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
The Man Who
The Invisible Band
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 from the Scottish band Travis. The album was released on 24 May 1999, becoming the album that gave the band international recognition.

Background and recording[edit]

Travis' second album, 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 Man Who initially looked as though it would mirror the release of Good Feeling. Although it entered the charts at No. 5, with little radio play of its singles, it quickly slipped down. Worse, many critics who had raved about the rocky Good Feeling rubbished the album for the band's move into more melodic, melancholic material (for example, "Travis will be best when they stop trying to make sad, classic records" - NME). However, when the album slipped as far as No. 19, it stopped. Word of mouth and increasing radio play of the single "Why Does It Always Rain on Me?" increased awareness of the band and the album began to rise back up the charts. Then, when Travis took the stage to perform this song at the 1999 Glastonbury Festival, after being dry for several hours, it began to rain as soon as the first line was sung. The following day the story was all over the papers and television, and with word of mouth and increased radio play of this and the album's other singles, The Man Who rose to No. 1 on the British charts.

It also eventually took Best Album at the 2000 BRIT Awards, with Travis being named Best Band. Music industry magazine Music Week awarded them the same honours, while at the Ivor Novello Awards, Travis took the Best Songwriter(s) and Best Contemporary Song Awards. Travis followed the release of The Man Who with 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. In Los Angeles, an appearance of the band at an in-store signing forced police to close Sunset Strip.

The title "The Man Who" comes from the book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by neurologist Oliver Sacks. The majority of songs for this album were written before Good Feeling was even released. "Writing to Reach You", "The Fear" and "Luv" being penned around 1995/96, with "As You Are", "Turn" and "She's So Strange" dating back as far as 1993 and the early Glass Onion EP.[citation needed]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[2]
Drowned in Sound 9/10[3]
Entertainment Weekly A[4]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[5]
NME 6/10[6]
Pitchfork Media 7.8/10[7]
Q 2/5 stars[8]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[9]
Select 4/5 stars[10]
The Village Voice B–[11]

The album peaked at #1 in the UK and #8 in Australia. It was later released in the United States in early 2000. The album won two BRIT Awards in 2000 for the categories of "Best Album" and "Best Newcomer". The album was dedicated to Stanley Kubrick. The album became the fourth best-selling album in the UK in 1999,[12] selling more than 2.7 million copies. The title of the album makes reference to an Oliver Sacks book, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.[13] In 2006, Q rated the album as the 70th greatest album of all time.[14] The album was nominated in 2010 for best album of the last 30 years, but lost to Oasis's (What's the Story) Morning Glory?.[15] The album was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed 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


Chart performance[edit]


Chart (1999) Peak
UK Albums Chart 1
ARIA Albums Chart 8
Austrian Albums Chart 46
Canadian Albums Chart 40
Swiss Albums Chart 85
German Albums Chart 34
Irish Albums Chart 2
New Zealand Albums Chart 14
US Billboard 200 135


  1. ^ Collar, Matt. "Travis - Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  2. ^ Damas, Jason. "The Man Who – Travis". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  3. ^ Wisbey, Joe (23 October 2001). "Album Review: Travis – The Man Who". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  4. ^ Browne, David (7 April 2000). "The Man Who". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 25 October 2015. 
  5. ^ Cromelin, Richard (7 April 2000). "Record Rack". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 October 2015. 
  6. ^ Bailie, Stuart (18 May 1999). "Travis – The Man Who". NME. Archived from the original on 17 August 2000. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  7. ^ DiCrescenzo, Brent (4 April 2000). "Travis: The Man Who". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 11 December 2011. 
  8. ^ Eccleston, Danny (July 1999). "Review: Travis – The Man Who". Q (EMAP Metro Ltd): 116. 
  9. ^ Sheffield, Rob (27 April 2000). "Travis: The Man Who". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 29 June 2007. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  10. ^ Lowe, Steve (July 1999). "Travis: The Man Who". Select (109): 86. 
  11. ^ Christgau, Robert (28 November 2000). "Turkey Shoot: Where the Action Isn't". The Village Voice. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  12. ^ "Yearly Best Selling Albums" (PDF). BPI Ltd. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  13. ^ "The Man Who: Press Release". 1999-05-24. Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  14. ^ XFM 10th Birthday Podcast on the album with band interviews
  15. ^ "Vote for Travis at the BRIT Awards". 2010-01-21. Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ Information from the album booklet.

External links[edit]