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Silent Running

From: Belfast

Active: 1981-90




Belfast band who'd been active since 1978 as The Setz. The Setz changed image and musical direction at the end of 1981 and renamed themselves Silent Running.

Silent Running recorded a self-released demo single in 1982 with a Setz track on one side and a Silent Running track on the other. Just 300 copies of this demo single were pressed. It was not generally available to the public. Instead it was sent to various labels, DJs, journalists and other contacts within the music business as a calling card for the new band. As such it is now a difficult item to locate.

One DJ who liked what he heard was BBC One's Peter Powell, who invited the band to record a session for his radio program in the Autumn of 1982. This in turn led to interest from Warner Brothers who financed a seven song demo, but the deal being offered wasn't good enough and Silent Running signed instead to EMI. As far as I know the Warner session tracks have never been released.

Silent Running in 1983

Colin Gates joined on keyboards in 1983, the same year the band's first single on EMI was released. This was followed by a series of records during 1984-87 which were criticised for being "forgettable passionless dance-rock". This is perhaps unfair, though their records are sometimes plagued by an over-earnest over-riding seriousness and an overbearing early 1980s production. At their best, they're reminiscent of Simple Minds of the same era.

The band made several TV appearances including The Tube in 1984. Check youtube for details.

Alex White left in 1985 and was not replaced, session players being used as needed. Ian Gault left in 1988 during the recording of the final album and was replaced by Gary Kirby (ex True Colours).


Silent Running / The Setz - All The Kings Men / Until The Twelfth Of Never Comes
7" - Silent Records - SR-1 - June 1982 - no PS, promo only, 300 copies pressed

• When The Twelfth of Never Comes Along / Go For The Heart
7" - EMI Records - 5400 - 1983
Re-recorded version of A-side from demo single; B-side different to debut LP version.

• Emotional Warfare/ Speed Of Life
7" - Parlophone Records - R 6066 - 1984

Notes: There is also a US coupling of "Home Is Where The Heart Is" and "Emotional Warfare" on a promo only 12inch on EMI America.

• Young Hearts / Crimson Days
7" - Parlophone Records - R 6073 - 1984
A-side remixed by Julian Mendelsohn
• Young Hearts // Young Hearts (Sudden Africa Mix) / Crimson Days
12" - EMI Records - 1C 062 2002946 - Germany - 1984 - PS

• Sticks And Stones / But That's Life (In the Real World)
7" - Parlophone Records - R 6084 - 1984
A-side remixed by Julian Mendelsohn

• Shades of Liberty
LP - Parlophone Records - PCS 2401171 - UK - April 1984 - inner sleeve
• Emotional Warfare [US title]
LP - EMI America - 17122 - USA - 1984
The US edition of the debut was re-titled and re-sequenced.

• No Faith Is Blind / Business As Usual
7" - Parlophone Records - R 6104 - 1985 - PS
• No Faith Is Blind / Business As Usual // When The Twelfth of Never Comes / Go For The Heart
2x7" - Parlophone Records - RD 6104 - 1985 - foc
The second disc is a reissue of the bands EMI debut single.
12" - Parlophone Records - 12 R 6104 - 1985

• Sanctuary / Under Your Skin
7" - Atlantic Records - A9186 - 1987 - PS
12" - Atlantic Records - A9186T - 1987 - PS
The 12" format probably has bonus and/or extended tracks.

Notes: There is also a US promo with the LP version and a 3:53 edit of "Sanctuary" on Atlantic (PR 2108).

• Heartland / Winds of War
7" - Atlantic Records - A9103 - 1988 - PS

Notes: Was this also released on 12 inch? There is a USA promo 12-inch (Atlantic PR 2215) with edits of "Heartland".

bull; Walk on Fire
LP - Atlantic Records - 81797 - 1987
More commercial second album. Was this released on CD?

bull; Deep
LP - Atlantic Records - 82006 - USA/UK - 1989
CD - Atlantic Records - 782006-2 - USA - 1989


We need your help to correct and/or complete this entry. If you can provide more information about this band, have scans, photos or any other memorabilia we can use, or spare copies of any releases, then please get in touch.

See Also: The Setz, True Colours

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