Straight Lines (song)

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"Straight Lines"
Single by Silverchair
from the album Young Modern
  • "All Across the World"
  • "Sleep All Day" (demo)
  • "Don't Wanna Be the One" (live)
Released12 March 2007 (2007-03-12)[1]
RecordedApril–November 2006
StudioSeedy Underbelly (Los Angeles, California, US)
LabelEleven: A Music Company
Lyricist(s)Daniel Johns
Silverchair singles chronology
"Across the Night"
"Straight Lines"
"Reflections of a Sound"
Audio sample
"Straight Lines" saw a musical change in direction for Silverchair.

"Straight Lines" is a song by Australian rock band Silverchair. It was released on 12 March 2007 and debuted at number one on the Australian ARIA Singles Chart, becoming the band's first number-one single since 1997's "Freak". The single was shortly followed by the release of the band's fifth studio album Young Modern on 31 March 2007. Unlike the songs written during Diorama, when Daniel Johns wrote all the tracks himself, "Straight Lines" was co-written by the Presets' Julian Hamilton.

On 2 September 2007, "Straight Lines" was accredited double platinum by ARIA, representing combined digital sales and physical shipment of 140,000 singles in Australia, equalling "Tomorrow" as their best selling single. On 28 October 2007, "Straight Lines" won "Best Selling Australian Single" at the ARIA Music Awards of 2007, as well as "Single of the Year". The song was the most played song on Australian radio in 2007.[2] It charted at number two on the Triple J Hottest 100 for 2007 and missed out on the number-one spot by only 13 votes.

In January 2018, as part of Triple M's "Ozzest 100", the 'most Australian' songs of all time, "Straight Lines" was ranked number 74.[3]

Song meaning[edit]

"Straight Lines" is generally a positive and upbeat song. The song is about feeling alone in the world, but making it through tough times and overcoming them. This is illustrated in the lyrics such as "Lately I'm a desperate believer, but I'm walking in a straight line" and "There's no changing yesterday...everything will be fine". Another interpretation is that of recovery from addiction. The song's meaning appears to be a biographical comment from lead singer Daniel Johns, who fought anorexia, clinical depression and reactive arthritis in the late nineties and early millennium, and was able to beat them. It also appears to be about being content with your place in life, thus walking in a straight line. As demonstrated in research into recuperation from addiction, mental illness and chronic pain, this can also mean a contraction of existence to a narrow path of routine as a coping mechanism. Some have interpreted the 'become a desperate believer' lyric as reflecting the disconcerting innate religiosity of 12-step paradigms of behavioural and chemical addiction.

Music video[edit]

Footage for the video, which fans were invited to appear in, was shot in Sydney. The music video for the single appeared on the official website and released to radio on 2 February 2007. The video for the song also premiered on the day. It features a dynamic band performance that was filmed at the Olympic Park railway station, Sydney by directors Paul Goldman and Alice Bell (the pair behind the acclaimed film Suburban Mayhem). The video was awarded "Best Video" at the 2007 ARIA Awards and was a Contender for Best Rock Video at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards.

Awards and nominations[edit]

APRA Award[edit]

Track listing[edit]

Australian maxi-CD single (ELEVENCD62)[6]

  1. "Straight Lines"
  2. "All Across the World"
  3. "Sleep All Day" (demo)
  4. "Don't Wanna Be the One" (live)

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits are taken from the Australian maxi-CD single liner notes.[6]


  • Recorded at Seedy Underbelly Studio (Los Angeles, California, US)
  • Additional recording at the Panic Room (Sydney, Australia)
  • Mixed at Metalworks Recording Studios (Mississauga, Ontario, Canada)
  • Mastered at Gateway Mastering (Portland, Maine, US)


  • Daniel Johns – lyrics, music, production, additional recording
  • Julian Hamilton – music
  • Nick Launay – production, recording
  • Scott Horscroft – production assistant
  • Paul Mac – production assistant, additional recording
  • David Bottrill – mixing
  • Giancarlo Gallo – mixing assistant
  • Bob Ludwig – mastering
  • Hackett Films – artwork



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[15] 2× Platinum 140,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The ARIA Report: New Releases Singles – Week Commencing 12th March 2007" (PDF). ARIA. 12 March 2007. p. 29. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 February 2008. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  2. ^ "Silverchair's Straight Lines rules radio". The West Australian. 18 January 2008. Archived from the original on 28 February 2008. Retrieved 25 January 2008.
  3. ^ "Here Are The Songs That Made Triple M's 'Ozzest 100'". Musicfeeds. 27 January 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Previous Winners Song of the Year". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  5. ^ "2008 Winners - APRA Music Awards". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  6. ^ a b Straight Lines (Australian maxi-CD single liner notes). Silverchair. Eleven: A Music Company. 2007. ELEVENCD62.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  7. ^ "Silverchair – Straight Lines". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  8. ^ "The ARIA Report – ARIA Digital Tracks – Week Commencing 5th March 2007" (PDF). ARIA. 5 March 2007. p. 9. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 February 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  9. ^ "Silverchair – Straight Lines". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Silverchair Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Silverchair Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  12. ^ "2007 ARIA Singles Chart". ARIA. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  13. ^ "End of Year Charts 2007". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  14. ^ a b "ARIA Top 100 Singles of the 00's". ARIA. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  15. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2007 Singles" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 10 April 2018.