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Closing Time (Semisonic song)

27-11-2021 · "Closing Time" is a song by American rock band Semisonic. It was released on March 10, 1998, as the lead single from their second studio album, Feeling Strangely Fine, and began to receive mainstream radio airplay on April 27, 1998.The ballad was written by Dan Wilson and produced by Nick Launay.. The single reached number one on the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart …

27-11-2021
1998 single by Semisonic
1998 single by Semisonic
Closing Time single.jpg"Closing Time"Single by Semisonicfrom the album Feeling Strangely FineReleasedMarch 10, 1998 (1998-03-10)Genre
  • Alternative rock[1]
  • post-grunge[2]
  • power pop[3]
  • pop rock[4]
Length
  • 4:33 (album version)
  • 3:49 (single version)
LabelMCASongwriter(s)Dan WilsonProducer(s)Nick LaunaySemisonic singles chronology
"F.N.T."
(1996)
"Closing Time"
(1998)
"Singing in My Sleep"
(1998)
Audio sample
  • file
  • help
Music video"Closing Time" on YouTube

"Closing Time" is a song by American rock band Semisonic. It was released on March 10, 1998, as the lead single from their second studio album, Feeling Strangely Fine, and began to receive mainstream radio airplay on April 27, 1998. The ballad[5] was written by Dan Wilson and produced by Nick Launay.

The single reached number one on the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and the top 50 in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. It is certified silver in the latter country and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song in 1999.[6][7] The song reappeared on the charts of three countries in 2011 after being featured in the 2011 movie Friends with Benefits and an episode of television sitcom The Office;[8][9] it attained its highest chart peaks in Australia and Ireland during this period.

While the song is about people leaving a bar at closing time (also called last call), and widely interpreted as such, drummer Jacob Slichter has also indicated that the song was written by Wilson "in anticipation of fatherhood" and that it is about "being sent forth from the womb as if by a bouncer clearing out a bar".[10][11]

Background and writing

Prior to the composition "Closing Time", Semisonic would usually end their concerts with the song "If I Run". The band grew tired of playing this song every night and so Wilson set out to write a new song that they could play at the end of their set.[12] Wilson's girlfriend was pregnant at the time and although Wilson did not set out consciously to write a song about giving birth, he has stated that "Part way into the writing of the song, I realized it was also about being born."[12]

The song ends with a quote attributed to Roman Stoic philosopher Seneca: "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."

Music video

The music video was directed by Chris Applebaum.[13] It features two continuous shots, running side by side on the screen. One side shows the band playing the song in a rehearsal space. The other side features a woman (played by Denise Franco) as the singer Dan Wilson's girlfriend. As the video progresses, Dan and his girlfriend switch sides of screen, as they attempt to meet up. At the end of the video, they both wind up at the same nightclub. However, they still end up missing each other by mere seconds and never meet. The "trick" of the video is that each shot was done as one long, continuous shot, with no cuts or editing, and therefore relies on proper timing to get the two sides of the video lined up properly.

Critical reception

Larry Flick of Billboard magazine described "Closing Time" as an "instantly memorable rock ditty", saying, "...the core of 'Closing Time' is pure pop with a sticky chorus that will have you singing along before the end of your first listen. This could be the jam that establishes Semisonic as the top 40 heroes they deserve to be."[14] Doug Reece of the same magazine called the song "impossibly hooky".[15] "Closing Time" was placed at number 19 on Rolling Stone's 2007 list of the "20 Most Annoying Songs".[16]

Track listings

US promo CD[17]

  1. "Closing Time" (pop mix) – 3:52
  2. "Closing Time" (acoustic mix) – 3:52
  3. "Closing Time" (Clearmountain Mix) – 3:49

European CD single (released March 10, 1998)[18]

  1. "Closing Time" (Clearmountain Mix) – 3:49
  2. "Delicious" – 3:58
  3. "Gone to the Movies" – 3:52
  4. "Closing Time" (album version) – 4:35

UK CD single[19]

  1. "Closing Time" – 3:49
  2. "Delicious" – 3:53
  3. "Made to Last" – 5:02

UK cassette single[20]

A. "Closing Time" (remix edit) – 3:49
B. "Air That I Breathe" – 4:21

Charts and certifications

Chart (1998–1999) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[18] 50
Canada Rock/Alternative (RPM)[21] 2
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[22] 84
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[23] 50
Scotland (OCC)[24] 17
UK Singles (OCC)[25] 25
US Radio Songs (Billboard)[26] 11
US Adult Alternative Songs (Billboard)[27] 4
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[28] 4
US Alternative Airplay (Billboard)[29] 1
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[30] 13
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[31] 8
Chart (2011) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[18] 40
Ireland (IRMA)[32] 48
UK Singles (OCC)[33] 76
Chart (2012) Peak
position
UK Singles (OCC)[34] 71
Chart (1998) Position
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[35] 33
Canada Rock/Alternative (RPM)[36] 15
Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[37] Silver 200,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales streaming figures based on certification alone.

