Gary Barlow was a more confident songwriter at 21.

The 49-year-old star has claimed it took him just 15 minutes to write Take That's 1995 hit 'Back for Good', which topped the charts around the world, but these days, Gary wouldn't relish the pressure of working under the kind of tight deadlines usually imposed by record labels.

He reflected: "You do it just because that's what you've been told to do. You don't think, 'Wow, this is so much pressure, everyone. How can I do this?' You just get on with it.

"I was full of confidence at the time because we were having hits all over the world. And that is a good place to be as an artist."

Despite his early successes, Gary doesn't miss having to work under such pressure.

And the singer admits he's not as confident in himself as he once was.

He told the BBC: "I'll be honest, I don't think I've got that kind of confidence anymore.

"I'd have been 20 or 21 when those calls used to come in. And that's a different person.

"I wouldn't trust myself now to think I could do it in a week."

Meanwhile, Gary's new solo album - 'Music Played By Humans' - features full orchestras, swing bands and string quartets.

The singer admitted that on this occasion, he was the one making demands, rather than his record label.

He said: "I went to Universal, the record company, and I said, 'Listen, I have got this idea but can I just record three songs? I don't mean demos, I want to put the orchestra on, I want to mix it, I want to get right down the road with three songs'.

"And so I did: Big string sections, brass sections, the whole thing. I really wanted to know that it was right.

"Then I played it to them and they just said, 'Listen, just go and finish the bloody thing. It's fantastic.'"