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Monday, 19 November, 2001, 12:05 GMT
Robbie Williams: Your views
Robbie Williams
Has Robbie gone a step too far?
Robbie Williams has recorded a tribute album to Frank Sinatra with classics such as Mack the Knife and One For My Baby

It includes duets with Nicole Kidman, Jane Horrocks, Rupert Everett and his best friend Jonathan Wilkes.

"Looked at coldly, the album does little more than tell the world what it already knows - that Robbie Williams is a half-decent pop singer and a first-rate showman, but he will never be Frank Sinatra," says the BBC's Nigel Packer.

But what do you think?

Is this professional suicide for Robbie? Or is it just a bit of fun?

HAVE YOUR SAY

I have too say I disagree with most of what the critic said. I believe that Robbie has never sounded so good and the concert at RAH was fantastic. Having bought the album already I love it and I think that Robbie deserves somne praise just ofr trying something different. I may be a massive fan and I may be biased but at the end of the day I think the gamble and album has paid off.
Danni, UK


The music is my era - I loved Frank, Sammy and all the others of that time - I like Robbie's style

Ann Biederman, England
I agree with Nigel Packer....talent...but no match to Sinatra
Barry Davis, England

It is a great triubute to a all time legend by a modern day legend. He has done remarkably well and after all the problems he has had with living the life of a pop star it is great to see that he appreciates the music that has made his industry. He is not trying to be Frank, he just loves great music like we all do.
Jonathan Smith, England

I have never been a fan of his. However after hearing him sing some classic tunes I realize that it was his pop songs that bored me not him or his voice.
Claire, England

I think it's a great idea, he's clearly paying tribute to a great artist. He does it in a tasteful way. It will open peoples eyes to real music, not the manufactured rubbish that is around at the moment. Go Robbie.
Dave Mingay, England

Really enjoyed the album. I watched the screening of the Royal Albert Hall show , thought it was super. I enjoyed it and Robbie looked as though he enjoyed it. Swing when and where you want Robbie - always.
Val , UK

10/10 for trying but he is not a patch on the real thing. The new Des O'Connor?
David, UK

Brilliant! Superb!
J. Crosby, England


Frank Sinatra will never be Robbie Williams

Helen, Australia
He has not got the class of Frank, nor the voice.
K Offer, London

Frank Sinatra was, is, and always will be the Chairman of the Board. Many will try to emulate him but none will ever match him.
David, UK

... and Frank Sinatra will never be Robbie Williams. Get a life critics, let's enjoy the music.
Helen, Australia

I thought Robbie was very good singing the songs in his own style, not trying to copy those before him. The music is my era - I loved Frank, Sammy and all the others of that time. I do also listen to a lot of popular music of today. I like Robbie's style and think he should develop this new style. Well done, and good luck to him carry on the way he is going.
Ann Biederman, England

I think Robbie is brave and innovative. Robbie has never been comfortable singing bubblegum pop songs and indeed on his last few albums he has gone far beyond that. His voice is OK, so was Dean Martin's. What Robbie and Mr Martin share is a genuine skill to entertain people. I was transfixed by Robbie's performance. I can only compare it to Elvis's Comeback show. Of course nobody in this country likes to admit it when somebody has triumphed. In retrospect I would not be surprised if this is seen as one of Robbie's greatest moments.
Joanna Bryan, UK


I found myself amazed by the pure showmanship that Robbie brought to the concert

Paul Macefield, England
I've just read Nigel Packer's review and I'm dumbstruck. What the hell is he on about? Robbie Williams concert was not an attempt to sound like or act like any of the original rat pack, so why does this idiot reporter think it was. It was Robbie Williams' chance to pay respect to the writers and musicians who first gave us the sound.

So, Mr Packer, crawl back under your stone and stay there until you have managed even half an ounce of the talent of someone like Robbie Williams.
Phil, UK

One thing that everyone seems to forget was that Sinatra was a man of connections not necessarily that much talent. He was flat for crying out loud. I'm not a Robbie fan, but good on him for giving some people who would never even consider listening to some Sinatra songs a reason to do so.
Pete Boyd, UK

Not being a fan of Robbie, I wasn't sure what to expect of the RW tribute concert. I found myself amazed by the pure showmanship that Robbie brought to the concert. Although as others have mentioned there were some aspects of the show that would have been better left out. That said I felt that he did a magnificient job a had a good knowledge of the songs.

Would I buy the album? - not so sure, but I would buy the video.
Paul Macefield, England

I thought Saturday night's show was fantastic. No-one is saying Robbie Williams is trying to be Frank Sinatra! Why shouldn't he pay a tribute to one of the greatest singers ever? Other artists do and no-one rips them apart. I think the album will be a great success. I know I'll buy it for sure!
Christina, Isle of Man


If anything this latest venture proves his maturity and ability to put real emotion into song

Colin, UK
For the people who are critical of Williams' efforts at paying tribute to great singers of yesteryear - if you don't like what he is doing, don't buy his album. Buy the albums of the singers to whom he's paying tribute and stop moaning.

