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Take That

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Brit Awards 2008 - Backstage Boards
Chris Jackson/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Formation of Take That:

Take That began when Gary Barlow, already a veteran of TV performances and in his late teens, met Mark Owen and Robbie Williams, 2 other aspiring, 3 years younger, teen performers. They formed the trio Cutest Rush. However, it wasn't long before producer/manager Nigel Martin Smith approached the trio about taking part in a British version of the American New Kids on the Block. The trio agreed and, along with Jason Orange and Howard Donald, they formed Take That in 1990.

Take That Members:

  • Gary Barlow
  • Howard Donald
  • Jason Orange
  • Mark Owen
  • Robbie Williams (not part of the group reunion)

British Breakthrough:

Take That's first 3 singles in 1991 and 1992 were only minor hits, but they did endear the group to a mostly gay dance club audience that would be a significant part of the group's core fan base throughout their career. The group's cover of the old Tavares disco classic "It Only Takes a Minute" finally brought them a top 10 pop hit. This was followed by 2 more top 10 pop singles and a debut album Take That and Party which reached #5 on the album chart in August, 1992.

Quote from Take That's Gary Barlow:

From interview with Subba-Cultcha on fan response to Take That's reunion:

"We really didn’t plan to get this response especially with the tour, we were a bit nervous about whether tickets would sell. I had my phone off when they went on sale, and then when I turned it on I had all these messages about selling out all the dates in 5 minutes, and would we agree to release more dates. It was just amazing, it really is overwhelming!"

Everything Changes:

Everything Changes, Take That's second studio album, was released in October, 1993, amid fan hysteria for the group. The new collection topped the album chart and included 6 top 10 pop singles in the UK, 4 of them went clear to #1. Everything Changes made Take That into stars in many countries around the world, but US success still proved elusive.

Nobody Else:

With press accolades that Take That were the best-selling British pop group since the Beatles, the 3rd studio album Nobody Else appeared in May, 1995. It included the massive hit single "Back for Good" that finally broke the group into the pop top 10 in the US. Unfortunately, cracks were starting to appear in the group, and there were signs that the taste of British pop audiences was beginning to change and drift away from Take That's brand of dance pop and sweet ballads.

Take That's Top Pop Hits:

All of the following were #1 pop singles in the UK.

  • 1993 - Pray
  • 1993 - Relight My Fire
  • 1993 - Babe
  • 1994 - Everything Changes
  • 1994 - Sure
  • 1995 - Back for Good
  • 1995 - Never Forget
  • 1996 - How Deep Is Your Love
  • 2006 - Patience

The Break Up:

Apparently tiring of the clean-cut boy band image, Robbie Williams began hanging out with the members of pop-rock group Oasis. The group was notorious for drunken and drug-induced partying. By late in 1995, Williams had walked out on the group. The remaining four members soldiered on, but in February, 1996 the announcement came that the group members were going their separate ways. The group's fans were reportedly so distraught at the break-up that British authorities were forced to set up telephone hotlines to make support available to deal with the news.

The Return of Take That:

After the group's break-up Robbie Williams went on to become one of the UK's biggest pop stars. Gary Barlow also enjoyed solo success initially. He released 2 #1 pop singles and a #1 album, but by the end of the 1990's his success faded. Mark Owen has managed to generate 3 top 10 pop singles, but the remaining 2 members of the group failed to crack the charts with any solo work.

In mid-November 2005 Take That reunited to help put together a documentary on the group including the individual members' views on the group's split and news on what they had been doing for the past 10 years. A new compilation of the band's past recordings titled Never Forget - The Ultimate Collection was released as well and it reached #2 on the album chart. On November 25, 2005 an official press conference was called to announce that all members of Take That except Robbie Williams would be reuniting onstage for a tour in 2006. Called The Ultimate Tour 2006, the group's reunion caused a sensation and necessitated adding 19 additional dates to the initially planned 11 shows.

Although Robbie Williams gave his blessing to the reunion and the remaining group members extended an open invitation for him to join them, Robbie Williams only took part in the tour as a 20 ft. hologram during the performance of "Could It Be Magic." During the tour the group announced that they would be entering the studio to record their first album in 10 years once the tour was complete.

"Patience," the first single from Take That's upcoming album Beautiful World. The song became the group's 9th chart topping single when it reached #1 the final week of November, 2006.

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