Millennium

Album: I've Been Expecting You (1998)
Charted: 1 72

Songfacts®:

  • This song prepares for the Millennium (year 2000), which was two years away at that time. It was brilliant forethought to create an anthem surrounding the event, and the big chorus with "stars directing our fate" made it the most popular song about the new millennium. This despite some rather cynical lyrics, where Williams even mentions the "sarcasm in my eyes."
  • Williams wrote the song with his producer, former World Party member Guy Chambers. According to Chambers, Williams wrote most of the lyrics very quickly, but didn't have a title for the song. It was Williams who came up with the very topical idea to name it "Millennium."
  • The little bridge in the middle of the song was conceived as a soccer chant. Chambers had the melody for that section written, and Williams came up with the words, "Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough."
  • The music for this song is based on Nancy Sinatra's "You Only Live Twice" from the James Bond film of the same name. The actual sample of the song wasn't used because it was a lot cheaper to recreate it in the studio than to clear it, so an orchestra was brought in to record it. Speaking with Sound On Sound, Guy Chambers said: "Robbie came up with the idea for the song. He wanted to use the string section from 'You Only Live Twice,' but put it to a Hip-Hop beat. Once we had decided that, it was just a matter of finding a beat that worked - something that we eventually achieved by speeding it up."
  • The music video used a James Bond theme to go along with the musical idea. Williams does some very rough recreations of famous scenes from various Bond movies in the clip.
  • Strictly speaking, the new millennium began on January 1, 2001, but it was commonly celebrated a year earlier.

Comments: 4

  • Dylan from Dodge City, KsLove this song. the only reason i bought the album The Ego has Landed
  • Dylan from Dodge City, KsAwesome song. Still to this day it's one of my favorites.
  • Mercedies from Soldotna, AkI love this song. It's his best song! I remember I was 8 when this came out and it was the coolest song around.
  • Jason from Dublin, Irelandrobbie's first solo u.k. no.1. many people think that angels reached no.1 but it only reached no4 in the uk. robbie said in one of his videos that he should drop millennium from his live routine despite it being one of his mostly popular songs as he dislikes performing it.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Chris Fehn of Slipknot

Chris Fehn of SlipknotSongwriter Interviews

A drummer for one of the most successful metal bands of the last decade, Chris talks about what it's like writing and performing with Slipknot. Metal-neck is a factor.

Chris Tomlin

Chris TomlinSongwriter Interviews

The king of Christian worship music explains talks about writing songs for troubled times.

Who Wrote That Song?

Who Wrote That Song?Music Quiz

Do you know who wrote Patti Smith's biggest hit? How about the Grease theme song? See if you can match the song to the writer.

Christopher Cross

Christopher CrossSongwriter Interviews

The man who created Yacht Rock with "Sailing" wrote one of his biggest hits while on acid.

Pete Anderson

Pete AndersonSongwriter Interviews

Pete produced Dwight Yoakam, Michelle Shocked, Meat Puppets, and a very memorable track for Roy Orbison.

John Lee Hooker

John Lee HookerSongwriter Interviews

Into the vaults for Bruce Pollock's 1984 conversation with the esteemed bluesman. Hooker talks about transforming a Tony Bennett classic and why you don't have to be sad and lonely to write the blues.