Ask Billboard

Answers to readers' questions about Robbie Williams, Erick Prydz and more.


Hi Keith,

I really enjoy reading your answers every week.

I was recently looking in the Apple iTunes Music Store and saw that Robbie Williams' new album, "Intensive Care" is actually available for people in the United States to buy.

As far as I know, there aren't/weren't any plans to release the album in the United States. Do you have any information on "Intensive Care's" status here? Also, does this release make it chart eligible?

Any past sales info you have on his older albums would be great as well!

Thanks a lot,

Devin Kingdon

Hi Devin,

Billboard wondered how this happened as well. Robbie Williams' "Intensive Care" was never -- and still isn't -- slated for a release in America as a physical CD. However, it is now available to buy as a digital album via the U.S. iTunes Music Store.

We contacted Virgin. Williams' record label, last week after noticing the album's availability in the U.S. iTunes Music Store. They said that it was the perfect way to satisfy U.S. fans, as the digital marketplace has few boundaries.

If it sells enough, the album is eligible to chart on Billboard's Top Digital Albums chart as well as our Top Comprehensive Albums chart. Because the set is exclusively available via iTunes, it is only allowed to chart on those two lists. It is not eligible to chart on The Billboard 200, for example.

"Intensive Care" was released in the U.K. on Oct. 24. It debuted at No. 1 on the U.K. albums chart.

Williams has released three albums previously in America. Here are their U.S. sales tallies according to Nielsen SoundScan. "The Ego Has Landed" (1999; 596,000), "Sing When You're Winning" (2000; 134,000) and "Escapology" (2003; 137,000).



I've been trying to find out the name or artist to this dance/electronica song. I've seen the video in clubs all the time, and it features an aerobics class with one man and all women. They are all dancing to the beat and it sounds like they sing "lean on me." I have no idea who the artist is or the name of the song.

Thanks for the help,

Kevin Christoph
Scottsdale, Ariz.

Hi Kevin,

You are most definitely thinking of Eric Prydz' single "Call On Me." The song is based around a sample of an old Steve Winwood hit, "Valerie." Essentially, the entire song is made up of a looping sample and the only lyrics are "Call On Me/I'm the same boy I used to be."

The video can be considered a spoof of the 1980s aerobics craze (and perhaps the campy John Travolta/Jamie Lee Curtis film "Perfect").

"Call On Me" hit No. 1 on the U.K. Singles Chart in 2004.



I am interested in knowing how artists can release a greatest hits album called "#1's." I thought that statement had to be just that.

Mariah Carey seems to be the only one whom has released a #1's CD that actually contained 13 of her now 16 No. 1s. How can Elvis Presley's "ELV1S: 30 #1 Hits" and the new Destiny's Child "#1's" actually be titled #1's? I thought Elvis only had 18 and Destiny's had a string of them but their CD contains nine hits plus three new songs.

Could you please clarify this for me? Thanks so much.


B. Mason


Oh, we wondered this too when we heard about the Destiny's Child album. The trio's "#1's" album does contain a few songs that topped the Billboard Hot 100 and the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart (and a U.K. No. 1 or two, as well). But still, not every song on the album is a No. 1 hit.

The title of the album is a selling point -- a marketing angle. The liner notes of the Destiny's Child album don't offer an explanation as to where the singles reached No. 1 either.

The album does boast 13 top 40 Hot 100 hits though, including four No. 1s ("Bills, Bills, Bills," "Say My Name," "Independent Women Part 1" and "Bootylicious"). Additionally, "No, No, No" also hit the top of the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

However, some albums really do hold true to their title. "ELV1S: 30 #1 Hits" really did contain 30 No. 1 singles. It had all of his 18 U.S. Billboard No. 1 hits, plus his No. 1s from the official U.K. singles chart. Additionally, the album was rounded out by pop chart toppers from other U.S. trade magazines that were in publication during Presley's career, such as Cashbox.

The Beatles got the No. 1 ball rolling with their "1" album. The 27-track album included all 20 of their Hot 100 No. 1 hits, along with their U.K. chart toppers.

Really, the "No. 1" concept only works with very few artists. After you get past Elvis and the Beatles, the No. 1 angle gets very limiting.