Robbie will never be Frank but there is little doubt that he is a fine performer and I would second Mike Reed's earlier point that if the Sinatra estate didn't like what Williams was doing there is no way on this Earth that they would have given permission for Sinatra's voice to be used on the album. In my opinion the album is a good effort and does not disgrace him in any way.
Stephen, UK

Professional suicide this is not - it would be difficult for Robbie to achieve that! I don't think it is "just" a bit of fun on Robbie's part. The album and the Royal Albert Hall concert was Robbie's tribute to the likes of Sinatra, Cole etc. The trouble is that the media and some others are too quick to deride people's attempts to bring the golden era of music to a fresher audience. I grew up listening to Sinatra etc as my parents played it all the time, and I see no harm in a new talent recreating and paying tribute to these stars of yesterday.

Just as people say Beckham is not as good as Best so people will say Williams is not a patch on Sinatra. Wake up! Robbie Williams is a talented, all-round entertainer - and probably one of the best around today. If anything this latest venture proves his maturity and ability to put real emotion into song - just on a different level to the rat pack of yesteryear. Well done to him I say.
K Higgs, UK

It sounds like RW has done a lot of work on his voice, it's grown up a lot. He obviously worked hard at getting those songs right and after he'd warmed up was every bit as good as Sinatra. The band was swinging too! The TV show didn't need any smut, and it didn't need My Way or the false whimpering at the end. But it was refreshing, and so much better than seeing a bunch of drama school kids miming (Live on stage!) to their shallow, mind numbing "dance" tunes.
Colin, UK


There was a guy a couple of years ago who won Stars In Their Eyes singing "Mack The Knife" who could have done better on this album

Cath, UK
It is not professional suicide for Robbie because whatever he records, thousands will buy it. However, he is only the equivalent of a good ale house singer - Frank Sinatra he will never be. It's only because there is a dearth of decent singers in this country that he is even considered a half-way decent singer.
Tony Costello, UK

What a fantastic album, I couldn't keep still and just had to get up and dance. He deserves this to be a success. Saturday nights show on BBC1 made me cry! What a true performer with real passion.
Sarah Ramsay, UK

I haven't heard the album yet but if Saturday's showing of Robbie live at the Albert Hall is anything to go by the album will be an instant success. Robbie is indeed a first-rate showman but then isn't that what everybody loves about him - does he really want everybody to think he wants to be Frank Sinatra?
Dave Cooke, England

Having seen the Albert Hall show on the television at the weekend, Williams is now in a position to do music a great deal of good.

Purists will decry it in the same way they decried Nigel Kennedy playing Hendrix tunes, and to be honest, Williams's performances were flawed, but a valiant attempt at something of which he has little experience. But more importantly, if it promotes big band music, and musicianship generally, that can't be a bad thing.
Stuart, UK

He has some good songs but that's it. The only other thing he has is a huge ego. Frank Sinatra, oh dear.
Daryl Chapman, Hong Kong

Robbie Williams has reached superstar status in this country singing the pop type songs that he does, he is not, however, known or famed for his "swinging". There was a guy a couple of years ago who won Stars In Their Eyes singing "Mack The Knife" who could have done better on this album. To be bought by the stream of little Robbie fans only! Sinatra fans - avoid.
Cath, Lincoln, UK

It's a tribute, not a claim that he IS Frank Sinatra. Why are people so against Robbie doing something a bit different? I thought he pulled it off well, actually, and I can't think of any other performer around at the moment who could. In a world of total money-driven musical drivel, at least he's doing something a bit different while he counts up his dollars. With regard to him having a big ego - why the hell do you think people perform in the first place? Without ego-driven stars, we'd have no Beatles, no Stones, no Wacko Jacko, no Elvis etc - we'd be left with the watered down rubbish that we're so over-exposed to.
Gary Feldman, London, UK

I think its great that Robbie's been able to sing publicly the songs he grew up worshipping. It annoys me when the press say 'who does he think he is - he'll never be Frank Sinatra', can't they see he would never try to be him. People should just appreciate him for being a top quality entertainer. I love it!
CJ, UK

I am totally at awe when people say Robbie is a half-decent singer. Really! He is what I would call as entertaining and very enjoyable to listen too, even older parents and grandparents are attracted to him. Give him a break, it's a tribute to someone who he obviously listened to when growing up. Well done!!!!
pip, UK

I think that, if anything, this album proves that Robbie does really have a decent voice and that he isn't limited to particular types of music. It is a change to hear someone of his age appreciating this kind of music.
Joy, UK

I think that what Sinatra brought to his recordings, especially the so-called Capitol years, was his ability to interpret the music and not merely to sing it. It takes a lot more than a good voice to produce the performances he left us. Maybe Robbie Williams will get there eventually but he has a long way to go yet. Nice attempt but school is definitely not out yet.
Sandra, UK


I'm sure the sales will be as big as his ego

Rick, UK

He's not Sinatra, or even Jack Jones, but he'll do for now. Few other current pop stars could even make an attempt at singing this music, so good luck to him. Let's hope people review the music and not just the man.
Mark Lardner, UK

No doubt Robbie Williams has a charisma and charm that allows him to be a pop star of tremendous proportions. Despite this, though this album may do him no real discredit, one cant help that feel this is yet another step from being the lovable-rogue (very much like Blue Eyes himself), to a more arrogant, self-indulgent Liam Gallagher-type performer, who will easily get on everyone's nerves. I hope this is a mistake that he soon realises, and reverts back to what catapulted him to where he is today.
Frasier Williamson, UK

