Iconic British singer Robbie Williams has said that releasing his 2006 single ‘Rudebox’ is the “biggest regret” of his career thus far, speaking ahead of the release of a four-part Netflix documentary.
The song was widely criticised upon its release, with Williams abandoning his popular pop-rock style in favour of something more resembling a new hip-hop sound with lyrics like “Up yer jacksy, split your kecks/Pocket full of Durex, body full of Mandrex/Are we gonna have sex?” causing confusion in listeners.
Williams admitted that he was embarrassed by the song when it was released, noting, “My biggest regret is putting that out as the first single. If I’d have put it out third and explained properly [that], it’s daft – I know! I’m not trying to be a grime artist. I know it’s daft.”
He added (via NME), “In the documentary, the biggest cringe point for me is explaining to an audience who are about to listen to ‘Rudebox’ for the first time that this is gonna be the biggest single since ‘Angels’.”
“Then I had another thought about it,” the singer continued, “that it’s my second most important single because ‘Angels’ gave me the career and ‘Rudebox’ heralded the end of my imperial phase. So, in a way, I was right, but not in the way I wanted to be.”
The Netflix documentary will explore Williams’ rise to stardom and look into his mental health, which at one point got so bad that he considered ending his life.
Listen to ‘Rudebox’ below.