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Take That Back for Good?

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Take That… Back For Good?

In the early 90s when Manchester was producing some of music’s most-talked-about groups, such as Oasis, The Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses, a manager named Nigel Martin-Smith had decided that the pop charts needed a severe injection of fun. Martin-Smith auditioned prospective stars and assembled a line up of five working-class boys from the North West of England.

Gary Barlow (19), Howard Donald (21), Jason Orange (19), Mark Owen (16) and Robbie Williams (16) completed what was to become the now legendary Take That.

Take That had a total of eight number one hits in the UK singles chart and the success of the band as both an act and a formulaic format inspired a cycle of manufactured pop acts that came to dominate the UK music industry of the next decade, including East 17, Boyzone, 5ive, Blue, Westlife and A1.

Their first single was "Do What You Like". The promo video featured the band getting naked and smearing jelly over themselves. At this point, the band were touring endlessly. Their revealing leather outfits gained them a huge following in the gay clubs of the UK, where a large number of their performances took place.

Follow-up singles "Once You've Tasted Love" and "Promises" barely scraped the UK Charts. Their first hit single was a cover of Jonathan King's "It Only Takes A Minute", which reached #7 on the UK charts. This was followed by the Gary Barlow ballad "A Million Love Songs" and "I Found Heaven" - both top 20 hits. Their cover of the Barry Manilow and Donna Summer disco hit "Could It Be Magic" gave them their biggest hit to date, and secured them a place in the public consciousness. Their first album, "Take That and Party," was released in 1992, and contained the above hit singles.

1993 saw the release of Take That's most successful original album "Everything Changes". Amazingly four UK number one singles were spawned by it - "Pray", "Relight My Fire", "Babe" (beaten to Christmas number one by Mr Blobby), and the title track "Everything Changes". The fifth single "Love Ain't Here Anymore" reached number three on the UK charts. "Everything Changes" also saw Take That become an international success, although the USA market still proved elusive.

The promotion for "Nobody Else", their 1995 album, was launched by the release of what would become their biggest hit single, (and only American hit) "Back For Good". The album was also noted for its cover, which (outside of North America) was a parody of the cover of The Beatles Sgt. Pepper cover sleeve.

At the peak of their powers, the band's demise started in July 1995, when Robbie, wanting to get rid of his clean-cut image, went out partying hard with Oasis at Glastonbury. A mixture of management issues and disagreements due to this resulted in Robbie walking out on the band. Take That continued to promote "Nobody Else" as a four piece, scoring another hit single "Never Forget".

On 13 February 1996, Take That announced that they were splitting. This broke the hearts of millions of fans worldwide - to an extent that hotlines were actually set up around the UK to cope with fans' grief.

This was followed by the "Greatest Hits" Compilation in 1996, which contained a new recording, a cover of The Bee Gees "How Deep Is Your Love", which went on to become a final number one for the band.

Although they



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