Come Undone

Album: Escapology (2002)
Charted: 4
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Songfacts®:

  • This song is about the vapidity and shallowness of fame and a lifestyle of excess. Robbie Williams had previously turned to drugs and alcohol to deal with the pressure of being a celebrity, and used "Come Undone" as a chance to deconstruct the public perception of himself: "Do another interview, sing a bunch of lies, tell about celebrities that I despise, and sing love songs. We sing love songs, so sincere."
  • Williams revealed on his website the line "Because I'm scum, and I'm your son, I come undone" wasn't addressed to his mother, but was inspired by a Tupac Shakur quote: "I saw Tupac come out of a courtroom once, and he said 'You put me down, you say I'm this, that, or the other, but I'm a product of your environment, and I'm still your son, America.' That touched me. And I am England's son. And I'm not scum, but I've felt like it."
  • "Come Undone" was one of the first songs Williams wrote without his longtime collaborator Guy Chambers, who reportedly hated it. Williams and Chambers fell out soon after, with Williams telling Feel biographer Chris Heath at the time: "We don't sing from the same hymnbook anymore." The duo wouldn't work together again until 2013's Swings Both Ways.
  • BBC Radio 2, the most popular radio station in the UK, banned this song upon its release due to its explicit content and reference to substance abuse.
  • The music video was directed by Jonas Åkerlund, who'd previously won a Grammy Award for his work on Madonna's "Ray of Light." It depicts Williams walking through his house the morning after a party. As the clip progresses, Williams begins to have flashbacks of the night before, with shots of him having sex with two women interspersed with disturbing images of snakes and insects. At the end of the visual, the women Williams is having sex with turn into men. A nod to the British media's obsession with Williams' sexual orientation, the video caused a great deal of controversy at the time and was heavily censored by multiple networks.
  • One of the most famous live performances of this song took place during Williams' residency at Knebworth House in August 2003. During the performance, Williams beckoned a female fan on stage to dance with him. The pair proceeded to flirt with each other in front of the 125,000-strong crowd, culminating in a passionate kiss. The fan was later identified by The Sun as Carly Quinlan.
  • "Come Undone" was the second single released from Williams' fifth album, Escapology, after "Feel." The song peaked at #4 in the UK.

Comments: 12

  • George from Palmy, New Zealanddefiantly one of the top 5 Robbie songs ever. Robbie my idol
  • Em from Mudgee, AustraliaIn most lyrics it says "The young pretend you're in the clouds above the sea"
    but on the dvd And Through It All in a live performance it is actually "I'm a young pretender and my throwns a broken seat"
  • Marius from LüneburgThis song is simply great, the guitar play in combination with the lyrics are very moving. Even though I dont admire Williams, i believe this is one of the best songs ever written in the past years.
  • Stuart from Belfast, IrelandI really luv this song i think if kurt cobain was alive today this would be the kind of music he would be making
  • Ashley from Leicester , United StatesI think this song is one of the best he has done so far. It such a great song I am listening to it now. I wish he would keep singing it all the time thats how much i love the song. The lyrics are so moving.

    Ashley
  • Sam from Beirut, Otheri just have to agree with you aleisha.... i as well relate to a whole bunch of RW's lyrics... he simply is an artist
  • Katie from Melbourne, AustraliaI 100% agree with you Aleisha. Robbie is the bomb when he performs live, stuff the US. He will brake through very soon. I LOVE ROBBIE WILLIAMS!! He can rock M dj anytime *wink*
  • Aleisha from Adelaide, Australiathere is just something about the simplicity of Robbie's lyrics that capture me....i can relate to many of his songs and its easy to see he means every word of them!!! as for him singing live...he is just the bomb.....his voice is awsome and i dont understand anyone who thinks he is crap!!
    talking about how he couldnt break into the states...im sure if he wanted to he would make a name for himself over there, but as he is living over there, he loves the fact that he can walk around the streets and do normal things without people recognising him...makes sense doesnt it!!?
  • Holly from Anywhere, CaIn response to Mel from Stockton on Tees above, Rob did not write this song entirely on his own.

    Songwriting credit (from ASCAP) is as follows:
    HAMILTON ASHLEY GEORGE
    OTTESTAD PER KRISTIAN
    PIERRE DANIEL
    WILLIAMS ROBERT PETER

    Guy's reluctance wasn't due to anything related to working with Rob on the song, Guy felt the song should not be on the album at all. Mostly likely since he had no songwriting credit, which as we know, ended that working relationship soon thereafter.

  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, Sci don't actually listen to much newer music but I like this song. It's has a good story, and is very well written.
  • Andy from Kent, EnglandWilliams said that this song is also about how much he changes his mind but thinks its right every time.
  • Mel from Stockton On Tees, EnglandGuy Chambers hated this song, which was written entirely by Robbie. He (Guy) said it was 'shocking', but Robbie said that Feel's lyrics which they wrote together could be seen as shocking as well. Guy was reluctant to work on Come Undone and Nan's Song (both on Escapology) which were both 100% written by Robbie. He and Robbie stopped working together soon afterwards.
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