The Man Who

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The Man Who
Travis - The Man Who album cover.jpg
Studio album by Travis
Released 24 May 1999
Recorded 1998–1999
Studio RAK Studios, London
Genre Post-Britpop, soft rock[1]
Length 47:33
Label Independiente
Producer Nigel Godrich, Ian Grimble, Mike Hedges
Travis chronology
Good Feeling
(1997)Good Feeling1997
The Man Who
(1999)
The Invisible Band
(2001)The Invisible Band2001
Singles from The Man Who
  1. "Writing to Reach You"
    Released: 8 March 1999
  2. "Driftwood"
    Released: 17 May 1999
  3. "Why Does It Always Rain on Me?"
    Released: 2 August 1999
  4. "Turn"
    Released: 8 November 1999

The Man Who is the second studio album by Scottish rock band Travis. The album was released on 24 May 1999 through Independiente. It saw a change in musical direction for the band, moving away from the rockier tone of their debut album Good Feeling.

Four singles were released from the album: "Writing to Reach You", "Driftwood", and the top 10 hits "Why Does It Always Rain on Me?" and "Turn". Fueled by the success of "Why Does It Always Rain on Me?" and the band's appearance at the 1999 Glastonbury Festival, The Man Who recovered from its initial polarised critical reception and slow sales to eventually spend a total of 11 weeks at number one on the UK Albums Chart, and went on to give the band international recognition. As of 2016, The Man Who has sold over 2.68 million copies in the United Kingdom.

Background and recording[edit]

The Man Who was produced by Nigel Godrich and recorded at producer Mike Hedges' chateau in France. The band continued recording at, among other studios, RAK Studios and Abbey Road Studios in London. The majority of the album's songs were written before the band's debut album Good Feeling had even been released; "Writing to Reach You", "The Fear" and "Luv" were penned around 1995–96, while "As You Are", "Turn" and "She's So Strange" date back as far as 1993 and the early Glass Onion EP.[citation needed]

The title The Man Who was derived from the book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by neurologist Oliver Sacks.[2] The album's sleeve notes include a dedication to film director Stanley Kubrick, who had died a few months prior to the album's release.[2]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[3]
The Boston Phoenix 3.5/4 stars[4]
Entertainment Weekly A[5]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[6]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[7]
NME 6/10[8]
Pitchfork 7.8/10[9]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[10]
USA Today 3.5/4 stars[11]
The Village Voice B−[12]

Initial reviews of The Man Who were mixed, with several publications who had championed the more rock-oriented Good Feeling criticising the album for the band's move towards melodic, melancholic material.[13][14] Stuart Bailie of NME objected to the band's decision to scale back the "rowdy" aspects of Good Feeling to make a record "over-loaded with ballads", and concluded that despite the presence of some good songs, "Travis will be the best when they stop trying to make sad, classic records."[8] Danny Eccleston of Q wrote that The Man Who loses momentum after its first four songs, with the remainder of the album being "almost tyrannically tasteful" and lacking "the most enchanting aspects of Good Feeling".[15] Select's Steve Lowe, on the other hand, felt that even without much musical innovation or a defining statement, the album showcases the band as "ordinary chaps making extraordinarily pretty music" and "good songwriters not trying too hard".[16]

While The Man Who initially looked as though it would mirror the success of Good Feeling, entering the UK Albums Chart at number five, it quickly slipped down the charts with little radio play of its singles, in addition to its mixed critical reception. However, the success of the album's third single "Why Does It Always Rain on Me?" increased awareness of the band and the album began to rise back up the charts.[17] When Travis later performed the song at the 1999 Glastonbury Festival, after being dry for several hours, it began to rain as soon as the first line was sung.[18] The following day, the story was all over the papers and television, and with increased word of mouth and radio play of "Why Does It Always Rain on Me?" and the album's other singles, The Man Who rose to number one on the UK Albums Chart,[19] going on to become the year's fourth best-selling album in the country.[20]

By the end of the year, the album's critical standing had improved dramatically.[14] Select named The Man Who the best album of 1999,[21] and the album also placed on the year-end lists of publications such as Melody Maker,[22] Mojo,[23] and former detractors NME and Q.[24][25] The Man Who won the award for Best Album at the 2000 Brit Awards, with Travis being named Best British Group.[17] At the Ivor Novello Awards, Travis frontman Fran Healy won the awards for Best Songwriter(s) and Best Contemporary Song for "Why Does It Always Rain on Me?".[26] The Man Who received a belated American release in early 2000, and the same year Travis undertook an extensive 237-gig world tour, including headlining the 2000 Glastonbury, T in the Park and V Festivals, and a US tour leg with Oasis.[17]

Legacy[edit]

In 2006, The Man Who was named the 70th greatest album of all time by Q.[27] At the 2010 Brit Awards, it was nominated for the Best Album of the Past 30 Years award, losing to Oasis's (What's the Story) Morning Glory?.[28] The album was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[29] As of May 2016, The Man Who has sold 2,687,500 copies in the UK.[30]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Fran Healy, except where noted.

