Shame (Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow song)

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Single by Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow
from the album In and Out of Consciousness: Greatest Hits 1990–2010
B-side "The Queen"
Released 4 October 2010 (2010-10-04)
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded 2010
Genre Pop
Length 4:00 (single and album version)
4:19 (video)
Label Virgin
Writer(s) Gary Barlow, Robbie Williams[1]
Producer(s) Trevor Horn
Certification Silver
Robbie Williams chronology
"Morning Sun"
Gary Barlow chronology
"Lie to Me"

"Shame" is a song by Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow, taken from Williams' second greatest hits compilation album, In and Out of Consciousness: Greatest Hits 1990–2010. It was released as the lead single from the album on 4 October 2010 by Virgin Records in the United Kingdom.[2] With the exception of the charity single "Everybody Hurts", the song marked the first time that both Barlow and Williams had performed together on a song since the latter left Take That in 1995.


The process of Barlow and Williams working together again began in February 2010 in Los Angeles. According to Barlow, the song was written in under an hour in an empty studio and helped both himself and Williams to draw a line under their 10 year feud after the latter left Take That.[3] On the day the song was released to the radio and the media "Shame" received an unprecedented 694 plays on the radio and 153 plays on TV.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

The single received positive reception across the media with BBC Newsround stating how it is "a meaningful song but has a cheeky sense of humour and the words will leave you feeling happy".[5] Tim Jonze from The Guardian positively commented that the song is "a gentle country ballad that tells the story of the pair patching up the relationship that was damaged after Williams left Take That in 1995."[6] Mayer Nissim of Digital Spy gave the song three out of five stars, writing: "It's certainly no 'Patience', 'Back for Good' or 'Pray' - it sounds awfully sweet and, more importantly, absolutely genuine."[7] Another critic stated how the song is "the perfect lead single for Robbie Williams’ second compilation album" and "with its playful lyrics, and sumptuous melody, (the song) is understated and never overblown, the perfect song for people who grew up listening to Robbie, Gary, and Take That, and are now adults themselves. One of the pop singles of 2010."[8]

Music video[edit]

Barlow and Williams performing together for the first time in 15 years.

The video, directed by Vaughan Arnell,[9] was filmed at the Cowboy Palace Saloon in Chatsworth, California, in June 2010 and has a country western theme. The video is a lighthearted parody of the movie Brokeback Mountain, depicting Williams and Barlow as closeted gay cowboys; both appear in the music video.[10] The video focuses on the relationship between Barlow and Williams, as well as Robbie's feelings after he left Take That in 1995 and how he felt after they reformed without him and achieved unprecedented success.[11] The song and video premiered on 26 August 2010.[12] The video received strong airplay on VH1 Europe.


The song was premiered on the Chris Moyles' Radio 1 show on 26 August where both Williams and Barlow appeared to discuss the single.[13] Barlow and Williams performed "Shame" live for the first time at the Help for Heroes concert at Twickenham on 12 September 2010. Both released a joint statement saying: 'It's great that people love Shame so much and we can't wait to perform it live for the first time at the Help For Heroes show...We hope everyone supports Help for Heroes as much as possible - it's a great bill and we are thrilled to be a part of it.'[14] The duo performed the single on Strictly Come Dancing on 2 October 2010, Daybreak, BBC Radio 1, and on Paul O'Grady Live on 8 October.[15]

The song appeared in the game We Sing Robbie Williams as a playable track.[16]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Shame"   Gary Barlow, Robbie Williams Trevor Horn 4:00
2. "The Queen"   Danny Spencer, Kelvin Andrews, Robbie Williams Danny Spencer, Kelvin Andrews 3:25

Charts and certifications[edit]

Preceded by
"Love the Way You Lie" by Eminem featuring Rihanna
Hungarian Chart number-one single
22 November 2010 – 28 November 2010
Succeeded by
"If I Had You" by Adam Lambert
Preceded by
"Love the Way You Lie" by Eminem featuring Rihanna
Slovakian Chart number-one single
21 October 2010 – 27 October 2010
Succeeded by
"Love the Way You Lie" by Eminem featuring Rihanna

Release history[edit]

