I've Been Expecting You

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I've Been Expecting You
Studio album by Robbie Williams
Released 26 October 1998
Recorded 1998
Length 76:08
75:20 (2002 reissue replacement track)
Label Chrysalis
Producer Guy Chambers, Steve Power
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: 13 March 2000
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
NME (8/10)[2]

I've Been Expecting You is the second studio album by British singer-songwriter Robbie Williams. A critical and major commercial success, it was released in 1998 on Chrysalis Records.

Critical reception[edit]

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."[3] He noted the album "may suffer from comparisons to its excellent predecessor, but it also finds Robbie Williams weathering the sophomore storm quite well."[3] NME rated the album 8/10, saying "boy, what a record" and that Williams' "writing skills have improved enormously."[2] The reviewer was 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."[2]


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 BPI, the album has sold 2,563,106 copies in the UK as of June 2009,[4] and has been certified 10x Platinum for shipments of 3 million copies.[5] It is Williams' best selling album in the country and the 38th best selling album of all time.[4]

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.[6] 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.[7]


  • "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, coincidentally 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.[8] 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.[9]
  • "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 Sony's PlayStation FIFA 2000. The single sold over 400,000 copies in the UK alone and was certified Gold by the BPI in early 2000.[10]
  • "Win Some Lose Some" was released as the album's fifth and final single in March 2000, with an exclusive release in Australia and New Zealand. The song achieved some success 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".

Track listing[edit]

I've Been Expecting YouStandard edition
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Strong"   Robbie WilliamsGuy Chambers 4:39
2. "No Regrets"   Williams • Chambers 5:11
3. "Millennium"   Williams • Chambers • John BarryLeslie Bricusse 4:08
4. "Phoenix from the Flames"   Williams • Chambers 4:02
5. "Win Some Lose Some"   Williams • Chambers 4:18
6. "Grace"   Williams • Chambers 3:12
7. "Jesus in a Camper Van"   Williams • Chambers • Loudon Wainwright III 3:39
8. "Heaven from Here"   Williams • Chambers 3:05
9. "Karma Killer"   Williams • Chambers 4:29
10. "She's the One"   Karl Wallinger 4:18
11. "Man Machine"   Williams • Chambers 3:36
12. "These Dreams"   Williams • Chambers 5:14
13. "Stand Your Ground" (hidden track) Williams • Chambers 3:14
14. "Stalker's Day Off (I've Been Hanging Around)" (hidden track) Williams • Chambers • Fil Eisler 3:38
  • 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.


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[11] Platinum 50,000^
France (SNEP)[12] 2× Gold 200,000*
Germany (BVMI)[13] Gold 250,000^
Sweden (GLF)[14] Gold 40,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[15] Platinum 50,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[16] 10× Platinum 2,582,016[17]
Europe (IFPI)[18] 4× Platinum 4,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ a b c NME.COM. "NME Reviews - I've Been Expecting You - NME.COM". NME.COM. 
  3. ^ a b John Bush. "I've Been Expecting You". AllMusic. 
  4. ^ a b BPI sales for "I've Been Expecting You"
  5. ^ BPI Certification for "I've Been Expecting You"
  6. ^ IFPI Platinum Europe Awards - 2000, http://www.ifpi.org/content/section_news/plat2000.html
  7. ^ 2005 Channel 4 The 100 Greatest Albums
  8. ^ BPI Certification for "Millennium"
  9. ^ BPI Certification for "No Regrets"
  10. ^ BPI Certification for "She's The One"/"It's Only Us"
  11. ^ "Bonhams : A Platinum award for the album I've Been Expecting You, Denmark, circa 1998". IFPI Denmark. 1793 Ltd. GBR Bonhams.com. Retrieved August 5, 2015. 
  12. ^ "French album certifications – Robbie Williams – I've Been Expecting You" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 
  13. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Robbie Williams; 'I've Been Expecting You')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  14. ^ "Sverigetopplistan - Sveriges Officiella Topplista > "Robbie Williams" > "Sök" > "I'VE BEEN EXPECTING YOU" > "Visa" (in Swedish). The Official Swedish Charts. Retrieved August 6, 2015. 
  15. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Robbie Williams; 'I've Been Expecting You')". Hung Medien. 
  16. ^ "British album certifications – ROBBIE WILLIAMS – I'VE BEEN EXPECTING YOU". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter I'VE BEEN EXPECTING YOU in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  17. ^ Jones, Alan (25 November 2013). "Official Charts Analysis: Robbie LP sells 108k to claim UK's 1,000th Official No.1". Music Week (Intent Media). Retrieved 18 October 2015. (subscription required (help)). 
  18. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 2001". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. 
Preceded by
Quench by The Beautiful South
Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael by George Michael
You've Come a Long Way, Baby by Fatboy Slim
UK number-one album
7 November 1998 – 13 November 1998
16 January 1999 – 22 January 1999

20 February 1999 – 27 February 1999
Succeeded by
The Best of 1980–1990 by U2
You've Come a Long Way, Baby by Fatboy Slim

Talk on Corners by The Corrs