Release history

Region Date Format(s) Label(s) Ref.
United States February 23, 1998 (1998-02-23)
  • Mainstream rock
  • modern rock
  • triple A radio
MCA [38]
March 10, 1998 (1998-03-10) CD [citation needed]
April 27, 1998 (1998-04-27) Top 40 radio [39]
United Kingdom October 25, 1999 (1999-10-25)
  • CD
  • cassette
[40]

See also

  • Number one modern rock hits of 1998

References

  1. ^ Price, Walter (January 7, 2019). "A Take Me Home Three-Way: SEMISONIC – "Closing Time" (1998)". Global Texan Chronicles. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  2. ^ "Classical Cover: Semisonic's Closing Time". Alto Riot.
  3. ^ "Dan Wilson On Mountain Stage". NPR. October 29, 2014. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  4. ^ Mitchell, Collin (April 5, 2001). "Semisonic All About Chemistry MCA". Daily Nexus. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  5. ^ Verna, Paul (March 28, 1998). "Reviews & Previews – Albums". Billboard. Vol. 110 no. 13. p. 55.
  6. ^ "41st Grammy Awards – 1999". Rock on the Net. Retrieved February 12, 2007.
  7. ^ Wood, Olivia (January 15, 2020). "Episode 176: Semisonic". Song Exploder. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  8. ^ Hyden, Steven (November 30, 2011). "We Are All 'Closing Time': Why Semisonic's 1998 Hit Still Resonates". Grantland. Retrieved March 16, 2021.
  9. ^ Halperin, Shirley (December 7, 2010). "Semisonic revists "Closing Time" thanks to movie". Reuters. Retrieved March 16, 2021.
  10. ^ A Hit Single and the Heart-Wrenching Story Behind it, by Claudia Ricci, The Huffington Post, posted February 8, 2011, retrieved February 27, 2011
  11. ^ "Perennial Co-Writer Returns With An Album Of His Own". NPR.org. April 15, 2014.
  12. ^ a b Schlansky, Evan (October 14, 2019). "Semisonic Success Story: An Interview with Dan Wilson". American Songwriter. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  13. ^ "Production Notes". Billboard. Vol. 110 no. 19. May 9, 1998. p. 80.
  14. ^ Flick, Larry (February 21, 1998). "Reviews & Previews – Singles". Billboard. Vol. 110 no. 8. p. 64.
  15. ^ Reece, Doug (April 4, 1998). "Popular Uprisings". Billboard. Vol. 110 no. 14. p. 12.
  16. ^ "The 20 Most Annoying Songs". Rolling Stone. July 2, 2007. Archived from the original on July 5, 2007.
  17. ^ Closing Time (US promo CD disc notes). Semisonic. MCA Records. 1998. 9765.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  18. ^ a b c "Semisonic – Closing Time". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  19. ^ Closing Time (UK CD single liner notes). Semisonic. MCA Records. 1998. MCSTD 48098.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  20. ^ Closing Time (UK cassette single sleeve). Semisonic. MCA Records. 1999. MCSc 40221, 155 645-4.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  21. ^ "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 3543." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  22. ^ "Semisonic – Closing Time" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  23. ^ "Semisonic – Closing Time". Top 40 Singles.
  24. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  25. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  26. ^ "Semisonic Chart History (Radio Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  27. ^ "Semisonic Chart History (Adult Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  28. ^ "Semisonic Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  29. ^ "Semisonic Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard.
  30. ^ "Semisonic Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard.
  31. ^ "Semisonic Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  32. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Semisonic". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved January 15, 2020.
  33. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  34. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  35. ^ "RPM's Top 100 Hit Tracks of '98" (PDF). RPM. Vol. 63 no. 12. December 14, 1998. p. 20. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  36. ^ "RPM's Top 50 Alternative Tracks of '98". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  37. ^ "British single certifications – Semisonic – Closing Time". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved October 2, 2020.
  38. ^ Bell, Carrie (February 21, 1998). "Semisonic's 'Feeling Fine' on MCA Set". Billboard. Vol. 110 no. 8. p. 17.
  39. ^ Reece, Doug (May 9, 1998). "MCA's Semisonic Strikes a Chord with 'Closing Time'". Billboard. Vol. 110 no. 19. p. 93.
  40. ^ "New Releases – For Week Starting 25 October, 1999: Singles". Music Week. October 23, 1999. p. 31.