I don't think Robbie Williams is trying to be another Frank Sinatra, I think he just enjoys singing the songs with a big band - after all, that's what his father does.
vivienne petty, England

He was rubbish before, and remains so..
Henry Rollins, US

I feel that your comment that "Robbie Williams is a half-decent pop singer and a first-rate showman" is spot on. Frank Sinatra, however, is the benchmark to which any male singers should be compared - he was a legend in his own lifetime and his music will be with us forever. Robbie Williams is not and his music will not. Ol' Blue Eyes will be turning in his grave. I do, however, wish Robbie all the best in his new career at Butlins and hope to see him next time I am at Minehead so I can throw tomatoes at him.
Toby Hobbs, England

I have always been a big Robbie Williams fan. But with his recent decision to transparently emulate his father's cabaret performances, I have lost a lot of respect for him. It is really tacky, and also pretty arrogant on his part to think his vocals can live up to Frank's. He is a great performer and entertainer, and should generally stick to that.
S Reid, England


This album reveals Williams as a lazy, arrogant performer

Philip Maher, UK
I'm sure Mr Williams doesn't give a damn that 300 people rang the BBC to complain about his language on Saturday. I for one say more power to his ego, it was one of the best pieces of entertainment to appear for a very long time. Someone suggested that no-one can match the benchmark of Sinatra...maybe not. But between them, Robbie Williams and the BBC have now set a bench mark for everyone else. Cliff and ITV, realise your mistakes.
Mason Laird, UK

If one boyband-obsessed teenager can be weaned off Westlife and persuaded to pick up a Bobby Darin or Frank Sinatra greatest hits collection, then well played RW, your work is done...
Paul Thomson, Scotland

I hope it'll bring swing to a new audience who may never otherwise have known how good & what fun it is!
Debbie, England

Robbie has artistic licence to do whatever he pleases. If he desires to pay his respects to a great why begin to judge him, just enjoy the music or don't, there are more important issues to be discussed.
Ruairi Hughes, Ireland

Robbie made the album becaue he wanted to. Good for him. You listen to it if you want to. Good for you. Frank Sinatra couldn't get a crowd going like Robbie. Robbie can't sing like Sinatra. Who cares. If Sinatra was alive and decided to do a "Tribute to Robbie" show.... it'd sell out!
Eamon Durran, Germany

The whole aim of a tribute album is to pay tribute. Robbie Williams grew up listening to this music and as a former professional trombonist myself, I feel that he does a very good job of recreating the feel.
Andy Gray, UK

I can't believe some of the above comments about Robbie trying to sound like Sinarta. Don't you get the fact that it's a tribute album! I thought that his performance on Saturday night was really great - his showmanship made the whole experience really enjoyable. Look at where the rest of Take That are - he's done really well for himself - some people are just plain jealous!
Vanessa, UK

What's the matter you, hey? Gotta no respect? What will RW come up with next. Even if it's a tribute album to Joe Dolce, anything he does will sell by the shed load just now
Steven, Scotland

Two Words - "Absolutely Awful". Frank would be turning in his grave if he knew what this idiot had done to his songs.
P. Tippins, UK

Robbie Williams is one of the most talented pop artists around today. He has the entertainment values and charisma to be successful in whatever he decides to do. I believe that 'Swing when you are Winning' will be a huge success and prove that Robbie is as talented as he has been telling us he is for years. Robbie is unique. I wish him success and happiness.
Andrea, England

At last a real showman! If you don't like it don't by it. But I think we now know who'll be No.1 at Christmas
Julian Tice, Scotland

The album is fantastic! and contrary to other opinons RW is not trying to be any member of the Ratpack, he is just singing, and enjoying, the songs that he grew up listening to. And if anyone saw his performance the other night they would have to agree with me.
Matt Emmins, England

He sounds like Harry Connick Jr, rather than Mr Sinatra. Watched his concert on TV. He has a big ego doesn't he.
Colin, UK

What everyone is forgetting is - it's entertainment and Rob is good at that. He carried it off brilliantly - I think too many people are jealous of his charisma, good looks, aura and ability to perform.
Sue spicer, UK

I fail to understand the need to compare RW and FS. The bottom line is that the show on Saturday was outstanding, fun (Bad language permitting)and easy to watch. I am no fan of RW but would consider buying the tribute album, purely because it sounds good, not because it reminds me of Sinatra.I have to say that I caught the end of the Cliff Richard show after watching RW, and the gulf in performance and talent was enormous - time to hang up the vocal chords Cliff. There will be only one Christmas No. 1, and it ain't you.
Paul J, UK

Robbie is incapable of professional suicide - I can't think of anything he could do that he couldn't shake off with a wink and grin. Pop music is about fun more than deep meaning and cultural value - and this album is certainly fun. Good on you, me ol' son.
Gary Barlow, UK

This album reveals Williams as a lazy, arrogant performer - contemptuous of both his fans and the songs he mugs his way through.
Philip Maher, United Kingdom

Come on - it really is very good!
Martyn, UK


At least it isn't the same formulaic pop or dance mush that is being churned out these days

