The Charade (song)

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"The Charade"
Single by Serj Tankian
from the album Elect the Dead Symphony
Released February 15, 2010[1]
Format Digital download, Airplay
Genre progressive rock, Classical, Orchestral
Length 3:32 (Rock)
4:30 (Orchestral)
Label Serjical Strike/Reprise
Writer(s) Serj Tankian
Producer(s) Serj Tankian
Serj Tankian singles chronology
"The Charade"
"Left of Center"

"The Charade" (previously known as "Charades") is a song by musician Serj Tankian. The single was released prior to Elect the Dead Symphony, although the rock version was found only in the album's DVD closing credits. The orchestral version featured on the album's CD is included in the single as a B-side on some versions.

Release history[edit]

The song has a long release history. Its live debut took place in 2004 on the Axis of Justice tour. Here, the song was performed as a piano piece with vocals.[2] This version appeared on Axis of Justice: Concert Series Volume 1 as "Charades".

"Charades" was later considered for release on System of a Down's Mezmerize/Hypnotize double album. Footage found on the DualDisc version of Hypnotize shows the band recording it, but the song didn't make the final release.[3][4] In 2007, after System of a Down went on hiatus, Serj began performing as a solo artist backed by The F.C.C.. The subsequent Elect the Dead tour marked the song's debut in the arrangement later found on the single.[5]

The orchestral arrangement made its debut during the Elect the Dead Symphony tour under its new title "The Charade". The resulting single was the only one released in support of the album. The album was intended as a reimagining of songs from Elect the Dead, though neither "The Charade" nor "Gate 21" were featured on the original album. "Gate 21", however, saw a studio release on Serj's next album.

Both rock and orchestral arrangements have been played live since.[6][7][8]

Music video[edit]

A video of Serj performing the orchestral version can be found on the Elect the Dead Symphony DVD. A video of the orchestral version of "Empty Walls", also found on the DVD, was uploaded to Serj's YouTube account.[9] The featured version was released as a B-side on some versions of the single.

Track listing[edit]

iTunes single[1]
No. Title Length
1. "The Charade"   3:31
US Promotional single
No. Title Length
1. "The Charade" (Rock Version) 3:31
2. "Empty Walls" (featuring The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra) 3:57
3. "Sky Is Over" (featuring The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra) 3:08
4. "The Charade" (featuring The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra) 4:30
UK Promotional single
No. Title Length
1. "Charades" (Rock Version) 3:31
2. "The Charade" (Symphony Version) 4:30


  1. ^ a b "The Charade - Single". iTunes. 15 February 2010. Retrieved January 5, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Serj Tankian - Charades". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-07-23. 
  3. ^ "System of a Down recording Charades in studio (2005)". YouTube. 2011-04-22. Retrieved 2012-07-23. 
  4. ^ "Serj Tankian Talks 'Symphony' Project, Solo Album, SOAD's Future". 2009-09-14. Retrieved 2012-07-23. 
  5. ^ "Serj Tankian - Chicago, IL - October 12th, 2007". Www.Metalsetlists.Com. Retrieved 2012-07-23. 
  6. ^ "Serj Tankian Concert Setlist at Tumanyan Park, Yerevan on August 14, 2011". Retrieved 2012-07-23. 
  7. ^ "Serj Tankian Concert Setlist at Estragon, Bologna on September 1, 2010". Retrieved 2012-07-23. 
  8. ^ "Serj Tankian Concert Setlist at Volkshaus, Zurich on August 31, 2010". Retrieved 2012-07-23. 
  9. ^ "Serj Tankian - Empty Walls - Elect The Dead Symphony". YouTube. 2010-02-18. Retrieved 2012-07-23.