Quintet to quartet - 10 years (2004–2009)
Less than a month after McFadden's departure, the group kicked off their "Turnaround Tour". A live version from the said tour of "Flying Without Wings" was released as an official UK download, earning them the title of the very first UK Downloads #1. They then put out a Rat Pack-inspired album, Allow Us to Be Frank, peaking at #3. No singles were released in the UK from this album. "Ain't That A Kick In The Head", accompanied with a music video, was released as a physical single in other European countries. "Smile" and "Fly Me To The Moon", with music videos as well, were released as digital downloads only. Prior to the album release, Westlife scouted for "the perfect fan" to help promote their album from their one-season special show "She's The One", presented by Kate Thornton. After X Factor-style auditions, they found Joanne Hindley, who recorded "The Way You Look Tonight" with the group. To mark this special collaboration, a special programme was televised, showing auditions and live performances. Performers included Joanne, Westlife members' fathers and glamour model Katie Price, Il Divo and Kevin Spacey. Westlife continued to tour Europe as part of their "The Number Ones Tour", before taking a four-month break from work. On 4 May 2005, Westlife lost their battle for European trademark from the German trademark "West". In 2005, Westlife returned with their comeback single, "You Raise Me Up", which was taken from their Face To Face album. On 6 November 2005, both the album and the single were at #1 in the UK at the same time at the second week of the single. It was the first time that Westlife have held both top album and single position in the same week. "You Raise Me Up" was awarded as their fourth Record Of The Year in UK for 2005. In December that year, the group released "When You Tell Me That You Love Me", a duet with Diana Ross, as the second single and it debuted at its peak position of #2. Westlife then released a third single, "Amazing", which debuted at #4 and marked as the group's lowest-selling single yet. After that, Westlife embarked on the "Face To Face Tour", travelling extensively to the UK, Ireland, Australia and Asia. This tour marked the first time that Westlife have travelled to mainland China for a concert.
In late 2006, Westlife signed a brand new five-album deal with Sony BMG. Their eighth album, The Love Album, was a "love" concept album which consisted of popular love song covers. The album outsold other compilation albums by Oasis, The Beatles, and U2 in its first week of release and went straight to #1. The first single from The Love Album was a cover version of Bette Midler's classic, "The Rose", which became their 14th UK #1 single. This made Westlife the third act (along with Cliff Richard) in the UK to have the most #1 singles, tailing behind Elvis Presley (21) and The Beatles (17). Westlife then kicked off their eighth world tour, "The Love Tour", in Perth, Australia.The group then went on to other Australian cities before moving on to South Africa, the UK and Ireland. Westlife staged their last major concert of 2007 at Bitts Park inCarlisle, England.
On 5 November 2007, Westlife released their ninth album, Back Home, which contained nine new original songs along with three cover songs. The album debuted at #1 on the UK Music Charts and it was also 2007's fifth biggest selling album in the UK. The first single released from the album was a cover of Michael Bublé's "Home", which peaked at #3 in the UK. "I'm Already There", not released as a single, managed to chart in the UK based on downloads alone following a performance on an The X Factorepisode. On 15 December 2007, they had a two-hour show called The Westlife Show where they performed 10 of their songs, some voted by the fans through online and some from Back Home. It was hosted by Holly Willoughby. This time, Westlife together with Tesco brought out "The Definitive Westlife Quiz" that asked about the whole history about the boys. It was participated by thousands of fans worldwide. Months later, "Us Against The World" was announced and released as their second single in UK and Ireland. It peaked at #8 and is the group's lowest charting single to date. Before the release of the second single, they embarked on the Back Home Tour on 2008 February 25. This tour marked the first time that the group have traveled and performed to New Zealand, performing four sold-out shows in Auckland, Wellington, New Plymouth andChristchurch. Meanwhile, "Something Right" was released as the second single and "Us Against The World" became the third single in Europe and the Asia Pacific region. Both songs performed well on several music charts.
To mark their tenth year in music, Westlife staged a special 10 Years Of Westlife sold-out concert at the world's thirty-third and Europe's fourth biggest stadium, Croke Park, on 1 June 2008. With a capacity of 82 300, it was the boy's biggest show to date. Shayne Ward filled in as a support act for the concert, which Kian described to be of a "pop extravaganza". Shane confirmed that a corresponding live concert DVD will be released. The group announced that they will be on hiatus for a year after their Back Home Tour and that there would not be an album release in 2008 as they would be spending more time on the production of their tenth album. On 16 June 2008,HarperCollins UK will release Westlife's autobiography, 'Westlife - Our Story', as part of their 10th year celebration. The book was said to be written by each group member for three months. It contains the life they have for the past ten years in the business. It features also some of the private pictures from the lads. As promised, the group's official website confirmed on 27 September 2008 the release of a DVD on 24 November 2008 entitled 10 Years Of Westlife - Live at Croke Park Stadium which went straight to #1 on UK, Ireland, South African, Hong Kong and New Zealand Music DVD charts.
As the group ended their successful Back Home tour, Louis Walsh announced in the show Xpose that 1 July 2008 is the official start of the longest hiatus of the group so far. He said that it will be a one-year break, from that day up to 1 July 2009. On 13 December 2008, while on a break, Westlife made an unexpected appearance on X Factor Final Performance Night where they performed "Flying Without Wings" with JLS. After the presentation, Shane and Nicky were interviewed on Xtra Factor with Ronan Keating andStephen Gately of Boyzone. As JLS performed also "I'm Already There", Westlife's version of the song re-entered the UK Singles Chart at #63 while a new entry on Ireland Singles Chart at #47 due to extensive downloads only.
On the last week of January 2009, a DVD entitled The Karaoke Collection was released. It contains some of their music video hits. In 27 February 2009 issue of Herald Ireland, Louis revealed that Simon already picked three new songs which he reckons to be instant hits. Nicky spread the word last 8 March 2009 that Westlife will come back to music charts when they start recording in June 2009 when he received his VIP Style Awards as the Most Stylish Man on X-pose, TV3. On 18 March 2009, they won the Best Irish Pop Act on 2009 Meteor Awards for the ninth consecutive time. On 28 May 2009, they re-released Westlife - Our Story autobiography, adding their Croke Park experience and first time in a paperback edition.