Take the Crown by Robbie Williams, everywhere and in none

I took Take The Crown as an example only because it seems to me that it is what most eloquently describes the career of an artist that baffles me. A record that is not from here, nor from there, that pretends to be everywhere and in none at the same time. In the beginning, as many in the UK and much of Europe know, Robbie Williams belonged to the most famous Boy Band of the time in the British Isles, Take That, and because of the outstanding attention that fans of the band put about Robbie, the idea inside his mind about leaving the band and starting a solo career began to germinate. You know, the artists' ego is huge as the Universe itself and the temptation to shine with their own light and not share credits or reflectors with the rest of the band members is very big. It is not the first, nor will it be the last. Throughout the history of the twentieth century and so far in the twenty-first we can make a long list of artists who have abandoned the original band members or, even, have caused enough problems within their groups to cause the break and thus get the goal of starting a solo career. The way in which Robbie behaved when recording his videos and in the live presentations attracted a lot of attention. Perhaps his unusual facial features and the energy he put into everything he did with the rest of the band, made him stand out from the others and that should also have captivated the executives of the record labels. The conditions to start a solo adventure were given after several very successful albums with Take That and, what had to happen, happened. Robbie Williams announced his departure from the band and one of his main goals was to go to the conquest of the great music consumer market: The United States. The artist moved to Los Angeles to be concentrated one hundred percent and have all possible contact with the industry and the public. At the time of announcing his retirement and releasing his first solo album, he had a great response in Europe (where he was already an idol) however, I believe that the American continent did not have so much enthusiasm. The signs, from the point of view of the business, were clear: we should be very careful in the next attempt and, if things in the United States were not given as intended, we should return to take care of the market that was already held captive and not cause a cooling of it, because the risk of going into oblivion very soon in a market that was not receiving attention, was very large. I think the obsession with the American market was what led to Robbie Williams' ship drifting, however many attempts he made, things never got better on this side of the Pacific Ocean.


There is no denying the success in sales that this singer had at the beginning of his solo career; however, he did not seem to mind because his intentions were in a market that ignored him. I could see innumerable attempts to look good in the United States and nothing happened. I confirmed that, in his desperation, he began to appear live on Mexican television programs with very bad content to try to take people to his concerts and sell records; however, neither the Mexican market reacted as he wanted. Simply his music or his image and personality did not fit with the demands of a market evidently different from the one that saw him born and became a star. Time passed, and time is cruel when it passes. It is not only about losing validity within the market that has supported you so much and that has allowed you to maintain such a difficult career, but it's also about inevitably getting old. What is old in music? What the market determines. For female fans, an attractive artist from the point of view of their age and image may not be as important as for male fans, who are stupidly more demanding with the female singers, to whom they always want to see as if they were twenty years old; however, the female audience also reacts unfavorably when it ascertains that its youth hero has gray hair and a few extra kilos and that, during that process, he was not at their side in order to get them used to these changes and the new image. Then the problems begin for anyone.


It was too long that Robbie Williams and his work team were slow to react and realize that they should be in the place where they best accept him and make him live as an artist. His return to the United Kingdom for me is like the acceptance of failure for all the time he passed. If he had done so when the market signals were more than evident, his luck would not have been so cruel to him. After having despised, in a very rude way, a possible meeting with his former Take That colleagues, because he felt much bigger than them to go back and give his ex-companions a bit of oxygen, he finally, had to accept that he was wrong and that reunion finally happened, again, too late. The audience was totally discouraged by these inconsistencies and the song that was presented with great hopes did not reach the places of popularity that were expected, and the attempt was unsuccessful. Now, we see the artist in a place that is not his, and that like many others, who no longer know what to do to stay on the television screen and the horns of the fans, accept any offer such as being a judge of a talent show, pathetic where you see it. It is the story of someone who believed that his presence alone would be enough to conquer all that he conquered alongside others, but in other places, I am sure that life will have given him many lessons.

By: Jorge Diaz

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