Sing When You're Winning

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Not to be confused with Swing When You're Winning.
Sing When You're Winning
Sing When You're Winning cover.png
Studio album by Robbie Williams
Released 28 August 2000
Recorded 1999-2000
Length 75:58
Label EMI
Robbie Williams chronology
The Ego Has Landed
Sing When You're Winning
Swing When You're Winning
Singles from Sing When You're Winning
  1. "Rock DJ"
    Released: 31 July 2000
  2. "Kids"
    Released: 9 October 2000
  3. "Supreme"
    Released: 11 December 2000
  4. "Let Love Be Your Energy"
    Released: 9 April 2001
  5. "Eternity / The Road to Mandalay"
    Released: 9 July 2001
  6. "Better Man"
    Released: 22 October 2001

Sing When You're Winning is the third studio album by English singer-songwriter Robbie Williams.

Background and content[edit]

Following the release of his last album, I've Been Expecting You in 1998, and in the middle of promotion and touring in 1999, Williams found time to start the work on what would be his third studio album.[1]

The sound of the album was described as seeing Williams move "farther away from the increasingly dated visions of Oasis-style Brit-pop to embrace post-millennial dance-pop, complete with the bruising beats and extroverted productions to match."[2] The album features a variety of styles, "conjuring a panoply of classic British rock touchstones like psychedelia, slick country rock, Ian Dury, the Who, Elton John, and Madchester."[2]

The album's title is a reference to a popular football chant of the same name, with Williams being a fan of Port Vale F.C. The cover art features multiple images of Williams celebrating winning a trophy at Chelsea's stadium Stamford Bridge.

Initial releases do not feature Williams' name or the album title on the front cover, nor is a track listing featured on the back cover; these were all changed for future releases. The images were taken by photographer Paul M. Smith and, along with Williams' complete football strip, were later sold at auction to raise money for his charity Give It Sum. Williams toured the United Kingdom with Kylie Minogue in October and November 2000 to promote the album, selling out in every venue.

The album contains a hidden message put on the album for humorous intent. After 25 minutes of silence following track 12, "The Road to Mandalay", a spoken message from Williams saying "No, I'm not doing one on this album" is heard. This is a reference to how Williams' past 3 albums (including the compilation album The Ego Has Landed) each contain hidden tracks at the end of the album.

Commercial reception[edit]

When the album was released in August 2000, it immediately became a hit in the United Kingdom, debuting at number-one and being certified 2× Platinum in the first week of release.[3] The album also topped the charts in New Zealand, Ireland and Germany, and secured top ten placings in Argentina, Austria, Australia, Finland, Mexico, Sweden, Switzerland. The album spent 91 weeks inside the UK Charts, going on to sell 2.4 Million copies in the UK alone being certified 8x Platinum by the BPI.[4] The album became the best selling album of 2000 in the country and the 51st best selling album in UK music history.[5] The album went on to sell over 6 million copies Worldwide. The album found little success in the United States, however, peaking at 110 in the Billboard 200.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[7]
The A.V. Club ?[8]
Entertainment Weekly A−[9]
NME (5/10)[10]
PopMatters ?[11]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[12]
Slant 3.5/5 stars[13]

Initial critical response to Sing When You're Winning was positive. From Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 69, based on 11 reviews.[14]


