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A basement concert on July 26, 2006, from left to right: Munson, Wilson, and Slichter
Background information
Origin Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Genres Alternative rock, post-grunge, power pop
Years active 1995–2001 (hiatus)
Labels MCA Records
Associated acts Trip Shakespeare
Members John Munson
Jacob Slichter
Dan Wilson

Semisonic was an American alternative rock band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1995. The band had three members: Dan Wilson (lead vocals, guitar), John Munson (bass guitar, backing vocals, keyboard), and Jacob Slichter (drums, percussion, keyboard). They are perhaps best known for their 1998 single "Closing Time".


Formation and debut album[edit]

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.

Breakthrough and international success[edit]

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. In a 2008 performance at Dat Harvard's Sanders Theatre, Wilson made it known that it was originally written about the birth of his first child.

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.[1]

Third album and future[edit]

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.



Studio albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

  • One Night at First Avenue (2003)


Year Title Peak chart positions Album
US [2] US

1996 "Down in Flames" Great Divide
"F.N.T." 30
"If I Run"
1998 "Closing Time" 11 [A] 1 13 25 2 Feeling Strangely Fine
"Singing in My Sleep" 11 31 39
1999 "Secret Smile" 21 13 30 30
2001 "Chemistry" 39 35 All About Chemistry
"Get a Grip"
"Over My Head" Summer Catch soundtrack
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


  • A^ Charted only on the Hot 100 Airplay chart.[7]

Soundtracks and compilations[edit]

Other projects by members[edit]

Wilson took time out to do some solo projects and play tour dates around the Midwest in December. Munson joined 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. Since forming they have released an album, Stereo Night, and have 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.[8]

In late spring of 2005, John Munson began playing in a new jazz trio, The New Standards, featuring Chan Poling of The Suburbs and Steve Roehm. This band plays new jazz renditions of "classic" songs.

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.


  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 488. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ Billboard (1998-08-08). "Hot 100 Airplay Closing Time". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Archived from the original on January 21, 2015. Retrieved 2008-10-17. 
  3. ^ a b Billboard (February 2016). "Artist Chart History - Semisonic". Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Archived from the original on March 17, 2006. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  4. ^ Editors from "UK Top 40 Hit Database". Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  5. ^ "Semisonic Top Singles positions". RPM. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  6. ^ "Semisonic Rock/Alternative positions". RPM. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  7. ^ [1] Archived September 30, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Drummer's Book Takes Shine off Rock-Star Life". NPR. Retrieved 2015-08-25. 

External links[edit]