12 Memories

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12 Memories
Studio album by Travis
Released 11 October 2003 (2003-10-11)
Recorded Late 2001–Early 2003
Genre Alternative rock, indie rock
Length 44:50
Label Independiente, Epic
Producer Travis, Tchad Blake, Steve Orchard
Travis chronology
The Invisible Band
12 Memories
Singles from 12 Memories
  1. "Re-Offender"
    Released: 29 September 2003
  2. "The Beautiful Occupation"
    Released: 15 December 2003
  3. "Love Will Come Through"
    Released: 22 March 2004
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 64/100[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[2]
NME (6/10)[3]
Pitchfork Media (5.1/10)[4]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[5]
Music Box 3/5 stars[6]

12 Memories is the fourth studio album from Scottish alternative rock band Travis. The album was released on 11 October 2003 on Epic Records. In comparison, the album is a much more mature and lyrically darker album, focusing on issues such as the 2003 Iraq invasion, politicians, psychological crisis and domestic abuse.

Background and recording[edit]

Musically, 12 Memories has embraced use of distorted guitars and a more electronic, rockier and even trip hop style. Three singles were released from the album - "Re-Offender", a track that deals with domestic abuse, "The Beautiful Occupation", a song which was inspired by the invasion of Iraq by US and coalition forces in 2003, and "Love Will Come Through", a more traditional Travis song, which was later featured in a marketing campaign by the Post Office. The album entered the UK charts at #3. "The Beautiful Occupation" was their first single to miss the top 40, charting at #48, though the following single, the fan favourite "Love Will Come Through", only fared slightly better, charting at #28. Whilst being titled 12 Memories, there are only eleven tracks on the album, each one of these a "memory". The "12th memory" is actually a hidden track entitled "Some Sad Song" which plays after silence following the last track. The album cover is somewhat similar to the album covers for The Beatles's Let it Be and U2's Pop.

This is the only Travis album without their logo on the album cover. However, their logo can be seen from the album cover, as the visible part of the rear back cover, the Travis logo can be found. The rear back cover is also similar to the cover of "Re-Offender", the lead single. As the album does not display the title on the cover either, a sticker is featured on the case which says the title of the album. Also, a Parental Guidance logo is featured as a sticker on the case.

Release and reception[edit]

With Primrose having recovered, Travis regrouped and re-evaluated. Moving into a cottage in Crear, West Scotland, they set up a small studio, and over two weeks, came up with nine new songs that would form the basis of their fourth studio album, 2003's 12 Memories. Produced by Travis themselves, Tchad Blake, and Steve Orchard, the album marked a move into more organic, moody and political territory for the band. Although this seems to have alienated some fans, the album generally received very positive reviews (for example, "Then, of course, there's Travis and their album 12 Memories [Epic]. You just have to sit there and listen to it all the way through, and it will take you on a real journey. It's like an old album. It's like the Beatles' Revolver [1966]. Fran Healy's voice and lyrics are mesmerizing and beautiful" — Elton John), singles such as "Re-Offender" did very well on the British charts, and the album itself reached No. 3. Yet it also saw them lose ground in the U.S., where Coldplay had usurped Travis during their 2002 absence. Much later, Fran Healy spoke about the album as a whole being about him working through his own clinical depression, and the twelve memories being twelve reasons for him reaching his depressed state. At the time this wasn't mentioned, but the revelation that Healy was depressed ties in with the band's decision to take longer writing and releasing their next work.

12 Memories received positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 64 based on 22 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[1]

Success and touring[edit]

Early in 2004, Travis embarked on a highly successful tour of Canada, the US, and Europe (supported by Keane in the UK), and on November 2004, the band released a successful compilation of their singles, Singles, as well as the new tracks, "Walking in the Sun" and "The Distance" (written by Dougie Payne). This was followed by a series of small, intimate gigs at UK venues such as Liverpool's Cavern Club, London's Mean Fiddler, and Glasgow's Barrowlands. While on tour, the band also made a series of impromptu acoustic "busks", raising money for the charity The Big Issue. In addition to other performances, they also headlined the 2005 Isle of Wight Festival and T in the Park.

On 2 July 2005, Travis performed at Live 8's London concert, and four days later, at the Edinburgh 50,000 - The Final Push concert. Travis also participated in Band Aid 20's re-recording of "Do They Know It's Christmas?"—Healy and friend Nigel Godrich playing leading roles in its organisation. Healy is a part of the Make Poverty History movement, having recently made two trips to Sudan with the Save the Children organisation. On 13 July 2006, the members of Travis stuck a giant post-it sticker on the front door of the Downing Street home of British Prime Minister, Tony Blair. It read: "Tony Blair — Some steps forward, much to do at the G8, make poverty history."

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Fran Healy

No. Title Length
1. "Quicksand"   2:39
2. "The Beautiful Occupation"   3:45
3. "Re-Offender"   3:48
4. "Peace the Fuck Out"   2:55
5. "How Many Hearts"   4:46
6. "Paperclips"   3:36
7. "Somewhere Else"   3:13
8. "Love Will Come Through"   3:40
9. "Mid-Life Krysis"   3:39
10. "Happy to Hang Around"   3:34
11. "Walking Down the Hill (with hidden track "Some Sad Song")"   9:21
Japanese Bonus Tracks[7]
No. Title Length
13. "Definition of Wrong"   3:33
14. "12th Memory"   4:38

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2003) Peak
UK Album Chart 3[8]
Norwegian Top 40 4[8]
Austria Albums Top 75 8[8]
Denmark Albums Top 40 8[8]
Swiss Albums Top 100 8[8]
German Albums Top 75 9[8]
Irish Album Charts 17[8]
French Albums Top 100 19[8]
Swedish Albums Top 60 22[8]
New Zealand Albums Top 40 34[8]
Belgium Albums Top 50 38[8]
US Billboard 200 41[8]
Australia Albums Top 50 42[8]
Poland Albums Top 50 49[8]
Dutch Albums Top 100 64



  1. ^ a b "12 Memories Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2013-03-07. 
  2. ^ Wilson, MacKenzie (14 October 2003). "12 Memories > Review". allmusic. Retrieved 21 June 2010. 
  3. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20041024212813/http://www.nme.com/reviews/11415.htm
  4. ^ "Pitchfork: Album Reviews: Travis: 12 Memories". Pitchforkmedia.com. 21 October 2003. Retrieved 21 June 2010. 
  5. ^ [1] Archived May 17, 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Metzger, John. "Travis - 12 Memories (Album Review)". Musicbox-online.com. Archived from the original on 28 July 2010. Retrieved 21 June 2010. 
  7. ^ "Travis (90s) 12 Memories Japan Promo CD album (CDLP) (276023)". eil.com. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Travis - 12 Memories - Music Charts". Acharts.us. Retrieved 2010-06-21.