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Rudebox cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released23 October 2006 (2006-10-23)
RecordedNovember 2005 – August 2006, Los Angeles
Robbie Williams chronology
Intensive Care
Reality Killed the Video Star
Singles from Rudebox
  1. "Rudebox"
    Released: 4 September 2006
  2. "Kiss Me"
    Released: 10 October 2006
  3. "Lovelight"
    Released: 13 November 2006
  4. "Bongo Bong and Je ne t'aime plus"
    Released: 22 January 2007
  5. "She's Madonna"
    Released: 5 March 2007

Rudebox is the seventh studio album by English singer-songwriter Robbie Williams, released on 23 October 2006 in the United Kingdom.


The album features collaborations with William Orbit, Mark Ronson, Soul Mekanik and two collaborations with Pet Shop Boys: "She's Madonna" and "We're the Pet Shop Boys". Lily Allen provides backing vocals on the songs "Bongo Bong and Je ne t'aime plus" and "Keep On". Williams covers five songs on the album: "Human", a 1984 hit for The Human League, "Kiss Me", the biggest hit for Stephen Duffy, "Lovelight" by Lewis Taylor, "We're the Pet Shop Boys" by My Robot Friend, and "Bongo Bong and Je ne t'aime plus", by Manu Chao.

Williams himself spoke fondly of the album upon its release; "It has become something on which I've found myself. This is the right direction for me personally, this is what it is. I saw the whole Robbie thing coming to a close as it was, I couldn't make another album like the ones I'd made, and this has just opened up a thousand other doors. What I am excited about now is making more music. I love all the stuff on the album, I love Rudebox, it's a favourite song of mine. I don't know what's gonna happen now, I'm excited about getting it out there, but I'm more excited about making more."[2]

The album is a mixture of covers and new tracks, in addition to "Summertime", a song originally written when Williams left Take That and which appeared in the credits of Mike Bassett: England Manager. Receiving a mixed reception from critics, the album reached the top position in fourteen countries including United Kingdom, Australia, Switzerland, Germany, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Italy and Finland.


"She's Madonna" was the centre of a tabloid storm after Ashley Hamilton claimed that he came up with part of the song with Williams. Hamilton has claimed he wishes to take the matter to court as he is not credited as a co-writer on the album.[3]

Further controversy arose over the track "The 90's", part of which implies that Williams was ripped off by Take That's manager Nigel Martin-Smith after the band failed to make a profit from a European tour. The song raised the ire of Martin-Smith, who demanded that the song be removed from the album.[4] The omitted lyrics were rapped during the break before the second verse.


Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[1]
BBC Music(favourable)[5]
The Guardian2/5 stars[6]
Mojo4/5 stars[7]
musicOMH2/5 stars[8]
Now3/5 stars[10]
The Observer2/5 stars[11]
Yahoo! Music UK7/10 stars[13]

According to review aggregator Metacritic, Rudebox received an average of 53 out of 100 indicating mixed to average reviews from music critics, based on twelve critiques.[14]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the United Kingdom, the album sold 54,667[15] copies on the day of its release, reaching number one on the midweek version of the UK Albums Chart. The next day, the album had sold over 75,000 copies.[16] The album debuted at No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart, selling over 147,000 copies in its week of release.[17] Despite reaching number one, sales were far below what was expected by his label EMI and overall sales were overtaken by his former band Take That's Beautiful World. However, the album performed better than Beautiful World outside the UK. The fallout of the album's relative failure led to the firing of two music executives responsible for the album's development.[18] As of December 2013, the album had sold 514,457 copies in the UK.[19]

The album was released in the Netherlands on 20 October 2006, on the same day the album was certified platinum as a result of pre-order sales of over 70,000 copies.[20] In Belgium, the album sold 50,000 copies and went platinum. It was released on 23 October 2006 in Australia and debuted at number-one, achieving platinum status in its first week.[21] It has since been certified 2× Platinum. 220,000 copies of the album were sold in France on the week of release, as well as 600,000 in Germany. On 8 November 2006, IFPI certified the album 2× Platinum in Europe with sales of over 2 million copies, making it the fastest platinum selling album of 2006.[22] On 20 November 2006, the album reached number-one in Mexico, becoming Williams' first number-one album there. The album was certified platinum there, with sales of over 100,000 copies. Rudebox became the eighteenth best selling album of 2006 worldwide according to the IFPI.

