Closing Time (Semisonic song)
|Single by Semisonic|
|from the album Feeling Strangely Fine|
|Released||March 10, 1998|
|Genre||Alternative rock, pop rock, post-grunge|
|Length||4:33 (album version)
3:49 (single version)
|Semisonic singles chronology|
"Closing Time" is a song by American alternative rock band Semisonic. It was released in March 1998 as the lead single from their album Feeling Strangely Fine. One of the band's most popular songs, it was written by Dan Wilson and produced by Nick Launay. The song was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song in 1999. It reached number-one on the Modern Rock Tracks.
The book So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star (ISBN 0-7679-1470-8) by Semisonic's drummer Jacob Slichter indicates that the song was written partly in response to the anxious, and at times precarious, state of the band during the opening of Wilson's new bar, The Rehab Lounge, which closed in late 2008; however, Slichter has also indicated that the song was written by Wilson "in anticipation of fatherhood", and that it is about "being sent forth from the womb as if by a bouncer clearing out a bar".
In concert Dan Wilson has confirmed that the song was written in anticipation of fatherhood but that he disguised it because he knew his bandmates would get sick of playing a song about his kids.
The music video was directed by Chris Applebaum. It features two continuous shots, running side by side on the screen. One side shows the band playing the song in a rehearsal space. The other side features a woman (played by Denise Franco), who is playing the part of the singer Dan Wilson's girlfriend. As the video progresses, Dan and his girlfriend switch sides of screen, as they attempt to meet up. At the end of the video, they both wind up at the same nightclub. However, they still end up missing each other by mere seconds and never meet up. The "trick" of the video is that each shot was done as one long, continuous shot, with no cuts or editing, and therefore relies on proper timing during the filming to get the two sides of the video lined up properly.
Covers and samples
"Closing Time" was the final song in the polka medley "Polka Power!" on "Weird Al" Yankovic's 1999 album Running with Scissors.
In popular culture
"Closing Time" has been featured in a number of films and television series in the following years after its release. In an article about the song's oddly enduring legacy and its use to punctuate comedic scenes, songwriter Dan Wilson believed the song had become "shorthand for that interesting feeling when you realize someone very different from you shares your cultural background", and that it is a song many people know but not everyone likes.
- The song was featured in the 2010 film Due Date during a scene in which Danny McBride beats up the film's two protagonists. Wilson says that while he wasn't "bummed" about the song's usage in the film, he would not have approved said usage if he had been personally asked because the scene it was used in was very violent.
- The song was prominently featured in the 2011 film Friends with Benefits where, in the climax, Justin Timberlake's character points out that the song is by Semisonic and not, as he previously believed, Third Eye Blind.
- The song was featured as background music for the 90s themed high school reunion in the 2012 film American Reunion.
- The song was featured as background music for the closing scenes of Freeriders, a 1998 extreme ski movie from Warren Miller.
- The song was played during the closing credits of the 1998 MTV Movie Awards broadcast.
- The song was referenced in the Soultaker episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
- In 1999, "Closing Time" was heard right before the credits in the final episode of Melrose Place.
- The intro to "Closing Time" is briefly heard in the Friends episode "The One with Rachel's Date". It was also used during the NBC season 10 pre-finale special episode, titled "The One with All the Other Ones".
- The song was used in an episode of The Simpsons entitled "That '90s Show".
- The song appeared on the MTV cartoon series' Daria and Good Vibes.
- The chorus of "Closing Time" was used by the character of Barney Stinson in the episode "Three Days of Snow", the 13th episode in the fourth season of the television series How I Met Your Mother and 77th overall. Barney quotes "Closing Time" after last call at MacLaren's.
- In a Season 8 episode of The Office titled "Doomsday", it is revealed that new manager Andy Bernard ends every work day by leading the office in singing "Closing Time". While no one in the office particularly likes the song (and Stanley Hudson admits his joy on hearing Andy sing it solely relates to his appreciation for anything that ends a workday), Wilson felt its usage on the show was enjoyable.
- The song was used in closing shot of the series finale of Rules of Engagement.
- The song was used during the closing shots (and quotes from it are used in a highly delayed break-up speech) in the sixth episode (Season 1) of The Goodwin Games
|Australia ARIA Charts||40|
|Canadian RPM Alternative 30||2|
|Dutch Top 40||84|
|New Zealand Singles Chart||50|
|UK Singles Chart||25|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Airplay||11|
|U.S. Billboard Mainstream Top 40||8|
|U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks||13|
|U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks||1|
|U.S. Billboard Adult Top 40 Tracks||4|
|Australia ARIA Charts||40|
- Billboard 21 Feb 1998
- "41st Grammy Awards - 1999". Rock on the Net. Retrieved 2007-02-12.
- Slichter, Jacob (2004). So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star. New York: Broadway Books. p. 135. ISBN 0-7679-1470-8.
- A Hit Single and the Heart-Wrenching Story Behind it, by Claudia Ricci, The Huffington Post, posted February 8, 2011, retrieved February 27, 2011
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niz9FtJIB2Y. Missing or empty
- We Are All 'Closing Time': Why Semisonic's 1998 Hit Still Resonates