Stephen Porton, UK
I'm sure the sales will be as big as his ego.
Rick, UK

In a word - fabulous... he not only pulls it off but sings with the same passion that Sinatra did. Good on you Rob.
Natalia, UK

As a massive fan of the Big Band Sound (although I'm only in my early thirties)I was excited at the prospect of Robbie's Show on BBC1 on Saturday. I was, however,disappointed, not by Robbie's singing (which was not too bad), but by his and the BBC's lack of respect for the band/orchestra. All the Big Band singers of the past would involve the band, focus on the soloists and generally appreciate their talent. Afterall, without the band the 'voice' would not have even sounded half as good as it did. The BBC should have realised that they were not at a rock concert and the camera work should have incorporated the band much more, especially as the players were first-class.
Darrell, Wales

"But he will never be Frank Sinatra," says the BBC's Nigel Packer. Short of human cloning, no-one will ever be Frank Sinatra, and it is a little absurd to say otherwise. Give RW his dues, at least it isn't the same formulaic pop or dance mush that is being churned out these days.
Stephen Porton, UK

He could never even come near Frank, but at least he has the audacity to try. Remember: though Sinatra personalised them, most of those songs were standards anyway. Robbie's got a good voice, he performs well, and if the effect of this album is to introduce the Rat Pack to a new audience, then no bad will have come of it. Nice one.
Jim, Ireland

His adaptations and style of singing are excellent and although different to Sinatra, they are just as appealing

Martin Littlewood, England

The ego has landed. Yes, Robbie you are a general all round entertainer... but in the leagues of Frank and Dino? Come on, let them rest in peace.
Stu, UK I would like to se anyone of you critical people try to sing as well as Robbie. He's not trying to be Frank Sinatra, but he's doing a fantastic job of being a performer in his own right.
Helen, UK

Robbie sounds good regardless of the type of song he sings! whether its rock, pop or jazz, he is one artist who is capable of it all, he is not trying to BE frank sinatra, he is just enjoying himself singing those songs! It will bring back memories for some who havent heard many of those songs in years, and it brings a new sound to the younger generation, who have never heard it!
sarah, essex,uk

It is somewhat arrogant of Robbie Williams to believe that Frank Sinatra needs a tribute album. That is because the wealth of recordings of Frank Sinatra singing his own songs are their own tribute. As an ex-boy band member, Robbie Williams would do better to stick to lightweight pop.
Michael Franks, UK

Robbie Williams is an outstanding singer who has great respect for good songs performed by Sinatra and others. I think it is great that a young pop star has brought these songs alive again for a new audience to appreciate. His adaptations and style of singing are excellent and although different to Sinatra, they are just as appealing. Lets hope we have more standards from this popular star.
Martin Littlewood, England

This bloke is a legend in his own mind.
Irene McDonald, Scotland

He's having a bit of fun with something he obviously feels passionate about. Anyone who cant see that is obviously jealous.
Emma, UK


I think the album is refreshing and fun - hopefully it will help bring good, old fashioned musical values (ie style) to a younger audience

Phil, Sweden
The mother in law likes it.
Alan Parkinson, UK

I watched the RW concert on the BBC on Saturday, and was really impressed with Robbie's showmanship and singing - but oh dear, what a mistake and a turn off the sexual innuendo and bad language of Rupert and Robbie was when they decided to act like silly little boys out to shock. This was a show that three generations should have been able to enjoy together, teenagers to show their elders what a talented lad Robbie is, and older folk to show the youngsters what great songs were written in the past. However, the banter was unfit for the youngsters and would have shocked many older people into switching off and missing out on a great musical performance. Please grow up Robbie - you are so talented.
Mary Anne Crook, Scotland

Considering Sinatra was a half-decent crooner and a second-rate showman, I would think Robbie Williams is happy that the BBC's opinion puts him ahead on points. I think the album is refreshing and fun. Hopefully it will help to bring good, old fashioned musical values (ie. style) to a younger, wider audience, as well as opening the eyes of older generations to the talent of the man.
Phil, Sweden

Well what a shame. A shame for Frank that Robbie could think he ever match the warm, silky voice of Sinatra. Robbie is a rock star, he has a rock star's voice. Why try this?
Paul Wood, UK


He has got real talent and you can't knock that

Oliver, UK
Robbie is as good as Frank was.
Sue, UK

This was an insult to the great man, Frank Sinatra.
Peter Ervine, Northern Ireland

I like Mr Williams but he misses the vocal quality to measure up to Blue Eyes. They didn't call him The Voice for nothing. Mr Williams, please just try to be Robbie, that seems hard enough.
Johan, Netherlands

He's having a bit fun, leave him alone. He's enjoying himself and I know lots of parents and grandparents will appreciate someone doing "their" kind of music.
Cath, Scotland

I'm sure Robbie Williams is well aware that he is not Frank Sinatra. As for being half-decent, the Frank Sinatra estate must rate him a little higher than that to allow Frank's voice to be used on the album.
Mike Reed, England

I think that if anything this album proves that Robbie does really have a decent voice and that he isn't limited to particular types of music. It is a change to hear someone of his age appreciating this kind of music.
Joy, UK