External links

  • "Closing Time" on Song Exploder
Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Closing_Time_(Semisonic_song)&oldid=1057465385"
‘Closing Time’: The Story Behind Semisonic’s Hit

17-08-2021 · Semisonic’s “Closing Time” appeared on 1999’s Now That’s What I Call Music! 2, alongside other 90s classics like New Radicals’ “You Get What You Give” and Fatboy Slim’s “Praise ...

17-08-2021

Alternative rock crested in the 90s, and Semisonic was part of the wave. Formed in Minneapolis, MN in 1995, the band consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Dan Wilson, bassist John Munson, and drummer Jacob Slichter. Semisonic released its debut album Great Divide in 1996, but the band’s mainstream breakthrough occurred with the release of 1998’s Feeling Strangely Fine.

Recorded in their hometown, the second album includes singles like the melodic power-pop “Singing In My Sleep,” “Secret Smile” (which appeared in popular teen TV series Charmed and Dawson’s Creek), and “Never You Mind,” which was featured in the 1999 film Never Been Kissed. Yet the album’s success is attributed to its lead single, “Closing Time.”

“Closing Time” begins as an inconspicuous ballad, with Wilson’s modest vocals pouring over a tinkling guitar riff. Soon, the drums come crashing down on the singalong-ready chorus: “I know who I want to take me home!”

The song grew out of a much-needed change to the band’s setlists. “We had always ended with a song called ‘If I Run,’ and I really liked it a lot. John and Jake were always impatient with ending the show with the same song. So I set out to write a new closer for the set, and I just thought, ‘Oh, closing time,’” Wilson told American Songwriter in 2019. “Because all the bars that I would frequent in Minneapolis, they would yell out ‘closing time.’ There was one bar where a guy always would scream really loud, ‘You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here,’ and I guess that always stuck in my mind.

If taken at face value, “Closing Time” is indeed a “last call” anthem, but Wilson intended for a double meaning: “It’s just, ‘Okay, you’ve got to go out into the light, make your way home, or wherever you’re going to be.’ Partway into the writing of the song, I realized it was also about being born. My wife and I were expecting our first kid very soon after I wrote that song. I had birth on the brain, I was struck by what a funny pun it was to be bounced from the womb.”

The catchiness and sincerity of “Closing Time” caught mainstream attention, topping Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart and earning a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Song. The single also became a pop-culture staple, popping up everywhere from The Office to The Simpsons. It was even mockingly covered by Justin Timberlake in 2011’s Friends with Benefits when co-star Mila Kunis asked him to sing a Third Eye Blind song post-coitus.

Following the success of “Closing Time” and the Platinum-selling Feeling Strangely Fine, Semisonic released its third album All About Chemistry in 2001 and re-released Feeling Strangely Fine on vinyl to commemorate its 20th anniversary in 2018. Throughout the band’s long hiatus, Wilson worked on his solo career, collaborating with famed producer Rick Rubin for his 2007 debut Free Life. He followed up with 2014’s Love Without Fear and 2017’s covers album Re-Covered.

Wilson also became a songwriter and scored Grammy wins in the process. In 2006, he took home Song of the Year for the Chicks’ Top 5 single “Not Ready to Make Nice.” He also won Album of the Year as one of the contributors of Adele’s 2011 album 21 (he co-wrote the chart-topping “Someone Like You”). And in 2020, Semisonic reunited for the You’re Not Alone EP, marking their first set of new music in nearly two decades.

Semisonic’s “Closing Time” appeared on 1999’s Now That’s What I Call Music! 2, alongside other 90s classics like New Radicals’ “You Get What You Give” and Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You.” Looking for more stories behind music’s biggest hits? Check out the Now! That’s What I Call Music page.

Closing Time — Semisonic

"Closing Time" is a song by Semisonic from their 1998 album Feeling Strangely Fine. The band's most popular song, it was written by Dan Wilson and produced by Nick Launay. According to the Closing Time Songfacts, this remains a popular song at bars when they are ready to pack it up.