  • "Rock DJ" was released as the album's first single. The song was inspired by Williams' UNICEF mentor, the late Ian Dury. The video was censored by Top of the Pops for its gore content, with many other channels following suit. Controversy ensued in the United Kingdom and many other countries, with the video showing Williams tearing chunks of skin and muscle from his body while performing a strip show, in an attempt to get noticed by a group of women.[15] The track became an instant hit around the globe, hitting number-one in the United Kingdom, becoming his third number-one single as a solo artist and exactly a year after his sell-out concert at the Slane Castle. The song also reached number-one in Ireland, New Zealand, Mexico and Argentina and hit top-ten placings across Europe, Australasia and Latin America. Despite its worldwide success the song failed to break in the United States charts, although it did get some TV Airplay on MTV and VH1. The song went on to win several awards including "Best Song of 2000" at the MTV Europe Music Awards, "Best Single of the Year" at the Brit Awards and an MTV Video Music Award for Best Special Effects. It went on to sell over 600,000 copies in the UK alone, and was certified Platinum by the BPI.[16]
  • "Kids", a collaboration with Australian pop icon Kylie Minogue, was released as the album's second single. The track was written when Minogue approached Williams to write some songs for her debut Parlophone album Light Years. Williams decided to include the track on his album and released it as a single, becoming an instant hit upon release in October of that year. The song hit number two in the United Kingdom and snared top 10 placings in Australia, New Zealand, Latvia, Mexico and several other countries. One of the biggest hits of 2000, "Kids" sold over 200,000 copies in the UK alone and was certified Silver.[17]
  • "Supreme" was released as the album's third single, and was promoted in various countries by several international-language versions, including versions of the song in French and Spanish.
  • "Let Love Be Your Energy" was released as the album's fourth single, and was the first Robbie Williams music video not to feature Williams himself. Instead, the video was animated and featured Williams attempting to outrun a volcano.
  • "Eternity", a track that was not featured on the album, was released in the summer of 2001 backed with "The Road to Mandalay", a song which appears as the final track from the album. "Eternity" was written by Williams in what he called "the most amazing summer ever". After years of non-stop work he took a month off and recorded this track, which became his fourth number-one single in the United Kingdom, selling over 70,000 copies in its first week.[18] It also became a top ten hit all over Europe.
  • "Better Man" was released as the album's sixth and final single, exclusively in Australia and New Zealand. The single was released to relative success there.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Let Love Be Your Energy"
  • Robbie Williams
  • Guy Chambers
2. "Better Man"
  • Williams
  • Chambers
3. "Rock DJ"
  • Williams
  • Chambers
  • Kelvin Andrews
  • Nelson Pigford
  • Ekundayo Paris
4. "Supreme"
  • Williams
  • Chambers
  • Freddie Perren
  • Dino Fekaris
5. "Kids" (with Kylie Minogue)
  • Williams
  • Chambers
6. "If It's Hurting You"
  • Williams
  • Chambers
7. "Singing for the Lonely"
  • Williams
  • Chambers
8. "Love Calling Earth"
  • Williams
  • Chambers
  • Andrews
9. "Knutsford City Limits"
  • Williams
  • Chambers
  • Andrews
10. "Forever Texas"
  • Williams
  • Chambers
11. "By All Means Necessary"
  • Williams
  • Chambers
12. "The Road to Mandalay"
  • Williams
  • Chambers


Chart (2000) Peak
Argentine Albums (CAPIF) 6
Australian Albums (ARIA)[19] 7
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[20] 4
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[21] 13
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[22] 16
Canada (Nielsen SoundScan) 17
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[23] 7
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[24] 3
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[25] 6
French Albums (SNEP)[26] 19
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[27] 1
Irish Albums (IRMA) 1
Italian Albums (FIMI)[28] 5
Japanese Albums (Oricon) 92
Mexican Albums (Top 100 Mexico)[29] 8
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[30] 1
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[31] 5
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[32] 4
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[33] 2
UK Albums (OCC)[34] 1
US Billboard 200[35] 110


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[36] 2× Platinum 120,000*
Australia (ARIA)[37] 3× Platinum 210,000[38]
Austria (IFPI Austria)[39] Gold 15,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[40] Gold 50,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[41] Gold 21,905[41]
Germany (BVMI)[42] 3× Gold 450,000^
Mexico (AMPROFON)[43] Gold 75,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[44] Platinum 80,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[45] 7× Platinum 105,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[46] Gold 25,000*
Sweden (GLF)[47] Gold 40,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[48] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[49] 8× Platinum 2,203,321[50]
Europe (IFPI)[51] 4× Platinum 4,000,000*