I'm sure the sales will be as big as his ego.
Rick, UK

What exactly does Robbie Williams think he can add? By performing these songs in this way he is deliberately making a comparison between himself and Sinatra. It's disingenuous to suggest it is merely a tribute. If Robbie Williams copied a painting by Van Gogh you could call it a tribute. Alternatively, you could call it a pale imitation that added nothing. Sinatra was an all-round entertainer. Williams is just an ego and should stick to what he knows.
Alex, England


Stick to the pop Mr Williams, your high-pitched, soft voice does not allow anything else

Sandra Dudley, UK
I think Robbie Williams' new venture shows, above all, that he has the ability to entertain. He manages to combine modern pop star credentials with old fashioned showmanship. To cap it all, he does it all superbly. Robbie's not particularly my cup of tea musically - though I think he has turned out a couple of real gems in his career - but as an entertainer, he is unmissable. Of course he will get knocked for doing Swing When You're Winning, from teeny popsters as well as purists of the swing era. But hey, why should he care - he has got real talent and you can't knock that.
Oliver, UK

Why listen to Robbie Williams doing it when you can listen to the real thing ?
Neil Roberts, UK

Mr Williams hasn't the voice or personality to take on the gods of swing like Sinatra, Martin or Davis Jnr. Also please somehow inform Ms Kidman and himself, that they have between them completely destroyed a beautiful song. Stick to the pop Mr Williams, your high-pitched, soft voice does not allow anything else.
Sandra Dudley, UK

We need modern day popstars to keep the Rat Pack era alive, otherwise people will just forget people like Frank Sinatra, many youngsters feel that that music like this is too old-fashioned and should just gather dust. I cannot believe the critical slamming Robbie Williams is getting for keeping this era alive - they must be careful that in all this critical snobbery that they will end up consigning Frank Sinatra and other crooners like him to history books. Surely there is no harm in keeping this music alive?
Phillip Darlington, United Kingdom

If Robbie Williams really is "a half-decent pop singer and a first-rate showman", as Nigel Packer suggests, then this puts him one step ahead of Sinatra. I don't question Sinatra's ability as a performer but his vocal talent could leave a lot to be desired. There are many singers more gifted than both these men - but, rightly or wrongly, it's more about stage presence than pure vocal ability and few today can match Robbie William's stage craft. As for Sinatra, he may have been able to wow them in Vegas but as for hitting the right note, he most definitely did it his way.
James Pettinger, England


It is not different or new to cover songs of the past - it seems many popstars try to revive flagging careers by plundering the past

Robert Rainey, Ireland
You must remember that this is Robbie's tribute to the great singers of yesteryear - he is not trying to be them. I think Robbie's voice is at its best yet, and the concert on BBC One on Saturday night was great - the best and most emotional performance I have seen Robbie give. His grasp of the songs were flawless and polished - his voice was effortless. Swing on my man!
Bruce Elrick, Scotland

Watched the show on Saturday night and thought Robbie did justice to Sinatra.
Carol Hunter, Scotland

Nobody even said he was trying to sound like Frank Sinatra. He was simply doing something that he had wanted to do for a long time, an achievement that he was obviously proud of going by his reaction at the end of the show. And so he should have been! Good luck to him. I loved the show. Carry on doing what you're doing Robbie.
Sarah, UK

I thought he was marvellous. I have every song that Frank Sinatra ever sung, I saw him live in his heyday and when he got older. Nobody can sing like Frank, not even his own son and he comes near to it and he can never be replaced.

But I thought Robbie was absolutely brilliant and I do not believe that he was remotely trying to be or sound like Frank. I believe that he is far too intelligent for that and I applaud the fact that he has pulled himself up by his boot straps and made something of himself after all his problems. I know they were brought on by himself but even so all tribute to him and may this album like his others be a great success. I say well done and I hope it continues to keep him on the straght and narrow.
Bridget Edwards, England

I am still dumbfounded by the hoardes of people out there insistent on massaging the already bloated (possibly distended) ego of Williams. I think to validate the show or the album by saying that he is trying something 'different' after overcoming the trials of the pop lifestyle is horrendous to the point of disgusting.

It is not different or new to cover songs of the past - it seems many popstars try to revive flagging careers by plundering the past - but it should be done with something more than a smug grin on the face of the perpetrator. And let's stop blindly agreeing with this fallacy that he's had a hard life. He got everything on a plate, got stroppy, went solo, got addicted to sensory pleasure, remained overconfident throughout and returned with an album of lazy covers of largely mediocre songs. That doesn't seem like too herculean a task, not as hard as recording something worthwhile.
Robert Rainey, Ireland


This is Sinatra's world, Robbie is just lucky to live in it

Jimi P, UK
I feel that Robbie has done a good job on his album and when I saw the show I just couldn't stop watching it. Robbie has a brilliant voice, one he should be proud of.
Tracy Riggs, England

Isn't Robbie Williams just trying to sell albums to boost his own bank balance/ego? And what better way then by recording tried and tested songs? RW is not original, people have done swing covers for years, and as with all the others, they sounded a poor subsitute for the original. This is Sinatra's world, Robbie is just lucky to live in it.
Jimi P, UK