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The Hidden Meaning Of Semisonic's Closing Time

28-07-2020 · Power pop hit "Closing Time" by American rock band Semisonic checks all the boxes for a novelty hit: an infectious melody, an easy-to-memorize chorus and a meditative double-meaning.

28-07-2020

Power pop hit "Closing Time" by American rock band Semisonic checks all the boxes for a novelty hit: an infectious melody, an easy-to-memorize chorus and a meditative double-meaning. That's right: while lyrics such as "Closing time/One last call for alcohol so finish your whiskey or beer/Closing time/You don't have to go home but you can't stay here," detail last-call at a bar, frontman Dan Wilson argues that the song's meaning is much deeper.

The indie band's 1998 breakthrough track did pretty well for its time: it was an instant radio hit, reached number one on the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks and charted in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. But, for a song written in 20 minutes, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the meaning behind the track sounds way more profound than we could've guessed.

As The Hollywood Reporter writes, the tune was written on tour as a closing song (shocker) specifically to close out the band's sets. After years of touring for four nights a week, the group grew bored with closing out each night with the same track. "My bandmates were tired of ending our sets with the same song, so there was kind of an uprising where they demanded something different to end our nights with," said Wilson. "So I thought, "OK, I'll write a song to close out the set," and then boom, I wrote "Closing Time" really fast."

Yet, the song began to take on a whole new life of its own once Wilson received some big news. Per Billboard, Wilson's girlfriend told the frontman that she was pregnant, which prompted the lyric-heavy tune relating to life, birth and fatherhood. "We had spent seven years of our lives at that point, four nights a week entertaining people. That was our life," WIlson told Billboard. "Some bouncers yelling things, closing time coming, all that imagery, literally, that's how the song started and then when I was halfway done, I started realizing the whole thing was a pun about being born, so I just made sure that the rest of the thing could ride with that double meaning, but nobody got the joke and I didn't bother to explain."

Production on the song began days before Wilson's girlfriend delivered their first baby three months premature, which led to a months-long hospital stay for the newborn. As HuffPost reports, Wilson would leave the studio several times a day to visit his struggling daughter fighting for her life in the hospital.

"The reports from the doctors and nurses were alternately hopeful and grim," drummer Jacob Slichter told HuffPost. "Nick offered to postpone the recording if that's what Dan wanted. Jim and Hans assured Dan that canceling the sessions would be no problem, but Dan and Diane decided that recording would provide Dan a welcome relief from pacing the halls of the neonatal intensive care unit. The studio was a short drive from the hospital, and he could still visit several times a day. So we started to record our second album, which had become both an art project and an emotional lifeboat."

It was the same day that "Closing Time" hit the radio that there was another much more extraordinary celebration: after nearly a year, Wilson's daughter Coco was able to leave the hospital and go home with her parents. Who knew "I know who I want to take me home" could be taken so literally.

musicinnotes.com

06-01-2014 · Song Analysis #27: Semisonic – Closing Time January 7, 2014 Song Analysis 1998 , analysis , Closing Time , closingtime , Feeling Strangely Fine , feelingstrangelyfine , Semisonic Mary Chang Update 18/01/15: this past weekend, this post was inexplicably barraged by comments, which I thought was a bit strange, given that I posted it on Music in ...

06-01-2014

Update 18/01/15: this past weekend, this post was inexplicably barraged by comments, which I thought was a bit strange, given that I posted it on Music in Notes a year ago. A woman with a science background (doubly weird, considering my main vocation) wrote a post a couple days ago, reminiscing about the birth of one of her children, tying this event in with Dan Wilson explaining in 2008 what the song is about. (Google it, and you’ll find said video.)

Personally, I think it’s strange anyone would use anything related to a bar and drinking as a metaphor for the birth of a baby, but that’s artistic license. Also, seeing that the writer has already explained the meaning of his song, this post is now closed to comments.

Title: ‘Closing Time’
Where to find it: ‘Feeling Strangely Fine’ (1998, MCA)
Performed by: Semisonic
Words by: Dan Wilson

There is a small group of songs, definitely numbering less than 10, that I would say I recall sitting in the back of one of our friends’ cars, with the radio turned way up, and everyone knew all the words too. And knew when to break out the air guitar during the solo. To say that ‘Closing Time’ by Semisonic was a song that defined my and my friends’ lives in school would be an understatement. The song spoke to me instrumentally first, with the lyrics feeling right for the music, but its meaning didn’t really come to me until I started thinking about what songs I might want to analyse on Music in Notes in 2014.