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


  1. ^ "Discography>Albums>Sing When You're Winning". Retrieved 2009-10-11. 
  2. ^ a b John Bush. "Sing When You're Winning". AllMusic. 
  3. ^ BPI Certification for "Sing When You're Winning" (1 September 2000)
  4. ^ BPI Certification for "Sing When You're Winning"
  5. ^ "Parkerad hos Loopia". 
  6. ^ Billboard
  7. ^ Allmusic review
  8. ^ "Review: Robbie Williams: Sing When You're Winning · Music Review". The A.V. Club. 
  9. ^ "Sing When You're Winning". Entertainment Weekly. 
  10. ^ "NME Reviews - Sing When You're Winning". NME. 12 September 2005. 
  11. ^ "Robbie Williams". PopMatters. 
  12. ^ Rolling Stone review
  13. ^ "Music - Slant Magazine". 
  14. ^ "Robbie Williams:Sing When You're Winning (2000): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  15. ^ "Controversial Robbie single hits the shops, July 2000". BBC News. 31 July 2000. Retrieved 2009-10-11. 
  16. ^ BPI Certification for "Rock DJ"
  17. ^ BPI Certification for "Kids"
  18. ^ ""Eternity"/"The Road To Mandalay" first week sales in the United Kingdom". 21 July 2001. Retrieved 2009-10-11. 
  19. ^ " – Robbie Williams – Sing When You're Winning". Hung Medien.
  20. ^ " – Robbie Williams – Sing When You're Winning" (in German). Hung Medien.
  21. ^ " – Robbie Williams – Sing When You're Winning" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  22. ^ " – Robbie Williams – Sing When You're Winning" (in French). Hung Medien.
  23. ^ " – Robbie Williams – Sing When You're Winning". Hung Medien.
  24. ^ " – Robbie Williams – Sing When You're Winning" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  25. ^ "Robbie Williams: Sing When You're Winning" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  26. ^ " – Robbie Williams – Sing When You're Winning". Hung Medien.
  27. ^ " – Top 100 Longplay". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  28. ^ " – Robbie Williams – Sing When You're Winning". Hung Medien.
  29. ^ " – Robbie Williams – Sing When You're Winning". Hung Medien.
  30. ^ " – Robbie Williams – Sing When You're Winning". Hung Medien.
  31. ^ " – Robbie Williams – Sing When You're Winning". Hung Medien.
  32. ^ " – Robbie Williams – Sing When You're Winning". Hung Medien.
  33. ^ " – Robbie Williams – Sing When You're Winning". Hung Medien.
  34. ^ "Robbie Williams | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart
  35. ^ "Robbie Williams – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Robbie Williams.
  36. ^ "Argentinian album certifications – Robbie Williams – Sing When You're Winning". Argentine Chamber of Phonograms and Videograms Producers. 
  37. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2006 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  38. ^ "ARIACharts-Accreditations". 2013-01-10. Retrieved 2013-04-22. 
  39. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Robbie Williams – Sing When You're Winning" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter Robbie Williams in the field Interpret. Enter Sing When You're Winning in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  40. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Robbie Williams – Sing When You're Winning". Music Canada. 
  41. ^ a b "Robbie Williams" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. 
  42. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Robbie Williams; 'Sing When You're Winning')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  43. ^ "Certificaciones – Robbie Williams" (in Spanish). Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. 
  44. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Robbie Williams – Sing When You're Winning" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. 
  46. ^ "Norwegian album certifications – Robbie Williams – Sing When You're Winning" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. 
  47. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 2003" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. 
  48. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Robbie Williams; 'Sing When You're Winning')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. 
  49. ^ "British album certifications – Robbie Williams – Sing When You're Winning". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Sing When You're Winning 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
  50. ^ Sutherland, Mark (9 May 2016). "By the numbers: inside Robbie Williams' albums career". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 9 May 2016. 
  51. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 2006". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. 
Preceded by
Born to Do It by Craig David
UK number-one album
16 September 2000 – 29 September 2000
Succeeded by
Music by Madonna
Preceded by
Silencer by Zed
New Zealand RIANZ Albums Chart number-one album
10 September 2000 – 8 October 2000 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
Kid A by Radiohead