I saw Robbie sing at Lansdowne Road in Dublin, he is very popular in Ireland too. I think its a case of the rose tinted glasses of nostalgia, just because Frank Sinatra came first does that mean he was better? Fair play to you Robbie.
Mel, Ireland

So, Robbie gets to act out his vanity project, grasping at some outmoded version of 'cool' so beloved of the London media pondlife which feed off his tedious antics...It's like Lock Stock with a fedora, grafting a preening pop star onto something with the ring of authenticity in a bid to make him an all round entertainer just when sales of his last proper album failed to live up to expectations. It's celebrity karaoke, and all the great musicians won't make it any different. Tonight, Matthew, I'm going to be whoever the marketing department think is going to sell records... Whatever happened to genuine artistry in pop music?
Mick, Scotland

So what would you critics rather have? Manufactured pop drivel like Steps, Westlife and S Club 7? Go Robbie! He was up there having a ball, singing songs he loves and bringing them to a whole new audience. So he's not Sinatra,and probably wasn't trying to be. Get off the guy's back, Robbie is a one-off all-round performer, and there's not many around these days!
Gillian, Scotland


Frank too was allowed to interpret songwriter material his way and so it is only fair any other artist should too

Paul Gannon, UK
What a Saturday night. I was stunned that RW could come up with such a great show. He is not trying to be FS, but showing all generations that good music and good old fashioned entertainment is alive and kicking. Robbie did it his way, he was not trying to be anyone but himself. I have got the album and it is fantastic. Take no notice of what the critics say Robbie. You just enjoy what you do best - entertaining.
Roger Deacon, England

At 61 years of age I have just "discovered" Robbie after viewing the Manchester 2001 concert on TV down under. I have always had Jaggeritis, but Mick has to take second place for a while.

I believe that Robbie has no intention of being a replacement "Chairman of the Board", that honour will never be taken by anyone else. If the man feels that he needs to record Sinatra, so what? It's his business and the fans are able to share his enthusiasm and gain a collectable CD for their collection. I cannot wait for the CD release down here, and am praying that the TV network screens the Albert Hall show ASAP.
Roger Morgon, Australia

Firstly, I would rather hear the type of music on Robbie's new album on the radio than the dross that is churned out by bands like Westlife or Steps, and as mentioned before, if it gets younger people interested in other types of music, then all the better. So for effort, Robbie deserves some respect.

As for those who seem to resent Robbie performing Frank's hits... well, they were sometimes never Frank's to start off with. He too was allowed to interpret songwriter material his way and so it is only fair any other artist should too (even Robbie). Nothing is that sacred and if people didn't reinvent or carry on preforming those classic tunes, then (god forbid) we'd be left with the soul sapping rubbish that takes up a large part of the top forty charts. There's nothing wrong with a little tribute every now and then...is there?
Paul Gannon, UK

I agree with Claire. I never listened to any of Robbie's music but after hearing this album and seeing him at the Royal Albert Hall, I now see him in a very different light, a true show man and big band rules!
Tim, England


Robbie has enthused about this type of music, the music that he was raised on, for years

K Barnes, UK
When an artist sings My Way and it brings tears to your eyes, he has to be someone special. Yes - Robbie has done it his way and deserves recognition for his outstanding performance!
Amanda, England

All any critics ever show is their own ignorance. If they bothered to do just a little research, they would know that Robbie has enthused about this type of music, the music that he was raised on, for years - it is not some hastily thought up money-making scheme, but something he obviously cares about.

Second, Robbie is not trying to be anyone else - he cannot do anything but be himself and he shines so brightly when he does that he doesn't need to imitate anyone.

Thirdly, just because someone is in the public eye does not give you the right to rip them apart. They are human beings with feelings. While anyone famous obviously expects to be scrutinised, the extent that this is taken to by the tabloids and critics is sickening - they would never say to someone face to face what they print about people. Critics and tabloid journos are cowards, and famous people are the scapegoats for their cynicism. Don't let them get to you, Rob.
K Barnes, UK

The whole point of this brilliant album is that it had the backing of Sinatra's estate and that many of the musicians who worked on it had also worked with Sinatra et al. Well done to Robbie for bringing a great sound to a younger audience, it's a million times better than most of the rubbish that dominates the charts! Of course Robbie doesn't think he's Sinatra but why shouldn't he sing some of Frank's songs? Robbie is a unique, extremely talented entertainer, and those that don't give him a chance are just jealous!
Sarah Mawhinney, England

I listen to Frank every day, and also saw the concert and enjoyed it. Robbie is not trying to be Frank. You can't compare his voice to RW's. FS is just above the rest by miles. Williams did a good job of entertaining the audience in his own way and had a wonderful big band there. I was certainly tapping my feet and clicking my fingers, actually I thought that his flatmate had a better voice than Robbie!
Michael Jones (22), London, UK


I always thought Frank Sinatra had a lousy voice

James Marley, UK
Let's face it, Frank had natural talent. Robbie is a failed member of a manufactured boy band! Who did Frank ever do a tribute album to? The mob? And as far as production values go, most of Sinatra's recordings were made 30, 40 even 50 years ago...there was no technology then. If Robbie sounds good today, how many computers are helping him do you think? Yes, the man is an entertainer, that's all! He is not a talented singer. If he was, why did he bother with Take That? Why not just use his, ahem, talent from the word go?
Simon, UK

