Robbie: I want to beat Gary's sales

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Robbie Williams has admitted he wants to have slightly better album sales than Gary Barlow Robbie Williams has admitted he wants to have slightly better album sales than Gary Barlow

Robbie Williams has said that while he wishes Gary Barlow well with his new solo album, he still wants to beat his Take That chum when it comes to record sales.

The singer's latest effort Swings Both Ways became the UK's 1,000 number one album when it was released last month, and Robbie said its success was "blowing his mind".

Now bandmate Gary is set to release his own solo album next week, and Robbie said he hopes it is popular - although maybe not quite as popular as his own.

"I've always said I want to sell a million-and-one records, and I want Gaz to sell a million," Robbie confessed.

"I am in competition with everybody, absolutely everybody. When we're together, we're best of mates, he's wishing me the best for this record, I'm wishing him the best for his, and what's good for us all individually is good for us as Take That.

"Gaz is a very good friend of mine, and I want him to knock it out of the park when his album comes out, but a few yards shorter than I knock it out of the park. It's honest. I love him to bits, but I want to sell more."

The music star said having people buy his latest record was still important even as he reached his 10th album.

He said sales meant "more than anything, and more than ever", adding: "The first time it all took off, there was an intense spotlight which made enjoyment difficult. The thing that I was doing for my living caused all sorts of mad stuff to happen, so I was a bit ungrateful and took it for granted.

"Now, my life is a lot different. There's space for me in the world to do whatever I want to, whenever I want to, and I don't get any grief. Now I'm at a point in my life when I'm very grateful, so it's really great to have a number one. Really great."

:: Swings Both Ways is available now, and Robbie Williams will be touring the UK in June and July next year. For more information, go to www.robbiewilliams.com.

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