Chairs Missing

Chairs Missing
Chairs Missing
Studio album by Wire
Released August 1978
Recorded 1978
Genre Post-punk
Length 42:27
Label United Kingdom Harvest Records
United States Restless Records (1989 release)
Pinkflag (2006 CD reissue)
4 Men With Beards (2006 vinyl reissue)
Producer Mike Thorne
Wire chronology
Pink Flag
Chairs Missing
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[1]
Pitchfork Media (10.0/10.0)[2]

Chairs Missing is the second album by the British rock band Wire. It was released in 1978.

Although it shares a punk-derived "outsider" voice with the band's debut, Pink Flag, it features more developed song structure (taking some cues from 70's prog-rock, psychedelia and art rock) and a broader palette of emotional and intellectual subject matter. The album was produced by Mike Thorne, who added keyboard and synthesizer elements (compare the versions of "Outdoor Miner"; with and without the piano accompaniment), which were later expanded upon by the band members on their later releases. These contributions add to the album's identification as the release in which the band largely transcended and abandoned the punk genre. The pop sensibilities that would come to the fore in their later incarnation of 1985 are evident in songs such as "Outdoor Miner" and "I Am the Fly".

EMI appreciated the more melodic sound of the short track "Outdoor Miner" so much that they asked the band to create an expanded version of the song for release as a single.

The title is said to be a British slang term for a mildly disturbed person, as in 'that guy has a few chairs missing in his front room'.[3]

In 2004 the US record label Words-On-Music released 'A Houseguest's Wish'. The CD was a Wire tribute compilation, consisting solely of 19 versions of the 'Chairs Missing' track 'Outdoor Miner'.


Track listing

Side one
  1. "Practice Makes Perfect" (Bruce Gilbert, Colin Newman) – 4:11
  2. "French Film Blurred" (Graham Lewis, Newman) – 2:34
  3. "Another the Letter" (Gilbert, Newman) – 1:07
  4. "Men 2nd" (Lewis) – 1:43
  5. "Marooned" (Gilbert, Lewis, Newman) – 2:21
  6. "Sand in My Joints" (Lewis) – 1:50
  7. "Being Sucked in Again" (Newman) – 3:14
  8. "Heartbeat" (Newman) – 3:16
Side two
  1. "Mercy" (Lewis, Newman) – 5:46
  2. "Outdoor Miner" (Lewis, Newman) – 1:44
  3. "I Am the Fly" (Lewis, Newman) – 3:09
  4. "I Feel Mysterious Today" (Lewis, Newman) – 1:57
  5. "From the Nursery" (Lewis, Newman) – 2:58
  6. "Used To" (Gilbert, Lewis) – 2:23
  7. "Too Late" (Gilbert) – 4:14

Bonus tracks

  1. "Go Ahead" (Gilbert, Robert Gotobed, Lewis, Newman) – 4:01 [1989 reissue]
  2. "Outdoor Miner" (long version) (Lewis, Newman) – 2:54 [1994 reissue]
  3. "Former Airline" (Gilbert) – 3:20 [1989 reissue, 1994 reissue]
  4. "A Question of Degree" (Lewis, Newman) – 3:09 [1989 reissue, 1994 reissue]

Extra tracks have been removed from the 2006 remastered reissues, because they, according to the band, didn't honor the "conceptual clarity of the original statements".


Additional personnel

  • Kate Lukas - flute on "Heartbeat"
  • Mike Thorne - keyboards, synthesizers


  1. ^ Huey, Steve. "Chairs Missing - Wire". Allmusic. Retrieved October 11th, 2011. 
  2. ^ Tangari, Joe (May 5, 2006). "Pink Flag / Chairs Missing / 154". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on October 11th, 2011.
  3. ^ "Wire". Retrieved October 11th, 2011. 

External links

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