Shame

Album: In And Out Of Consciousness - The Greatest Hits 1990 - 2010 (2010)
Charted: 2

Songfacts®:

  • This newly written track is the first single from Robbie Williams 39-song greatest hits set, In And Out Of Consciousness – The Greatest Hits 1990 – 2010 The song was co-written with Gary Barlow and is a duet between the two superstars. It is the first song the pair worked on together since Williams left Take That in 1995.
  • The song deals with the estrangement that occurred between Williams and Barlow after Williams left Take That to pursue a solo career.
  • The song was premiered on the Chris Moyles' Radio 1 show on August 26th 2010. Both Williams and Barlow joined the DJ for the song's first spin and Williams said he'd reunited with his former bandmates after an invitation to get together in LA. "I was very nervous because there were four of them. I came so close to not going because I had toothache that night and I'd just taken a painkiller," he explained. I was quite large as well, and I thought I can't go mumbling, looking like Elvis. I'd said some nasty things about Gaz. What do I do if I go in, is he harbouring anything? So the missus pushed me through the door. It was very exciting, very liberating."
    Williams added that he had a proper discussion with Barlow the very next night. "I spent the last 15 years thinking what I was going to say. We had that big chat and the most amazing thing happened at the end of it, we both said sorry to each other and we both meant it," he said. That's all we needed. It just lifted so much off my shoulders that I didn't know was still there. It was the start of a very magical 18 months that we've had since then, writing songs together, getting to know each other. "It's nice being able to be grown-ups and hear each other and say sorry because not many people can do that."
  • The video was filmed in June 2010 at a honky tonk country western bar called the Cowboy Palace Saloon. The clip 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.
  • Williams and Barlow performed live together for the first time in 15 years on September 12, 2010, singing this song at a televised charity concert in London to raise money for British soldiers. "It's been 15 years in the making," Williams told the crowd. "My wife calls him my boyfriend, I call him my captain, to you, Mr. Gary Barlow," the singer added as his former bandmate took to the stage for the duet.
  • This marked the first time ever that Williams and Barlow have shared lead vocals equally on a song. Lead vocals on 1990s Take That tracks were handled by each member in turn, so whilst Robbie sang lead on "Could It Be Magic," "'Everything Changes" and "I Found Heaven," Gary performed on his own on "Back For Good," "Pray," and "Sure."
  • The song contains the lyric: "So I got busy throwing everybody underneath the bus/Oh, and with your poster 30 foot high at the back of Toy-R-Us." Williams explained the couplet to Pop Justice: "It was in another song that I'd written to be honest with you and I just thought it was a good line. The song was about a girl I was in love with when I was 16 and - sliding doors moment - your life changes and you go down different paths and she became who she became and I became who I became. The line in the other song was about somebody spraying 'k---head' on my poster in the back of Toys R Us. I lost the song, can't find it anywhere. But when me and Gaz came to light, it was lodged in my subconscious somewhere and I thought it was a good line so I put it in."

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