Some groups are primarily known for a single song. For Semisonic that song was '98's "Closing Time," the lead single from their sophomore full-length album "Feeling Strangely Fine."
But like most one-hit wonders, there's more to the story - and even that has some unique twists and turns.
"Closing Time" continuously referenced a late night bar scene ("last call for alcohol"), the song was actually about singer/guitarist Dan Wilson's impending fatherhood and "being sent forth from the womb as if by a bouncer clearing out a bar."
An obscure piece of trivia: the "Closing Time" lyric "every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end" is attributed to the Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger (Lucius Annaeus Seneca).
"Closing Time" went to #1 on the Modern Rock Tracks and peaked at #8 on the Billboard pop chart. Though nominated for a Best Rock Song Grammy in '99, "Closing Time" lost to the Red Hot Chili Peppers "Scar Tissue."
Both Wilson and bassist John Munson were in Trip Shakespeare. When that group dissolved, the pair added drummer John Slichter to form Semisonic in '95.
Their full-length debut "Great Divide," which followed an EP titled "Pleasure," dropped the following year.
Nick Launay recorded twenty songs with Semisonic over the course of four months for what would become "Strangely Feeling Fine."
The songs were distilled down to sixteen that were actually mixed. Another elimination round yielded the best twelve for the finished record. The album went platinum in the U.S. and U.K. and gold in Canada.
While the song "Secret Smile" did little in the U.S., the track, also from "Feeling Strangely Fine," went to #13 in the U.K.
Semisonic's third album, "All About Chemistry, failed to capitalized on the group's U.S. momentum though they were able to garner U.K. tours.
1995 Pleasure EP
1996 Great Divide
1998 Feeling Strangely Fine
2001 All About Chemistry
2003 One Night At First Avenue