I pick up song lyrics quickly, and in a world where we generally only listened to regular radio on boomboxes and the internet had barely become a thing, ‘Semisonic’ quickly became one of those tunes that I had on repeat not only on my pathetic sound system at school, but also in my head. It became so large in my ‘mythology’ (I’m being sarcastic; that’s why mythology has single quotes around it) that my girlfriends all knew how much I loved that song. So much that one of them tried to set me up with a guy they knew who boasted he could play the song on guitar and he knew all the words too. (See? Even back then I was hopelessly drawn to musician types.) I turned up for a friend’s birthday party where I was supposed to meet this guy, but he only had eyes for another one of our friends. At the time, I was a little mad. We had the music thing in common, surely he’d be interested in me. What the heck happened?

Turned out he was better suited for our friend anyway, and they ended up getting married, which I am so thankful for because they are one of the few couples I know who support each other through everything. Even when 2 years ago, when they had to say their final goodbyes to their young daughter who had been born with a birth defect, they were each other’s rock as I sat there at the funeral, feeling dumbstruck by grief, wondering how they would continue. And yet they have, because their marriage is one built with so much strength.

Like many of the song analyses I’ve done for this site, I don’t think ‘Closing Time’ is as simple as most people think. Yes, it means ‘time for last orders’, but closing time can also indicate closing of a chapter in your life, and while the two words taken by themselves are ambiguous whether or not that closing is positive or negative, I think without a doubt in Dan Wilson’s world, it’s overwhelming positive.

First, the words:

Verse 1
Closing time Open all the doors and let you out into the world Closing time Turn all of the lights on over every boy and every girl Closing time One last call for alcohol so finish your whiskey or beer Closing time

You don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here

Chorus
I know who I want to take me home I know who I want to take me home I know who I want to take me home

Take me home

Verse 2
Closing time Time for you to go out to the places you will be from Closing time This room won’t be open ’til your brothers or your sisters come So gather up your jackets, move it to the exits I hope you have found a friend Closing time

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end

Chorus
I know who I want to take me home I know who I want to take me home I know who I want to take me home

Take me home

Bridge
Closing time
Time for you to go out to the places you will be from

Chorus / Outro
I know who I want to take me home I know who I want to take me home* I know who I want to take me home

Take me home

Closing time
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end

Now, the analysis:

If you look straight at the words without thinking about what they mean, ‘Closing Time’ is a pretty repetitive and simple song, isn’t it? I mean, look. “Closing time” gets sung. A lot. Again and again. Even the bridge is stolen from the second verse. It’s important to note that there’s no pretentiousness whatsoever in word choice here, which suits the theory that it’s really a song about a bartender saying “last call!” and taking the last alcohol orders before the lights get turned on and everyone gets kicked out of the joint. But…let’s look for a bit more meaning, shall we?

When a bar closes, people stop drinking because they can’t buy any more booze, and the lights go on. I am more familiar with this concept in the gig setting, where the lights go on after the headline band has left the stage for good. Dan Wilson sings in verse 1, “open all the doors and let you out into the world”. I think this is an amazing setup for something that transcends the end of the night at your local watering hole. Open, close. Open, close. Open, close. (That just made me think of my dentist.) Okay, so the bar closes, which forces everyone in that bar out on the street, “to be let out into the world”. There is something very freeing about that line, which might strike you as odd and contradictory, seeing that “closing time” sounds very final, a conclusion.

“Turn all of the lights on over every boy and every girl”: the lights have turned on, and now everyone can see each other for what they are, warts and all. “You don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here”: if you take this literally, it could mean you have the option to go home with someone else, which is what often happens at bars at the conclusion of the night anyway, right? But I’m thinking “home” in this instance was the life you had before you entered this place: not literally the bar, but that moment in time where you found yourself, examining what you were doing with your life. There’s a moment on the Beatles Anthology where Paul McCartney admits that the thought of taking drugs scared him because it would affect his mind and how “you could never go home…again”. When you come to a turning point in your life, often you can’t go back. Choices have been made, and you have no choice but to keep moving, and to keep moving forward.

