Chairs Missing

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Chairs Missing
Wire-Chairs Missing (album cover).jpg
Studio album by Wire
Released August 1978
Recorded 1978 at Advision Studios, London, England, UK
Genre Post-punk, art punk
Length 42:27
Label Harvest
Producer Mike Thorne
Wire studio album chronology
Pink Flag
Chairs Missing
Singles from Chairs Missing
  1. "I Am the Fly"
    Released: 1978
  2. "Outdoor Miner"
    Released: 1979
  3. "A Question of Degree"
    Released: 1979

Chairs Missing is the second studio album by English rock band Wire. It was released in August 1978. The album peaked at N°48 in the Uk albums chart.[1]

Although it features some of the minimalist punk rock of the band's debut Pink Flag, it features more developed song structure (taking some cues from 1970s prog-rock, psychedelia, and art rock), keyboard and synthesizer elements brought in by producer Mike Thorne, and a broader palette of emotional and intellectual subject matter. The title is said to be a British slang term for a mildly disturbed person, as in "that guy has a few chairs missing in his front room".[2] The single "Outdoor Miner" was a minor hit, peaking at number 51 in the UK singles chart.[3]

In 2004 the US record label Words-on-Music released A Houseguest's Wish, a CD tribute album to the band consisting solely of 19 different versions of the Chairs Missing track "Outdoor Miner".

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[4]
Pitchfork Media 10/10[5]
Q 4/5 stars[6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[7]
Spin Alternative Record Guide 9/10[8]
Uncut 5/5 stars[9]

In their retrospective review, Steve Huey of AllMusic gave the album five stars out of five and wrote "The arty darkness of Chairs Missing, combined with the often icy-sounding synth/guitar arrangements, helps make the record a crucial landmark in the evolution of punk into post-punk and goth, as well as a testament to Wire's rapid development and inventiveness."[4] BBC Music called the album a "glorious avant-pop coup" and (referring to the 2006 edition of the album) "the most satisfying of the three reissues [the others being Pink Flag and 154]."[10]

Pitchfork Media listed Chairs Missing as 33rd best album of the 1970s.[11] NME listed the album as the 394th greatest album of all time.[12]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Practice Makes Perfect"   Bruce Gilbert, Colin Newman 4:11
2. "French Film Blurred"   Graham Lewis, Newman 2:34
3. "Another the Letter"   Gilbert, Newman 1:07
4. "Men 2nd"   Lewis 1:43
5. "Marooned"   Gilbert, Lewis, Newman 2:21
6. "Sand in My Joints"   Lewis 1:50
7. "Being Sucked in Again"   Newman 3:14
8. "Heartbeat"   Newman 3:16
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
9. "Mercy"   Lewis, Newman 5:46
10. "Outdoor Miner"   Lewis, Newman 1:44
11. "I Am the Fly"   Lewis, Newman 3:09
12. "I Feel Mysterious Today"   Lewis, Newman 1:57
13. "From the Nursery"   Lewis, Newman 2:58
14. "Used To"   Gilbert, Lewis 2:23
15. "Too Late"   Gilbert 4:14

*The bonus tracks on the 1989 and 1994 reissues were removed from the 2006 remastered reissue because they, according to the band, didn't honour the "conceptual clarity of the original statements".[13]


Additional personnel
  • Denis Blackham – arrangement
  • Chris Blair – cutting engineering
  • Tim Chacksfield – project co-ordination
  • Andrew Day – reissue design
  • Bruce Gilbert – arrangement, concept
  • Robert Gotobed – arrangement
  • Annette Green – photography
  • Paul Hardiman – engineering
  • Graham Lewis – arrangement, concept, original sleeve design
  • Colin Newman – arrangement
  • Brian Palmer – art direction
  • Phil Smee – packaging
  • Ken Thomas – assistant engineering
  • Mike Thorne – arrangement, production


  1. ^ "Wire (Albums)". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Wire". Retrieved 27 February 2012. 
  3. ^ "Wire (Singles)". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Huey, Steve. "Chairs Missing – Wire". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 February 2012. 
  5. ^ Tangari, Joe (5 May 2006). "Wire: Pink Flag / Chairs Missing / 154". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 8 February 2012. 
  6. ^ "Wire: Chairs Missing". Q (96): 131. September 1994. 
  7. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 883–84. ISBN 0-743-20169-8. 
  8. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. p. 270. ISBN 0-679-75574-8. 
  9. ^ "Wire: Chairs Missing". Uncut (106): 106. March 2006. 
  10. ^ Smith, Sid (20 November 2002). "Wire Pink Flag/Chairs Missing/154 Review". BBC Music. Retrieved 27 February 2012. 
  11. ^ Pitchfork staff (23 June 2004). "Staff Lists: Top 100 Albums of the 1970s". Pitchfork. Retrieved 14 January 2013. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ Villeneuve, Phil (11 April 2006). "Wire Reissuing First Three LPs and Early Live Recordings". ChartAttack. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 

External links[edit]