Country Release date Format Label
United Kingdom 26 August 2010 Airplay Virgin Records
4 October 2010 CD single, digital download
Worldwide 27 August 2010 Digital download


  1. ^,s,w,p,b,v&results_pp=25&start=1[dead link]
  2. ^ "Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow to release single", BBC News, 7 June 2010 (Retrieved 29 June 2010)
  3. ^ "Gary and Robbie are back", Chris Moyles Show, BBC Radio 1, 26 August 2010 (Retrieved 17 October 2010)
  4. ^ Gordon Smart, "Bad Bromance". The Sun, 28 August 2010
  5. ^ "Single Review: Robbie Williams & Gary Barlow - Shame", CBBC Newsround, 27 August 2010 (Retrieved 17 October 2010)
  6. ^ Tim Jonze, "Robbie Williams's Take That return may be temporary, says Gary Barlow", The Guardian, 26 August 2010 (Retrieved 28 August 2010)
  7. ^ Mayer Nissim, "Robbie Williams & Gary Barlow: 'Shame'", Digital Spy, 6 October 2010 (Rretrieved 6 October 2010)
  8. ^ "Single Review: Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow – Shame ", Swear I'm Not Paul, 26 August 2010 (Retrieved 17 October 2010)
  9. ^ Daw, Robbie. "Robbie Williams And Gary Barlow Have A Bromance In Their “Shame” Video" (10 August 2010). Idolator. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "Robbie Williams Music Video Reunion", On Location News, (Retrieved 17 October 2010)
  11. ^ Carl Stroud and Gordon Smart, "Brokeback for good", The Sun, 7 December 2010 (Retrieved 12 July 2010)
  12. ^ "Shame Single And Video To Premiere Next Week", www.Robbie, 19 August 2010 (Retrieved 17 October 2010)
  13. ^ Michael Cragg, "New music: Robbie Williams feat Gary Barlow – Shame", The Guardian, 26 August 2010 (Retrieved 17 October 2010)
  14. ^ Jody Thompson, "Bare-chested Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow bosom buddies again in Brokeback Mountain style video", Daily Mail, 27 August 2010, (Retrieved 17 October 2010)
  15. ^ "Robbie and Gary make the O'Grady", The Sun, 30 September 2010 (Retrieved 17 October 2010)
  16. ^ Nordic Games, 11 October 2010 (Retrieved 17 October 2010)[dead link]
  17. ^ " – Robbie Williams & Gary Barlow – Shame" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  18. ^ " – Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow – Shame" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  19. ^ " – Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow – Shame" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  20. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201043 into search.
  21. ^ " – Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow – Shame". Tracklisten.
  22. ^
  23. ^ " – Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  24. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Rádiós Top 40 játszási lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
  25. ^ "Chart Track: Week 40, 2010". Irish Singles Chart.
  26. ^ "Robbie Williams & Gary Barlow – Shame Media Forest". Israeli Airplay Chart. Media Forest.
  27. ^ " – Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow – Shame". Top Digital Download.
  28. ^
  29. ^ " – Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow – Shame" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  30. ^ "Archive Chart: 2010-10-12". Scottish Singles Top 40.
  31. ^ "SNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201037 into search.
  32. ^ " – Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow – Shame" Canciones Top 50.
  33. ^ " – Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow – Shame". Singles Top 60.
  34. ^ " – Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow – Shame". Swiss Singles Chart.
  35. ^ "UK Airplay Top20 - Week 37 - BuzzJack Music Forum". 2010-09-19. Retrieved 2011-02-22. 
  36. ^ "Archive Chart: 2010-10-016" UK Singles Chart.
  37. ^
  38. ^ "MAHASZ Rádiós TOP 100 2010" (in Hungarian). Mahasz. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  39. ^ "FIMI - Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana - Ricerche e dati di mercato". 2011-01-17. Retrieved 2011-02-22. 
  40. ^ "Italian single certifications – Robbie Williams & Gary Barlow – Shame" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana.  Select Online in the field Sezione. Enter Robbie Williams & Gary Barlow in the field Filtra. The certification will load automatically
  41. ^ "British single certifications – Robbie Williams & Gary Barlow – Shame". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Shame in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search

External links[edit]