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.