Plus One

The 11 best Take That songs

A million love songs but only 11 that make the cut. We round up our favourite Take That songs as the boys take on the UK and Malta in 2024

Formed in Manchester in 1990, Gary Barlow, Robbie Williams, Jason Orange, Howard Donald and Mark Owen, aka Take That, are one of the best boy bands of all time.

And while some may get on their music snob soapbox about it, there are many, many people that regard the fab five as an unchallenged example of just how f*cking brilliant pop music can be. There’s not one instance where a Take That song can’t make your day a little bit happier. Fact. And those that think otherwise? Maybe go sit in a room and have a word with your miserable self.

To celebrate these three, four, sometimes five lovely lads, here’s a top eleven of their very best tracks. Dig out your old copies of Smash Hits, pop a Tab Clear, chuck on some oversized wooden beads, and have fun reminiscing…

11. Greatest Day

(The Circus, 2008)

Drawing comparisons to Coldplay, 2008s ‘Greatest Day’ has become something of an unsung hero of TT’s back catalogue. It’s also testament to how a pop band can read the room and adapt their shizz to suit. Another song of anthemic proportions, this track demands lots of volume and lots of mates.

10. A Million Love Songs

(Take That & Party, 1992)

Written when he was just 15, Barlow’s ‘A Million Love Songs’ is quite obviously a homage to his hero, Elton John, and a damn fine love song. There’s a swoony jukebox sensibility to this track, plus it’s an early example of just how high Barlow was setting his sights.

9. Babe

(Everything Changes, 1993)

There isn’t a fan out there not traumatised by the fact that a) ‘Babe’ lost out on Christmas No.1 to Mr Blobby, and b) Mark Owen has a **shock horror** secret child in the music video. So many strings. Owen in a fluffy hat. that cute child curveball. This is what we want from a Christmas single. The drama. The snow. The woman floating about in white. It’s just absolutely brilliant.

8. Everything Changes

(Everything Changes, 1993)

The first TT No.1 with Robbie Williams on lead vocals, this little piece of disco-inspired loveliness is an early gem. It was the fourth consecutive Take That single to go straight in at No.1, and the track that generated friction within the dedicated fanbase. Am I a Robbie fan now? What about my feelings for Mark? The indecision, the tragedy of not being able to give your whole heart (or wall of Athena posters) to just one man. How did we cope?

7. Patience

(Beautiful World, 2006)

So, according to Nicky Wire of the Manic Street Preachers, ‘Patience’ is: “the greatest comeback single in history. If Neil Young had written it, people would be calling it a masterpiece.” Dark and moody, this 2006 track introduced TTs reunion and was a harbinger of the brilliance to come. This was a mature, more considered Take That, dragging mf mic stands across snowy landscapes. Epic stuff. 

6. Shine

(Beautiful World, 2006)

Sure, it’s on a ton of awful adverts and its plonky jauntiness can get a little irksome after a while, but ‘Shine’ is proof yet again of Take That’s ability to write a catchy little banger. Written about Robbie Williams’ battle with depression, this single became the band’s sixth consecutive No.1 single and their tenth No.1 overall. 

5. Relight My Fire

(Everything Changes, 1993)

1993’s cover of disco track ‘Relight My Fire’ is proof that everyone needs Lulu waiting in the wings, poised and ready to burn down the freakin’ house with that sass guest vocal. The production is sharp, the lads’ voices are on point and the 90s vibes are saturated, smelling like Impulse Zen. Also, Mark Owens’ “Junkie’s Baddy Powder” crop tee? Actual fire. 

4. Rule The World

(Beautiful World, 2006)

Recorded for the soundtrack of 2007 flick Stardust, ‘Rule The World’ really helped cement Barlow as a songwriting powerhouse. Featuring big power chords, big vocals and another anthemic chorus – “We could rule the wooo-ooorldddd” – this went on to become Take That’s second best selling single, shifting a staggering 1.2 million units. Plus, it welcomed the start of the rugged long coat era.

3. Pray

(Everything Changes, 1993)

Come on, were you even a child of the 90s if you didn’t know the ‘Pray’ dance? The sexy guitar. The moist abs. Jason Orange doing some weird light signal sh*t with a mirror. Good lord. Is it any wonder the yoof were losing their damn minds over these five lads? True, ‘Pray’ unleashed a whole lot of beige cargo combos on the world, but its magnificence as a piece of pop majesty is unparalleled. 

2. Back For Good

(Nobody Else, 1995)

So many harmonies, so little time. Ah, the mainstay of many an awkward Lynx Africa-soaked teenage dancefloor, ‘Back For Good’ is hands down one of the greatest pop tracks of the 90s. Barlow’s crooning coupled with the almost breathless backing vocals is resplendent in its simplicity, while the strummed guitar intro gives off a massive whiff of Dawson’s Creek broodiness. Brilliant. 

1. Never Forget

(Nobody Else, 1995)

Recorded before Robbie’s shock departure, ‘Never Forget’ runs like an anthemic ode to pop music’s past, present and future. Sad yet uplifting, nostalgic while still acting like a positive step forward in terms of Take That’s musical direction, this track has everything but the kitchen sink chucked in. Fanfares. Children’s choirs. Howard Donald on vocals (rogue). Its production is borderline ludicrous, yet this song absolutely kicks in the best arms-up-screaming-the-chorus kind of way. Want to see a pub lose its mind? Drop this banger on your phone at last orders. You won’t be disappointed.

Take That are playing a huge UK tour in April and May 2024. Find tickets here

The boys are also inviting us all to Malta this year, hosting The Greatest Weekend in October – a four day and night festival experience. Find tickets here