The Man (The Killers song)

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"The Man"
Single by The Killers
from the album Wonderful Wonderful
Released June 14, 2017 (2017-06-14)
Format Digital download
Length 4:08
Label Island
The Killers singles chronology
"Peace of Mind"
"The Man"
"Run for Cover"
Music video
"The Man" on YouTube

"The Man" is a song by American rock band The Killers from their fifth studio album, Wonderful Wonderful (2017). It was released on June 14, 2017, as the lead single from the album. A cover by English jazz-pop singer Jamie Cullum was released as the lead single from the soundtrack of the 2018 heist film King of Thieves.[4]

Background and artwork[edit]

Drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. stated that the song's lyrics were "largely about how when we were younger we felt invincible. What it meant to be a 'man' in your 20's. Sort of your chest out, the breadwinner, nothing could stop you, invincible sort of thing. It's sort of tongue-and-cheeking that, how that is not really the point of being a man at all. It's actually more about compassion and empathy."[5] According to the band's vocalist Brandon Flowers, the song is a response to the more delicate songs of the album, including "Rut" and "Some Kind of Love": "Those songs came and it was like, 'These are more tender or contemplative than we've ever been, how did we get to this point?' Reflecting on that was where 'The Man' came from."[6]

The artwork for the single features Flowers's youngest son Henry and was shot by Anton Corbijn.[7]

Release and promotion[edit]

Starting on May 6, 2017, the band tweeted a series of photographs and short videos to tease their then-untitled fifth studio album.[8][9] Among the tweets was a photograph of Flowers wearing a silver jacket with gold lettering spelling out "The Man". On June 14, 2017, "The Man" was released as the lead single from Wonderful Wonderful.[10] BBC Radio 1's Annie Mac debuted the track as "Annie Mac's Hottest Record in the World".[11]

On July 31, 2017, the band performed "The Man" on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.[12] On August 20, 2017, Showtime released a promotional video featuring the band performing "The Man" to promote Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor.[13][14][15]

Composition and lyrical interpretation[edit]

"The Man" is a bass-driven disco-rock song. It was built around a sample of the 1975 Kool & the Gang song "Spirit of the Boogie" and was composed by The Killers and producer Jacknife Lee. Lyrically, the song is a self-reflection of Brandon Flowers' cockier early years and described by himself as a way of reconciling that wide-eyed character with the man he is now.[16][17]

Critical reception[edit]

The single received mostly positive reviews from music critics. Ryan Dombal from Pitchfork described "The Man" as an "over shiny, strutting funk descended from James Brown's '80s anthem 'Living in America'", saying Flowers brags about himself to the point of ridiculousness. He added: "The song is called "The Man", but its ideas of manliness are nothing but boyish. As American masculinity continues to evolve, and threatens to fall back on ugly old norms, The Killers try to have it both ways here, poking fun at dick-swinging supremacy while serving up something that could reasonably soundtrack a rough-and-dusted pickup truck commercial."[18] Writing for DIY magazine, Will Richards praised Flowers' confidence on the song and called it "huge, bombastic and fearless".[19] Robin Murray of Clash called the song "daft, delirious and completely addictive".[20]

Commercial performance[edit]

The song debuted on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart at number 26 the week after its release. On the same week, it ranked as Alternative Radio's most added song.[21][22][23] The track subsequently became The Killers' ninth song to reach the top 10 of the Alternative Songs chart, before entering the top five.[24] "The Man" subsequently reached number one on Billboard's Adult Alternative Songs chart, their first song to do so in over 10 years since "Read My Mind".[25] The song also reached number one on the Mediabase Alternative Airplay chart.[26]

Music video[edit]

The accompanying music video for the single was directed by Tim Mattia and released on June 28, 2017.[27] The video, filmed in Las Vegas, features Flowers portraying a variety of characters that are connected by their obsession with ego and fame. By the end of the video, all of Flowers' characters begin to fall apart as their success fades.[28][29] It includes a cameo by former Mayor of Las Vegas and current First Gentleman of Las Vegas Oscar Goodman.[30]


Year Ceremony Award Result
2017 Q Awards[31] Best Track Nominated


Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
BBC Radio 1 United Kingdom Annie Mac's Hottest Record of the Year 2017[32][33] 2017
Billboard United States The 25 Best Rock Songs of 2017: Critics' Picks[34] 2017
Billboard United States Billboard's 100 Best Songs of 2017: Critics' Picks[35] 2017
DIY United Kingdom The DIY List 2017[36] 2017 N/A
NME United Kingdom Best Songs Of The Year 2017[37] 2017
Radio X United Kingdom The 30 Best Songs Of The Year 2017[38] 2017 N/A

Usage in media[edit]

The song was featured in a trailer for the Vice, a 2018 biopic of former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney.[39]

Track listing[edit]

  • Digital download[40]
  1. "The Man" – 4:08

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Wonderful Wonderful.[41]

The Killers

Additional personnel

  • Jacknife Lee – production, engineering, guitar, keys, programming
  • Matt Bishop – engineering
  • Robert Root – engineering
  • Malcolm Harrison – assistant engineering
  • Erol Alkan – additional production, drum programming, percussion, synth
  • Jimmy Robertson – assistant engineering
  • Becca Marie – additional vocals
  • Las Vegas Mass Choir – additional vocals
  • Nina Fechner – additional vocals
  • Justin Diaz – additional vocals
  • Dan Grech-Marguerat – mixing, additional programming
  • Joel Davies – mixing assistance
  • Charles Haydon Hicks – mixing assistance
  • John Davis – mastering
  • Dave Kutch – mastering



Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[57] Gold 40,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[58] Silver 200,000double-dagger

^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Ref.
Various June 14, 2017 Digital download Island [40]
United Kingdom July 7, 2017 Contemporary hit radio [59]


  1. ^ "The Killers Talk 'Grown-Up' New Album 'Wonderful Wonderful'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
  2. ^ DeVille, Chris (June 28, 2017). "The Killers – "The Man" Video". Stereogum. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  3. ^ Smith, Patrick (June 25, 2017). "The Killers deliver a formidable surprise set at Glastonbury – review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Baker, Jeremy. "*LISTEN* The Killer's share new album, Wonderful Wonderful, and lead single". 102.1 the Edge. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  6. ^ "Inside the Killers' New Album: 'It's the Closest Thing We've Done to Sam's Town'". June 22, 2017.
  7. ^ "WATCH: Brandon Flowers Is "Proud" To Front The Killers". Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  8. ^ "The Killers Tease New Song". Billboard. June 9, 2017. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  9. ^ "The Killers' new single is coming this Wednesday". Official Charts Company.
  10. ^ "Listen to The Killers' new single 'The Man'". NME. June 14, 2017. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  11. ^ "BBC Radio 1 – Annie Mac, The Killers + HAIM Time, The Killers – The Man". Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  12. ^ "Las Vegas' hometown heroes the Killers rock the Strip". Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  13. ^ "The Killers give Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather fight its own theme song". Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  14. ^ "Mayweather vs. McGregor: The Killers' new music video hypes the big fight". Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  15. ^ "The Killers Hype Mayweather Vs. McGregor Fight With New 'The Man' Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  16. ^ "The Killers Release First New Song in Five Years, 'The Man'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  17. ^ "The Killers Release New Single, Announce New Album Wonderful Wonderful". Paste. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  18. ^ "'The Man' by The Killers Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  19. ^ "The Killers - The Man". DIY. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  20. ^ "The Killers Drop New Single 'The Man'". Clash. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  21. ^ "The Killers' "The Man" Ranks As Alternative Radio's Most Added Song". Headline Planet. June 20, 2017.
  22. ^ "Hits Daily Double : Rumor Mill - A Recap of Radio Add Recaps". Hits Daily Double.
  23. ^ "Hits Daily Double : iGen - Your Radio Add Recap". Hits Daily Double.
  24. ^ Billboard (July 13, 2017). "The Killers' Brandon Flowers Talks New Album 'Wonderful Wonderful'". Billboard. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  25. ^ "The Killers Earn First Airplay Chart No. 1 in More Than 10 Years". Billboard. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  26. ^ "The Killers' "The Man" Reaches #1 At Alternative Radio". October 8, 2017. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  27. ^ "Watch The Killers' new video for latest single 'The Man'". NME. June 28, 2017. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  28. ^ Reed, Ryan (June 28, 2017). "Watch the Killers' Brandon Flowers Strut Around Vegas in 'The Man' Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  29. ^ "The Killers 'The Man' Video: Watch". Billboard. June 28, 2017. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  30. ^ "The Killers To Perform Pop-Up Concert In Front Of Caesars Palace | Las Vegas Blog". Las Vegas Blog. July 26, 2017. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  31. ^ "The Killers, Lorde, Queens of the Stone Age & more nominated for "Q" Awards - Music News". ABC News Radio. August 1, 2017. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
  32. ^ "Annie Mac - The Killers Claim Annie Mac's Hottest Record of 2017 - BBC Radio 1". BBC. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  33. ^ "The Killers react to 'The Man' being named Radio 1's Hottest Record Of The Year - NME". December 8, 2017. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  34. ^ "The 25 Best Rock Songs of 2017: Critics' Picks". Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  35. ^ "Billboard's 100 Best Songs of 2017: Critics' Picks". Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  36. ^ "The DIY List 2017: sound the horns, it's an absolute banger". DIY. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  37. ^ "Best Songs of the Year 2017". November 27, 2017. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  38. ^ "The 30 Best Songs Of The Year 2017". Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  39. ^ Leight, Elias (October 3, 2018). "'Vice' Trailer: See Christian Bale as 'Ruthless' Dick Cheney". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  40. ^ a b "The Man – Single by The Killers". iTunes Store (GB). Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  41. ^ Wonderful Wonderful (liner notes). The Killers. Island Records. 2017. B0027046-02.
  42. ^ "Top 20 Anglo Argentina – Del 19 al 25 de Junio, 2017" (in Spanish). Monitor Latino. June 19, 2017. Retrieved June 26, 2017.
  43. ^ "ARIA Chart Watch #441". auspOp. October 7, 2017. Retrieved October 7, 2017.
  44. ^ " – The Killers – The Man" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  45. ^ " – The Killers – The Man" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  46. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  47. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  48. ^ "The Killers Chart History (Adult Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  49. ^ "The Killers Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  50. ^ "The Killers Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  51. ^ "The Killers Chart History (Hot Rock Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
  52. ^ "The Killers Chart History (Rock Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  53. ^ "Adult Alternative Songs – Year-End 2017". Billboard. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  54. ^ "Alternative Songs – Year-End 2017". Billboard. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  55. ^ "Hot Rock Songs – Year-End 2017". Billboard. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  56. ^ "Rock Airplay Songs – Year-End 2017". Billboard. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  57. ^ "Canadian single certifications – The Killers – The Man". Music Canada. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  58. ^ "British single certifications – The Killers – The Man". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved October 19, 2018. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type The Man in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  59. ^ "BBC – Radio 1 – Playlist". BBC Radio 1. Archived from the original on July 7, 2017. Retrieved December 22, 2017.

External links[edit]