Take That released their inspiring anthem, ‘Never Forget’, 20 years ago today on 24th July 1995.
Written by Gary Barlow, the song was released at what was arguably a very critical time for the band. Though they had recorded the song as a five-piece months before, it was in July that Robbie Williams famously left the band, after being given an ultimatum to either adhere to the band’s responsibilities or leave before their scheduled 1995 world tour. The promotion of the single was therefore one band member short, but that didn’t stop it’s eventual success.
The track begins with an excerpt of Verdi’s requiem, followed by a celestial rendition of the song’s main bridge, performed by the Henllan Boy’s Choir. Singing words of nostalgic triumph, the opening lyrics of the track read: “We’ve come so far and we’ve reached so high, and we’ve looked each day and night in the eye, and we’re still so young and we hope for more.”
The song, for the most part, is performed by Howard Donald – who for quite a large proportion of the band’s early days was more of a back-up dancer than a lead singer. Williams also had a short solo section in the middle of the song. During the subsequent tour that followed Williams’ departure, other band members covered his part.
Upon release, the song reached Number 1 in the UK chart – becoming the band’s 7th number one single in the process. The track remained at Number 1 for a further three weeks, before finally being succeeded by Blur’s ‘Country House.’ The video for the track is a montage of footage, taken from the band’s live performances and their antics backstage. Other memorable moments, such as the band’s meeting with Prince Charles, are also included.
Though the group eventually disbanded the following year in 1996, ‘Never Forget’ was later used to mark the magnificent return of Williams in 2010. Though the band has gotten back on it’s feet in 2006 as a triumphant four-piece, the brief reintroduction of Williams was an incredibly special event. And to add an extra sense of completion to the occasion, the band chose to give their first live performance of the song (as a five piece) on Children in Need.
Listen to the unforgettable classic below.