Here at CelebMix, every year we like to look back and celebrate the achievements of some of our favourite artists from the past twelve months.
This year is no different, and with 2018 having just come to an end, now is the perfect time to look back on another stellar year for our ultimate manband Take That.
Without further ado, let’s recap on their successful 2018.
The Band Musical extension
2018 began with more news about Take That’s musical, The Band. After wowing audiences across the country in 2017, back in January additional dates were added to the show, spanning from September 2018 into March 2019.
If that wasn’t exciting enough, on March 16 Take That also revealed that The Band would be hitting London’s West End come December. A few days later, Gary, Howard and Mark were joined by the show’s cast on the roof of the Theatre Royal Haymarket for an unforgettable performance in celebration of the news.
In addition to 2018 being a Take That filled year, we were also treated to a solo tour from Gary Barlow. Kicking off in Edinburgh on April 16, the 49-date tour spanned the UK and Ireland, ending in Sherwood Pines Forest, Nottinghamshire on June 23. The tour saw Gary perform some of his solo material from over the years in addition to some of Take That’s greatest hits from their mammoth discography. He also performed a musical medley with songs from The Girls and Finding Neverland, both of which he’s played a huge part in.
Before kicking off his tour, Gary also released a reissue of his debut album Open Road. The reissue was in celebration of the album’s 21st anniversary and was made up of remastered versions of the original songs in addition to a series of demos and live sessions.
Howard’s Mission Ignition
On July 6, it was revealed that Howard Donald was working with Dario Franchitti and Channel 4 on a new car show called Mission Ignition. The four-part series, which is still awaiting an air date, will see Howard and Dario working with a team of amateur car fans to rebuild classic cars. With Howard having worked as a panel beater and vehicle sprayer before joining Take That, and having a keen interest in cars, we can’t think of anyone better to host the show.
Hits Radio Live
Take That returned to the stage on July 14 with a sensational performance at Manchester Arena for Hits Radio Live. In addition to their hit-filled set, the trio spoke to Sarah-Jane Crawford backstage and teased the news we’d all been waiting for – their plans for their forthcoming 30th anniversary. Gary, Mark and Howard confirmed that a greatest hits album and tour were on the horizon, but more about that later on…
Amazon Prime Unbox Day
The following day (July 15), Take That performed an exclusive gig for Amazon Prime members in celebration of Unbox Prime Day. Oh what we would have done to be present at that gig!
And the greatest song of the Noughties goes to…
On July 24, in celebration of the 100th edition of their compilation album, NOW! That’s What I Call Music revealed the winners of their #NOW100Awards. Take That took home the award for ‘Song of the Noughties’ for their beautiful track ‘Rule The World’. Take That shared their gratitude with a hilarious filter-filled video.
In case you need reminding of how stunning ‘Rule The World’ is, check out the official music video below.
Thatters Facebook group
In August, an official Thatters Facebook group was created by the band and their team, allowing fellow fans to share stories and connect with each other.
Odyssey Greatest Hits album and tour announcement
After spending September heavily teasing their exciting new announcements in celebration of their 30th anniversary, on the 21st of the month it was finally time for Take That to reveal all, and it’s safe to say that we were overwhelmed with news.
First off, Take That announced that their special greatest hits album Odyssey would be released on November 23. The 27-track album was to be made up of reimagined versions of their classic hits and three new tracks, woven together by band soundbites from their 30 year history. To celebrate the album being available to pre-order, Take That released their new version of ‘Pray’.
Take That also confirmed a Greatest Hits tour for 2019 which would span across the UK and Europe. The UK tour, which will see the band being supported by Rick Astley, was originally made up of 28 dates. However, after sensational ticket demand, the trio will now perform 38 dates including Liverpool and Cardiff stadium shows.
The band also appeared on Chris Evans’ Radio 2 Breakfast Show to discuss the news as it was announced. During their appearance, they performed a breathtaking cover of ‘Never Enough’ from The Greatest Showman.
Gary Barlow – A Better Me
On October 4, Gary released his new book A Better Me. The powerful book is a raw and honest account of Gary’s life including his battle with his demons, overcoming his weight problems and making one of the most successful comebacks of all time with Take That.