The choruses are the repeated lines, “I know who I want to take me home”. When I was younger, I remember thinking this was the oddest words to string together for a chorus. But if you think about the line in isolation, without the song, what Wilson is saying is there is a person for everyone. I think I can safely say that we all have (or had) ideas of what our perfect match would look like, what colour his/her hair and eyes would be, and what kind of person he/she would be. Whether or not in this song this person exists in the protagonist’s life already is irrelevant: this image of perfection lives on his mind and his heart. The repetition serves to drive home this point, that he’s adamant it’s this one person. In the outro version of the chorus, I have put an asterisk where Wilson takes the liberty of adding a bit of flair by changing the notes up a bit.

Verse 2 is more confusing. “Time for you to go out to the places you will be from”: is he talking about past and future lives? “This room won’t be open ’til your brothers or your sisters come”: I honestly don’t know what this means. What room? Whose brothers and sisters? I doubt he means literally someone’s siblings, so I’m guessing he’s referring to the brotherhood (sisterhood?) of man. Maybe these are the ghosts of his loved ones, maybe that’s why he specifies “brothers or sisters”? Now I’m starting to think this verse might be about death. If yes, “So gather up your jackets, move it to the exits / I hope you have found a friend” makes more sense. It is time to go, so take all of your worldly possessions, because you need to leave this astral plane.

And then we come to the most important line of ‘Closing Time’, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” Kind of self-explanatory, but it’s useful to tie back into the theme of death, with a subsequent rebirth. But I also really like this line, especially how Wilson sings it so emphatically. It’s not sung sadly or angrily. It isn’t melancholic or regretful, even at the end of the song. It just is. And I like that a lot. We’re not twanging any heartstrings in this song. No-one is hunched over with bloodshot eyes because they’re at their wit’s end and can cry no more. No, this is a song about accepting what has happened and having the strength to move on. And here’s another nice ‘coincidence’. Look at the title of the album where it came from: ‘Feeling Strangely Fine’. Nice one, boys from Minneapolis.

For me, the ending of 2013 was tumultuous, yet oddly cathartic and freeing. Clear as day, like someone had someone taken off my rose-coloured glasses, I saw who really cared about me and who didn’t. In a span of 24 hours, I went from being the unhappiest woman in town to one feeling gratitude for friends who might live far away but have hearts of gold. Now I can go forward into this new year embracing the friends who matter and forgetting the ones who don’t.

Lastly, the song, in its stirring promo form that had my eyes glued to the tv screen. This was before YouTube, you know! There is also a payphone in this video because yes kids, there was a time when we didn’t have mobile phones. Imagine that.

Meaning of “Closing Time” by Semisonic

30-10-2018 · “Closing Time” proved to be the only song by Semisonic that became a hit in America. Yet despite its success, it was never released as a single in America. “Closing Time” was so successful that it peaked at number 1 on the modern rock hits in 1998. Till date it is Semisonic’s only song to have achieved that feat.

30-10-2018

by SMF · Published · Updated

“Closing Time”, a song by rock group Semisonic, lyrically is about encouraging patrons to vacate a bar as it is about to end its operations for the night. The literal meaning of this song revolves around bar patrons being advised its ‘closing time’ and acting accordingly, but the more-profound interpretation is based around, as Dan Wilson puts it, “being born and coming into the world”. Wilson unconsciously wrote it about his daughter Corazon (also known as Coco), who was then still in her mother’s womb.

Semisonic’s drummer also confirmed that Wilson penned the lyrics in partial recognition of fatherhood, which he was experiencing for the first time while this song was being composed.

Lyrics of Closing Time

Despite being released decades ago, this song still remains a regular selection in bars to this day. In addition to this, it has been featured on a number of television shows and movies, in addition to being a stadium favorite of the Milwaukee Brewers professional baseball team. Learn more about this extraordinary track by reading interesting details below:

“Closing Time” Facts

  • Semisonic’s lead singer, Dan Wilson wrote this track. Production was handled by English record producer Nick Launay. Over the course of his illustrious career, Launay gained fame for working with the likes of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Kate Bush and Arcade Fire.
  • “Closing Time” was released in March of 1998. It was the first single from the band’s second studio album titled Feeling Strangely Fine. That album was also released in March of 1998.
  • The proverb “every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end” that is featured at the end of the track actually was authored by a 1stcentury Roman philosopher named Seneca the Younger.
  • The music video for this song was produced by Chris Applebaum. The video features a split screen with action centered around Dan Wilson on one side. On the other side is the actress named Denise Franco. Denise portrays Wilson’s girlfriend in the video.
  • Dan Wilson did a solo version of this song on his 2017 album Re-Covered.
  • “This classic was a massive chart success. It charted in a number of countries, including the United States and Canada.
  • “Closing Time” proved to be the only song by Semisonic that became a hit in America. Yet despite its success, it was never released as a single in America.
  • “Closing Time” was so successful that it peaked at number 1 on the modern rock hits in 1998. Till date it is Semisonic’s only song to have achieved that feat.
  • Dan Wilson says that he wrote this hit song in only 20 minutes.