Track listing[edit]

1."Rudebox"Soul Mekanik4:45
2."Viva Life on Mars"
  • Williams
  • Andrews
  • Spencer
Soul Mekanik4:50
3."Lovelight"Lewis TaylorMark Ronson4:02
4."Bongo Bong and Je ne t'aime plus"
5."She's Madonna" (with Pet Shop Boys)Pet Shop Boys4:16
6."Keep On"
7."Good Doctor"
  • Williams
  • Jerry Meehan
8."The Actor"
  • Williams
  • Brandon Christy
  • Craig Russo
  • Christy
  • Russo
9."Never Touch That Switch"
  • Andrews
  • Spencer
Soul Mekanik2:46
10."Louise"William Orbit4:46
11."We're the Pet Shop Boys" (with Pet Shop Boys)My Robot Friend
  • Chris Zippel
  • Pet Shop Boys
12."Burslem Normals"
  • Williams
  • Andrews
  • Spencer
Soul Mekanik3:50
13."Kiss Me"DuffyDave Lee3:16
14."The 80's"
  • Williams
  • Meehan
15."The 90's"
  • Williams
  • Meehan
  • Williams
  • Antony Genn
17."Dickhead" (hidden track)
  • Williams
  • Meehan


Certifications, peaks and sales[edit]


  1. ^ a b John Bush. Rudebox at AllMusic. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  2. ^ "Robbie Williams". Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  3. ^ "Robbie Williams Is Accused of Stealing "She's Madonna" Track". Archived from the original on 27 April 2010. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  4. ^ "Online | The Best for News, Sport and Showbiz". The Sun. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  5. ^ Broadfoot, Julie (24 October 2006). "BBC – Music – Review of Robbie Williams – Rudebox". BBC Music. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  6. ^ Petridis, Alexis (20 October 2006). "CD: Robbie Williams, Rudebox". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  7. ^ Easlea, Daryl (November 2006). "Robbie Williams Rudebox". Mojo. p. 101. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  8. ^ Hubbard, Michael. "Robbie Williams – Rudebox". musicOMH. Archived from the original on 10 April 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  9. ^ Elan, Priya (23 October 2006). "Robbie Williams – Robbie Williams: Rudebox – Album Reviews". NME. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  10. ^ Davies, Evan. "NOW Magazine // Music // Disc Guide : Pop / Rock". NOW. Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  11. ^ Flynn, Paul (15 October 2006). "Robbie Williams, Rudebox". The Observer. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  12. ^ Lomas, Michael (16 March 2007). "Robbie Williams: Rudebox < PopMatters". PopMatters. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  13. ^ Webb, Adam (3 November 2006). "Robbie Williams Rudebox Album Review, New album reviews and latest album releases on Yahoo! Music". Yahoo! Music UK. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  14. ^ "Rudebox Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  15. ^ U.K. Midweeks 24/10 (Tuesday)[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ Midweeks 24/10 (Wednesday)[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ U.K. Top 75 – 29 October 2006[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Can Robbie Williams Escape Drugs Demons To Save His Career?". Archived from the original on 16 February 2007. Retrieved 14 February 2007.
  19. ^ Jones, Alan (23 December 2013). "Sam Bailey scores Xmas No.1 with 148k sales: Official Charts Analysis". Music Week. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  20. ^ "Album already platinum in the Netherlands". 5 May 2009. Archived from the original on 13 November 2006. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  21. ^ "ARIA Charts". ARIA. Archived from the original on 22 September 2010. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  22. ^ "IFPI Certifications, November 2006". IFPI. 1 September 2005. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  23. ^ "CAPIF". CAPIF. Archived from the original on 31 May 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  24. ^ "ARIA". ARIA. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  25. ^ "IFPI Austria". (in German). Archived from the original on 16 July 2007. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  26. ^ "IFPI Belgium". Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  27. ^ "IFPI Denmark". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  28. ^ "Robbie Williams Debuts Atop Euro Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  29. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards 2006". IFPI. 1 September 2005. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  30. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 October 2007. Retrieved 24 July 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  31. ^ Disque En France Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ IFPI Germany Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  33. ^ MAHASZ Archived 9 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  34. ^ Jaclyn Ward (1 October 1962). "IRMA". Archived from the original on 21 April 2007. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
  35. ^ "Certificaciones | Amprofon". AMPROFON. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  36. ^ "OLiS: sales for the period 23.10.2006 – 29.10.2006". OLiS.
  37. ^ AFP – Week 49 Year 2006 Archived 22 April 2005[Date mismatch] at the Wayback Machine
  38. ^ "Этот домен припаркован компанией Timeweb". Archived from the original on 24 January 2009. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  39. ^ – 2006 Certifications[permanent dead link]
  40. ^ IFPI Sweden – 2006 Certifications Archived 25 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  41. ^ Steffen Hung. "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community". Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  42. ^ "BPI". BPI. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  43. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  44. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 4 August 2018.

External links[edit]