Standard edition
No. Title Length
1. "Writing to Reach You" 3:41
2. "The Fear" 4:12
3. "As You Are" 4:14
4. "Driftwood" 3:33
5. "The Last Laugh of the Laughter" 4:20
6. "Turn" 4:24
7. "Why Does It Always Rain on Me?" 4:25
8. "Luv" (Healy, Adam Seymour) 4:55
9. "She's So Strange" 3:15
10. "Slide Show" (includes hidden track "Blue Flashing Light") 10:30

Personnel[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Collar, Matt. "Singles – Travis". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Sheppard, David (2010). "Travis The Man Who Review". BBC Music. Retrieved 16 May 2015. 
  3. ^ Damas, Jason. "The Man Who – Travis". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  4. ^ Laban, Linda (24 April 2000). "Travis: The Man Who (Epic)". The Boston Phoenix. Retrieved 5 November 2016. 
  5. ^ Browne, David (7 April 2000). "The Man Who". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 25 October 2015. 
  6. ^ Simpson, Dave (21 May 1999). "Travis: The Man Who (Independiente)". The Guardian. 
  7. ^ Cromelin, Richard (7 April 2000). "Record Rack". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 October 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Bailie, Stuart (18 May 1999). "Travis – The Man Who". NME. Archived from the original on 17 August 2000. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  9. ^ DiCrescenzo, Brent (4 April 2000). "Travis: The Man Who". Pitchfork. Retrieved 11 December 2011. 
  10. ^ Sheffield, Rob (27 April 2000). "Travis: The Man Who". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 29 June 2007. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  11. ^ Gundersen, Edna. "Travis, The Man Who". USA Today. Archived from the original on 15 August 2000. Retrieved 5 November 2016. 
  12. ^ Christgau, Robert (28 November 2000). "Turkey Shoot: Where the Action Isn't". The Village Voice. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  13. ^ Loundras, Alexia (21 October 2004). "Travis: When the going gets tough...". The Independent. Retrieved 4 March 2017. 
  14. ^ a b Murphy, Peter (26 April 2001). "The rebirth of the uncool". Hot Press. Retrieved 4 March 2017. 
  15. ^ Eccleston, Danny (July 1999). "Travis: The Man Who". Q (154): 116. 
  16. ^ Lowe, Steve (July 1999). "Travis: The Man Who". Select (109): 86. 
  17. ^ a b c "Travis: All-weather favourites". BBC News. 21 February 2002. Retrieved 4 March 2017. 
  18. ^ Hawksley, Rupert (27 January 2016). "Travis, The Lexington, review: 'uplifting, if predictable'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 4 March 2017. 
  19. ^ Zaleski, Annie (3 June 2014). "Travis’ The Man Who paved the way for Coldplay’s sensitivity". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  20. ^ "Yearly Best Selling Albums" (PDF). British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  21. ^ "The Men Who Won". Select (115): 74–75. January 2000. 
  22. ^ "1999". Melody Maker. Retrieved 4 March 2017. 
  23. ^ "Best of 1999". Mojo (74). January 2000. 
  24. ^ "1999". NME. Retrieved 4 March 2017. 
  25. ^ "50 Best Albums of 1999". Q (160). January 2000. 
  26. ^ Hunter, Nigel (10 June 2000). "Ivor Novello Awards Bestows 1st Fellowship on McCartney". Billboard: 90. Retrieved 4 March 2017. 
  27. ^ "Xfm's 10th Birthday Documentaries: This Sunday - QOTSA - Xfm". Internet Archive. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2016. 
  28. ^ "Vote for Travis at the BRIT Awards". travisonline.com. 2010-01-21. Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  29. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (23 March 2010). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 978-0-7893-2074-2. 
  30. ^ a b Jones, Alan (6 May 2016). "Official Chart Analysis: Drake's Views tops Official Albums chart". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 15 July 2016. (Subscription required (help)). 
  31. ^ "Travis (90s) The Man Who Japanese Promo CD album (CDLP) (172062)". 
  32. ^ "Travis (90s) The Man Who US CD album (CDLP) (155126)". 
  33. ^ "Travis (90s) The Man Who - Live Bonus CD UK Promo CD single (CD5 / 5") (347341)". 
  34. ^ "Travis (90s) The Man Who Canadian CD album (CDLP) (195056)". 
  35. ^ Information from the album booklet.
  36. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Travis – The Man Who". Hung Medien.
  37. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Travis – The Man Who" (in German). Hung Medien.
  38. ^ "Travis – Chart history" Billboard Canadian Albums Chart for Travis.
  39. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH.
  40. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Travis – The Man Who". Hung Medien.
  41. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  42. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Travis – The Man Who". Hung Medien.
  43. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  44. ^ "Travis – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Travis.
  45. ^ "End of Year Album Chart Top 100 – 1999". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 February 2017. 
  46. ^ "End of Year Album Chart Top 100 – 2000". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 February 2017. 
  47. ^ Copsey, Rob (4 July 2016). "The UK's 60 official biggest selling albums of all time revealed". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 February 2017. 
  48. ^ "British album certifications – Travis – The Man Who". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter The Man Who in the search field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]