A basement concert on July 26, 2006, from left to right: Munson, Wilson, and Slichter
|Origin||Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States|
|Genres||Alternative rock, post-grunge, power pop|
|Associated acts||Trip Shakespeare|
Semisonic is an American alternative rock band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1995. The band has three members: Dan Wilson (lead vocals, guitar), John Munson (bass guitar, backing vocals, keyboard), and Jacob Slichter (drums, percussion, keyboard). They are best known for their late 1990s singles "Closing Time", "Singing in My Sleep" and "Secret Smile".
After the breakup of Trip Shakespeare, Dan Wilson and John Munson joined up with drummer Jacob Slichter to form Semisonic in 1995. An EP, Pleasure, was released that year on Boston indie label CherryDisc, and the studio full-length Great Divide in 1996 on MCA.
Semisonic's breakthrough came two years later in 1998 when their second album, Feeling Strangely Fine, reached the Top 50 chart on the strength of the hit single "Closing Time", their biggest hit in the United States.
Their international career also blossomed when another song from the album, "Secret Smile", quickly became a UK radio favorite in the summer of 1999, eventually peaking at No. 13 on the UK Singles Chart.
In early 2001, the band released its third album, All About Chemistry. The single "Chemistry" was a mainstay overseas; however, the album did not fare as well in the United States. Another song, "Over My Head", was used in the 2001 teen flick Summer Catch, and Semisonic rode the wave of various tours in and around the UK.
Wilson has spoken of doing more Semisonic music in the future but said "The busy day-to-day life keeps pushing it further into the future." All About Chemistry remains their last studio album.
The band played shows in both 2010 and 2012 in the Minneapolis area.
Studio albums 
- Pleasure (demo) (1993)
- Pleasure EP (1995, EP)
- Great Divide (1996)
- Feeling Strangely Fine (1998)
- All About Chemistry (2001)
Live albums 
- One Night at First Avenue (2003)
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album|
|1996||"Down in Flames"||—||—||—||—||—||—||Great Divide|
|"If I Run"||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1998||"Closing Time"||11 [A]||1||13||25||—||2||Feeling Strangely Fine|
|"Singing in My Sleep"||—||11||31||39||—||—|
|2001||"Chemistry"||—||39||—||35||—||—||All About Chemistry|
|"Get a Grip"||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Over My Head"||—||—||—||—||—||—||Summer Catch soundtrack|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
Soundtracks and compilations 
- Semisonic performed "Sugar, Sugar" with Mary Lou Lord on the 1995 tribute album Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits, produced by Ralph Sall for MCA Records.
- They contributed the title song for the 1999 Kevin Costner movie For Love Of The Game.
- "Over My Head", a bonus track on some editions of All About Chemistry was used in the 2001 teen flick Summer Catch.
- In the fall of 2001, Semisonic contributed their cover of the Wings song, "Jet", for the Paul McCartney tribute CD, Listen to What the Man Said.
- Wilson with Bic Runga contributed "Good Morning Baby" to the American Pie soundtrack in 1999.
Songs in other media 
Great Divide 
- The song "F.N.T." was used in the 1996 movie The Long Kiss Goodnight.
- "F.N.T." was also used in the 1999 movie 10 Things I Hate about You.
- "Delicious" was used in the end of the Friends episode "The One with Joey's Fridge", and appeared on Friends Again - Original TV Soundtrack in 1999.
Feeling Strangely Fine 
- "Closing Time" was featured on the 2011 movie Friends with Benefits
- "Closing Time" was featured on the 2012 movie American Reunion
- "Closing Time" was referenced in the Soultaker episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
- "Closing Time" was featured on the 1998 charitable album Live in the X Lounge.
- In 1998, "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".
- "Closing Time" was used in an episode of The Simpsons entitled "That 90's Show".
- "Closing Time" was used in the 1999 Warren Miller film Freeriders.
- "Closing Time" was the final song in the polka medley "Polka Power!" on "Weird Al" Yankovic's 1999 album Running with Scissors.
- "Closing Time" was referenced at the end of an episode of Tosh.0.
- "Closing Time" and "Singing in My Sleep" appeared on the MTV cartoon series Daria.
- "Closing Time" was featured 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.
- "Closing Time" was the song chosen by Andy Bernard to commemorate and "bring closure" to the end of each work day in "Doomsday" the 6th episode of The Office's 8th season
- "Made to Last" was used in a commercial for the Volkswagen Beetle.
- "Made to Last" was used in an episode of the WB teen drama Roswell but not included on the show's soundtrack.
- "Never You Mind" appeared on the Never Been Kissed - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack in 1999.
- "Secret Smile" appeared on the Dawson's Creek episode "Full Moon Rising".
- "Secret Smile" again appeared on Charmed episode "Dead Man Dating".
- "Secret Smile" was used in a commercial for the Sony Cyber-shot range of digital cameras in 2007.
All About Chemistry 
- "Chemistry" appeared on the 40 Days and 40 Nights soundtrack in 2002.
- "Over My Head," a bonus track on the Japanese release of the album, was used in the 2001 movie Summer Catch.
Other projects by members 
Wilson took time out to do some solo projects and play tour dates around the Midwest in December. Munson joined up with Wilson's brother and former Trip Shakespeare frontman Matt Wilson to form a side project, The Flops, in 2001, though they were expected to make a final performance in early 2005. In 2009, John Munson and Matt Wilson reunited to form a new band The Twilight Hours. They have since released an album, Stereo Night, and been touring.
In 2004, Slichter's book So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star (ISBN 0-7679-1470-8) was published, detailing some of the experiences the group had while touring and attempting to get airplay on radio stations across the US.
On October 16, 2007, Rick Rubin's label American Recordings released Wilson's solo album, Free Life, featuring collaborations with numerous artists including Munson and Slichter. The song "Cry" was the album's single.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 488. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Billboard (1998-08-08). "Hot 100 Airplay Closing Time". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2008-10-17.[dead link]
- Billboard (1997-2001). "Artist Chart History - Semisonic". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2008-10-16.[dead link]
- Editors from EveryHit.com. "UK Top 40 Hit Database". EveryHit.com. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
- "Semisonic Top Singles positions". RPM. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
- "Semisonic Rock/Alternative positions". RPM. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
- Per search of Billboard.biz
- Official website
- MTV.com artists biography
- NPR: Drummer's Book Takes Shine off Rock-Star Life – interview with Jacob Slichter about his book on the music industry
- City Pages: Radio Killed the Rock & Roll Stars – book excerpt
- Semisonic's Dan Wilson on creativity and the creative process, an interview with about-creativity.com November 1, 2007