Robbie was not trying to be Frank Sinatra, he was enjoying himself singing songs that his father perfomred when he was growing up. And anyway, I always thought Frank Sinatra had a lousy voice. It's all a matter of personal opinion.
James Marley, UK

Well, he certainly brought a tear to my eye when he sang My Way - fantastic! Can't wait to buy the album and drool over him some more. He may not be Frank Sinatra but he's a good 21st century equivalent! Robbie never ceases to amaze me.
Gerrie, England

I really enjoyed the show on Saturday night, it was entertaining and professional. The atmosphere seemed electric. Robbie is growing, let him grow. My only complaint was the unnecessary expletives, I found these offensive, not funny and clearly not necessary. Otherwise, outstanding!
Lindsay Richards, UK


It's more about stage presence than pure vocal ability and few today can match Robbie Williams' stage craft

James Pettinger, UK
No, it is not professional suicide for Robbie because whatever he records, thousands will buy it. However, he is only the equivalent of a good ale house singer, Frank Sinatra he will never be. It is only because there is a dearth of decent singers in this country that he is even considered a half way decent singer. The last good singer we had in the UK was Matt Munro, if Robbie wants to emulate anyone he should try Matt. Harry Connick Jr can rest safely, it is no contest.
Tony Costello, UK

If Robbie Williams really is "a half-decent pop singer and a first-rate showman", as Nigel Packer suggests, then this puts him one step ahead of Sinatra. I don't question Sinatra's ability as a performer but his vocal talent could leave a lot to be desired. There are many singers more gifted than both these men - but, rightly or wrongly, it's more about stage presence than pure vocal ability and few today can match Robbie Williams' stage craft. As for Sinatra, he may have been able to wow them in Vegas but as for hitting the right note, he most definately did it his way.
James Pettinger, England

If Robbie had made an album where he covered the songs made famous by various artists of that time, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett etc, then I feel it could be seen as a piece of fun and showmanship. But the fact that he has solely concentrated on Frank gives the impression that he is trying to become an idol and stinks of ego-mania.
Shona Russell, Scotland

Robbie is not worthy of covering songs by such legendary performers. Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr will be turning in their graves at this pathetic publicity stunt.
Tom, England


As an ex-boyband member, Robbie Williams would do better to stick to lightweight pop

Michael Franks
Robbie, please retire for everyone's sake!
Andy Woodfield, UK

He would be much better off paying a tribute to an undervalued singer and/or songwriter. My personal favourite is Elvis Costello. It would be a damn site more interesting, risky and rewarding to do a few of his records. But much less likely to be a commercial success.
Gordon Lewis, UK

If you like Robbie Williams already, then you'll buy his new album. However, if you're not already a convert, then you will prefer the "real thing". Robbie Williams isn't a bad singer, but he's certainly not nearly as good as Sinatra was at the height of his powers. Obviously, releasing this album isn't professional suicide for him. The people who already like him as a performer will continue to do so. It's important to put things in perspective here.

I will say this, however - it is somewhat arrogant of Robbie Williams to believe that Frank Sinatra needs a tribute album. That is because the wealth of recordings of Frank Sinatra singing his own songs are their own tribute. As an ex-boyband member, Robbie Williams would do better to stick to lightweight pop.
Michael Franks, UK

I think Robbie should stick to what he does best - singing blinding karaoke songs like Angels.
Bermondo, UK

I saw Robbie's Albert Hall concert and was, to my astonishment, very impressed. I don't like him as a pop star, but I thought the show he put on was great. Obviously no-one can be another Frank Sinatra, but I think he has the showmanship and the voice to make this album work.
Phill, UK


Watching Robbie murder some of Sinatra's classics was painful

Toby Hobbs, England
I've not heard the album but enjoyed the live show from the Albert Hall on the telly on Saturday. I have to say, however, that Bryan Ferry's As Time Goes By album and tour a couple of years ago visited similar territory, but with much, much more class and style.
Alister Hamilton, Scotland

Watching Robbie murder some of Sinatra's classics was painful, it wiped the smile from my face and I haven't smiled since. I cannot believe that this event was allowed to take place and I will never buy a Robbie Williams album ever again. Ole Blue Eyes will be turning in his grave. I do however wish Robbie all the best in his new career at Butlins and hope to see him next time I am at Minehead so I can throw tomatoes at him.
Toby Hobbs, England

I think Robbie Williams can sing but he thinks far too much of himself as his tribute showed! The show could have been fantastic but instead he was just playing a part - he needs to grow up!
Laura Broughton, England

I watched the Robbie Williams special on Saturday night on the BBC, and was absolutely enthralled. He sang the jazz standards with such class and extraordinary talent it was hard to believe that he was once in Take That! Robbie is a fantastic entertainer and has a voice many current singers should be envious of.

