Silent Radar

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Silent Radar
The Watchmen Silent Radar.jpg
Studio album by The Watchmen
Released August 25, 1998
Recorded 1997
Studio Studio Litho, Seattle, WA
Genre Rock
Length 57:50
Label EMI Music Canada/Capitol
Producer Adam Kasper
The Watchmen chronology
Brand New Day
(1996)Brand New Day1996
Silent Radar
(1998)
Live Radar
(1998)Live Radar1998
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]

Silent Radar is the fourth studio album by The Watchmen. The album contained numerous hits including "Stereo", "Any Day Now", and "Say Something". Videos for "Stereo" and "Any Day Now" saw heavy play on MuchMusic in 1998, but by the time the video for "Brighter Hell" was released in 1999, the momentum had slowed and this video was seen infrequently.

The album was certified Gold in Canada by the Canadian Recording Industry Association on July 30, 1998.[2]

Background[edit]

While their previous three albums were released by MCA Records, this was the first release from the band by EMI Music Canada. In 1995, Seagram Company Ltd. acquired 80% of MCA and the following year the new owners dropped the MCA name; the company became Universal Studios, Inc. and its music division, MCA Music Entertainment Group, was renamed Universal Music Group.

The biggest change on the CD was the band's embrace of the internet. The CD included a CD-activated key to access multi-media material in a secret area of the band's website. The CD activated website was the first use of this technology for a major-label band.

This gave the band three websites: their old website done in a traditional fashion, a new site dedicated to their new record Silent Radar, and a main site which included WAG, the band's official "magazine."

At the time, their webzine WAG set the band apart from their contemporaries. The webzine was filled with writing from the various band members and included digital photos taken by the band, tour diaries, feature articles, and a summary of the band's reviews of concerts, books, records and gear.

The goal of the band in this internet endeavor was to allow them to give people a little taste of who they were when not on stage and what they think about.

The release of the album was also unique for its time. They unveiled the album one piece at a time over the internet. Starting Thursday March 5, 1998, a piece of the artwork from the new album was posted on a special website, along with a snippet of one song from the album. Between March 5, 1998 and March 27, 1998, a new piece and a new song was posted every other day until the puzzle was descrambled, and fans had seen and heard bits of the whole track listing.

The first song to be put up on the site was the first single "Stereo", and the snippets were only up for a two-day period before it was replaced by the next song.

Following the Canadian release on March 31, 1998, the official album release party came as a live show by the band which was broadcast over the Internet on Thursday April 2, 1998. The webcast was a live show from the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto.

Included with the initial release of the CD was a white card which contained "CD Active" Instructions to the album's secret website. Attached to this card was a coupon which could be mailed back to the band and the sender would receive a free live EP in the mail called Live Radar. Only those who sent back the card received the bonus CD.

The album provided the band with their third and final Juno nomination as they were nominated for Best Rock Album at the 1999 Juno Awards. As was the case with their previous two Juno nominations, the band lost the award to The Tragically Hip. (The band's next studio record, Slomotion, was not eligible for a Juno nomination as it contained a "greatest hits" bonus disc and thus did not meet the Juno requirement that a majority of the material on the album be previously unreleased.)

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Stereo" – 4:05
  2. "Any Day Now" – 4:41
  3. "I'm Waiting" – 4:18
  4. "Rooster" – 5:30
  5. "Silent Radar" – 4:23
  6. "Do It" – 5:38
  7. "He's Gone" – 4:47
  8. "Say Something" – 5:10
  9. "On My Way" – 5:00
  10. "Top of the World" – 4:10
  11. "Come Around" – 3:58
  12. "Brighter Hell" – 6:06

All songs written by The Watchmen, Lyrics by Joey Serlin/Daniel Greaves.

Album credits[edit]

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Benmont Tench – Hammond B3 and piano on "Rooster", "Any Day Now", and "On My Way"

Production[edit]

  • Adam Kasper – producer, recorder, and mixer
  • Mayy Bayles & Sam Hofstedt – additional engineers
  • Recorded at Studio Litho, Seattle, WA
  • Mixed at Studio X, Seattle, WA
  • Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering, Portland, ME

References[edit]