|Released 18 November 2002|
Artist Robbie Williams
Release date 18 November 2002
|Producer Guy Chambers
Escapology (2002) Live at Knebworth (2003)
Awards NME Award for Worst Album
Nominations MTV Europe Music Award for Best Album, Porin Award for Best Foreign Pop/Rock Album
Genres Pop music, Rock music, Pop rock, Soft rock
Similar Robbie Williams albums, Pop music albums
Robbie williams how peculiar
Escapology is the fifth studio album by English singer-songwriter Robbie Williams. It was released on 18 November 2002 through EMI Records.
The album debuted at number one in the United Kingdom with first-week sales of over 264,000, becoming Williams' fifth consecutive number one.
In 2002, Williams signed a record-breaking £80 million contract with EMI. The contract included a number of provisos, including the label ceding greater creative control to the artist and a commitment to breaking Williams in the American market. In return, EMI affirmed they would benefit from a cut of Williams' non-recording activities, including touring, publishing, and merchandising, thus protecting the company from any commercial downturn in the singer's album sales. So far it has become the biggest music deal in British history.
After a year out from recording, Williams began working on what would be his fifth studio album. The album heralded a new era for Williams, as he had taken a more active role in the making of the album, giving an indication of his growing confidence in the studio. "One Fine Day", "Nan's Song" and "Come Undone" were the first three songs that Robbie wrote without Guy Chambers' input. The majority of the album was recorded in Los Angeles. "Escapology" was arguably conceived as a concept album, due to its lyrical content being totally reflective of Williams' life as a popstar. The album focuses on his hopes and fears. Williams stated: "Half of the album it is written from the standpoint of 'Look, this is really me with my tears of a clown. Do they love me or hate me?' The rest of it is about somebody that I have to think I am to get up onstage. Because little me wouldn't get up there. It's too scary!"
As the contract stated, EMI attempted to break Williams in the American market; to this end the label asked him to tweak Escapology to suit the market. The American release shuffled the song order, removed "Song 3", "Hot Fudge", "Cursed" and one hidden track, added "Get a Little High" and "One Fine Day", and made "How Peculiar (Reprise)" a main album track instead of a hidden track. Williams promoted the album on shows such as Good Morning America, Last Call with Carson Daly and The Tonight Show. This version of the album won the award for Best Album by a Solo Male in the International Category at the Premios Oye! in Mexico.
Initial critical response to Escapology was generally mixed. Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received an average score of 53, based on 11 reviews.
Escapology debuted at number one in the United Kingdom on sales of 264,104, becoming Williams' fifth consecutive number-one album. It also reached number one in Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Denmark and Austria. It also reached the top ten in other European countries. However, it failed to make an impact in the United States, only reaching number forty-three on the Billboard albums chart. Escapology became the best selling album of 2002 in the United Kingdom, selling 1.2 million copies, and being certified 6× Platinum by the BPI in December 2003, becoming the sixtieth best selling album of all time in the UK. The album sold over 6.5 million copies.