She's The One

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

Songfacts®:

  • This simple piano ballad about finding a soulmate was originally recorded by the British rock band World Party for their 1997 album, Egyptology. The band's frontman Karl Wallinger told The Daily Telegraph he wrote the song in "10 minutes and recorded it in an hour."
  • Despite the song winning an Ivor Novello Award in 1997, "She's The One" wasn't a hit for World Party. However, Guy Chambers, who'd played with Kurt Wallinger's outfit before becoming Robbie Williams' songwriting partner, heard the track when he was helping out on Egyptology. He suggested to Williams that he should record the tune for his I've Been Expecting You album. Featuring a restrained, almost whispered vocal from the singer it was released as the fourth single from the LP, becoming Williams' second solo #1 single in the UK.

    "It was very strange," Wallinger recalled. "Nobody phoned to say they were doing it and they used the band I'd just been on a road with to record it."
  • Kurt Wallinger criticized Williams' version of his song and in annoyance the former Take That singer dropped it from his stage performances. Wallenger said that it irritated him because, "Robbie didn't sing the right words, 'cause he can't read probably. It was a weird one: you lose your friends but you make loads of money."
  • The song went on to win a number of awards, including a BRIT Award for Single of the Year and Best British Video in 2000. Meanwhile, Wallinger was struggling; World Party's Dumbing Up album was released in 2000 but it failed to trouble the charts and the following year he suffered a brain aneurysm which left him unable to speak. It took him five years to recover, and the royalty checks from "She's the One" were a lifesaver as he recuperated at home.

    "The song had a much better time than me, popping off to the BRITs while I was at home eating crackers dipped in water," he said. "But it was lucky it was a hit. It's saved my ass financially for a few years while I was holding onto the handrail thinking, what happened?"
  • The song's music video was shot at an ice rink for which Robbie Williams had tuition from Olympic gold medalist, Robin Cousins.

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