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Robbie desires a classic album

Cannes, Jan. 18 (Reuters): Like other successful rock stars, Britain’s Robbie Williams, has a huge recording contract and a revolving door of model and actress girlfriends, but there’s one thing gnawing at him — a Sgt. Pepper’s-like classic album.

Despite topping the charts in Britain and much of Western Europe with his latest release Escapology, the 28-year-old singer/songwriter isn’t satisfied. “It’s the best one I’ve done, but I’m going to keep going, chasing that elusive classic album that’s in the top 10 or top 20 albums ever written,” he said at a news conference in the French Riviera resort of Cannes to promote his fifth solo album.

“I might as well set my ambitions high and go for a Sgt. Pepper’s or a Nevermind,” Williams said, referring to the time-tested top-sellers from The Beatles and Nirvana. Escapology has sold five million copies since its release two months ago. But achieving a status similar to that of The Beatles could be difficult — Williams recently split with long-time writing partner Guy Chambers.

EMI, the world’s third largest record label, is hoping he’s got a classic in him too. The company forked out one of the most lucrative recording contracts of all time, widely believed to $125 million. Williams, sporting dark sunglasses for his late-afternoon news conference, said he’s not feeling the pressure.

“I’ve sold nearly 30 million albums. If EMI get £5 an album, you do the maths,” he said coolly. “All I have to do is repeat it, and I can do it.”

He also dismissed the notion that he has to conquer the world’s largest music market, the US, where he has not sold well in the past, in order for Escapology to be a success.

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