For those contestants currently in Pop Idol - Robbie has set the standard you need to reach!
V. London, England


Frank Sinatra was brilliant, for his time but probably wouldn't get very far today

Stephen Porton, UK
He's not Sinatra, or even Jack Jones, but he'll do for now. Few other current pop stars could even make an attempt at singing this music, so good luck to him. Let's hope people review the music and not just the man.
Mark Lardner, UK

I have always been a big Robbie Williams fan. But with his recent decision to transparently emulate his father's cabaret performances, I have lost a lot of respect for him. It is really tacky, and also pretty arrogant on his part to think his vocals can live up to Frank's! He is a great performer and entertainer and should generally stick to that.
S Reid, England

This album reveals Williams as a lazy, arrogant performer; contemptuous of both his fans and the songs he mugs his way through.
Philip Maher, UK

In a word, fabulous. He not only pulls it off but sings with the same passion that Sinatra did. Good on you Rob!
Natalia, UK

"But he will never be Frank Sinatra," says the BBC's Nigel Packer. Short of human cloning, no-one will ever be Frank Sinatra, and it is a little absurd to say otherwise. Frank Sinatra was brilliant, for his time but probably wouldn't get very far today.

I think it is great that someone is bringing out an album of these songs. They are great, but to be frank (no pun intended) can be sung by any half decent singer. Give RW his dues, at least it isn't the same formulaic pop or dance mush that is being churned out these days (I should know, I DJ in a club). I saw the Royal Albert Hall concert this weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it. I say, good on him.
Stephen Porton, UK

Robbie Williams is an outstanding singer who has great respect for good songs performed by Sinatra and others. I think it is great that a young pop star has brought these songs alive again for a new audience to appreciate. His adaptations and style of singing are excellent and although different to Sinatra, they are just as appealing. Lets hope we have more of the same standard from this popular star.
Martin Littlewood, England

I have never doubted the talents of this man. As he goes from strength to strength, we can only marvel at this modern entertainer. I have yet to find someone who did not enjoy the show at the weekend. BBC, can we have more please?
Mark Rowland, UK

I thought Robbie Williams had a wonderful voice. I didn't realise until I saw the programme on Saturday how good he is. Well done.
Caroline Muncey, England

Well, what a shame. A shame for Frank, that Robbie thought he could ever match the warm, silky voice of Sinatra. Robbie is a rock star, he has a rock star's voice. He has invented the rock star persona. Why try this? Personally, I think he is bored. A valiant effort, but as the Saturday concert shows, lights, fireworks and a big stage do not hide a voice incompatible with the music. 5/10
Paul Wood, UK

I always liked Robbie as a solo artist, but this performance just blew me away. I loved every minute of it and can't wait to get the CD/DVD or video. This is one repeat I will watch over and again!
Liz Smith, UK

I think Robbie has done an amazing job with his new album and he deserves every bit of of praise that he gets. People who bad mouth him are only jealous because he has been able to live his true dream.
Deb, Scotland

I am a huge fan of Robbie, always have been and always will be. He is an excellent performer with more than his fair share of talent, charisma and style. I haven't heard the album yet but saw the Albert Hall concert and thought it was fab, although his arrogance shone through at times. I predict his album sales will go through the roof, as it will attract new fans. He's been through a lot and he's trying something new, fair do's, however I do have to agree that Ol' Blue Eyes Franky baby does the swing thing best! Good luck Robbie!
Kelly, UK

Nigel Packer. You are a genius. You expressed my thoughts exactly. It's time someone put the cocky Mr Williams in his place. He's no Sinatra or Dean and he never will be.
Neil Ogley, England

How dare cheeky chappy Robbie "assume" that Sinatra would want to record a duet with him. Just another step down the road of parody for Williams, who's songs have constantly ripped off someone or another. At least he is more blatant about it this time. Here's hoping that he get's found out soon.
Warren , UK

Being a fan of Frank Sinatra, I sampled Robbie's attempt at 'swingin', and was not at all suprised at how inferior he is compared to the master. Does he really believe he is as good as any of the rat-packers?

This CD demonstates his shortcomings, his voice does not carry the power and obvious natural talent of the original singers.
Mike James, Switzerland

I put on Robbie Williams' Frank Sinatra show as a bit of background noise whilst doing some paperwork last weekend. I soon put the paperwork to one side as I became mesmerised by the sheer professional entertainment that he displayed and the show as a whole. I think he is a natural showman and why not let him bring the songs of Frank Sinatra for a new generation to enjoy? I must admit the show was definitely not enhanced by the swearing.
Penny Citrine, England

Not surprised by the bile in many of these reviews. It says much more about our desire to belittle those blessed with greater talent than ourselves.

Watch the live show for his glee and showmanship. Buy the album for a wonderful recording. Both are stunning.
David, England

Robbie's tribute to the rat pack was absolutely excellent. I enjoyed watching every minute of it on BBC1 and was moved by the emotion that Robbie showed at the end of the concert. It's not very often that you see men cry! Swing When You're Winning certainly tops my christmas list!
Sarah, England

Thank god we were spared his version of The Lady is a Tramp or I've Got You Under My Skin! Probably too difficult for him.

I would have had more respect if he had avoided the typical songs we always hear. What about Moonlight in Vermont, Why Try to Change Me Now, from Frank's wonderful No One Cares album, the list goes on.

It is clearly a case of Williams's ego again rather than a love of good music. Where are the Bing Crosby, Matt Monroe, Perry Como songs?

Please stop Robbie. No more please! Let those of us who love these songs and singers be content with our memories and CD collections.
Neil Ogley, England

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