chambers3:01
21."Lazy Days" (demo)Williams • Chambers4:32
I've Been Expecting YouRW 20th Anniversary edition bonus DVD
1."Millennium" (Live on TOTP) 
2."Man Machine" (Live on TOTP) 
3."No Regrets" (Live on TOTP) 
4."Strong" (Live on Later... with Jools Holland) 
5."Karma Killer" (Live on Later... with Jools Holland) 
6."Jools Holland Interview" 
7."It's Only Us" (Live on TOTP) 
8."She's the One" (Live in Germany) 
  • MVC stores in the UK offered a free bonus CD with the purchase of either Life Thru a Lens or I've Been Expecting You during Christmas 1999. The album did not contain any unreleased material, but contained twenty-one previously released B-sides and demos from both eras.


  • Robbie Williams – vocals
Robbie Williams Band
  • Guy Chambers – keyboards, organ, vibraphone, synthesizer, acoustic guitar, piano, electric guitar, orchestral samples, bass synth, musical director
  • Chris Sharrock – drums
  • Fil Eisler – bass, guitar, vocals
  • Gary Nuttall – guitar, vocals
  • Alex Dickson – guitar, vocals
  • "Planet" Claire Worrall – guitar, vocals, keyboards


  • David Catlin-Birch – acoustic guitar, bass guitar, backing vocals
  • Andy Duncan – percussion, loops
  • DJ Slice – scratching
  • Jeremy Stacey – drums
  • Steve McEwan – acoustic guitar, electric guitar, backing vocals
  • André Barreau – acoustic guitar, backing vocals
  • Neil Hannon – backing vocals
  • Claudia Fontaine – backing vocals
  • Bevereley Skeet – backing vocals
  • Neil Tennant – backing vocals
  • Nicole Patterson – backing vocals
  • Nicole Appleton – telephone voice
  • Nick Ingham – orchestral arranger
  • London Session Orchestra


Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[37] Platinum 50,000^
France (SNEP)[38] 2× Gold 200,000*
Germany (BVMI)[39] Gold 250,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[40] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[41] Platinum 15,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[42] Gold 25,000*
Sweden (GLF)[43] Gold 40,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[44] Platinum 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[45] 10× Platinum 3,000,000^
Europe (IFPI)[46] 4× Platinum 4,000,000*

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Timeline - Robbie Williams". Robbie Williams.
  2. ^ "Robbie Williams – I've Been Expecting You (1998, CD)". Discogs.
  3. ^ AllMusic review
  4. ^ a b John Bush. "I've Been Expecting You". AllMusic.
  5. ^ a b "NME Reviews – I've Been Expecting You". NME. 12 September 2005.
  6. ^ Sutherland, Mark (16 September 2022). "Robbie Williams breaks chart record as Columbia scores albums hat-trick". Music Week. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  7. ^ IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 2000, http://www.ifpi.org/content/section_news/plat2000.html Archived 5 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "2005 Channel 4 The 100 Greatest Albums". Archived from the original on 13 March 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  9. ^ "BPI Certification for "Millennium"". Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 19 March 2007.
  10. ^ BPI Certification for "No Regrets" Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "BPI Certification for "She's The One"/"It's Only Us"". Archived from the original on 6 January 2008. Retrieved 19 March 2007.
  12. ^ "New Releases". netcd.co.nz. 22 May 2000. Archived from the original on 10 June 2000. Retrieved 8 November 2023.
  13. ^ "Robbie Williams - Jesus In A Camper Van @ Roundhouse London 7/10/2019". YouTube. Archived from the original on 5 December 2021.
  14. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Robbie Williams – I've Been Expecting You" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  15. ^ "Ultratop.be – Robbie Williams – I've Been Expecting You" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  16. ^ "Ultratop.be – Robbie Williams – I've Been Expecting You" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  17. ^ "Billboard: Hits of the World (Page 51)". Billboard. 22 May 1999. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  18. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Robbie Williams – I've Been Expecting You" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  19. ^ "Robbie Williams: I've Been Expecting You" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  20. ^ "Lescharts.com – Robbie Williams – I've Been Expecting You". Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  21. ^ "Officialcharts.de – Robbie Williams – I've Been Expecting You". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  22. ^ "Tonlist Top 30". Morgunblaðið. Retrieved 12 June 2017.[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ a b "Billboard: Hits of the World (Page 63)". Billboard. 21 November 1998. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  24. ^ "Charts.nz – Robbie Williams – I've Been Expecting You". Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  25. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Robbie Williams – I've Been Expecting You". Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  26. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  27. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  28. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Robbie Williams – I've Been Expecting You". Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  29. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Robbie Williams – I've Been Expecting You". Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  30. ^ "{{{artist}}} | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  31. ^ "Official Top 100 vinyl albums". Official Charts Company. 1 October 2021. Retrieved 1 October 2021.
  32. ^ "End of Year Album Chart Top 100 – 1998". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  33. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  34. ^ "End of Year Album Chart Top 100 – 1999". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  35. ^ "End of Year Album Chart Top 100 – 2000". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  36. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 2003". Ultratop. Retrieved 11 November 2021.
  37. ^ "Bonhams : A Platinum award for the album I've Been Expecting You, Denmark, circa 1998". IFPI Denmark. 1793 Ltd. GBR Bonhams.com. Archived from the original on 6 August 2015. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  38. ^ "French album certifications – Robbie Williams – I've Been Expecting You" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.
  39. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Robbie Williams; 'I've Been Expecting You')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  40. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Robbie Williams – I've Been Expecting You" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 28 April 2022. Enter I've Been Expecting You in the "Artiest of titel" box. Select 2000 in the drop-down menu saying "Alle jaargangen".
  41. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Robbie Williams – I've Been Expecting You". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 22 November 2021.
  42. ^ "IFPI Norsk platebransje Trofeer 1993–2011" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway.
  43. ^ "Sverigetopplistan – Sveriges Officiella Topplista > "Robbie Williams" > "Sök" > "I'VE BEEN EXPECTING YOU" > "Visa" (in Swedish). The Official Swedish Charts. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
  44. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards ('I've Been Expecting You')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien.
  45. ^ "British album certifications – Robbie Williams – I've Been Expecting You". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 24 January 2024.
  46. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 2001". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.