"Angels" is a song written by Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers, originally performed by Williams, and covered by Jessica Simpson, Mexican singer Yuridia, singer Beverley Knight, in Italian (as Un Angelo) by Patrizio Buanne, All Angels, singer Declan Galbraith as well as Verena Von Strenge's latest group, Moon Dust, and American Idol Contestant David Archuleta. The original recording by Williams proved to be his greatest commercial success, being certified 2x Platinum in the United Kingdom and selling 28 million worldwide.
In October 2006 the RTE documentary This Note's For You, presented by Tom Dunne, said that the song was originally co-written by Williams and Irish singer Ray Heffernan. After the song was polished by Guy Chambers, Heffernan was offered and accepted £7,500 for his rights.
At the 2005 BRIT Awards, "Angels" was voted by the British public the best song in the past twenty-five years of British music, though it had only reached number four on the singles chart. Williams performed the song live with Joss Stone then. In a survey by UK digital TV station Music Choice, it even came in at number one as the song people would most like played at their funeral.
It was released in 1999 in the U.S., after his debut of "Millennium." The U.S. released video has Williams atop a roof, watching the city below. On 12 April, 2008 it was at 1 on the U.S. iTunes primarily due to the performance of the song by David Archuleta on American Idol earlier that week. After an 8 year absence on the chart, "Angels" re entered the ARIA Top 100 at 91, on May 5 2008.
|UK Singles Chart||4|
|Swiss Singles Chart||4|
|French Singles Chart||7|
|German Singles Chart||9|
|Argentine Singles Chart||10|
|Austrian Singles Chart||12|
|Mexican Singles Chart||13|
|Swedish Singles Chart||13|
|Dutch Singles Chart||14|
|Australian Singles Chart||40|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||41|
|U.S. Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks||10|
|U.S. Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks||21|
|U.S. iTunes Top 100||1|
|Canada Top Digital||40|
|Country||Certification (If Any)||Sales/shipments|
|United Kingdom||2x Platinum||2 Million+|
The video for "Angels" is relatively low key. It opens a visibly anxious Simpson on an empty stage rehearsing for a performance. She can be seen in intercut scenes staring into space, as if she has lost her self-confidence and ability to perform. As the song progresses, however, white roses can be seen scattered around her as a sign of hope, and soon Simpson begins to regain her confidence. The song then shifts into its instrumental bridge to correlate with the emotions of the characters, as Simpson proceeds to climb to the top of the building for her final performance. There she is greeted by a youth orchestra, and finishes the song. The video spent a total of 13 days on the TRL countdown. peaking at #6
Simpson's version of "Angels" performed relatively poorly as the track failed to break into the Billboard Hot 100 (though it did reach number six on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles) However, the song did become a moderate success on the Top 40 Mainstream and Hot Digital Tracks. Jessica and Joe Simpson, her father and manager, had hoped this song would lead to Jessica's first Grammy Nomination, as Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera, her 1990's rivals, had each been already been nominated as well as winning. The song's downloads were not allowed to help it. Despite this relative failure, the single was featured on Now That's What I Call Music! Volume 17 in the US.
|Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles||6|
|U.S. Top 40 Tracks||37|
|U.S. Top 40 Mainstream||23|
|Australian ARIA Singles Chart||27|
|México Top 100 Singles Chart||10|
In El Salvador, Angel managed to climb to the top of the charts and stayed at number 1 for 9 weeks, the year's longest run.
|México Top 100 Singles Chart||1|
|Mexico Digital Single Sales||1|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Latin Songs||32|
|Latin America Top 40||9|
|Latin America Top Latin Tracks||10|
|World Spanish Top 40||10|
In December 2006, British classical crossover group All Angels released a cover version of Angels, with a classical touch to the song. Bookmakers put odds of 7-1 on them for getting a UK Christmas number-one single with their cover.
The single is the first ever Christmas single to be released in association with the Royal British Legion and their Poppy Appeal. Incidentally All Angels performed at the Festival of Remembrance (2006).