Did “Closing Time” win a Grammy Award?

No. However, it received a Grammy nomination in the category of the Best Rock Song at the 41st Annual Grammy Awards in 1999. It lost the award to Alanis Morissette’s “Uninvited”.

Tags: Closing TimeMeaning of "Closing Time" by SemisonicSemisonic

Closing Time (Acoustic) — Semisonic

Semisonic is a power pop/alternative rock band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A. Known for their signature song "Closing Time", the band members are Dan Wilson (guitar/vocals), John Munson (bass), and Jacob Slichter (drums). Although on hiatus since the early-00s, sporadic reunions have occurred.After the breakup of Trip Shakespeare, Dan Wilson and John Munson joined up with drummer ...

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Song Exploder

15-01-2020 · The song “Closing Time” by the American rock band Semisonic came out in March 1998. It hit #1 on the Alternative charts, and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Song. It gets played in stadiums, Weird Al covered it, and it’s the last song of the night in countless bars. Since then, Dan Wilson, the lead singer and songwriter of Semisonic, has become a powerhouse songwriter who has ...

15-01-2020

The song “Closing Time” by the American rock band Semisonic came out in March 1998. It hit #1 on the Alternative charts, and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Song. It gets played in stadiums, Weird Al covered it, and it’s the last song of the night in countless bars.

Since then, Dan Wilson, the lead singer and songwriter of Semisonic, has become a powerhouse songwriter who has written or co-written for artists like John Legend and Taylor Swift. And he’s won Grammys for his songwriting with the Dixie Chicks and Adele. But over two decades ago, Dan and his bandmates John Munson and Jacob Slichter were in Minneapolis, getting ready to start work on their second album, Feeling Strangely Fine. In this episode of Song Exploder, Dan breaks down how that process led to “Closing Time.”

You can buy or stream “Closing Time” here.



For a transcript of this episode, click here.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.


Nick Launay, producer
Elizabeth Bishop
Robert Frost
ZVEX Effects Fuzz Factory guitar pedal

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Dan Wilson on the Double Meaning In Semisonic’s ‘Closing ...

08-11-2018 · “Closing Time” was the big hit on Semisonic’s second album, 1998’s Feeling Strangely Fine, which is being celebrated again with a recently released 20th anniversary reissue. The album ...

08-11-2018

More than two decades later, Dan Wilson can still remember the conversation he had with then MCA promotion executive Nancy Levin on the eve of the release of “Closing Time.” The song turned out to be the breakthrough single for his band, Semisonic, and subsequently launched Wilson’s career as an in-demand songwriter and a solo artist.

“She said, ‘Are you excited?’ and I said, ‘No, why?’ And she goes, ‘Because this song is going to be huge.’ And I said, ‘Well, I don’t know that. How do we know that?’ She was really annoyed with me, not because I was being a killjoy, but she thought it was plainly obvious that this record was going to be huge and I was just assuming it would be just like the last one.”

“Closing Time” was the big hit on Semisonic’s second album, 1998’s Feeling Strangely Fine, which is being celebrated again with a recently released 20th anniversary reissue. The album, expanded for the CD and digital release with four B-sides, is also being released on vinyl, marking the first time one of the band’s releases has been issued on vinyl.

Levin, who died in a dirt-biking accident in 2010, was correct. “Closing Time” went on to top the Alternative Songs chart and garner a Grammy nomination for best rock song. It subsequently helped push Feeling Strangely Fine to platinum sales. It also put Wilson on the map as a noted songwriter. All About Chemistry, the band’s 2001 follow-up album, failed to reach the commercial heights of its predecessor, but it notably contained “One True Love,” a song Wilson co-wrote with legendary singer/songwriter Carole King.

“You can’t really decide what kind of lottery you’re going to win,” Wilson says. “Mostly I think of ‘Closing Time’ as the lightning of good luck that struck me. The good luck of the song was much bigger than the good luck of the band, but the band was also very, very lucky.”

