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"Angels"
Single by Robbie Williams
from the album Life Thru a Lens
Released December 1, 1997 (1997-12-01)
Format CD single, Cassette
Recorded 1997
Genre Britpop
Length 4:24 [Album Version] 3.58 [Radio Edit]
Label Chrysalis
Writer(s) Robbie Williams
Guy Chambers
Producer Guy Chambers
Steve Power
Certification 2x Platinum (BPI)
Robbie Williams singles chronology
"South of the Border"
(1997)
"Angels"
(1997)
"Let Me Entertain You"
(1998)

"Angels" is a song written by Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers,[1] originally performed by Robbie Williams and covered by Jessica Simpson and Beverley Knight, in Spanish (as Ángel) by Mexican singers Yuridia and Marco Moré, in Italian (as Un Angelo) by Patrizio Buanne, All Angels, singer Declan Galbraith as well as Verena Von Strenge's latest group, Moon Dust, and American Idol season 7 runner-up David Archuleta. The original recording by Williams proved to be his greatest commercial success, being certified Double Platinum in the United Kingdom and selling 2 million copies worldwide.[2]

Williams is proud of the song, but irritated that many people assume it was written by his former co-writer Guy Chambers, from whom he split after a row about money. He said recently: "It pees me off because everyone thinks Guy penned 'Let Me Entertain You' and 'Angels', but they're my songs."[3]

"Angels" was the fourth single from Robbie Williams' debut album, Life Thru a Lens. It has been credited with saving the singer's solo career, and is used to conclude almost all of his concerts.

The song won Best British Single at the 1999 Brit Awards.

At the 2005 BRIT Awards, "Angels" was voted by the British public the best song in the past twenty-five years of British music, though it had only reached number four on the singles chart. Williams performed the song live with Joss Stone then. In a survey by UK digital TV station Music Choice, it even came in at number one as the song people would most like played at their funeral.[4]

The song was the 38th best selling of 1997 in the UK, and the 26th of 1998 the following year, it's also the 34th bestselling single of the nineties. It is Robbie Williams biggest selling UK single and according to Official UK Charts Company figures passed the million sales mark in June 2009, with a combination of both physical and download sales.

It was released in 1999 in the U.S., after his debut of "Millennium." The U.S. released video has Williams atop a roof, watching the city below. "Angels" re entered the ARIA Top 100 at 91, on May 5, 2008.[5]

According to a poll conducted by the Performing Right Society, Angels was voted to be the most popular karaoke song,[6] and was included on Singstar Pop Edition.

Contents

Meaning behind the lyrics

Robbie Williams says he wrote the song with Guy Chambers in 25 minutes and the song is about his aunt and uncle. Robbie and Guy were sitting outside a cafe watching a water fountain, this is what inspired them for the chorous.[7] Ray Heffernan says he wrote the song about his baby son that died.[8]

Formats and track listings

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "Angels".

UK CD1
(Released December 1, 1997)

  1. "Angels" - 4:25
  2. "Back For Good" [Live] - 2:19
  3. "Walk This Sleigh" - 3:01

UK CD2 (Limited Edition Postcard Pack)
(Released December 1, 1997)

  1. "Angels" - 4:25
  2. "Karaoke Overkill" - 3:26
  3. "Get The Joke" - 2:57
  4. "Angels" [Acoustic Version] - 4:28

Japan EP

  1. Angels
  2. Falling In Bed Again
  3. Let Me Entertain You [Full Length Version]
  4. Cheap Love Song
  5. Angels [Accoustic Version]
  6. Back For Good [Live]
  7. The Full Monty Medley
  8. I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind Of Thing
  9. South Of The Border [Mother's Milkin It Mix]
  10. Let Me Entertain You [Armthyst Mix]

Charts

Chart (1997) Peak
Position[9]
Irish Singles Chart 2
UK Singles Chart 4
Chart (1998) Peak
Position[10][11]
Swiss Singles Chart 4
Belgian (Flanders) Singles Chart 6
French Singles Chart 7
German Singles Chart 9
Austrian Singles Chart 12
Italian Singles Chart 12
Swedish Singles Chart 13
Dutch Singles Chart 14
New Zealand Singles Chart 23
Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart 32
Australian Singles Chart 40
Chart (1999) Peak
Position[12]
Canadian Singles Chart 20
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 41
U.S. Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 10
U.S. Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks 21
Chart (2008) Peak
Canada Top Digital 40
Chart (2009) Peak
Canada Top Digital 32
UK Singles Chart 96
Chart (2010) Peak
UK Singles Chart 55

Certifications

Country Certification (If Any) Sales/shipments
United Kingdom 2x Platinum[13] 1.2 Million+

Cover versions

Jessica Simpson

"Angels"
Single by Jessica Simpson
from the album In This Skin
Released June 7, 2004 (2004-06-07)
Format CD, digital download
Genre Pop
Length 04:05
Label Columbia
Producer billymann
Jessica Simpson singles chronology
"Take My Breath Away"
(2004)
"Angels"
(2004)
"Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow"
(2004)

Jessica Simpson's cover of "Angels" was the fourth and final single released from the album In This Skin in 2004. It was produced by billymann.