Gary celebrated the book with a number of appearances. He held a live Q&A at Thornton Manor, Wirral, a book signing at Waterstones Piccadilly, London, in addition to a talk at the Cheltenham Literature Festival. Gary also appeared on The Graham Norton Show, The One Show and Dermot O’Leary’s Radio 2 show.
‘Out Of Our Heads’
On October 11, Take That released a new track called ‘Out Of Our Heads’, the first of three new offerings taken from Odyssey. Not afraid to experiment with their sound, the foot stomping anthem was a change of scene for the band, and proved to be a refreshing offering for their loyal Thatters.
The music video followed on November 2, with Take That treating us to a wonderfully bonkers, green screen-filled visual. Armed with plenty of psychedelic 60’s vibes mixed with cartoon animations and dance moves, the visual suited the song perfectly and showed off Gary, Mark and Howard’s vibrant personalities.
A few days later, a short behind the scenes video was also released on YouTube.
On November 16, Take That performed at the Bambi Awards, Germany’s most prestigious media award.
Strictly Come Dancing
A few days later on November 18, Take That’s first TV performance of ‘Out Of Our Heads’ was broadcast. The trio performed on Strictly Come Dancing during Blackpool week and delivered a high energy performance including drums, dance moves and trampolines, giving us a small taste of what we can expect from their tour next year.
‘How Deep Is Your Love’ featuring Barry Gibb
A few days before the release of Odyssey, Take That unveiled the new version of ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ which features Barry Gibb, who originally sang the song with his band of brothers, the Bee Gees.
Release of Odyssey
On November 23, it was finally time for the world to hear Odyssey. More than just your standard greatest hits album, Odyssey is a perfectly crafted offering from Take That which spans their sensational 30 year career. Not only have they perfected their greatest hits, but the addition of personal soundbites throughout really hits home just how phenomenal their journey has been.
The album also includes three new songs, the previously released ‘Out Of Our Heads’, ‘Spin’, and fan favourite ‘Everlasting’, which is currently featured on Radio 2’s A List playlist and was recently the station’s Record of the Week. The band are currently working on a fan video for ‘Everlasting’, however, the Thatters themselves actually beat the band to it with their very own fan video which you can watch here.
Take That celebrated the album release day with a performance on The Graham Norton Show, and a short live stream, whilst they held a Twitter listening party a few days later.
Unsurprisingly, Odyssey stormed to the top of the UK albums chart, becoming Take That’s eighth number one album. Notching up an incredible 106,000 combined sales in its first week, Odyssey became the fastest selling artist album of 2018, and the first studio album to be BRIT certified Gold in just one week.
Reunion with Robbie Williams on The X Factor
On December 2, Take That performed during the X Factor final and were joined by former member and current judge Robbie Williams. Mark, Howard and Gary delivered a rousing performance of ‘Shine’ before Robbie got up from the judging panel and joined them on stage to sing ‘Everything Changes’.
Teenage Cancer Trust gig announcement
On December 3, Take That announced that they will be performing a very special gig at London’s Royal Albert Hall on March 28 next year in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust. More information about the gig can be found here.
The Band Gala performance
The Band musical opened in London’s West End on December 1, however, an official gala launch performance was held on December 4. Attended by Gary, Mark, Howard, Robbie and a whole load of famous faces, all proceeds from the special evening went to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
At the end of the show, Robbie joined the trio on stage once more for a special performance to remember.
Howard on Loose Women
Howard was let loose on December 6 and appeared alongside Rachel Lumberg, one of The Band’s leading ladies, on Loose Women to talk about the musical’s incredible transfer to the West End.
Royal Variety Show
Take That were on the line up of this year’s Royal Variety Show and performed ‘Out Of Our Heads’ and ‘Never Forget’. They also met the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, after their performance.
Take That: We’ve Come A Long Way
On December 28, the BBC aired a documentary about the band and their incredible 30 year journey. Take That: We’ve Come A Long Way took us on a trip down memory lane as the band and their loyal fans shared their stories of how Take That have changed the lives of people all across the world. You can watch the documentary on BBC iPlayer for a limited time.
That pretty much wraps up what has been another phenomenal year for Take That. With their greatest hits tour only a few months away, we’re certain that 2019 is going to be special for Gary, Mark, Howard and their Thatters alike.