Semisonic, which also includes bassist John Munson and drummer Jacob Slichter, never officially broke up. Following the release of All About Chemistry they went on an extended hiatus, but still occasionally reunite for charity gigs in their hometown of Minneapolis.

Meanwhile, “Closing Time” continues to have a life of its own. It’s appeared in several films and TV shows, including How I Met Your Mother, and has become a “last call” anthem of sorts.

A decade ago, Wilson revealed that the song also has a meaning that runs a bit deeper. It’s partially inspired by the birth of his daughter, Coco. “The guys wanted a new song to close our sets with,” Wilson says. “I thought ‘Closing Time’ would be a good title. We had spent seven years of our lives at that point, four nights a week entertaining people. That was our life. Some bouncers yelling things, closing time coming, all that imagery, literally, that’s how the song started and then when I was halfway done, I started realizing the whole thing was a pun about being born, so I just made sure that the rest of the thing could ride with that double meaning, but nobody got the joke and I didn’t bother to explain. I thought everyone would get it.”

Some might perceive Semisonic as a one-hit wonder, but that isn’t the case. “I think there was a time that I was defensive” because of that perception, Wilson adds. Feeling Strangely Fine also included “Singing in My Sleep,” which reached No. 11 on the Alternative Songs chart, as well as “Secret Smile,” which reached No. 13 in the U.K. and 21 on Alternative Songs. “For a while, I would sort of irritatedly cite that we had another huge hit everywhere else, but then that was just me saying I was a two-hit wonder,” he adds. “You gotta move on at some point, and do other things.”

Still, Wilson acknowledges it was “Closing Time” that opened the door to those other things. “Because all the people that I co-wrote with, or the producers that I worked with, had all happily listened to that song 100 times. So it made me seem like a person who could somehow magically cause lightning to strike,” he says. “I also think it was the kind of thing that the artists who worked with me all liked as a song. It wasn’t like I wrote the biggest guilty pleasure for the artists that I worked with. It actually was a song they dug, so that creates some level of trust and comfort. After a while, I had written a bunch of other things, and those were the things that paved the way, but for a while, ‘Closing Time’ surely did that.”

Aside from working as a songwriter and producer, Wilson also continues to work as a recording artist. His 2017 album, Re-Covered, offers the best overview of both of those worlds. It features Wilson’s versions of co-writes originally made famous by other artists, including Adele’s Grammy-winning chart-topper “Someone Like You,” the Dixie Chicks’ “Not Ready to Make Nice,” Taylor Swift’s “Treacherous” and others.

Since the release of that set, Wilson is continuing on both fronts. In September, he released “We Ain’t Telling,” the first of a series of songs he plans to put out on a regularly basis, instead of releasing a new album. Today Billboard is exclusively premiering Wilson’s next new tune, “Uncanny Valley,” which he says, as the title suggests, is about living in the Los Angeles suburbs. “I moved with my family to the San Fernando Valley in L.A. in 2011, and I’m still getting used to it,” he says. “I find L.A. to be warm, welcoming, impersonal, weird, and scary at the same time. ‘Uncanny Valley’ is about what it’s like for me to be a songwriter living in the Valley in 2018.”

On the songwriting front, more than a half-dozen songs Wilson has co-written have been released this year, including Steve Perry’s “No More Cryin'” from the former Journey singer’s comeback album, Traces, as well as songs by a diverse roster of artists including Mike Posner, Jason Mraz, Brett Dennen, Missy Higgins, Leon Bridges and Halsey.

Working with Perry was a particular thrill for Wilson. “I’m a total Journey fan,” he confesses. “Steve still sounds like Steve, so when you’re trying out ideas and you have an amazing singer testing out those ideas with you, it’s just incredible. Creatively, Steve is a real-deal songwriter with an insanely, credible and amazing songbook, so that was totally cool.”

Though their collaboration stayed in the vault for months, Wilson says, the soulful ballad was a late addition to the album, and ended up as the second single to be released from the album.

And he’s not only working with veteran artists. “It’s fun for me because basically the same week that [Perry track] came out, one of my songs that I did with Mike Posner and Ricky Reed came out as a single, ‘Song About You,’ and it’s getting played on KROQ. It’s sort of a very current event, a brand-new song, very freshly written. The one I wrote with Steve I wrote a while ago. There’s something really beautiful to exist in both of those ways as a songwriter.”