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Music video

The video for "Angels" is relatively low key. It opens a visibly anxious Simpson on an empty stage rehearsing for a performance. She can be seen in intercut scenes staring into space, as if she has lost her self-confidence and ability to perform. As the song progresses, however, white roses can be seen scattered around her as a sign of hope, and soon Simpson begins to regain her confidence. The song then shifts into its instrumental bridge to correlate with the emotions of the characters, as Simpson proceeds to climb to the top of the building for her final performance. There she is greeted by a youth orchestra, and finishes the song. The video spent a total of 13 days on the TRL countdown. peaking at #6

Chart performance

Simpson's version of "Angels" performed relatively poorly as the track failed to break into the Billboard Hot 100 (though it did reach number six on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles) However, the song did become a moderate success on the Top 40 Mainstream and Hot Digital Tracks. Jessica and Joe Simpson, her father and manager, had hoped this song would lead to Jessica's first Grammy Nomination, as Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera, her 1990's rivals, had each been already been nominated as well as winning. The song's downloads were not allowed to help it. Despite this relative failure, the single was featured on Now That's What I Call Music! Volume 17 in the US.

Track listing

  1. "Angels"
  2. "Angels" (Stealth Remix)
  3. "Fly" (B-side)
  4. "Angels" (Enhanced Video)

Remixes

  • "Angels" [Album Version] - 4:00
  • "Angels" [Dave Anthony Remix] - 4:53
  • "Angels" [Junior Vasquez World Mixshow] - 6:32
  • "Angels" [Stealth Remix] - 3:12
  • "Angels" [Acoustic] - 4:07

Charts

Chart (2004) Position
U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 106
U.S.[14] 14
U.S. Top 40 Mainstream 23
U.S. Top 40 Tracks 37
Mexican Top Singles 10
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 27

Yuridia

"Ángel"
Single by Yuridia
from the album La Voz de un Ángel
Released 2005
Genre Latin, pop
Length 4:17
Label Sony BMG
Yuridia singles chronology
"Ángel"
(2004)
"La Maldita Primavera"
(2006)

In 2005, Yuridia, former contestant of the popular Mexican show La Academia, released "Ángel", a Spanish version of the song which she had interpreted during her stay in the reality show), as her debut single. In her native Mexico, as well as in other parts of Latin America, "Ángel", became an instant hit, leading her debut album of almost the same name to achieve Diamond status in Mexico and becoming one of the most recent best selling Mexican singers.

Chart performance

"Ángel" reached 32 on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart and La Voz de un Angel managed to climb into the top 20 on the Billboard Hot Latin Albums chart, peaking at 16.

Charts

Chart 2005 Position
U.S. Billboard Hot Latin Songs 32

Beverley Knight

In March 2006, British soul singer Beverley Knight recorded a live gospel version of "Angels". The track, performed live on BBC Radio 2 with musician Guy Chambers, was included on her Voice - The Best Of Beverley Knight album. The inclusion came after Knight performed the song at the Live 8 concerts in July 2005.

All Angels

"Angels"
Single by All Angels
from the album All Angels
Released December 18, 2006 (2006-12-18)
Format CD
Genre Pop
Length 4:19
Label UCJ (Universal)
All Angels singles chronology
"Songbird"
(2006)
"Angels"
(2006)
"Nothing Compares 2 U"
(2007)

In December 2006, British classical crossover group All Angels released a cover version of Angels, with a classical touch to the song. Bookmakers put odds of 7-1 on them for getting a UK Christmas number-one single with their cover.

The single is the first ever Christmas single to be released in association with the Royal British Legion and their Poppy Appeal. Incidentally All Angels performed at the Festival of Remembrance (2006).

  • Track listing

CD Single

  1. "Angels" - 3:18
  2. "Silent Night" - 3:14
  3. "Fly" - 3:45

David Archuleta

"Angels"
Single by David Archuleta
from the album David Archuleta
Released October 27, 2008 (2008-10-27)
Format Digital download
Recorded 2008
Genre Pop
Length 3:33 (American Idol Studio Version)
4:09 (Album Version)
Label Jive
Writer(s) Robbie Williams, Guy Chambers
David Archuleta singles chronology
"Crush"
(2008)
"Angels"
(2008)
"A Little Too Not Over You"
(2009)

David Archuleta initially covered this song during the 7th season of American Idol, in 2008. A studio version of this cover was produced and made available for purchase as a digital download exclusively via iTunes Store for a limited period.

Later in that year, he decided to re-record the song, with a different arrangement and production, for his debut album. The version is also available for digital purchase since October 27, 2008, when it was released to help promote the pre-order of Archuleta's album. The track, however, has not been released as an official single yet.

Formats and track listings

Digital download
  1. "Angels" (main version) — 4:09
  2. "Angels" (promotional version) — 3:33

Chart performance

Archuleta's version of the song has become the second highest charting version in the United States after the original performed by Robbie Williams. It managed to enter the Billboard Hot 100 at #89 due to digital downloads. On the Canadian Hot 100 the song peaked at #64, higher than its original recording.

Charts
Chart (2008) Peak
position
Canadian Hot 100 64
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 89

References

External links


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